Switzerland in the Eurovision Song Contest 2017

Eurovision Song Contest 2017
Country   Switzerland
National selection
Selection process ESC 2017 –
Die Entscheidungsshow
Selection date(s) 5 February 2017
Selected entrant Timebelle
Selected song « Apollo« 
Selected songwriter(s) Elias Näslin
Nicolas Günthardt
Alessandra Günthardt
Finals performance
Semi-final result Failed to qualify (12th, 97 points)
Switzerland in the Eurovision Song Contest
◄2016 2017

Switzerland will participate in the Eurovision Song Contest 2017 with the song « Apollo » written by Elias Näslin, Nicolas Günthardt and Alessandra Günthardt. The song was performed by Timebelle. The Swiss entry for the 2017 contest in Kiev, Ukraine was selected through the national final ESC 2017 – Die Entscheidungsshow, organised by the Swiss German speaking broadcaster Schweizer Radio und Fernsehen (SRF) in collaboration with the other broadcasters part of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SRG SSR). Artists that were interested in entering the Swiss national final had the opportunity to apply to one of three open selections with defined submission periods: an online platform where entries could be uploaded for public viewing, which was organised by the Swiss-German broadcaster SRF and the Swiss-Romansh broadcaster Radiotelevisiun Svizra Rumantscha (RTR), or by submitting an entry directly to the Swiss-French broadcaster Radio Télévision Suisse (RTS) and/or the Swiss-Italian broadcaster Radiotelevisione svizzera. Up to 20 entries were selected to advance to an « Live Check » round. The « Live Check » was held on 4 December 2016 Zürich and involved an expert panel evaluating the live performances of the entries and selecting six entries to advance to the televised national final. The six finalists performed during the national final on 5 February 2017 at SRF’s Studio 1 in Zürich where a public vote ultimately selected « Apollo » performed by Timebelle as the winner.

Switzerland was drawn to compete in the second semi-final of the Eurovision Song Contest which took place on 11 May 2017. Performing during the show in position 13, « Apollo » was not announced among the top 10 entries of the second semi-final and therefore did not qualify to compete in the final.


Prior to the 2017 Contest, Switzerland had participated in the Eurovision Song Contest fifty-seven times since its first entry in 1956.[1] Switzerland is noted for having won the first edition of the Eurovision Song Contest with the song « Refrain » performed by Lys Assia. Their second and, to this point, most recent victory was achieved in 1988 when Canadian singer Céline Dion won the contest with the song « Ne partez pas sans moi« . Following the introduction of semi-finals for the 2004, Switzerland had managed to participate in the final four times up to this point. In 2005, the internal selection of Estonian girl band Vanilla Ninja, performing the song « Cool Vibes« , qualified Switzerland to the final where they placed 8th. Due to their successful result in 2005, Switzerland was pre-qualified to compete directly in the final in 2006. Between 2007 and 2010, the nation failed to qualify to the final after a string of internal selections. Since opting to organize a national final from 2011 onwards, Switzerland has managed to qualify to the final twice. In 2016, Switzerland failed to qualify to the final, placing last in the semi-final with the song « The Last of Our Kind » performed by Rykka.

The Swiss national broadcaster, Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SRG SSR), broadcasts the event within Switzerland and organises the selection process for the nation’s entry. SRG SSR confirmed their intentions to participate at the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest on 15 June 2016.[2] Along with their participation confirmation, the broadcaster also announced that the Swiss entry for the 2017 contest would be selected through a national final.[2] Switzerland has selected their entry for the Eurovision Song Contest through both national finals and internal selections in the past. Between 2005 and 2010, the Swiss entry was internally selected for the competition. Since 2011, the broadcaster has opted to organize a national final in order to select their entry.

