Swiss exclusive: “Pretty sure we'll send a Swiss artist again.”

by Steve Holyer 95 views

A Swiss Television spokesperson told he was “pretty sure” their internal jury will send Swiss artists to the next Eurovision Song Contest. Regulations prevent Swiss Television from commenting on the songs or the selection process, but yesterday Swiss rapper Gimma said he submitted a song for jury consideration. The Swiss deadline for submissions ran-out last Monday; now an internal jury of television and radio representatives will select the artists and song for 2008. The broadcaster is expected to announce their jury's decision in about three week's time.

The decision is in the hands of the internal jury, but Swiss Television spokesperson Marco Meroni told, "I'm pretty sure, that we'll send a Swiss artist again and not look for a foreign artist to represent Switzerland."

This seems to be the first official indication that Switzerland is not likely to go over the borders to hire talent – a strategy that has earned them mixed results in the past. DJ BoBo repeatedly said his goal in '07 – win or lose – was to set a precedent encouraging established Swiss artists to work with Swiss Television. He said Swiss people should be proud to see Swiss artists representing them when they tune into the annual Song Contest telecast. He may have succeeded in that goal at least.

Gimma? Peach Weber?
Earlier this week, a free Swiss commuter paper fanned unconfirmed rumours that the outspoken and sometimes controversial Swiss rapper Gimma wanted to represent Switzerland. The paper said on good authority – claiming they heard it from someone, who heard it from someone who definitely knew – that Gimma had submitted a song to the internal selection. At first Gimma had no comment on the rumours, but yesterday he told a newspaper near his home that he indeed submitted a song. The rapper refused to give any details about the song or its style. He told the paper, "I don't want to start any public discussion. A lot of people are already afraid that I will create another scandal of some kind on stage."

Gimma – whose given name is Gian-Marco Schmid – was also tossing his name into headlines at this time last year saying then he wanted to represent Switzerland in Helsinki. The rapper – who is no stranger to the Swiss charts – has two full albums as well as singles and EPs under his belt. One thing should encourage fans of local language rules; Gimma performs in the local Swiss German dialect. Meanwhile Swiss comedian Peach Weber would not say if he actually submitted a song to Swiss Television as well. When the selection first opened the down-home entertainer said he would definitely apply.

The Swiss national selection rules indicate the selection is open to everyone regardless of nationality, but artists must have recorded a CD and demonstrated chart success on (any) national chart. An internal jury made up of members from regional television broadcasters SF (German), TSR (French), TSI (Italian), music video channel VIVA and public radio station Radio DRS will chose the Swiss Eurovision Song Contest representative to Belgrade. The jury's decision should be announced by mid-November. While Swiss Television can not discuss the year's plans, they will be making at least some changes. The broadcaster confirmed there will be no vampires on stage for Switzerland in 2008.