16 February 2018

Stones / ZiBBZ / Switzerland | Review

Zibbz / Switzerland / Eurovision 2018
ZiBBZ to represent Switzerland in Lisbon

ZiBBZ was probably one of the more highly favoured acts going into the Swiss national final – with many Eurovision fans backing the duo against the five other creditable entries. However, as the Eurovision platitude goes, it all comes down to the performance on the night – with ZiBBZ unmistakably superior in lane one, proving victorious with both the jury and the public and achieving a clear-cut triumph with their entry, Stones.

Flag Switzerland Suisse
The song's success was not overwhelmingly supported by all on the international jury, though. Just four points separated Stones from the obviously popular runner-up: Compass performed by Alejandro Reyes. Being the best of this bunch may have been sufficient for ZiBBZ to guarantee a trip to Portugal, but the divided international jury suggests that they might encounter more challenging opposition once they arrive in Lisbon.

The song is probably the right choice for Switzerland, though. It's a reasonably convincing confection of strident rock and pop with an easily memorable chorus - always a plus for a Eurovision entry. There’s a nice contrast between its pounding rhythm and the catchy melody and is ably supported by a heavy drumbeat and a raspy lead vocal by Corinne Gfeller. Thankfully, it maintains its energy throughout the entire three minutes – something many of the Swiss entries haven't managed over recent years.

So, the overall effect feels like a giant leap in the right direction for Switzerland, but is it enough to really hook listeners and make them pick up the phone to vote? This has become a continuing headache for the Swiss, who rarely nominate genuinely appalling entries but have a habit of sending unremarkable ones.

The good news this year is that the Swiss delegation should not need to waste much time having to make too many tweaks to Stones. Siblings Corinne and Stee have written and produced the entry themselves (along with Laurell Barker), and the song clearly demonstrates the notable writing skills the pair already possess. The entire production has the capacity to be a solid, polished Eurovision moment that could transport ZiBBZ to the final.

Whether it has a genuine hope of qualification remains to be seen, but - particularly with so many songs still to be announced - for Switzerland to make the cut after three years in the wilderness would be a triumph in itself.

Artist: ZiBBZ
Song: Stones 
Semi-Final 1 | Second Half

Image by ZiBBZ (ZiBBZ Bilderarchiv) [CC BY 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

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