The Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of music unprofessionals — wraps up our reviews of the six songs that will compete in Switzerland’s upcoming national final ESC 2017 – Die Entscheidungsshow on 31 January. Last up is Timebelle, who have returned to the contest with “Apollo”. Is it time for this belle to make it to Eurovision? Read on to find out…
Timebelle – “Apollo”
Timebelle is a Swiss-Romanian group from Berne, fronted by Miruna Manescu. They describe themselves as “a rocking, high-power pop group”, who have taken things down a notch for their 2017 entry “Apollo”. Timebelle previously competed in the Swiss national final in 2015, where their upbeat song “Singing About Love” finished in second place. Will 2017 be their time to shine?
Bernardo: “Apollo” is by far my favourite entry in the Swiss national selection — maybe because it works with the usual Eurovision formula, but still sounds fresh. After Switzerland’s questionable I need to pee performance from last year, this would be a safe and competitive bet. Timebelle’s vocalist has a sweet and engaging voice, supported by three good backing vocals that lift the chorus to another level.
Chris: A rare return in the Swiss selection process, but a very welcome one. Whilst I ultimately preferred Melanie Rene to Timebelle in 2015, here they stand almost unmatched amongst their competitors. With both a strong studio version and Live Check performance, “Apollo” should easily make it to Kyiv. Admittedly the song isn’t a standout. But with charismatic lead singer Miruna at the lead, this would be just strong enough to finally drag Switzerland back to the Saturday final.
William: One of the most contemporary songs to make the Swiss final in ages, “Apollo” was actually considered by Azerbaijan for its internal selection in 2015. And for good reason: it’s got a light, breezy vibe with strong production that elicits tender feelings while making you want to bob your head. That Timebelle delivers it with charisma is a huge plus. But I’d like to see this more electro and less instrumental — the live piano made the audition seem more dated than it should have.
Robyn: Apollo the Greek god was a notorious mad shagger, with dozens of lovers, both female and male. And yet here he is turning up in this sweet love song about sticking with a difficult relationship. Go figure. “Apollo” is a strong and emotional song and it’s one of the best in the Swiss national final. But it’s just not engaging enough for Eurovision. It’s the sort of song that could easily get lost in a strong Eurovision semi-final line-up.
Jason: “Apollo” is one of the most polished of the potential Swiss entries, and it would certainly be a credible choice for Kyiv. However, although I can appreciate this entry, I have to admit that the chorus really bugs me. It gets quite repetitive and grates to the point that I can’t listen anymore. So for me, a revamp is certainly necessary.
Luis: The Swiss need a qualifier, and here it is. This has, by no means, the punch of “Hunter of Stars, but “Apollo” is a likeable composition which sounds solid and current. Plus, Miruna’s vocals flow from smoky to sweet very smoothly. The backing vocalists, however, need to polish their performance. Also, I’d make the final verses more daring. There the song just loops for 30 seconds and it gets slightly boring. If they can add some oomph to the last choruses, Timebelle will be an act to consider not just in the Swiss selection, but at Eurovision.
Josh: The best of a lacklustre bunch. I’m happy to see Timebelle have returned to compete in the Swiss national selection this year, and the song is definitely promising. The transitions of Miruna’s voice are smooth and controlled, and the structure of the song combined with a catchy chorus would make this a borderline qualifier if it were to go to Kyiv. It needs more lift and energy for me to be certain about its qualification, but a nice foundation for Switzerland.
Jovana: I’m not a fan of ballads at Eurovision: They need to be either exceptionally good or supported by an amazing performance to capture my attention. “Apollo” is not an impressive song, but with good staging it could do well. Timebelle has a beautiful voice and a great stage presence, which should guarantee success – at least in the NF. “Apollo” is not my winner and it’s not a Eurovision winner, but I wouldn’t mind hearing it again in Kiev.
In our Swiss Wiwi Jury, we have 19 jurors but only room for 8 reviews. The rest of our scores can be found below:
Before calculating the average score, the highest and lowest scores are dropped. This is to remove outliers and reduce potential bias. We have removed a low of 2.5 and a high of 10.