Tonight saw Switzerland arrange a national final for the first time in a number of years, and with 12 acts competing for the prestige of representing the Alpine nation in Düsseldorf next year, there was definitely something to appeal to all tastes.
Swiss broadcaster SF1 gave viewers a great show, faultlessly organized and very well executed with no mentionable technical glitsches. Broadcast from a packed Bodensee Arena, the audience was extremely enthusiastic, playing their part in making all 12 acts feel welcome on stage and making for a great atmosphere.
The show opened with the eclectically dressed Polly Duster, a group who had chosen to sing in kilts for the occasion. The song Up To You was something of a crossover song, mixing rock and pop with the lead singer turning in a more than credible vocal performance. Punchy, yet the song still lacked that certain something to take it all the way. A good opener, though. Next up was Duke, who gave us a dramatic entry with his self penned Waiting For Ya. Rap infused with orchestral elements probably didn’t come across as well as he’d hoped on stage. Despite strings and pyro effects on stage and a fresh, modern sound, plus the added bonus for many eurofans of Daniela Simons joining in toward the end, Waiting For Ya just didn’t have what it took to make it stand out enough from the crowd. Nevertheless, a welcome breath of fresh air, style wise.
AndrinA was the next act on stage, and at the tender age of 16, she treated the viewers to a surprisingly competent performance with the oddly titled Drop of Drizzle. With an acoustic opening, the song started off promisingly enough, but regrettably failed to build further and move anywhere. Quite static, but still not a bad effort. Bernarda Brunovic was the fourth act to take to the stage with her offering, Confidence. The staging for this number was quite minimal with only Bernarda and her backing singers on stage and nothing else to distract from the song. Although the song’s subject matter was pleasant enough and the young singer yet again gave us a solid vocal performance, she did begin to overindulge towards the end of the number with her vocal acrobatics.
Anna Rossinelli, despite the name, chose to sing her entry in English. In Love For A While immediately caught the attention of many with the use of strings and the ukelele, giving ig a certain hum along/sing along feel and bubblyness galore! Simplicity was definitely the key word here, as her voice shone through and with a gentle, lilting arrangement this song was definitely among the contenders for the main prize tonight. Aliose was the next act to deliver her entry and with the only song in French performed tonight, Sur Les Pavés was a very sweet, wistfully old fashioned ballad with enough romance to satisfy even the most picky of francophones. Her voice suited the sweet melody perfectly, and no doubt her charm and sincerity would sway even the coldest of hearts. Another contender for the title.
The evening’s latino number was brought to us courtesy of Dominique Borriello. Il Ritmo Dentro Di Noi sounded good on paper. Sung in Italian with fiery, meditteranean guitars, the song seemed to have everything going for it. Sadly however, ideas failed to translate and Dominique gave us a rather underwhelming performance although he must be commended for being different enough from the previous entries. Scilla was yet another act representing the Italian speaking regions of Switzerland, although her song Barbie Girl was performed in English. Yet more drama with pyro effects on stage, Scilla proved to be something of a favourite with the audience, belting out her gutsy, feisty rock number. She exudes confidence and is clearly enjoying herself on stage. Could her exuberance be contagious and get her the much needed votes to send her to Düsseldorf?
CH was the ninth act of the night, and were the only act to perform their entry in Swiss German. Gib Nid Uf was a pleasant enough ditty which seemed to flow along at a pleasant enough pace, melding pop with country. There was visible chemistry between the two performers, but sadly no amount of chemistry could help their rather forgettable tune. The tenth entry, Home, was without doubt, one to watch tonight. Perfomed by Albanian Illiria and her band The Colours, the title was in fact deceiveing, as it was performed entirely in Albanian! A gentle, piano led opening the young singer turned in a stellar performance and provided us with one of the most memorable tunes of the night. Deliciously melancholic and soft, this was easily strong enough to walk away with the honour of representing Switzerland.
Sarah Burgess was the penultimate performer and she took to the stage with a clearly large following in the audience. She had been ill earlier in the week, and this did affect her performance, making her screech rather than sing. Still, her enthusiasm was evident and she delivered a confident, feisty performance of Just Me which also was extremely catchy and upbeat. although her choice of outfit at the end of the number did make her entry come across as somewhat cheap. Would this be the one the Swiss would go for? They sent a Canadian in 1988, why not an American in 2011? The final act of the night was something so rare as an acapella group called The Glue with Come What May. In a similar vein to earlier Latvian entrants Cosmos, their act was undeniably unique with some startling vocal and noise effects created by the band members. The actual melody itself could be best decribed as different, an acquired taste and not everybody’s cup of tea. Perhaps a little too diverse to make an impact.
During the entire show, a professional music panel consisting of Baschi, Francine Jordi (Switzerland 2002), Pepe Leinhard (Switzerland 1977), Nik Hartmann and Peter Reber were on hand to give the Eurovision hopefuls feedback on their performances and some helpful tips. The panel however would not be able to influence the result of the voting, which was solely based on televoting from the audience. Following an interval act brought to us by Baschi with a rather nondescript tune, the tension was clearly tangible, as the lone envelope stood on stage containing the results and who had been given the task of representing Switzerland at next year’s Eurovision Song Contest. The competent host welcomed all participants back to the stage to await the announcement of who indeed would succeed in getting the nation’s vote. The suspense built as the audience called out and cheered on their favourites.
The envelope was opened and to the surprise of many, Anna Rossinelli was proclaimed the winner. Her win seemed to meet the approval of most people present and the singer herself was visibly overcome with joy at the prospect of representing Switzerland next year.
In my view
Congratulations Anna on a convincing win and a delightful song! Morever, congratulations to SF1 for an extremely entertaining and well executed show. I’m sure that everyone wishes you the best of luck for next year’s contest in Düsseldorf!The opinion expressed in "In my view" are those of the author and are not necessarily the one of EuroVisionary.com.