Vanilla Ninja to sing for Switzerland in Kiev

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Swiss broadcaster SF DRS informed that Estonian band Vanilla Ninja will represent Switzerland in 2005. Vanilla Ninja earlier participated in the Estonian selection Eurolaul 2003 with the song Club Kung-Fu but didn't make it to Riga.

In late October 2004 representatives of Swiss public regional broadcasters SF DRS, TSR and TSI reviewed the entries for the Eurovision Song Contest 2005 and came to an unanimous decision: Switzerland will be represented by the Estonian girl-band Vanilla Ninja at the Eurovision Song Contest 2005 in Kiev. Their song will be written and produced by Basel-born David Brandes.

David Brandes has been working with Vanilla Ninja since the summer of 2003 and has written all of the band's hits. As songwriter, composer and producer, Brandes was chosen not only on the basis of his musical track-record but also because of his links with Switzerland – he was born in Basel and went to school in Ettingen, Canton Basel-Land.

Vanilla Ninja, comprising Piret, Katrin, Lenna and Triinu, have enjoyed enormous success throughout Europe, especially in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Their album Traces of Sadness, for example, went straight in to the German charts at number three and has gone gold.

The search has been on for a solo performer or group of no more than six for the challenging task of representing Switzerland at the Eurovision Song Contest. In addition to advertising this search publicly, representatives of SF DRS, TSR and TSI have been calling on the Swiss music industry to get involved. Newcomers would not be considered, the requirements being television and stage experience, the production of at least one video and the issue of at least one CD placed among the top 50 in the official charts.

Countless entries have been received up to the 15th October 2004 deadline. Toni Wachter, responsible for Eurovision matters at SF DRS told: “We went for David Brandes and are delighted to have secured one of Europe's top producers. Brandes has sold well over 10 million tapes and CDs and has more than 30 gold and platinum records to his credit. Vanilla Ninja have made their international breakthrough and will do Switzerland proud at the Eurovision Song Contest 2005.”

This is not the first time that Switzerland will be represented at the Eurovision Song Contest by an international artist – Canadian Céline Dion won the competition for Switzerland in 1988. Other non-Swiss artists that sang for Switzerland include Esther Ofarim (1963), Yovanna (1965), Sue (of Peter, Sue and Marc (1971, 1976, 1979 and 1981)) and Annie Cotton (1993).

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