It’s Switzerland’s “Time to Shine” – Mélanie Rene to Vienna!

Hi guys! So, after a great night in Switzerland, filled with great entertainment and guests, we finally have a Swiss representative in Vienna! After two hours of Die Große Entscheidungsshow, Mélanie Rene will fly the Swiss flag in Vienna with her song “Time to Shine”! Was it the best song to be picked, though? Have a listen to the song below!

So, what can we say about the song? Well, the song is very much a power-ballad, but with a hint of dubstep…almost a little bit like ‘Wild Soul’, but a lot more tame, if you get what I mean. The song is also – I suppose – very empowering, because of the song’s message about having the time to shine and overcoming any form of difficulty, in any way, shape or form. Hopefully, the staging of “Time to Shine” will reflect that when it comes to the Contest itself. But when it comes to the outfit, she better not change that! Donning a one-sided long-skirt jet black dress, it really captured the feelings and the moods that are described in the song. Other than that, that’s essentially the song details over and done with. How will it fair in the second semi-final though? We’ll get to that later!

Onto the actual show now, and it was an actual pleasure to watch something that was held in a smaller studio with an audience that’s able to fully interact with the participants. However, due to the small capacity of the place, the same people were shown in the background. Many people were backing Andy McSean, even to the point of advertising his website. I was tempted on several occasions to visit, just to see what all the hubbub is about! We were covering the National Final on our Twitter feed, and while you might not feel the desire to watch the entire show again, here are some of the things we pointed out:

  • The show was hosted, as in previous years, by former Eurovision spokesperson and commentator for SRF, Sven Epiney. I thought he was good looking in 2007, but wow – he just keeps getting hotter and hotter….phwoar! However, Swiss German (or Schweizerdeutsch) is absolutely terrible to follow and all the time, Sven sounded like he should have speaking Dutch…he had the accent for it anyway!
  • Deborah Bough wore a rather glittery dress for her performance of “Take Me Back To 23”. Not to the point of her looking like a giant disco ball, but fairly close. Vocally, she was pretty on point comparing it to the studio version so on that front, I commend her for that!
  • Timebelle….essentially, they were a mixture of Elaiza and Mandinga. Miruna (the band’s lead singer) has great vocal capability, but I felt like her vocals were kind of wasted on this track, because – for me, at least – the song seemed very incongruous within itself. However, their second song redeemed themselves (which I’ll get to in a bit), so all in all – silver linings!
  • Licia Chery is basically the Swiss version of Laura Mvula. The way that her song ‘Fly’ – although judging by how quiet or screeching it was, it should have been called ‘Plummet’ – was choreographed, the way they were dressed and the way it sounded all seemed to be like Laura’s song “Green Garden”. One more thing before I move on – she really does love to laugh….It’s not that funny, Licia…eesh!
  • Andy McSean… had indie potential, but it just didn’t deliver. That’s all I can say.
  • Tiziana almost was the same as Miruna. She has GREAT potential as a singer, who can reach really emotional notes, but she sings a song where she’s only using around 10% of her vocal range…a winner of the Swiss Voice has to have a song that utilises all of the vocal range…much underwhelm here.
  • For the second round, the six artists had to sing cover songs, which – frankly – makes no sense whatsoever, and it could have cut the time down significantly. But it didn’t happen and these were the songs that they sang: Deborah sang “Shake it Off” by Taylor Swift, Timebelle sang “Rude Boy” by Rihanna, Licia sang “All About that Bass” by Meghan Trainor, Andy sang “” by , Mélanie sang “Chandelier” by Sia and Tiziana sang the Frankie Goes to Hollywood version of “The Power of Love”. I doubt it made any difference to the outcome of the results, but it happened regardless…kinda like Krassimir Avramov back in 2009.
  • After a quick ad break, we had a flying visit by Sebalter, who was looking hot as always….and THAT was followed by – you guessed it – Conchita singing ‘Rise Like a Phoenix’. I had mentioned on Twitter that with Conchita, she never makes her performances similar with each other, which in a way makes her more of an individual artist!
  • Then it was time for the results. Surprisingly, they didn’t reveal every single artists’ placings, and only just crowned the winner -Mélanie was declared the overall winner and she will now represent Switzerland in Vienna!

