The Swiss national final took place in Kreuzlingen early this year. There has been a video contest in the beginning to choose the finalists for this show. The surprise of the night was the 29 years old singer Sebalter, whose original name is Sebatiano Paù-Lessi from Ticino – the Italian speaking part of Switzerland. The jury and public were able to vote 50/50 and Sebalter convinced with his natural and sympathetic appearance.
Sebalter played the fiddle in the Swiss folk rock band “The Vad Vuc”, after that he started a solo career. Beside of his music life he is also working as a business lawyer, where he wears more business like look than on stage with a three days beard. He would like to be himself, with his music style which can be described as Irish, Folk and Brass, with a natural, direct and spontaneous approach.
On a trip in the USA, Sebalter became creative and found this melody. Due to the fact that he had no instrument with him, he started to whistle. This whistle sound is also characterized in his Eurovision song “Hunter of Stars”. He applied this song at the Italian-Swiss broadcaster Radiotelevision Svizzera. With a great surprise his contribution was taken into the Swiss final and he is now going to represent Switzerland in Copenhagen.
The song “Hunter of Stars” is a very emotional folk song, which almost sounds like an Irish song. The strong whistle melody is very catchy and makes this song very special. After many attempts of the Swiss to bring contemporary music to the ESC, this song will surprise the international audience, bringing them back to their roots.
Biggest success: 2x 1st place 1956 “Refrain” by Lys Assia, 1988 “Ne Partez Pas Sans Moi” by Céline Dion, 4x 2nd place 1956 “Das Alte Karussell” by Lys Assia, 1958 “Giorgio” by Lys Assia, 1963 “T’en Va Pas” by Esther Ofarim, 1986 “Pas Pour Moi” by Daniela Simons, 3x 3rd place 1961 “Nous Auron Demain” Franca Di Rienzo, 1982 “Amour On T’aime” Arlette Zola, 1993 “Moi, Tout Simplement” by Annie Cotton, 5x 4th place, 2x 5th place, 3x 6th place, 4x 8th place, 1x 9th place, 2x 10th place
This year Switzerland is taking part for the 56th time in the Eurovision Song Contest. Switzerland is not only one of the founding members of this event it has even won the first contest in history with “Refrain” by Lys Assia in the first year back in 1956. Switzerland has missed out two years 1999 and 2001 due to bad placing in previous years. Since the semi finals have been introduced in 2004, Swiss entries were struggling with the qualification for the grand final. In 2011 it has been the second time to see Switzerland in the grand final again with “In love for a while” by Anna Rossellini, unfortunately she made the 25th place (last place), but at least she has reached the final. The Swiss entries have mostly been sung in French and German language, seldom in Italian or Rhomansh.
The most significant winning entry is probably “Ne partez pas sans moi” by Céline Dion in Dublin 1988; she won with only one point distance to the UK. And everybody knows that she started a world career, having sold millions of albums and has her own show in Las Vegas.