Country Of The Month: Switzerland Part-2!

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Country of the month is back. We decided to continue our series of articles “Country Of The Month” with Switzerland. In a period of five weeks, we are going to remind you of the best Swiss entries. Note: we selected the entries not by their place in their final, but by their impact on the fans.

Lys Assia – Refrain

In 1956, Switzerland selected Lys Assia and her song “Refrain” to represent it in the first contest. In addition, that year every country sent two songs. The second Swiss entry of the night was “Das alte Karussell”, once again by Lys Assia.

It was composed by Géo Voumard and Émile Gardaz. the conductor of the live performance was Fernando Paggi. The song won the contest, giving the country its first victory and making the first song to ever won the competition.

Lys Assia is a Swiss singer that was born on 3 March 1924, in Aargau, Switzerland. Her real name is Rosa Mina Schärer. She started her career as a dancer, but in 1940 she started singing. In 1956, she represented Switzerland in Eurovision at the first contest with two songs and won. The same year she was also a candidate at the German national final. Her success led to two more participations in 1957 and 1958. Her love for Eurovision led her to participate in the 2012 Swiss national selection. Until today she is the only Swiss to win the contest. The 1988 Swiss victory was by the Canadian singer Céline Dion. Lys Assia passed away in 2018 at the age of 94.

Switzerland in the Eurovision

Switzerland debuted at the contest in 1956, being one of the first seven countries. Since then, it has participated in an impressing number of 60 times, missing the event four times – 1995, 1999, 2001 and 2003. The four times the country didn’t participate was due to poor results in the contest – under the rules of the contest only the countries with the best average scores over the previous four years were allowed to participate.

Switzerland has finished 28 times in the Top-10. The country has two victories in its history in 1956 – at the very first contest – and in 1988. In 2019 the country scored 364 points (under the new voting system), making it the most points Switzerland got in any Eurovision Contest it has participated. In contrast, its worst result came in 2004, when not only it was eliminated at the semis, but also finished last with no points. At the finals, Switzerland has placed three times last with no points – 1964, 1967, 1998. In the 21st century, the country has only two Top-10 places, in 2005 and in 2019. Since the introduction of the semis, Switzerland has missed the final 11 out of 16 times.

What do you think about the song? Do you like it? Do you think is it one of the most memorable entries from Switzerland? Let us know in the comment box below.

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