08 February 2014

Eurovision 2014: Switzerland: Hunter of Stars

Download: SebAlter: Hunter of Stars
On Feb 1, the Bondensee Arena in Kreuzlingen played host to the Swiss Eurovision National Final where six acts were competing for the ticket to Copnhagen. After the combined votes of the jury and the public were counted, SEBalter performing Hunter of Stars was announced as the winner.

I must admit that I didn't hear the other five songs from the Swiss Final, so I can make no comparisons. However, the whistling, violin, folk styling of SEBAlter might make some compare the presentation to last year's winner (as well as a certain Mr. Alexander Rybak).

Sebastiano Paulessi is a handsome young man, but for some reason his overall aura also reminds me of Lithuania's Andrius Pojavis from last year's Eurovision. It's all very melodic and pleasant, but his eyes and facial contortions during the whistling refrains can be slightly disturbing.

Sebastiano's diction is a problem, too. It's difficult to tell that the song is sung in English. As a native Italian speaker, it may well have been a better idea for him to perform it in that language. At the moment, there seems to be no advantage to him singing something that no-one else is going to understand.

That aside, Hunter of Stars - as awkward as the title is - is typical of what Switzerland has been sending to the Contest over recent years. Unfortunately, it does not fully catch fire, save towards its conclusion when the audience can join in with some hand clapping. It's great to see the various musicians at work, though. They're obviously enthusiastic for the song and that feeling should transfer well to the audience. Will that translate to votes from television viewers? With the right staging, it should.

With only seven songs determined so far, it's difficult to forecast Switzerland's ultimate fate. I've a feeling that its path may also be similar to 2013 Lithuania: a qualifier that lands in a lowly position on the Final scoreboard.

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