Switzerland in the Eurovision Song Contest 2008

Switzerland in the Eurovision Song Contest 2008

ESC National Year
Year = 2008
Country = SUI
Preselection = Internal selection
Preselection date = November 2007
Entrant = Paolo Meneguzzi
Song = "Era stupendo"
SF result = "Failed to qualify" (13th)
Final result =

Switzerland competed in the Eurovision Song Contest 2008 with the song "Era stupendo" by Paolo Meneguzzi, after he was announced to have been selected by the Swiss broadcaster, SRG SSR idée suisse, to sing for Switzerland in belgrade, Serbia. SRG SSR idée suisse continued to internally select the song and singer to represent Switzerland at the 2008 contest, with an open call for songs being held by the broadcaster. Despite Meneguzzi being a fan favourite to win the contest he could only manage to come 13th in the semi-final, failing to qualify for the final.

ong selection

SRG SSR idée suisse started their selection for the Eurovision Song Contest 2008 in July 2007, with an open call for songs and artists for the selection being open for artists of all nationalities. All entries had to include a previously released CD with its chart poition as well as a list of TV and live stage performances and documents confirming the artists nationality and age. Confirmation by the artist also had to be made that they would be present in Belgrade during Eurovision week. The deadline for entries was set for 22 October. [cite web|url=http://www.esctoday.com/news/read/8987|title=Switzerland launches 2008 campaign|last=Kuipers|first=Michael|date=2007-07-20|publisher="ESCToday"|accessdate=2008-10-11] [cite web|url=http://www.oikotimes.com/v2/index.php?file=articles&id=441|title=SRG SSR launches Eurovision 2008 song quest|date=2007-07-20|publisher="Oikotimes"|accessdate=2008-10-11] The 2008 entry for Switzerland was selected through Schweizer Fernsehen (SF), Télévision Suisse Romande (TSR) and Radiotelevisione Svizzera di lingua Italiana (RTSI), the German, French and Italian language branches of SRG SSR idée suisse, as well as Swiss music channel VIVA and German radio channel DRS, part of SF.cite web|url=http://www.esctoday.com/news/read/9489|title=Swiss exclusive: "Pretty sure we'll send a Swiss artist again."|last=Holyer|first=Steve|date=2007-10-25|publisher="ESCToday"|accessdate=2008-10-11] SF revealed that is was most likely that a Swiss artist would be selected to represent Switzerland in the contest. [cite web|url=http://www.oikotimes.com/v2/index.php?file=articles&id=1260|title=SF to select a local artist for Belgrade|date=2007-10-25|publisher="Oikotimes"|accessdate=2008-10-11] Many Swiss artists had revealed that they had entered songs to SR in the hope of representing the country in the contest. Names such as comedian Peach Weber, Jürgen Drews and rapper Gimma popped up in the Swiss media as being possible Swiss representatives in the contest. [cite web|url=http://www.oikotimes.com/v2/index.php?file=articles&id=447|title=Peach Weber interested for Eurovision 2008|date=2007-07-20|publisher="Oikotimes"|accessdate=2008-10-11] [cite web|url=http://www.oikotimes.com/v2/index.php?file=articles&id=1254|title=Gimma seems to be the favourite for Belgrade|last=Reveler|first=Douwe|date=2007-10-24|publisher="Oikotimes"|accessdate=2008-10-11] However rumours circulated in Swiss newspapers in November that Italian-Swiss singer Paolo Meneguzzi was selected by the Swiss broadcaster to represent Switzerland in the contest. [cite web|url=http://www.oikotimes.com/v2/index.php?file=articles&id=1546|title=Paolo Meneguzzi for Belgrade, claims newspaper|date=2007-11-25|publisher="Oikotimes"|accessdate=2008-10-11] [cite web|url=http://www.esctoday.com/news/read/9728|title=Swiss turn to Paolo Meneguzzi|last=Viniker|first=Barry|date=2007-11-26|publisher="ESCToday"|accessdate=2008-10-11] It was later confirmed by SRG SSR that Meneguzzi had been selected by the judging panel to be the Swiss representative at the Eurovision Song Contest 2008 with the song "Era stupendo", sung in the Italian language. [cite web|url=http://www.oikotimes.com/v2/index.php?file=articles&id=1550|title=Schweizer Fernsehen confirms Paolo Meneguzzi as a choice|last=Konstantopoulos|first=Fotis|date=2007-11-25|publisher="Oikotimes"|accessdate=2008-10-11] [cite web|url=http://www.esctoday.com/news/read/9736|title=Switzerland: Paolo's song is Era stupendo|last=Floras|first=Stella|date=2007-11-27|publisher="ESCToday"|accessdate=2008-10-11] After the announcement that he had been selected, he said that he was "very happy and honnoured to represent my homeland at Eurovision 2008". [cite web|url=http://www.oikotimes.com/v2/index.php?file=articles&id=1576|title=Paolo Meneguzzi his song & his exclusive statement|last=Costa|first=Nelson|date=2007-11-27|publisher="Oikotimes"|accessdate=2008-10-11] The song was officially presented at the sixth Swiss Music Awards on 12 January 2008. [cite web|url=http://www.esctoday.com/news/read/10116|title=Switzerland: Era stupendo publicly presented|last=Hondal|first=Víctor|date=2008-01-13|publisher="ESCToday"|accessdate=2008-10-11] [cite web|url=http://www.oikotimes.com/v2/index.php?file=articles&id=2126|title=Song entry presented for Paolo Meneguzzi|last=Fisher|first=Luke|date=2008-01-13|publisher="Oikotimes"|accessdate=2008-10-11]

