Now that the National Finals season is finished and all songs for Eurovision 2016 have been selected we now have a period of around 4 weeks where we wait for the rehearsals to begin in Stockholm. What better way to fill the time than to look back over the 60 years of Eurovision at some of the best and worst entries that countries have sent to the Eurovision stage. There are 43 countries going to Stockholm to take part in the 2016 edition of our favourite musical extravaganza and we continue our journey with Switzerland who have won the contest twice, finished second four times and third three times. They have finished last five times in the Final and three times in a Semi Final. This has been achieved in 56 participations. You can check out the previous articles in the best and worst series for Ireland HERE ,Spain HERE, Austria HERE, Bosnia & Herzegovina HERE, Iceland HERE, Belarus HERE, Denmark HERE, Georgia HERE, Germany HERE, Cyprus HERE, Finland HERE, Belgium HERE and Hungary HERE.
So this year Switzerland are represented by Rykka with the song ‘The Last Of Our Kind’. We will have to wait and see if it turns out to be more of a best or worst song for Switzerland but the overall reaction is fairly mixed so far. You can catch up on our recent article announcing Rykka as winner in Switzerland HERE.
So my selections for best and worst entries are based on a combination of actual results and personal taste. Now Switzerland have fifty six entries to choose from making the task a lot harder. There are many great songs from Switzerland over the years especially some of the earlier ones and this may be reflected in my selections here.
We do not have to go very far back in time to find our first song that is one of the best for Switzerland. The year was 2005 and we were in Kiev to see Vanilla Ninja singing the song ‘Cool Vibes’.
Now Switzerland have often been noted for sending singers to Eurovision from other countries and this year was no exception. Vanilla Ninja hail from Estonia and were a four piece all girl band. They had tried unsuccessfully to represent Estonia in 2003 but were chosen by Switzerland to bolster what had been a few bad results previously and as the band had some chart success there it seemed to make sense. The composer of the song was considered Swiss even though it proved he was essentially German. The song style was a mixture of gothic hard and pop rock and was a refreshing change for Switzerland. It finished 8th in the Semi Final and then repeated the feat in the Final with 128 points.
Moving along we look at one of the worst entries for Switzerland. We were in Brussels in 1987 to see Carol Rich perform the song ‘Moitié, moitié’.
Now Carol Rich is not a very French Swiss sounding name but she is Swiss born Anne-Lyse Caille. She managed to get to Eurovision for Switzerland on her 2nd of three attempt. Her uptempo song was performed in last place in the running order but failed to find favour with the Juries and ended up in 17th place with only 27 points.
So now we move back to look at another best of entry for Switzerland. We were in Rome in 1991 and the performer was Sandra Simo with the song ‘Canzone Per Te’.
Now Switzerland have four native languages to choose from every year and decided to go with Italian for their short trip to Rome. Now Sandra who is now better known as Sandra Studer reached Eurovision on her second attempt and went on to become a TV presenter and even presented both German and Swiss Eurovision selection shows. The song was a typical Italian style Canzone with a great feel and vocal to it. It stood out from many of that years songs and is still fresh when you listen to it now. It finished in 5th place with 118 points.
Our next song that has to be considered one of the worst for Switzerland really was dreadful, what were they thinking? The year was 2004 and we were in Istanbul to witness the spectacle that was Piero and the MusicStars singing ‘Celebrate!’.
There is no doubt that this was a lively enough performance. Piero was backed by a selection of singers collectively known as MusicStars. During the performance Piero accidentally hit himself in the face with the microphone. It was the highlight for me as the overall song was certainly a dogs dinner of a mess and certainly nothing to celebrate at the end as that is what it got, nothing! Therefore it finished last in the Semi Final.
So onto our last song that was one of Switzerland’s best. It was in 1988 and Dublin was witness to the beginnings of a mammoth global sensation that was Celine Dion with the song ‘Ne partez pas sans moi’.
Now starting with the song it was composed by a Turkish/Swiss team. It is considered to be one of the most popular Eurovision winners probably off the back of the subsequent success of Celine. The song went on to sell moderate amounts in Europe but amazingly was not released in the UK or Ireland. Now Celine Dion was of course from Quebec in the French speaking part of Canada and was invited to sing for Switzerland. What followed was an amazing vocal performance of the rousing ballad which led to her winning the contest in one of the closest voting sequences. She won with 137 points just one point ahead of Scott Fitzgerald of the UK. Celine went one to global fame and fortune selling millions of records and having an extended residency in Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.
We now arrive at the last song for Switzerland and it’s another of the worst. In 1998 we saw Gunvor represent her country in Birmingham with the song ‘Lass Ihn’.
It was a song that she co wrote herself with previous Swiss participant Egon Egemann. It was considered one of the favourites in Birmingham but went on to be slated for a very off key performance and ultimately scored no points finishing in 25th and last place. One thing that did work was her sparkling red dress which looked great.
So there we have it folks, my little delve into Swiss Eurovision history and some of the best and worst moments over the years. Do you agree with all or even any of my choices? Feel free to comment below.
This series will continue with another look at songs over the years for each and every country competing in Eurovision 2016 so keep coming back for more reflections of the best and worst that Eurovision has had to offer us.
Author: Andrew Main
Source: Eurovision Ireland