So how will Mélanie fare in the second semi-final on Thursday, the 21st of May? Well, seeming as Malta is the only other song that has been selected in that semi-final, I doubt Switzerland will have much trouble in qualifying. It is a strong song and should they get the staging right, she could be looking at replicating Sebalter’s luck of finishing on the left-hand-side of the scoreboard. But we’ll just have to wait and see the other songs in the competition!

So, what do you think of Switzerland’s Eurovision song this year?

Your views:

Should Michelle have been picked to represent Switzerland?
Should Mélanie have been picked to represent Switzerland?

Stefan Hedman from Sweden:  I watched the show and the result for me was…. hm, how shall I put it – unexpected.

Shai Cohen from Israel: This is very similar to Malta and Georgia !!! A good song, I doubt if he could reach the final, perhaps with a big help judges.

Ramon Vilamos from Spain: I like very much Swiss song. Hope it will does well on the night!!

Stephanie Saczawa from Canada:  By far, she won the night. She’s going to get even better by the time she heads to Vienna!

Well it seems as if there are mixed reactions from the fans regarding Switzerland’s selection of Mélanie. However, whether or not the first-time-listeners will get onto the telephone and vote for her on Thursday is a different matter. So what do you think? Are you happy to see Mélanie represent Switzerland in Vienna? Do you wish another artist went to Austria on their behalf? Feel free to let us know what you think by commenting below!

2015 semi-final allocation draw – an analysis

So, we have it – now we know which countries will be taking part in which semi-final in May in the Wiener Stadthalle! So after watching today’s events, why not have a nice digest of the outcome as we analyse what the draw might have produced. Buckle up – as Petra Mede would say – as we delve into today’s proceedings!

So, first up – the visual graphics that kicked things off – on the livestream anyway! Everyone had thought that the little orbs that made this year’s logo (as displayed in the image at the top of this article) would be lit up according to the participating country’s flag. Instead, we were treated a very modern-contemporary visual, with the orbs moving in almost a wave pattern in varying colours, but mostly red and orange/green. Personally, I’m looking forward to seeing more of such visuals as they provide the tone for the rest of the show…what do you think? Let us know what you think at the end of the article.

The allocation draw – coupled with the Insignia handover ceremony – was held in the rather swank Wiener Rathaus – better known as the Vienna City Hall to you and me. Our glamorous hosts, Andi Knoll and Kati Bellowitsch, also had dressed to impress, and it’s fair to say that this isn’t the last that we’ll be seeing of the two (as we all know, Andi will commentate for Austria over the course of the Eurovision, with Kati also being the Austrian spokesperson, along with hosting press conferences over the course of rehearsals. Both of them will also host the Eurovision show that’s to be broadcast in Eurovision Week on ORF, so you’d think they’ll be very busy!). Before the start of the allocation, ORF director Kathrin Zechner gave a touching speech about the slogan of this year’s Contest and that we should – like last year – try to ‘Build Bridges with people’ and share the building on their official website….how subtle, Kathrin. How subtle 😉

Getting to the actual results now. So after the allocation draw, this is how things stand:

These are the countries that will take part in their respective semi-finals!
These are the countries that will take part in their respective semi-finals!
This photo shows which semi-final Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK will vote in!

I doubt there’s much to say about the Big 6 and their respective semi-finals in which they’ll vote in…other than the fact that Germany always seems to vote in the second semi-final….like, come on ARD, leave it to chance, it’ll make for really interesting voting!

Now, we shall move to the semi-finals – or, more precisely, the first semi-final. If you can’t read the picture, the countries taking part in Semi-Final 1 are:

  1. Albania
  2. Armenia
  3. Belarus
  4. Belgium
  5. Denmark
  6. Estonia
  7. Finland
  8. FYR Macedonia
  9. Georgia
  10. Greece
  11. Hungary
  12. Moldova
  13. The Netherlands
  14. Romania
  15. Russia
  16. Serbia

The first semi-final has, at this moment in time, the most amount of selected songs, which means I can actually give you more of an accurate analysis on the musical quality and not focus hugely on the political side of things. With five songs already chosen, this semi-final is proving to be very modern and contemporary. Luckily, all the selected songs don’t sound a lot like each other and are quite individual, so any fear of the songs cancelling each other out will be non-existent, for now. I’d say it would be hard to help pick ten qualifiers from this semi-final!