At Eurovision

Since Switzerland did not qualify for the final of the 2007 contest it was obliged to compete in one of the semi-finals of the 2008 contest in Belgrade. On 28 January 2008, the EBU held a special draw to determine which semi-final Swutzerland would participate in. The 2008 contest featured a new system for semi-final allocation in order to reduce the problems of neighborly and diaspora voting that occurred in years past. Switzerland was placed in "Pot 6" of 6 and that ultimately determined that it would be in the second semi-final, held on 22 May 2008. [cite web|url=http://www.esctoday.com/news/read/10310|title=The Eurovision Song Contest semi final draw|last=Viniker|first=Barry|date=2008-01-28|publisher="ESCToday"|accessdate=2008-09-25]

Shortly after "Era stupendo" was presented on 12 January there was speculation that the song was a plagarism of a song by Swedish singer Amy Diamond, ironically competing in the Swedish national final for the 2008 contest Melodifestivalen. Accusations arose that the beginnings of both songs were too similar to be a coincidence, however the song was not disqualified by the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), the organiser of the contest. [cite web|url=http://www.esctoday.com/news/read/10199|title=Amy and Paolo: Similar songs|last=Råberg|first=Leif|date=2008-01-20|publisher="ESCToday"|accessdate=2008-10-11]

Promoting his song, Meneguzzi later went on a Eurovision TV special on Maltese television in April 2008.

The commentators at the event were Sven Epiney for SF, Sandy Altermatt for RTSI and Jean-Marc Richard and Nicolas Tanner for TSR.cite web|url=http://tvprogramm.sf.tv/detail.php?overlay&slotid=ccb8e50f-4818-4ac6-8bfa-282fbfe9f228|title=Eurovision Song Contest 2008 - Internationaler Halbfinal aus Belgrad/Serbien|publisher="Schweizer Fernsehen"|language=German|accessdate=2008-10-11] [cite web|url=http://www2.rtsi.ch/eurovision/|title=Paolo Meneguzzi rappresenta la Svizzera|publisher="Radiotelevisione Svizzera di lingua Italiana"|language=Italian|accessdate=2008-10-11] The spokesperson for Switzerland was Cécile Bähler.


Before the contest Meneguzzi was a favourite to qualify from the final, as well as to win the contest, evident by a poll conducted by Eurovision fansite "ESCToday.com". [cite web|url=http://www.esctoday.com/news/read/10771|title=Eurovision 2009: Opinion Poll - Geneva or Reykjavik to host?|last=Viniker|first=Barry|date=2008-03-06|publisher="ESCToday"|accessdate=2008-10-11] Meneguzzi sang in the second semi-final on 22 May 2008, performing 7th on the night.

Meneguzzi's performace included him wearing a black suit with a black shirt, and included two amle and two female backing dancers and singers, with the women dressed in black dresses with silver gloves, and the men in black shirts and black trousers. A pianist was also present on stage, dressed in a white shirt and black tie. The song began with Meneguzzi singing solo in the centre of the stage, with the back-up dancers surrounding the piano. Ad the song sped up, the dancers moved to behind Meneguzzi and began to sing. The performace included the use of pyrotechnics when the song sped up, as well as during the bridge."Eurovision Song Contest Semi-final 2, 22 May 2008, SRG SSR idée suisse". Retrieved on 2008-10-11.] Despite being a fan favourite the song only managed to receive 47 points, placing 13th in a field of 19 and failing to qualify for the final. He received one point from FYR Macedonia, five points from both Croatia and Denmark, seven points from Cyprus and France, ten points from Albania and the maximum twelve points from Malta. Countries give points to the top ten countries of the televote by giving points from one to eight, then ten and twelve points.

After Eurovision

After failing to qualify for the final for a second year in a row, disappointment and cynicism arose in Switzerland and Swiss media began to question the point of Switzerland's participation in the contest, with Swiss newspaper Blick saying "Paolo out – why should be bother any more?", with Swiss Eurovision fans reeling after Meneguzzi's "premature" exit from the contest. [cite web|url=http://www.esctoday.com/news/read/11974|title=Switzerland: Isolation and disappointment|last=West-Soley|first=Richard|date=2008-06-23|publisher="ESCToday"|accessdate=2008-10-11]

Despite failing to qualify for the final, "Era stupendo" peaked at #11 in the Swiss charts, as well as the album for the contest peqaking at #3 in the charts. [cite web|url=http://swisscharts.com/showitem.asp?interpret=Paolo+Meneguzzi&titel=Era+stupendo&cat=s|title=Swiss Charts - "Era Stupendo"|publisher="swisscharts.com"|accessdate=2008-10-11] [cite web|url=http://swisscharts.com/showitem.asp?interpret=&titel=Eurovision+Song+Contest+%2D+Belgrade+2008&cat=a|title=Swiss Charts - "Eurovision Song Contest"|publisher="swisscharts.com"|accessdate=2008-10-11]

After Eurovision, Meneguzzi announced that he would be releasing his latest Spanish language album, "Corro Via", in the USA and South America. He also talked about Italy and the Eurovision Song Contest saying that "Eurovision doesn't have to look for Italy, but Italy has to look for Eurovision!", that Italy would benefit from entering Eurovision. [cite web|url=http://www.esctoday.com/news/read/11965|title=Switzerland: Paulo - Italy has to look for Eurovision|last=Jiandani|first=Sanjay|date=2008-05-22|publisher="ESCToday"|accessdate=2008-10-11]

ee also

* Switzerland in the Eurovision Song Contest
* Eurovision Song Contest 2008


ee also

*Switzerland in the Eurovision Song Contest

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