Hits and Swisses in the first national final for Baku

Unbelievably, it’s that time again: the time for national selections to kick off for Eurovision! And you know what that means – besides a gazillion opportunities for me to come up with pun-tastic titles for posts á la the one above – it’s also time for reviews and predictions aplenty here at EBJ. First on the chopping block (as usual…they like to get in first, unlike another certain country beginning with SW who relish being the last to pick their entry) is the home of holey cheese: Switzerland!

Listening to the 14 Swiss finalists recently, I have to say I felt an overwhelming sense of, ironically, underwhelming-ness, which is sadly not unusual for the country’s selection. I don’t know what it is about the songs that does it, but I know that every time I go through the Melodifestivalen or MGP entries I’m bound to love at least 80% of them. But with Switzerland…I can’t help thinking ‘all those submissions, and these are the songs that made it?’ (especially in Lys Assia’s case, but I’ll get to that). Still, I have managed to suss out some good stuff after a few listens, and found perhaps too much enjoyment in trashing the bad stuff. There’s also enjoyment to be found in the fact that, before the weekend is out, Baku’s first entry will be known!


What are the Swiss candidates for 2012? 

Here they are, in all their running-order glory.

  1. Real Love by Patric Scott feat. Fabienne Louves
  2. She by Emel
  3. Anima Nuova by Chiara Dubey
  4. Baby Baby Baby by Guillermo Sorya
  5. Shining by Macy
  6. Quand je Ferme Les Yeux by Sosofluo
  7. Black Symphony by Atomic Angels
  8. Peace and Freedom by Ivo
  9. L’autre by Ze Flying Zézettes Orchestra
  10. The Song in My Head by Raphael Jeger
  11. Fragile by I Quattro
  12. Unbreakable by Sinplus
  13. C’était Ma Vie by Lys Assia
  14. Wrong to Let You Go by Katharine St-Laurent


My top five:

  1. Black Symphony by Atomic Angels (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=duhk1_fjpL8)

The Top 40 radio devotee in me (which is about 5%. Another 15% is devoted to Asian pop whilst the remaining 80% is a slave to Europop) is a big fan of this song. It’s very mainstream, but at the same time I reckon it’s catchy and current, unlike certain recent Swiss entries (cough, Il Pleut de Lor, cough). Should it win, it may not be ear-catching enough to qualify, but it would be something different for Switzerland to send. Songs with ‘symphony’ in the title don’t tend to flourish at Eurovision – just ask Slovenia’s Quartissimo) – but artists do – just ask Urban Symphony from Estonia. With Black Angels by Atomic Symphony, who knows how far this could go.


  1. Unbreakable by Sinplus (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B3vUIoqwHTM)

This song suffers only in how the vocals sound, either as the result of the singer, who doesn’t spend a lot of time speaking English, singing in it; or the singer doing what he always does no matter the tongue and me finding it strange to listen to. Still, I can get past that, because I really like everything else. The chorus gets a big thumbs up. I feel like Unbreakable is what would happen if Andorra decided to participate again and secured a day release from the old folks’ home for Anonymous (assuming they had gone a bit emo since Helsinki).


  1. Wrong to Let You Go by Katharine St-Laurent (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aZU5YtzRsy0)

Rihanna’s Umbrella meets…well, pretty much any middle-of-the-road love ballad by a female singer of the last twenty years. But don’t get me wrong; I’m liking the combo. Sure, it ain’t no groundbreaker. But it’s a solid pop song with a strong chorus and singer, and IMO on about the same level as this year’s winner from Azerbaijan which I dare not name for fear that I am not over it winning yet, and will burst into tears which will drip onto my keyboard and I will be electrocuted and die, hence missing Baku altogether.


  1. Real Love by Patric Scott feat. Fabienne Louves (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o_Bhl5Dm8LQ)

It’s official: Switzerland loves its Top 40 pop ballads long time (no research was conducted by yours truly to reach this conclusion. In the immortal words of Spice Girl Mel B, ‘I’m just sayin’…X Factor Australia reference people!). I wouldn’t say there’s real love for this song in me, but I’m pretty attracted to it. The verses sound better than the chorus which is a bit of a worry, and I’m not sure what kind of stage show could be put on for it, but I still wouldn’t place the back of my hand on my forehead and crumple dramatically to the ground in a dead faint if it won.


