With top 5 results in 2019 and 2021, including winning the jury vote in that latter year, Switzerland had at last again found some success. Last year saw another qualification for the grand final and a top 10 result with the juries, but received the dreaded nul points from the televote. Can they get their balance right with their 2023 artist Remo Forrer and “Watergun”?
The Swiss broadcaster has held an internal selection for the last few years, that has included internal panels of Swiss members of the public and an international jury assessing submissions. They kept that method this year and it was the 21-year-old Remo who was chosen with a song that was co-written by Ashley Hicklin who has been the writer of quite a number of Eurovision entries and national final songs (some more successful than others). Remo is a former winner of The Voice of Switzerland. “Watergun” is one of just three midtempo male solo pop ballads.
This feels a competent but not very exciting entry. Remo’s vocals are and will be solid, but I think it lacks some stand out moments – but is perfectly listenable to. My bigger gripe is with the lyrical content – talking about not wanting to be a soldier, seeing body bags and real blood etc. That’s all very well, but coming from a rich Swiss boy while fighting rages in Ukraine, it just grates a little. But I pick this over Greece in which of these male pop ballads I prefer.
Last year’s entry, Marius Bear, had a slow ballad that only made the final due to jury votes. This entry also I think lends itself more to jury votes than televotes and I place this among those songs in semi-final 1 that will be fighting for the last couple of qualification places. Remo will get a boost though with the experienced Sacha Jean-Baptiste taking charge of the staging. Touch and go though to make it four qualifications in a row for Switzerland.
Switzerland in the Eurovision Song Contest
First entered: 1956
Appearances (excluding this year): 62
Best result: Winner 1956, 1988
Last year’s result: 17th