Can Timebelle Get Switzerland to the Eurovision Final?

Switzerland has been stymied by what makes an entry successful at Eurovision. Timebelle's "Apollo" could be the best shot for the Swiss in the last several years.

Timebelle will represent Switzerland at the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest in Kyiv, Ukraine (Photo: SRF) Timebelle will represent Switzerland at the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest in Kyiv, Ukraine (Photo: SRF)

Switzerland needs some rejuvenation in the Eurovision Song Contest. In 2015, Melanie Rene’s “Time to Shine” finished in absolute last place among all the semi-finalists. Last year, Rykka’s “The Last of Our Kind” was the last of its semi-final. On the whole, Switzerland has only qualified for the final four times since semi-finals were introduced in 2004.

This past Sunday, the selection process Die Entscheidungsshow featured six acts competing for a ticket to Kyiv. The winner, decided by 100% public vote, was Bern-based band Timebelle with the song “Apollo.” Here’s the performance from the show:

This song was by far the best entry of the six in the competition. Lyrically, the song is 95% of the way there–I would like it to get one more editing pass to clear up some clunkiness in the metaphors. The vocals are fine, though this video isn’t the best example. All of the performances in the national final seemed a bit off1, and this video was the victory lap performance.

My issue with the song has to do with the structure of the chorus. It reminds me a little too much of “Impossible” by Shontelle, perhaps if it were redone by Ryan Tedder. On the plus side, that’s the most pop-friendly Switzerland has been in the last several years, though that particular combination is locked in 2012, so… not necessarily contemporary. That’s not to say this entry is doomed, but perhaps tinkering with the arrangement is something Timebelle should consider.

Switzerland has made several questionable choices for its Eurovision entries, but this song is a step in the right direction. I’ll be curious to hear what changes happen between now and when the final draft of the song is due next month.

  1. Possibly a studio sound issue?  

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