Swiss broadcaster SRF has released details of the national selection process for Eurovision 2017, and with it comes some big changes that the broadcaster is no doubt hoping will see Switzerland end its disappointing results of recent years. The regional quotas are gone, a Swiss connection is required for entry, and the winner will be decided by televote alone.
Gone are the three separate submission processes managed by the regional broadcasters SRF, RTS, RSI and RTR. Instead the broadcasters will join forces and run the submission process together.
The entries will be rated by a panel of experts from across Switzerland, with the top 20 rated entries progressing to the next stage. This also means that regional quotas are gone – it will just be the top 20 songs, regardless of which part of Switzerland the artist comes from.
This will be the end of SRF’s highly entertaining online open submission process, where artists from around the world entered songs of wildly varying quality, hoping to make the shortlist.
The new rules now require that at least one person directly involved with the entry — the performer, composer or lyricist — must hold a Swiss passport or be resident in Switzerland. Swiss artists will still be able to team up with others from abroad, but it will stop random foreign artists sending in their amateur efforts.
The traditional live check stage remains the same, where the artists’ live performance skills are assessed. The jury will then select around eight acts which will progress to the live final, due to be held on 5 February 2017.
There’s no mention of the national final cover version component, which sometimes led acts to win based on a song they couldn’t perform at Eurovision. Switzerland is also ditching the jury vote for the national final. The ultimate winner will be decided solely by televote.
The rules suggest that Switzerland has a specific type of act in mind, saying that they are “looking for a strong song which meets international standards, performed with a powerful, note-perfect voice.” And as always, the broadcaster reserves the right to revamp the winning track, even after the national final.
Interested artists have over three months to perfect their song. The entry period opens on 26 September 2016 and closes on 24 October.
What do you think? Can Switzerland reverse its run of bad fortune at Eurovision? Are the changes an improvement? Share your thoughts below.