Earlier today, the Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of music unprofessionals — gathered in Bern to discuss the contestants participating in Die Entscheidungsshow, the national selection for Switzerland in the Eurovision Song Contest 2016. Today we look at the sweetheart with the guitar, Vincent Gross with “Half a Smile”. Do we feel like giving Vincent half a smile, a whole smile, or a sad face? Read on to find out…




Bernardo: Taking only in account my personal taste, this is perhaps one of the best entries in the competition. For Eurovision this is one of the top entries that could make an impression at Stockholm, but please — he needs to work on that chorus. Everything is quite good, but the chorus messes up the tune a lot. And yes, he needs to work those vocals for the national final. If not, I’m afraid it could be the flop of the night.

Score: 6/10

George: It’s not really my favourite entry, but it’s not bad either. “Half a Smile” is an upbeat song that shoots one with bullets made out of positive energy, urging one to smile. The problem with me is that, after listening to it, I was left (as the title says) with only half a smile. The vocals are generally good, but I don’t believe they are going to be the same live, while the whole things sounds a little cheap to me.

Score: 7/10

Josh: The studio version of this song is really sweet and quite endearing. Vincent is a young man, trying to charm his way into the young girls’ (and maybe boys’) hearts. Unfortunately the live version lacks the impact of the studio version. But it is by far one of the better entrants into Die Entscheidungsshow. Not a bad effort. Four for you, Vincent Gross. You go, Vincent Gross.

Score: 6.5/10

Mario: Written by Eurovision legend Charlie Mason, it is no wonder the lyrics are little gems. However, the song fails to get up at first, and when it does, the way too repetitive ooh-ooh-ooh part ruins what could be a contender for the win. This is inoffensive and unfortunately likely to be lost in semifinals if it’s chosen to be the next Swiss act for Eurovision.

Score: 5.5/10

Robyn: The recorded version of this song is a cute, uplifting folk-pop song. Live it’s less convincing, with Vincent’s awkward depiction of a literal half-smile, but I’m not ruling out improvement before the national final. The song’s weakest point is the chorus (“ooo-ooo, ooo-ooo”), which fails to deliver on the potential of the verses. Also – Vincent’s floppy fringe is an attention-seeking diva, threatening to steal the spotlight from him.


William: He wants half a smile and he is going to get it! Vincent’s song is tender and sweet, catchy and mainstream. Yet it retains an unfinished, indie feel. In a complicated world where we are constantly bombarded by bad news and big pyrotechnics, perhaps a simple number like this is what Europe craves. Vincent is a charmer and a contender.

Score: 8/10

For the Swiss Wiwi Jury we have 16 jurors, but only have room for six reviews. The remaining ten scores are below.

Anthony: 7.5/10

Antranig: 9/10

Cristian: 1/10

Edd: 8/10

Luis: 5/10

Maria: 5.5/10

Mikhail: 5.5/10

Ramadan: 6/10

Renske: 7.5/10

Sopon: 3/10

The highest and lowest scores are dropped prior to calculating the average score. This is to remove outliers and reduce potential bias. We have removed a low of 1 and a high of 9.




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8 years ago

Never underestimate a feel-good song. If any of the others falter (especially with their cover songs), he could steal this one.

Ben Rafter
Ben Rafter
8 years ago

This is so overrated!

David Who
David Who
8 years ago

I really like Vincent Gross. His cover of Justin Bieber’s “Sorry” recorded in a bedroom with just him and a guitar is outstanding. “Half a Smile” is cute and extremely simple; obviously it echoes Tom Dice’s “Me and My Guitar,” which did quite well for Belgium at ESC a few years back. One major complication though: This year in Switzerland he has to go up against Rykka, who has a powerful presence and voice on stage. I’d like to encourage Vincent to keep on developing his career. He may not win the Swiss final this year but he is amazing… Read more »

8 years ago

This is one of the songs that I’ve liked the least, it’s way too sugary and “sunshine and unicorns” for my liking and the chorus leaves me cold – it feels more like a toothpaste commercial than a Eurovision contender.

8 years ago

Oh, I am so sorry but, I guess, I don’t think Mr. Charlie Mason is a Eurovision legend.

His lyrics are usually a little bit different for me – I even find “Rise Like a Phoenix” strange from time to time, and not to mention “Beauty Never Gives a Damn”. 🙁