Looking at the political side of it, there are a couple of prolific voting blocs present here; the Netherlands and Belgium, Romania and Moldova and really, most of the ex-Soviet states with…….well, each other. However, in contrast, it’s possible that countries like FYR Macedonia or possibly Finland might not be able to make it due to the lack of support from Scandinavian and Balkan ‘brothers’ like Norway, Serbia and Sweden… Other than that; c’est ça for the first semi-final!

Moving onto the second semi-final, the countries that have been allocated into Semi-Final 2 are:

  1. Azerbaijan
  2. Cyprus
  3. Czech Republic
  4. Iceland
  5. Ireland
  6. Israel
  7. Latvia
  8. Lithuania
  9. Malta
  10. Montenegro
  11. Norway
  12. Poland
  13. Portugal
  14. San Marino
  15. Slovenia
  16. Sweden
  17. Switzerland

As you can tell, most of the countries beginning with a certain letter are all in this semi-final. However, with only Malta’s song selected for this particular semi, we can really only the political side of this….awkward

Looking at the 17 countries, one can already pick out the voting patterns that will occur between certain countries – i.e. Slovenia and Montenegro; Norway, Sweden and Iceland; Azerbaijan and Malta. If previous years have taught us anything, it would be to expect the expected. I wouldn’t be surprised if Norway and Sweden would score each other highly, as the so-called ‘Scandinavian Bloc’ will kick into effect. On the other hand, if they don’t pick a strong song, I’d be fearful of qualification, but after to listening to the majority of songs in the Norwegian Melodi Grand Prix, I wouldn’t be too worried. As for countries that are in trouble for a lack of “voting neighbours” – a term I disdain, but have to use – possibly Portugal and Cyprus might be in trouble, because Spain – a Big 6 country – is voting in the other semi-final, and Greece was allocated into the other semi-final. However, we cannot jump to proper conclusions until we have all the songs, so if you check back here in March, when the full running order will be released, we can go further into detail with you on the musical side!

So, for now that shall do! So what do you think of the results of the allocation draw? Were the right countries allocated in the right semi-finals, in your opinion? Or do you think some countries should have been in the other semi-final? And how well do you think the countries with selected songs will do in their respective semi-finals? Feel free to let us know what you think by commenting below!

Lisa Angell to represent France in Vienna!

We now know one of the Big 5 entries for Eurovision this year! France have announced their Eurovision entry, after an internal selection by broadcaster France 2.

Lisa Angell is the lucky candidate who’ll be singing ‘N’Oubliez Pas’ (Don’t Forget). Lisa, in her mid-forties, has released three albums so far, and is perhaps best known for accompanying the magician Dani Lary on his touring comedy-type show several years back. She has made frequent television appearances over the past few years, so she is not a complete unknown in her own country. This ballad first gathered some attention last November, when it was performed at a concert marking the commemoration period of World War I. Now the song is obviously receiving far more widespread converge. The lyrics have a sentimental, heartfelt element to them – ‘I remember the smiles of the kids … but I am here, do not forget.’

The song has a vintage feel to it, and is something of a typical French Eurovision song; there’s a bit of acoustic guitar, a gentle piano melody, and strings which add to the rising power of the tune. Expect soft lighting and wide camera angles! The chorus is the strongest part, and with a few more listens, I’ll consider it memorable enough.

Lisa has an impressive voice that is set to fill the Wiener Stadthalle in May. It might not be to everybody’s taste (certainly I have yet to warm to it), but there’s still plenty of time for it to grow on fans. But we want to hear what you think! Are you a lover of Lisa Angell, or is she just not impressing with this ballad? Let us know in the comments down below.