This year, Timebelle didn’t manage to reach the final for Switzerland with their entry ”Apollo”, making it the third non-qualification in a row for the Swiss. For 2018, the goal is to finally get to the final again, after they succeeded in 2014 with Sebalter who got to the 13th place in the final with ‘Hunter of Stars’.
SRF are taking it seriously for next year, having flown in several members responsible for the Swedish success story at the Eurovision Song Contest, including producer Martin Österdahl (Eurovision 2013 and 2016) and Christer Björkman (Swedish Head of Delegation and Mr. Melodifestivalen).
Head of Delegation for Switzerland, Reto Peritz, says they were impressed with the how SVT implemented changes after their non-qualification in 2010, and changed their fortunes. He says it is SRF’s duty to qualify for the final. For SRF it was interesting to see what the Swedish delegation’s thoughts on SRF’s new ideas were.
One of the changes is that if SRF think a particular song would be better in the hands of another singer, the broadcaster reserves the right for themselves to give the song to the singer they deem to be a better fit. The six songs that ultimately get chosen, by a jury of 20 people, will then battle it out on the 4th of February where the winner will be chosen by 50% televoting and 50% by an international jury.
Peritz feels inspired by the Portuguese win last May and states:
Portugal has proven this year that a win is always possible, even as an outsider. They’ve been participating since 1964 and have won ESC for the first time now. If we get to the ESC-final, a lot is possible for us. Even a place at the very top!