Gjon’s Tears was due to represent Switzerland at the 2020 Eurovision Song Contest in Rotterdam with his song “Répondez-Moi’’.
After scoring its best result in 26 years in 2019, Switzerland stuck with the same formula it used to select Luca Hänni — namely, an internal selection. After receiving hundreds of entries during an open submission period, SRG SSR narrowed the list down through a public panel and expert jury. This resulted in Gjon’s selection.
And now we’ve compiled 10 facts you need to know about Switzerland’s Gjon’s Tears. Let’s do this!
Switzerland at Eurovision 2020: Facts about Gjon’s Tears
1. He is Gjon Muharremaj
He’s the man that was born Gjon Muharremaj. However, he performs under the moniker Gjon’s Tears. His Tears, like Marina’s Diamonds or Christine’s Queens, are metaphorical. The name refers to a formative experience from Gjon’s childhood. As a nine-year-old, he performed Elvis Presley’s “Can’t Help Falling In Love” for his grandfather and moved the man to tears. And thus came the inspiration for his future stage name. “Whether it’s joy, sadness or melancholy – I want to touch people with my music in every possible way.”
2. He has a diverse background
Gjon was born on 29 June 1998 in Broc, Switzerland to a Kosovar father and an Albanian mother. Gjon is very open-minded when it comes to people’s backgrounds. He says: “For me, origin is not so important. If it’s important for you, then that’s super. But for me, it doesn’t define someone”. Speaking to wiwibloggs, he says that immigration is an important topic for him, adding that his Eurovision song is for those who struggle with identity.
3. He’s in a band
So, as we’ve established, Gjon’s Tears is not a band. However, Gjon is also in a band — Gjon’s Tears & The Weeping Willows. They are a five-piece indie-pop group from Gjon’s home canton of Fribourg. And while Gjon was selected to represent Switzerland as a soloist, he and his band have performed their own version of “Répondez-moi”.
Gjon's tears spielt in Zeiten von Social Distancing mit der Band Weeping Willows seinen Song «Répondez-moi» online.Wir wünschen euch frohe Ostern, und bleibt kreativ!#srfzämedure
Posted by SRF Eurovision Song Contest on Wednesday, April 8, 2020
4. He’s was on Albania’s Got Talent
As a 12-year-old, Gjon competed on the first series of Albania’s Got Talent in 2011. Apparently, his grandfather — the same one he moved to tears — signed him up for the show. He finished third, impressing both the judges and viewers with his ability to tackle sophisticated French chansons.
5. He did Switzerland’s Got Talent
In 2012, one year after his first Got Talent stint, Gjon tried out for the Swiss version. His audition with Eurovision 1988 singer Lara Fabian’s “Je T’aime” left the audience awestruck. He progressed through the show, reaching the live semi-finals.
6. He reached the semi-final on The Voice France
After some time away, Gjon returned to the world of talent shows in 2019 when he appeared on France’s The Voice: la plus belle voix. His blind audition with Christine and the Queens’s “Christine (Tilted)” convinced all four coaches to turn. Gjon joined Mika’s team and ultimately made it to the semi-final.
7. He’s been a Eurovision fan from a young age
When Gjon was just 12 or 13 years old, he discovered the Eurovision Song Contest. Gjon says: “When you know that ABBA and Celine Dion come from Eurovision, that’s crazy.’’ Since then, it has been a dream of his to participate at the world’s biggest music event. However, it wasn’t the international superstars that first grabbed Gjon’s attention. He tells our Oliver more — “I watched Aurela Gaçe, a really big singer in Albania. When I saw that, I was like ‘that’s really big, really huge’. And I was dreaming about it”. His favourite Eurovision song is France’s 1969 winner “Un jour, un enfant” by Frida Boccara.
8. He started piano because he wanted a hobby
In a live stream interview, Gjon explains how everyone at school seemed to have a hobby which they were passionate about — yet he didn’t. So, he went in search of one. He tried all sorts of things, from karate to football. But in the end, one activity stuck — the piano. This led to him playing Elvis for his granddad and, as we know, the rest is history.
9. He’s been linked to two other national finals
Gjon considered participating in Destination Eurovision, the former French Eurovision selection, in 2019. When he auditioned for The Voice France, he said that one of his goals was to do Destination Eurovision. Also, Gjon had been invited by the Albanian broadcaster RTSH to enter FiK 58, the Albanian selection for Eurovision 2020. However, when Gjon accepted the invitation, he heard that all the places had been filled already. But Gjon didn’t give up, shortly afterwards he sent “Répondez-moi” to the Swiss broadcaster SRF.
Over 500 potential Eurovision songs were submitted to the Swiss broadcaster. These were whittled down by a 100-member audience panel and an international jury, which consisted of 20 experts. Both panels chose Gjon’s Tears to represent Switzerland at the 2020 song contest.
10. He went to number one in Albania
Gjon may be relatively fresh on the music scene, but he’s already got a strong track record. His debut single “Babi” — which examines his relationship with his father — went to number one on Albania’s “The Top List” chart in February 2019. Due to its hit status, Gjon got to perform the track on the country’s version of The Voice Kids. He’s also released the English-language “Back In Light”.
Eurovision 2021 update
Swiss broadcaster SRF has confirmed that Switzerland will give Gjon’s Tears another shot to represent Switzerland at Eurovision 2021.
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SO HAPPY THAT I WILL BE BACK FOR 2021 ! See you soon ! And all of your support and love made this possible ! I have no words ! Just thank you and see you soon ! ? ( continue taking care of yourself ) Thank you to my delegation who believes in me and gives me the energy at every step of this crazy experience ? •••• Les amis grâce à votre soutien, on se revoit en 2021 à Rotterdam pour l’Eurovision ! Je suis trop content de pouvoir vivre cette expérience ! Je vous embrasse et on se retrouve très vite ! ( continuez à prendre soin de vous ! ) ?? ? @photomaeder #eurovision#2021
Are you excited for Gjon’s Eurovision 2021 song? Will he give Switzerland its 3rd Eurovision victory? Let us know in the comment section down below!