Earlier today the Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of musical unprofessionals — took a train to the Italian-speaking Swiss canton of Ticino where we enjoyed some ticinese polenta washed down with a fruity gazzosa ticinese soda. From our alpine valley hideaway, we discussed Mélanie René and her Eurovision 2015 song “Time to Shine”. Did the song have us basking in her glow – or grasping for the dimmer switch? Read on to find out…
Switzerland’s Eurovision 2015 song
Reviews: Mélanie René with “Time to Shine”
Angus: One thing is for certain: Mélanie René knows how to do screamy. In the case of ‘Time To Shine” though, you can put the banshee to one side and admire the quality added by two production facelifts. From awkward to awesome in two studio sessions. She’s not at the top of the pack, but Mélanie is clinging onto the middle, and in semi-final two that’s all she needs.
Zach: Switzerland has certainly broken free of the folky niche they’ve been in for a couple years, and they’ve done it in a big way. Mélanie is a very skilled vocalist, and her attitude matches the song perfectly, I love watching her on stage – she commands attention. I really like the song too. It’s something I wouldn’t expect from Switzerland, to be honest. It’s got sass, it’s got a good backing beat, and I remember it after one listen. I think Switzerland will finally qualify two years in a row with this one, and I hope it does really well. She should pick up jury points easily with that voice of hers. Well done!
Chris: I have been a supporter of “Time to Shine” from the beginning, as I thought it was one of the stand-out songs of the Swiss national selection. Mélanie is a really engaging performer and delivers the ferocity that is necessary to go with the lyrics. She has bundles of personality and the revamp to the song has really helped push it that extra bit. I really hope for her sake that this qualifies as I think it deserves to.
Robyn: “Time to Shine” has vastly improved from the awkward but promising version performed at Die Entscheidungsshow, but it’s still nothing amazing. Sonically, it’s all very dramatic, but there just isn’t anything captivating about this song. I’d rather hear a specific story than general claims of “no more mucking around”. Lonely Switzerland only seems to qualify when it has a really strong song which means it’s not time for “Time to Shine” this year.
Bogdan: It’s not a bad track, but I am struggling to find myself rooting for Mélanie. Even after the revamp, “Time To Shine” remains a middle-of-the-pack song, which is also largely due to its cliché-laden lyrics. There are too many warrior ladies this year and I have a feeling that they are going to cancel each other out. By the way, I hope for her sake that Mélanie will not sport a feathered headdress in Vienna like she does in the video. Cultural appropriation will not help her shine at Eurovision. Just ask Joan Franka.
Deban: Joan Franka reborn as a warrior princess, singing a re-vamped snoozefest! When the weaker entry clings to victory at the national selection, one must recalibrate by reevaluating with fresh ears. But no, I’m over it! You can polish this all you like. It still doesn’t shine.
Reacting to the revamped version of “Time to Shine”
William: It’s like magic: Mélanie takes Lorde, mixes it with R&B and still manages to spit out something shockingly boring. Thankfully she has ripped out the appalling electric guitar solo that tarred her song in the fall, elevating it to tolerable. She has immeasurable talent — she slays live — but the song is beneath her. It may be time to shine, but someone has turned on the dimmer…
Padraig: I love the irony of “Time To Shine”. Despite the title, it is one of the darkest songs in this year’s contest. I could totally imagine a wicked Disney villain singing this as she’s about to wreak havoc on an unwitting princess. My problem is that Mélanie seems to be playing the role of the princess. Her vocals are on point, but she rarely invokes the necessary levels of grit. It’ll need something more if it’s to shine at Eurovision.
Sami: I listened to all the songs from all the selections of the three Swiss broadcasters and “Time To Shine” didn’t stand out at all for me. However, I started to like this after it won the national final and the new version is even better. It’s not the best song in the contest, but it’s nice to listen to and Mélanie has a nice voice. This has a small chance of qualifying to the final and, as they made it in 2011 with that totally boring song, I think they could sail to the final this year also.
William C: Mélanie is a fantastic singer in her own right, and I love “Time To Shine”. It initially was middle of the road for me, but it grew enough to get inside my top five. The chorus is so into it, and I hope that Mélanie pulls through, despite there being quite a few screechy ladies this year. Her voice is quite quirky, and the song itself is dramatic. I hope this qualifies, and I think it may, especially since it has a good draw.
Twenty-nine jurors review each song, but we only have space for ten written reviews. The remaining 19 scores are listed below.
To reduce potential bias, the lowest and highest scores are dropped prior to calculating the average. We have removed a low of 1 and a high of 9.5.