Their Eurovision team recently underwent an ESC bootcamp with Sweden’s top producers, including Christer Björkman, to discuss how Switzerland can get to the Eurovision 2018 final.
And on Thursday Switzerland’s Schweizer Radio und Fernsehen, together with RTS, RSI and RTR, revealed its 2018 rules and regulations, which feature a number of big changes they hope will get them there.
SRG SSR — that’s the collective name for all of Switzerland’s broadcasters — will stage its national final “ESC 2018 – Entscheidungsshow” on February 4.
ESC 2018 – Entscheidungsshow
“In the first step SRG SSR will focus on the song and only then search for the perfect voices,” they explain in a statement sent to wiwibloggs.
That means that songwriters can submit songs even if they don’t have an artist in mind to sing it.
Songwriters, producers, artists and lyricists may send their song to SRG SSR between 1 September and 22 September 2017 at 8:00am.
The Swiss broadcaster will then choose songs for the national final with the help of a 20-member jury. It will be comprised of music experts, representatives of the media, Eurovision fans and television viewers selected by the broadcaster. The make-up of this panel will represent all language regions of Switzerland.
Producers anticipate a six-song national final, though they will decide how many songs advance to the final based on the quality of the songs they receive.
The broadcaster also reserves the right to use a wildcard system, though, in their words “it’s unlikely that they will actually use it”.
After Switzerland has its six songs, it will test them with a series of different voices, hoping to create the perfect package. There will not be a televised “live check” this year.
As Switzerland searches for an act that will appeal to a broader European audience, it will call upon an international jury during its national final.
The winner will be determined by a 50-50 voting system split between televoters in Switzerland and an international jury.
If one part of the voting suffers technical problems, the other part will decide the winner. If there is a tie at the end of the voting, the televoters have the power to decide the winner.
You can read the full regulations below and on srf.ch/eurovision.
GENERAL REGISTRATION TERMS
1. SRG SSR is seeking a modern song that complies with international requirements. The lyrics are to have a strong, clear and understandable message.
2. Applications from all parts of the country can be submitted via an SRG SSR platform. This is the sole and exclusive way to submit an application. No alternatives are offered.
3. Songs may only be uploaded as audio files.
4. The application, in the form of the song, may only be uploaded by its legal owners.
5. Commercial, religious or non-profit organisations and foundations are prohibited from participating as a basic principle.
6. By uploading a song, the legal owners acknowledge that all rights required for the contractual creation and use of the work and the production and services of third parties (including neighbouring rights of session musicians, singers, etc.) shall be granted entirely and legally to SRG SSR without any conditions.
7. The legal owners guarantee that the contractual creation and use of the work, production and performances do not conflict with any agreements with third parties such as labels, managers, event organisers or agencies in any way. The legal owners release SRG SSR from all third-party claims without any limitation of time, place and subject matter.
8. When the application is made, all rights to the song (in particular copyrights and intellectual property rights) are transferred to SRG SSR for free use as part of the Eurovision qualifying contest on all platforms (multimedia, radio, TV, internet, CD, DVD, YouTube, etc.) and for any participation in the international final, insofar as these rights are not exercised by a collecting society such as SUISA.
9. Songs submitted may not be withdrawn at a later point in time.
THE SELECTION PROCESS
10. The songs for the national final will be selected by SRG SSR and a jury comprising around 20 people.
11. The jury shall be made up of music and media representatives, Eurovision fans and television viewers and will be selected by SRG SSR. The majority of the jury shall be music and media representatives.
12. All language regions shall be represented in the jury.
13. The jury shall listen to all songs submitted which comply with the regulations and shall choose the finalists out of all applications during several discussions and decision rounds.
14. For quality reasons, SRG SSR may award wildcards for the final. However, it is not obliged to make use of this option.
15. Depending on the quality of the applications, SRG SSR may vary the number of finalists.
16. The names of the 20 jury members will be published on a date specified by SRG SSR.
17. Manipulation, attempts at bribery or irregularities in the jury’s voting may result in exclusion of the song, artist and jury member.
18. By submitting their application, the legal owners confirm that the song submitted (composition/lyrics) is their own creative work and that it is not plagiarised in any way whatsoever.
19. Composers and lyrists that are Swiss nationals or are resident in Switzerland will be given priority. However, nationality is not a deciding factor and does not prohibit anybody from submitting a song.
