Switzerland: Entries now open for revamped 2018 national final

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It’s the Eurovision pioneer that has been struggling in recent years. But now Switzerland is taking steps on getting their groove back with their revamped national final. Entries are now open for the contest that aims to get Switzerland back in the grand final.

Entries for the revamped Entscheidungsshow opened on September 1 and will close on 22 September.

In June, Swedish Melodifestivalen and Eurovision heavyweights Christer Björkman and Martin Österdahl held a one-day workshop with the Swiss team. They shared their expert knowledge, which led to a number of changes to the Swiss national final format.

Like Melodifestivalen, the primary emphasis is on songs first. Songwriters are able to enter songs either with a specific singer associated with it, or just as a demo for the song to be later matched with a suitable singer.

Last year the competition had a strict Swiss criteria, while this year the contest is again open to artists from any country. However, organisers note that entries from Swiss nationals and residents will be given priority.

The entries will be assessed by a 20-person expert panel, who will represent the different regions of Switzerland and different aspects of the music and television world, including Eurovision fans.

The panel will select approximately six songs for the national final, though producers also reserve the right to add a wildcard entry if they feel there’s a song of value the panel may have overlooked.

Once the songs for the final have been selected, the producers will then work at matching them with the best singers and staging scenarios.

The six finalists will then compete at the grand final on 4 February. There the winner will be chosen via a 50/50 televote and jury vote. And, if all goes to plan, Switzerland will have a strong entry that will get them back into the final in Lisbon.

What do you think? Will the new Swiss national final get them back in the ESC grand final? Is focusing on song quality the right decision? Share your thoughts below!

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