Celebrating the 68th anniversary of the first Swiss Eurovision victory

by Sanjay (Sergio) Jiandani 256 views

On this very day, 68 years ago, history was made in the charming Swiss town of Lugano. Not only did Eurovision take its first wobbly steps onto the international stage, but Switzerland absolutely stole the show, becoming the very first champion of the competition!

Lys Assia, a talented Swiss singer, had the honor of representing her nation with not one, but two entries. While “Das Alte Karussell” showcased her German side, it was the French-language “Refrain” that truly struck a chord with the juries. Imagine the excitement – the very first winner being crowned on home soil!

Fast forward over three decades, and Switzerland proved that their Eurovision magic wasn’t a fluke. In 1988, a young and unknown Celine Dion (yes, you read that right!) belted out the powerful ballad “Ne Partez Pas Sans Moi” (Don’t Leave Without Me). Her performance was electric, and after a nail-biting finish, Switzerland secured its second glorious Eurovision victory.

But Switzerland’s Eurovision journey isn’t just about winning. They’ve delivered some truly unforgettable moments and gems over the years. Who can forget the yodeling stylings of “Io senza te” in 1982, the fabulous Daniela Simons with ‘Pas Pour Moi‘  in 1986 (2nd), the charming of Sandra Simo in 1991 with her entry “Canzone per te” (5th), Annie Cotton‘s ‘Moi Tout Simplement‘ in 1993 (3rd), Esther Ofarim’s ‘T’en en vas’ in 1963 (2nd). These entries reached the top but didn’t walk away with the coveted Grand Prix, but they sure left a lasting impression!

Other Swiss acts who left a mark behind in the competition’s history are Vanilla Ninja (2005), Paolo Menuguzzi (2008), Michael Von Der Heide (2010), Sebalter (2014), Paola (1969, 1980) etc.

Of course, Eurovision is all about the music, and Switzerland has consistently brought a diverse range of sounds to the competition. From the pop-rock energy of Luca Hänni in 2019 to the soulful balladry of Gjon’s Tears in 2021, they’ve shown they can adapt and keep things interesting.

And let’s not forget the recent triumph of Nemo in 2024! Their song “The Code” not only secured Switzerland’s third Eurovision win, but also made history with Nemo becoming the first non-binary winner of the competition.

So here’s to Switzerland, the reigning champion of Eurovision! Their dedication to the competition, combined with their unique blend of musical styles, ensures they’ll continue to be a force to be reckoned with for years to come. Now, crank up the volume, grab some cheese fondue, and let’s celebrate Switzerland’s incredible Eurovision legacy!

Source: ESCToday
Photo credit: eurovision.tv