(Photograph courtesy of Нет версии с бо́льшим разрешением)
At the end of last year Swiss band “Heilsarmee” won the National Eurovision Selection in Switzerland with the song “You and Me”. Following their victory there were doubts on whether they could enter the Eurovision Song Contest as “Heilsarmee” as this is actually “The Salvation Army” which is a registered organisation. The Eurovision specifically excludes any registered organisation to enter the contest.
So what does that mean for “Heilsarmee”? Well following a meeting of the Eurovision Reference Committee it was deemed that they will have to amend their name and not wear their Salvation Army uniforms on stage at the contest. One can appreciate that this maybe a difficult ask to make of the band but they have now said that they will make a final decision on their participation at Eurovision this week.
In fairness to the Swiss National Broadcaster SRF – They did ask the EBU to clarify if Heilsarmee were in breach of any rules before their National final. The EBU said that the song complied with all regulations but that on a decision concerning their name and uniform – that would take place should Heilsarmee win the National Final, and win they did by a landslide of a public televote.
(YouTube Video Courtesy of Eurovision013TV)
So what happens if Heilsarmee withdraw? Well I guess SRT would have to look to the runners-up at the Swiss National final which was the band Carrousel with the song “J’avais rendez-vous”. Also a concern would be the money that Swiss viewers spent on voting on Heilsarmee – would that need to be reimbursed? Who can tell.
(YouTube Video Courtesy of ESCFinales)
So all one can do is await a decision from Heilsarmee and SRT. Hopefully Heilsarmee won’t have to put a call through to The Samaritans for help!
Source – SRT