SWITZERLAND – Gjon’s Tears – Tout L’Univers
One of my earliest, and still favourite, contests is the 1986 running. Right from Terry Wogan’s opening comments, I was in awe at the tale of how Bergen’s hospitality to the visiting festival of song had been so extensive that the whole town had been unfed for a week.
Not so, apparently. En Fete. Cloth ears. Again.
Mostly I blame Terry Wogan, which is usually a safe bet. In fairness he was trying to do something which was already becoming very hard to pull off successfully in Eurovisionia, and that’s quite simply to speak en Francais. 1986 was a majestic year for the language of love though, with the songs using it finishing 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and there was also an entry from France itself.
La belle langue might be about to experience something of a rebirth this year though – a renaissance, if you will – as two of the bookies’ favourites use it exclusively, and Malta have picked a French title. And the omens are good!
The first country to take French to the top of the scoreboard? Switzerland! The last country to take French to the top of the scoreboard? Switzerland! The last country to podium in French? Switzerland! The last country to finish last in a semi-final in French? Yeah, well, ok, you can’t have everything.
And even the numbers work out, because when the ordinal number of the contest is one greater than an exact multiple of 32, who wins? Switzerland wins. That’s who wins. SWITZERLAND. The land of cheese, mountains, airport-sized slabs of chocolate, and people damn nearly putting crossbow bolts through their foreheads on live television.
So with the weight of history weighing on his shoulders, is Gjon actually going to pull it off and send us all in the direction of the world’s most expensive place for our 2022 holidays? Well… for all that build-up, I’m not so sure that he is.
Nobody ever went broke trying to win last year’s contest, and Luca Hanni finally got Switzerland to the right part of the scoreboard doing just that in 2019. But not that many people have actually won this year’s contest by trying to win last year’s contest. And my hunch is that for all the beauty and understated elegance of the song, it’s not quite got enough appeal in either voting constituency to hit the very top. And it doesn’t quite do enough to get one of my 10s.
Obviously I hope I’m wrong, because the potential for a sponsorship tie-up in which we rename the site TobleronEurope for a year is a clear winner in anybody’s book.
Nick’s Score: 9/10