Eurovision First Listen: SeBAlter reps Switzerland with “Hunter of Stars”

Switzerland continues to stick with what isn't working in its Eurovision Song Contest selections. SeBAlter's "Hunter of Stars" continues the trend of middle-of-the-road blandness.

Switzerland is one of the countries in the Eurovision Song Contest I don’t really get. Toward the end of Saturday’s selection show I tweeted “Switzerland is the Mom Jeans of Eurovision,” and I still stand by that statement. They are not fashion forward when it comes to their music choices, yet their entries tend to be inoffensive and bland. The country has advanced only once since 2006, but their 2011 entry “In Love for a While” finished in last place at the Final.

This trend appears to be continuing, thanks to the selection of “Hunter of Stars” by SeBAlter:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DwTAaF1rFNg

 

I appreciate the instrumentation in this track. Usually this level of complexity is reserved for heavier rock bands, but I think the pop sensibility will help make the song more accessible. Unfortunately, any goodwill brought about by the music is undone by the nonsensical lyrics. A rewrite seems unlikely, as the song has already been released as a single. The stage performance, as is, also does not help SeBAlter. As a six-person group, they are locked out of having any assistance from a backup dancer or anyone else on stage. I found the performance above to be rather static and non-engaging, which is going to be a tough sell at the audience clap-along break. Also, the costume and the clutching of the violin scream Alexander Rybak, which will not do the group any favors.

Despite all these flaws, “Hunter of Stars” was probably the best entry in Saturday’s final. Sadly, I’m at a loss as to suggesting what possible fixes could be employed. Perhaps Switzerland should re-evaluate its selection process for next year.

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