Two last semifinal places for Switzerland has made the Swiss broadcasters to think again about the way of choosing the country’s entry for the Eurovision Song Contest, to get rid of the old system and introduce some big changes. The Swiss final will be held on 5 February with six to ten songs participating.
The song submission phase will take place from 26 September to 24 October. International entries are no longer accepted and one of the artists, composers or lyricists in the team must have a Swiss passport or be a resident in Switzerland. Previously, each of the broadcasters (SRF, RTS and RSI) had chosen the national final entries separately, with SRF having an online platform for uploading and voting while RTS and RSI opted for internal selections. The online platform phase, introduced in 2011, will no longer take place.
Furthermore, the division to broadcasters is repealed as well, so no secure spots will be saved for the various broadcasters and regions as happened before, as the Swiss final used to have three songs from SRF, two from RTS and one from RSI.
After the submission period, a new 20-member jury, made of music experts, producers, people from the music industry, musicians and journalists will evaluate all submitted songs internally, and choose the Top 20, to qualify to a live check phase that will likely take place on 4 December 2016.
The best six to ten qualifiers of the live check phase will participate in the Swiss national selection that will take place on 5 February 2017 in Zürich and will be broadcasted on SRF 2. The winner will be decided by 100% televoting.
Rykka performing The last of our kind in the Live Check round, that was held last year as well
The changes to the format, which might sound promising, were accepted with mixed feelings in Switzerland. “I think the changes to the selection are not that big. Maybe some bigger names will apply for the contest because they don’t have to get public with their application for Eurovision. But the big change is that the televised final is now on a Sunday and not anymore on SRF 1. So the Swiss Television decided to give «Die grosse Entscheidungsshow» a worse slot than on Saturday night with less spectators, and less ratings can be expected.”, says Michel Imhof, Entertainment Editor at the Swiss newspaper Blick.
Switzerland was represented by Rykka in Stockholm with the song The last of our kind. She failed to qualify to the final, as did Mélanie René in 2015 with Time to shine.
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