She’s the rising Swiss star who has already made one attempt at Eurovision. But now Ilira has firmly ruled out another shot, in a series of fiery Instagram posts. The “Extra Fr!es” singer hit out at her Eurovision-loving fans, saying “Did you ask Bebe Rexha or Beyoncé the same sh*t when they were newcomers?!”
The Kosovo-Albanian Swiss songstress has been enjoying recent success, including her slow-burning single “Extra Fr!es” and an MTV EMA 2019 nomination for Best Swiss Act. Along with recent European festival appearances, Ilira seems to be a girl who is going places.
But the “Get off My D!ck” singer has made it clear she won’t be going to Eurovision. Following suggestions from fans that she apply as part of Switzerland’s internal selection process, Ilira has strongly rejected the idea.
In a series of Instagram story uploads, she told her Eurovision-loving fans to “please take a cold shower”.
Ilira followed this with a longer rant where she said she did not want to be associated with Eurovision’s “sh*tty, non-quality shows!!!!!” She also claimed that there is “not even one artist who is credible and successful INTERNATIONALLY from that show!”
Fans have pointed to Ilira’s fellow MTV EMA nominee Mahmood as a direct contradiction of her claim. As well as Mahmood enjoying quadruple platinum certification in Italy for his Eurovision song “Soldi”, the song also charted in 20 different European countries, including No.5 in Switzerland. Later this month, Mahmood is due to embark on his Good Vibes tour of major European cities.
As well, the Icelandic anticapitalist techno doom-pop trio Hatari have clocked up over 1.3 million views for their follow-up single “Klefi/Samed (صامد)” and have been extensively touring Europe, including many festival dates.
Closer to home, Switzerland’s Eurovision 2019 act Luca Hänni saw his Eurovision song “She Got Me” go platinum in Switzerland. His Eurovision appearance has revitalised his career in Switzerland and boosted his profile abroad.
But Ilira isn’t feeling Eurovision. She urged her fans to “Please stop annoying me!” and wondered “Did you ask Bebe Rexha or Beyoncé the same sh** when they were newcomers?!”
Ilira’s 2011 national final experience
Things were different, however, back in 2011. That year, the teenage Ilira was a finalist in Switzerland’s national final Die grosse Entscheidungs Show. Along with her band The Colors, she performed the ballad “Home”. Watch the national performance here.
The song was a favourite going into the national final but eventually placed third to Anna Rossinelli’s “In Love for a While”.
But what followed for Switzerland was many years of disappointing results. Things changed this year when Luca Hänni gave Switzerland their highest result since 1993 with the infectious and explosive “She Got Me”.
This change came from the country switching from their infamous national final, Die grosse Entscheidungsshow, to an internal selection. In the new process, broadcaster SRG, along with a pre-determined jury, handpicked the Swiss representative for Eurovision. The same method will be used for Switzerland’s 2020 act.
Update at 17.00 CET 5/10/2019
On Saturday afternoon, Ilira took to Instagram once more in a bid to clarify her earlier remarks. Acknowledging her own foray with the contest, she says that she “didn’t mean to offend”.
However, the singer is unrepentant. “I m (sic) not gonna take back my personal opinion about ESC and talentshows in general”, she writes. She adds that some of her critics are “filled with hatred and pure nationalism”.
She then goes on to give tips to up-and-coming artists about how they can succeed without talent shows.
Update at 12:45 CET 6/10/2019
Ilira may have started a discussion on the topic of Eurovision, but it seems there’s one area she isn’t happy for it to go: her 2011 Swiss national final performance.
After a fan uploaded a video of the performance, Ilira messaged them asking that it be taken down, saying “It’s one I don’t like”. She also explained, “I don’t want to be associated with Eurovision”
Fortunately for fans, the impressive performance is still available to view on the website of Swiss national broadcaster SRF.
What do you think? Is Ilira making the right choice turning her back on Eurovision? Or could she use the song contest to her advantage? Tell us your thoughts below!