Before Eurovision

ESC 2017 – Die Entscheidungsshow

ESC 2017 – Die Entscheidungsshow will be the seventh edition of the Swiss national final format that will select Switzerland’s entry for the Eurovision Song Contest 2017. The national final will be a collaboration between four broadcasters that form SRG SSR: the Swiss-German broadcaster Schweizer Radio und Fernsehen (SRF), the Swiss-French broadcaster Radio Télévision Suisse (RTS), the Swiss-Italian broadcaster Radiotelevisione svizzera (RSI) and the Swiss-Romansh broadcaster Radiotelevisiun Svizra Rumantscha (RTR).[3]

Selection process

The Swiss selection process will be carried out over three phases. Changes for the 2017 edition were introduced, one of the which saw the end to the individual broadcasters running independent submissions and selections in order to determine their quota of entries for further phases of the selection. The first phase of the selection involved an open submission period that ran from 26 September 2016 until 24 October 2016 during which eligible entries could be submitted via an online platform. Submitted entries were not made accessible to the public as in previous editions. A new regulation for the 2017 edition underscored that the entries must have had a link to Switzerland; at least one person (the performer, composer, or lyricist) were required to have a Swiss passport or be a resident in Switzerland. A 21-member jury panel composed of music experts (producers, representatives of the music industry, musicians, journalists, etc.) evaluated the submitted entries between 31 October 2016 and 14 November 2016. The members of the jury were:[4]

  • Gülsha Adilji – Journalist and presenter
  • Bettina Bendiner – Head of the Entertainment Department, 20 Minuten
  • Roman Camenzind – Music producer
  • Camille Destraz – Music journalist
  • Beppe Donadio – Musician and journalist
  • Freda Goodlett – Vocal coach
  • Michael Kinzer – Swiss Music Prize jury president
  • Pascal Künzi – General Manager, Musikvertrieb
  • Nicola Locarnini – Musician
  • François Pinard – Director, Make Sense Production
  • Simone Reich – Television magazine journalist, Ringier Axel Springer Schweiz AG
  • Jocelyn Rochat – Music journalist
  • Oliver Rosa – Swiss Music Awards organiser and artist manager
  • Peter Röthlisberger – Chief editor, Blick
  • Yves Schifferle – Programme development SRF Entertainment
  • Lina Selmani – Chief editor, watson.ch
  • Dano Tamásy – Music editor, Radio SRF 3 Best Talent
  • Christoph Trummer – President, Musikschaffende Schweiz
  • Flavio Tuor – Music editor, RTR
  • Denise Vogel – Production Coordinator, 360° Show Production AG
  • Sébastien Vuignier – Director, TAKK Productions

Up to twenty entries were selected for the second phase of the competition, the Live Check (formerly titled the Expert Check). During the second phase, the selected entries were performed in front of an expert panel where the top six to ten entries would proceed to the third phase, the televised national final, where the Swiss entry for the Eurovision Song Contest would be chosen. The jury panels involved in the selection were required to have the following member quotas representing the different language regions: 68% German/Romansh, 23% French and 9% Italian.[3]

Live Check

The Live Check of the selected candidates took place in Zürich on 4 December 2016.[3] Up to 20 entries were performed in front of an expert panel who assessed the performers on criteria such as live performance skills, voice quality and stage presence. Six entries were selected to proceed to the televised national final.

National final

ESC 2017 – Die Entscheidungsshow took place on 5 February 2017 at SRF’s Studio 1 in Zürich, hosted by Sven Epiney.[3][5] The show was televised by SRF zwei and RTS Deux. The winning entry was determined solely by a public televote. The finalists were announced on 5 December 2016.[6] In addition to the performances from the competing artists, Swiss Eurovision Song Contest 2014 entrant Sebalter performed his song « Weeping Willow ».[5]

Draw Artist Song (English translation) Composer(s) Votes Place
1 Nadya « The Fire in the Sky » Ricardo Sanz 18.02% 2
2 Ginta Biku « Cet air là » (That tune) Johan Czerneski, Daniel Kromo Kromolowski, Ginta Biku, LIM 8.31% 4
3 Michèle « Two Faces » Laura Kloos, Hermann Niesig, Nils Brunkhorst, Michèle Bircher 11.44% 3
4 Freschta « Gold » Iris Bösiger, Christoph Bauss, Christopher Heath, Simon Adrian, Freschta Akbarzada 6.79% 6
5 Shana Pearson « Exodus » Denniz Jamm, Andreas Stone Johansson, Mahan Moin 7.56% 5
6 Timebelle « Apollo«  Elias Näslin, Nicolas Günthardt, Alessandra Günthardt 47.88% 1


