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Switzerland: Timebelle – Apollo

The Swiss public have given us hope for the rest of the Eurovision selection season: they successfully overlooked the gimmicks and chose the one and only capable song in their national final. Hurrah! Timebelle will be performing Apollo in the second half of semi-final 2. Having seen lead singer, Maruna Manescu, perform Apollo at the live check, I was fairly positive about Switzerland's chances of progressing to the Grand Final in May. Compare that natural, engaging performance with the drab and wooden presentation at the national final and it's clear the package has taken a noticeable backwards step. It's almost as if Timebelle…
Song Appeal
Vocal Strength
Staging Potential
Likely Televote Appeal
Likely Jury Appeal
Cohesiveness of Package

Time's Up

It's almost as if Timebelle watched Lucie Jones' You Decide! performance and thought, that's the mediocrity we should aspire to.

User Rating: 3.33 ( 28 votes)

The Swiss public have given us hope for the rest of the Eurovision selection season: they successfully overlooked the gimmicks and chose the one and only capable song in their national final. Hurrah!

Timebelle will be performing Apollo in the second half of semi-final 2.

Having seen lead singer, Maruna Manescu, perform Apollo at the live check, I was fairly positive about Switzerland’s chances of progressing to the Grand Final in May. Compare that natural, engaging performance with the drab and wooden presentation at the national final and it’s clear the package has taken a noticeable backwards step. It’s almost as if Timebelle watched Lucie Jones’ You Decide! performance and thought, that’s the mediocrity we should aspire to. The dull red dress, backdrop of roses and forced arm gestures looked rather amateurish and far too reserved.

What was also noticeable at the national final was Maruna’s nervy vocal. This cleared up during the winner’s reprise, so this is something to keep an eye on during the semi-final jury rehearsal in May. With this in mind, I would also replace the backing singers to give Maruna some reliable cover.

The way forward is to acknowledge that Apollo could be a B-side for a few well known US singers, so the production team should be aiming to make the staging more punchy and relevant in Kiev, rather than the national final wake we all had to endure. Give us something bold and edgy!

Can Apollo defy the gravitational forces of semi-final 2?

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10 comments

  1. Here’s my constructive criticism. Are you all ready?

    “Meh”.

  2. Two hours ago I said that Apollo was a shoo-in but after watching the live broadcast I wondered. The singer didn’t speak German or any of the Swiss national languages. She lost out in the charm stakes to Michelle and in the staging to Ginta, but in the end the best song of a mediocre bunch took it.

    I actually think that Apollo (somehow) managed to take a step backward from the Live Check performance. The staging was nondescript and that red dress did not work as well as the yellow one in the Live Check. There is a lot of work to be done on presentation if Apollo is not to end up forgotten in its Eurovision Semi.

    Even if that work is done, the best I can see for Apollo is 6-10 (probably 8-10) with juries. But how many televoters in other countries are going to be motivated enough to vote for it? For a televoter to pick up the phone for a song I would imagine (in most cases) it would have to be in their top 3. The other reason you might pick up the phone is if you are a loyal overseas national effectively voting for your own country or countryman. On both counts where are Apollo’s televotes going to come from – other than (perhaps) some cheap votes from Romania (which is the band’s home country) or the Romanian diaspora?

    On this basis I am struggling to see a way out of the Semis for Apollo – unless this gets substantial help from the Romanian diaspora. Does anyone think this likely?

    • She is not so well known in Romania, surely not in the diaspora. Maybe she will pick up some points, but the Romanians will vote for Romania.

      However, from what I’ve seen, Romania will not bring a superstar for Kiev, almost all the first entries are not artists that could gather a lot of traction behind them.

      • Thanks,Walrus. So not much hope for Switzerland then.

        One further thought I had on the staging. They staged it as if it was a ballad which Apollo isn’t. It didn’t suit the song. This is one example where they would be better off making the band and backing singers more prominent on stage and placing them closer to the lead vocalist. The intimacy of the low budget Live Check staging worked much better than the live final staging.

  3. The problem Switzerland has is that it is going to be no-ones favourite. ‘Alright’ and ‘Meh’ sum it up perfectly. Going of form and allies, there’s a few countries they could beat in the televote, but above 14th with them would be an achievement. There’s nothing there for the juries to make up the difference enough either and after the last two years I don’t trust the Swiss to stage it well either. Even if NTU go mad and have them on last this is pretty hopeless.
    16th – 19th, NQ.

  4. I think the UK’s entry, and especially the singer’s charm and vocal capabilties, are way more convincing than this rather bland Swiss entry.

  5. Agree with a lot of stuff said here. Especially on staging, which is wrong. This song really isn’t a ballad. It’s an OK pop song.
    Also agree that the sound check (or what not) staging was a lot better.
    Having said that, it probably is a NQ for the finals but… i personally love the song. 🙂 Second only to Finland so far.

  6. It really annoys me as an Irish fan how we get a first half draw again yet Switzerland waste a second half draw by sending this nothing song, luck of the draw I guess but it p!sses me off if I’m being honest, if we have a shit heart his will probably come around 14th in the semi.

  7. Why is everybody so negative and pessimist? Apollo is a perfect ESC-style song with a decent performer. Her vocals are right on point and she can definitely perform live. They are backed by swedish composers and have a very international team. Isn’t this celebrating diversity? Plus the 12 points from Romania, this song could gather some points from Malta (which usually gives points to Switzerland), Macedonia, Austria, and possibly San Marino, Israel and Russia. And of course a discreet amout of points from the juries.
    The presentation at the NF was nice, but not perfect. They will get there by May. I bet on 6-8th in SF2.

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