20. The song submitted may not be longer than three minutes.
21. The song may not be published in part or in whole before 1 September 2017 (radio, TV, Internet, public performance, recording media, etc.).
22. Song lyrics may be submitted in any language.
23. The song may not contain any political, racist or violent lyrics.
24. Instrumental versions are not permitted. Every title must contain words that are sung or spoken.
25. Songs that do not yet have a specified artist may also be submitted. However, in this case, a demo voice is required for the song.
26. For organisational reasons, SRG SSR will only contact the selected finalists. This will happen in October/November 2017. Those who have not heard anything from SRG SSR by the end of November 2017 were not taken into consideration for the selection.
27. Songs that have not been selected for the final will not be published by SRG SSR and will remain under lock and key.
28. The artists accept all regulations relating to the Eurovision Song Contest.
29. Artists may not compete for more than one country in the Eurovision Song Contest.
30. Artists that are Swiss nationals or are resident in Switzerland will be given priority. However, nationality is not a deciding factor and does not prohibit anybody from singing a song.
31. The artists must be aged at least 16 (on 1 May 2018).
32. As songs with demo singers can also be submitted, whether or not the artist would like to take part in the competition must also be stated at the time of uploading.
33. Artists of the songs submitted must note that only the song is assessed and selected by the jury. The artists, thus the voices in the songs, may be replaced by the SRG SSR at any time for quality reasons. After consultation with the composers and producers, the final decision as to which artists sing which songs is made by SRG SSR.
34. The final artists for the national live show shall be contacted by the editing team and their participation shall be regulated in a written contract.
35. By signing the contract, the artists bindingly declare their willingness to perform the song in the national final on 4 February 2018 in Zurich. If they win, the artists bindingly declare their willingness to perform the song at the Eurovision Song Contest 2018 and thus represent Switzerland. The international semi-final and the international final are scheduled to be held in Portugal in May 2018.
THE NATIONAL LIVE SHOW
36. The national final will be in the form of a live show in Zurich on 4 February 2018.
37. SRG SSR bears sole decision-making rights in terms of staging the finalists. Staging includes clothing, choreography, lighting and set design, among other things.
38. The artists that have qualified shall perform their song live in the final show.
39. The song shall be performed by one or more singer(s)/musician(s); however only a maximum of six people (including dancers/backing singers, singers/musicians) are allowed on the stage.
40. No animals are allowed on stage.
41. Political, racist or violent statements, gestures or symbols are not permitted.
42. The artists that have qualified declare their willingness to be available for a few days between 7 November 2017 and 4 February 2018 for television recordings and any promotional events.
THE FINAL DETERMINATION OF THE WINNER
43. The winner will be chosen 50% by the audience by means of televoting and 50% by an international expert jury.
44. If the jury does not vote for technical reasons, the decision shall be made exclusively by the televotes.
45. If televoting does not take place for technical reasons, the decision shall be made exclusively by the jury.
46. In the event of a tie, the televotes shall carry a greater weighting than the jury vote.
47. Attempts at manipulation or irregularities in the televoting or jury voting can result in exclusion of the song and artist.
48. The European Broadcasting Union publishes international regulations for the Eurovision Song Contest. Should the international regulations differ from the national regulations, the international regulations shall apply. All of the rules relating to participation in the semi-final and final of the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest are governed by these regulations and are binding upon the winner of the national selection.
49. Entries that violate the national or international regulations will be disqualified by SRG SSR or the European Broadcasting Union.
50. SRG SSR reserves the right to make necessary amendments to the selection process to fulfil the required quality requirements.
51. The song titles, artists and composers/lyricists will be published on a date specified by SRG SSR.
52. The final songs must all be commercially released before the national live show on a date specified by SRG SSR.
53. If it so desires, SRG SSR can also demand that the production of the wining song is revised after the national live show and, after consultation with the legal owner of the song, it bears sole decision-making rights in this respect.
54. SRG SSR has sole decision-making rights for staging in the Eurovision Song Contest. Staging includes clothing, choreography, lighting and set design, among other things.
55. SRG SSR assumes no financial obligations to the artists for their participation in the national live show and the Eurovision Song Contest.
56. SRG SSR reserves the right to revise these regulations at any time or adapt them to the international regulations. Participants may not assert any claims based on changes to the regulations.
57. Recourse to the law is excluded.
58. The German-language version of the regulations is the valid version.
Do you think that focusing on the song first and then deciding on the artists is a good idea? Will the international juries help Switzerland choose the best song? Let us know in the comments box below!