It’s been a week since Belarus became the first country to make their choice for Eurovision 2013 (that’s seven whole days of Alyona not being disqualified!) and now it’s time for Switzerland, traditionally the first, to decide. Die Grosse Entscheidungsshow – which I can actually spell and think I can pronounce – is happening tomorrow night, and will give the public nine songs from three broadcasters to choose from.
The standard of those nine songs is sadly what I’m used to with the Swiss selections. When it comes to finals like Melodifestivalen and the MGPs, I’m bound to like at least 80% of the entries, but with Die Grosse, it’s more like 30%. But I do think the best possible choice is made more often than not, and with a few decent songs in the lineup, hopefully that will happen now. My mantra is going to be ‘anything but the monkey song’ when it comes to the crunch. Don’t have a clue what I’m talking about? Well, here’s a review of said monkey song and the eight regular ones, in running order.
* This video is a random Youtube ranking, not in running order.
1. Catch Me by Ally – well, it’s not a good start for the Swiss as far as I’m concerned. I really don’t like this song. It’s so ‘blah’ it’s painful, and I find it hard to believe that out of all the entries submitted, someone considered it good enough to make the final cut. That is just me, of course, and you can disagree as much as you like. But if you agree I’ll give you some chocolate and money. And did I mention how nice you look today?
2. Bella Sera by Chiara Dubey – an Italian ballad that crams as many syllables as possible into the lyrics and doesn’t really go anywhere? Where have I heard one of those before? Ah, si, they make up 90% of the San Remo Song Festival lineup every year. Don’t get me wrong. I know that style appeals to a lot of people, and it does have its merits, but it’s rarely my cup of tea. I do like this particular song better than Chiara’s Anima Nuova from last year, but it’s still a bit of a snooze fest.
3. J’avais Rendez-vous by Carrousel – I’m both annoyed and intrigued by this one. It’s quite quirky and lively which is more than I can say for the previous two, but at the same time I find it grating on me (especially the chorus) in the same way that Izabo’s Time did back in Baku. Both songs remind me of the indie stuff that gets played on alternative radio stations over here, alternative radio stations I never listen to. But then I think I could come around on Carrousel eventually…hmm.
4. Do The Monkey by Anthony Bighead – Dear Switzerland. No. Non. NEIN! In any and every language, I beg you not to send this to Malmö. How it was allowed to get this far is a mystery. If you had to satisfy your novelty-song cravings, why didn’t you go for the ridiculous but strangely amazing Lys Assia and NewJack? Slightly senile Eurovision legends accompanied by rappers trump weirdoes in monkey suits every time.
5. You and Me by Heilsarmee – who’d have guessed that the Swiss Salvation Army would produce both the bookies’ favourite and mine? This is everything I thought it would be before I listened to it: rousing, anthemic, a little bit military and a little bit rock ‘n’ roll, AND featuring a man old enough to have been present at the birth of the Buranovskiye Babuskis. Sure, the lyrics are cliché, and maybe it would have as much chance of qualifying as Joan Franka’s You and Me, but I’d love it to win anyway.
6. On My Way by Nil Klemm – boring. Boring boring boring. Boring boring boring. Boring. Boring boring? Boring.
7. The Point of No Return by Melissa – she’s a Spaniard vying to represent Switzerland with an English-language song that reminds me of Melodifestivalen…and multicultural Melissa’s doing it well. Again, this is far from being original, but I’m not too fussed about that while I’m shaking my thing to it. It’s catchy and dancey, and would be something different from the Swiss.
8. Lève-Toi by Nicolas Fraissinet – this Coldplay-ish, up-tempo-ish ballad is one of the most listenable of the nine. Will it whip people into a frenzy and set the musical world on fire, leaving a trail of flaming, hysterical humans in its wake? Nope (which isn’t a bad thing judging by that image I just conjured up) but do we really expect that from Swiss entries these days?
9. Forever & A Day by Jesse Ritch – here we have a fresh German Idol reject (also known as second runner-up) chasing Swiss glory. Why it is always the unlikely ones who get my attention? Jesse is one of my favourite contenders of the year, bar his video clip in which he sings some rather inappropriate lyrics to a small child. His song is feel-good pop/r & b with a great ‘moment’ right before the second chorus that sells it. I’m loving it.
My picks? You and Me, Forever & A Day, The Point of No Return and Lève-Toi. The only one of those I’m genuinely seeing as a winner is You and Me, because I don’t think Jesse or Nicolas have wide enough appeal and I suspect Melissa will go the same way as Atomic Angels did last year (pretty much to the bottom of the pack with Black Symphony, my top song of the final). My absolute favourites tend to be narrowly beaten in Switzerland, so if you’re not into the above songs, congratulations! Your personal best will probably win.
Speaking of who will win, who will? It’s a tough one to call if you’re predicting a few. My guess would be Chiara, Carrousel or Heilsarmee, based on the odds and/or the potential for Swiss randomness. Whether or not a Eurovision qualification could be on the cards for one of those depends on what the other 39 or so countries dish up over the next few months.
To finish off, I want to know what you think. Which act is the best choice for Switzerland? A.K.A:
Thanks for your vote, assuming you did (hint hint). I’ll see you on the other side (of Die Grosse, that is) when we have another song for another Swedish ESC, and we can get down to naming the worst 2013 entry so far. It’s what we’ve all been dying to do, right?