ESC 2017 Review: Switzerland – Time Ball for Apollo

I liked this song a lot and then they revamped it and I liked it a lot more! I also haven’t always been in love with Switzerland’s songs so I was impressed this year.

These are my own PERSONAL rankings of what I think of 2017’s Eurovision songs but I’m also going to make some bold predictions about the eventual fate of the song. These will probably be very wrong for a variety of reasons including I have no idea what almost half the artists sound like live or what type of staging and song changes could be made. There’s plenty of songs that have been let down by their staging (2016 Spain for example) so in the end they’re just guesses in the dark.

Country: Switzerland
Artist: Timebelle
Song Title: Apollo
My Ranking: 4th (out of 43)
Semi Final: 2nd Semi Final
Final placement prediction: 6 of 26

You may know that Switzerland was the very first Eurovision winner way back in 1956. You may not know that Switzerland also won in 1988 with a singer whose name is Céline Dion. They did well in the old style Eurovision with modest back and forths between low and high scoring entries otherwise but that was the past and this is now. In the past 10 years Switzerland has only qualified twice – one of those was the last place in the final as well. Funny enough the last time they cracked the top 10, in 2005, was with an Estonian band as their entrant.

This year the Swiss will be represented by Timebelle, who had previously tried to enter Eurovision in 2015 and this year have chosen a song that was previously passed on by the Azerbaijani delegation back in 2015 and it was written by a Swedish composer. Timebelle was formed in Bern, Switzerland but it’s members are international. Current singer Miruna Mănescu is Romanian and their instrumentalist is also from Romania, their drummer coming from Switzerland and some of the past members were from Serbia and Hungary as well. Funny enough, this band was originally formed as a boyband but slowly morphed in to their current form. They had released three singles and an album prior to Eurovision but seem quite relatively unknown still.

The song itself is actually quite a standard modern style female ballad. Miruna’s voice is exceptional and fits the song like a glove. The song has all the hallmarks of a standard ballad. It’s got high points, a key change, a chorus that builds, and so on but after the revamp it’s got a lot more modern coloring and a fairly good beat to nod your head too. Lyrically the song is kind of strange because Apollo, the Greek god, is the god of music but also hasn’t been worshiped for a long long time. This is one of those things where the writer of the song probably knows more than the audience. One of the god Apollo’s features is that he is the ideal young man so maybe this song is supposed to be a metaphor of liking a lover to Apollo? It’s clear in the song that she’s in love with someone and it’s not quite working out for her and she’s putting all her hopes in to following [her?] Apollo.

Either way it doesn’t super matter what the song is supposed to be about because Miruna is selling it and I am buying up every dime of it. I don’t know what it is about this song but it just makes me really happy and the soft clear vocals help along the song. What I’m most worried about is that the stage will be too bland and they will give her a costume that she is not comfortable in. Miruna has previously had some vocal problems on stage during her live shows but I am pretty certain they will be worked out but also she’s been in dresses that do not fit properly or do not support her ample chest and she ends up spending the entire song with a not attractive look of worry on her face that she’s going to pull a Janet Jackson.

This is one of the songs that I think will benefit from a really snazzy set of costumes for everyone and then maybe just a good back drop and not too much. The most I would say is lights and glitter during the chorus and maybe a special drop or something for the last chorus. The song does end on a soft note though so I’m not sure how that’ll play out at Eurovision itself. I feel like on the back on the vocals this should easily qualify and it’s uncertain how well it will do after that as it doesn’t seem to be the type of song that will have people rushing to vote but fingers crossed for a top 10 that it truly deserves.

I’ll follow you Apollo.

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