Timebelle made several appearances across Europe to specifically promote « Apollo » as the Swiss Eurovision entry. Between 3 and 6 April, they took part in promotional activities in Tel Aviv, Israel where they performed during the Israel Calling event held at the Ha’teatron venue.[7][8] On 8 April, they performed during the Eurovision in Concert event which was held at the Melkweg venue in Amsterdam, Netherlands and hosted by Cornald Maas and Selma Björnsdóttir.[9] On 15 April, they performed during the Eurovision Spain Pre-Party, which was held at the Sala La Riviera venue in Madrid, Spain.[10]

At Eurovision

Timebelle during a press meet and greet

According to Eurovision rules, all nations with the exceptions of the host country and the « Big 5 » (France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom) are required to qualify from one of two semi-finals in order to compete for the final; the top ten countries from each semi-final progress to the final. The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) split up the competing countries into six different pots based on voting patterns from previous contests, with countries with favourable voting histories put into the same pot.[11] On 31 January 2017, a special allocation draw was held which placed each country into one of the two semi-finals, as well as which half of the show they would perform in. Switzerland was placed into the second semi-final, to be held on 11 May 2017, and was scheduled to perform in the second half of the show.[12]

Once all the competing songs for the 2017 contest had been released, the running order for the semi-finals was decided by the shows’ producers rather than through another draw, so that similar songs were not placed next to each other. Originally, Switzerland was set to perform in position 14, following the entry from Norway and before the entry from Belarus.[13] However, following Russia’s withdrawal from the contest on 13 April and subsequent removal from the running order of the second semi-final, Switzerland’s performing position shifted to 13.[14]


  1. ^ « Switzerland Country Profile ». EBU. Retrieved 13 August 2014. 
  2. ^ a b Brey, Marco (15 June 2016). « Switzerland introduces new national selection format ». eurovision.tv. European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 27 June 2016. 
  3. ^ a b c d Peritz, Reto (15 June 2016). « Eurovision Song Contest 2017 Swiss Regulations » (PDF). SRF. Schweizer Radio und Fernsehen. Retrieved 27 June 2016. 
  4. ^ « ESC 2017 in der Ukraine: Jetzt Songs einreichen ». srf.ch (in German). SRF. 26 September 2016. Retrieved 28 September 2016. 
  5. ^ a b Jiandani, Sergio. « Switzerland: Sven Epiney to host national final; running order released ». Esctoday.com. Retrieved 5 January 2017. 
  6. ^ « «ESC» 2017 – Die 6 Finalisten der Entscheidungsshow ». SRF Eurovision. SRF. Retrieved 5 December 2016. 
  7. ^ Kavaler, Ron (22 March 2017). « ISRAEL CALLING! EUROVISION PROMO EVENT SET FOR APRIL 3 TO 6 ». wiwibloggs.com. Retrieved 30 April 2017. 
  8. ^ Laufer, Gil (5 April 2017). « Tonight: Israel Calling 2017 to be held with 28 participating countries ». esctoday.com. Retrieved 30 April 2017. 
  9. ^ Jordan, Paul (29 March 2017). « Eurovision in Concert sets a new record with 33 acts ». European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 30 April 2017. 
  10. ^ Fuster, Luis (1 April 2017). « MADRID CALLING! 19 ACTS WILL TAKE PART IN EUROVISION SPAIN PRE-PARTY ». wiwibloggs.com. Retrieved 30 April 2017. 
  11. ^ Jordan, Paul (25 January 2017). « Semi-Final Allocation draw to take place in Kyiv ». eurovision.tv. Retrieved 25 January 2017. 
  12. ^ Jordan, Paul (31 January 2017). « Results of the Semi-Final Allocation Draw ». eurovision.tv. European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 31 January 2017. 
  13. ^ Jordan, Paul (31 March 2017). « Semi-Final running order for Eurovision 2017 revealed ». eurovision.tv. European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 12 April 2017. 
  14. ^ « EBU: « Russia no longer able to take part in Eurovision 2017« « . eurovision.tv. European Broadcasting Union. 22 April 2016. Retrieved 22 April 2016. 

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