  1. L’autre by Ze Flying Zézettes Orchestra (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E5MFVGzPIms)

And now for something completely different…something whimsical and quirky and interesting. This is the kind of music one would expect to hear in a French cabaret bar, and that’s not my usual thang (yes, I said ‘thang’. I’m not proud of it), but I can’t help feeling a little fondness for it. Would it do well at Eurovision? Probably not. But many of my favourite entries have been those that floundered in the final, or didn’t even qualify.


My bottom five:

  1. C’était Ma Vie by Lys Assia

Maybe Israel picked Dana International to represent them in Düsseldorf because she is Dana International. So what? I, at least, was a fan of Ding Dong. However, in picking Lys Assia to possibly represent them in Baku because she is Lys Assia (as I suspect than to have done) Switzerland have made a mistake. Lys is probably a lovely woman, and is undoubtedly an ESC legend, but her song is stuck firmly back in her glory days of 1754. I mean 1956. She’s even allegedly planning to wear the same dress she won in back then! Therein lies the problem I have with this whole thing – apart from a few (hundred) wrinkles, her performance on Saturday will be a dead ringer for the one she gave over half a century ago in Lugano. Then and there, it was enough to win; but Eurovision has well and truly moved on from chanson.


  1. Fragile by I Quattro

I know a lot of people, come Eurovision time, have a designated ‘toilet break’ song that is worth leaving to be unheard in order to take care of a little business. I, on the other hand, am glued to the television for every second – mainly because I went to the loo just before the show started, but also because I’m terrified of missing something. Should this song be picked, come Baku time, I think I’d have to reconsider this ‘no-piddle’ policy. Yawn.


  1. Anima Nuova by Chiara Dubey

This does absolutely nothing for me. I can’t say I hate it, but it just leaves me…well, a bit sleepy, to be honest. What really annoys me about it is the apparent attempt to fit as many words as possible into the chorus (if it is the chorus – I can’t tell, it all blends into one) despite the fact that they don’t fit. Unremarkable.


  1. The Song in My Head by Raphael Jeger

Someone should write a cheesy, 80s-style sitcom for which this can be the theme. Otherwise, it’s going to disappear into the black hole of vanilla national finalists and will never be heard again (is that a good thing?). I shudder to think what the song in Raphael’s head was if this is the one outside of it. Not that it’s dreadful. Just so cliché!  


  1.  Quand je Ferme Les Yeux by Sosofluo

Okay, so I don’t hate this. I just don’t want it to win, which is unfortunate as I suspect it to be just the type that could win. It’s just so dated, and although I hate to repeat myself repeat myself repeat myself, also has the potential to be used as a sitcom theme. No song with that ability should be seen/heard at the ESC. Not in 2012.


My dream winner:

My Love by Ultra Naté. As Katharine St-Laurent would say, the Swiss were wrong to let her go. As if the fact that the intro sounds like Gimme Gimme Gimme by ABBA, and in turn Popular by Eric Saade, wasn’t reason enough to hang on to her for the final! Look out for signs, people, SIGNS! Anyway, somehow her song got the boot in an earlier culling and I personally shall mourn the loss for minutes to come.


Spit it out – who’s going to win?

Taking into account that the decision will be made by 100% televoting, I’d say Black Symphony, Unbreakable, or heaven forbid, C’était Ma Vie. I think Sosofluo, Zézettes or Katharine St-Laurent could just miss out, whilst Guillermo or I Quattro will be at the bottom. 


What do you think? Which song will Switzerland send to Baku? And which should they send?

4 Responses to “Hits and Swisses in the first national final for Baku”

    • Jaz

      Merci! I only watched bits and pieces of the Swiss NF – I take it from your comment that I shouldn’t bother with the whole thing?? =)


  1. Dara

    Your #2 won? Surprising, I expected better, it’s terrible (well more like uber uber average which is worse xD)


    • Jaz

      Well…there is potential in something uber uber average to become slightly above average, right??? Haha. Unfortunately I think we’ve all come to expect less-than-amazing songs from the Swiss, which is a bit sad. I personally quite like Unbreakable (obviously). We’ll have to wait and see what the other countries come up with.



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