Switzerland last won Eurovision back in 1988, and based on their recent history, it seemed that Switzerland were not on track to score their next win anytime soon. After a bunch of non-qualifications, Switzerland finally stepped up last year, and came 4th. The fire is there, but how would they have fared with Gjon’s Tears and his song Répondez-moi?
Anita (Eurovision Union)
Song and Vocals
Coming off their best result in recent years, the pressure was on for Switzerland to prove that it wasn’t just a one hit wonder. Switzerland has really struggled in recent years, and it’s time that we see them return to the top of the table, following the progression other nations such as The Netherlands have taken. Also coming off an upbeat number, their choice was to either compete with another upbeat number and face criticism for trying to replicate their 2019 success, or alternatively, send a ballad and have fans wishing for an upbeat number. It’s hard to back up a good result for a nation with so few good results in recent years, but Switzerland has managed to come through.
Répondez-moi is such a stunning ballad, and deserved to be a favourite of the competition. First of all, it’s so great to see a Swiss entry in French, the first time in a decade. Already, that set Switzerland apart from its competitors. Despite personally not understanding the lyrics, this is the type of song where the emotion comes through strongly just from the way it is performed. The track itself is haunting, from the instrumentation to Gjon’s incredible vocals. He has proven that it’s not just a feature of the studio version, but he can certainly deliver live. The song features some challenging notes, but he does it with ease.
Performance and Act
Gjon performed Répondez-moi live on television in what seemed to be the planned staging for Eurovision. Whether that’s accurate or not, I am not entirely sure, but what I will say is that if it was the staging for Eurovision, it was strong. I loved the shattering glass effect in the background, the smoke covering the floor, and Gjon sat behind in a piano in a unique but fantastic outfit. That’s all that was needed to impress voters at Eurovision.
Next Up: 2021
We will be seeing Gjon’s Tears next year, and that was a good call from the Swiss broadcaster. It didn’t come as much of a surprise though, because when you have a potential winner in your grip, you don’t let them go. Also coming from an internal selection, it made sense for Gjon to return to Eurovision. Ballads suit his voice, so I would love to see another ballad next year, and I’d also like to see the French language carried through. Whatever he does, I hope that it’s strong enough to see Switzerland as a favourite once again.
Such a beautiful song that stood out as one of the favourites this year. At minimum, Switzerland would have cruised into the Top 10 at Eurovision, and that’s something I feel confident about. Juries would eat this up, but it also had a lot of televote appeal. I’m hopeful that we are seeing Switzerland pull through from their lack of success at Eurovision, and Gjon is certainly a stepping stone for that.
Song and Vocals
The French song ‘Répondez-Moi’ is hard to understand for those who don’t speak French. This is nearly the only ‘bad’ thing I can say about it. Because apart from not being able to translate the words, the emotion is coming through. In a way that winners are able to do. The live vocal performance of Gjon’s Tears is very, very impressive. This song would have made a massive impact, because of that delivery and build-up of the composition. Maybe it was a bit too dark and intense for some.
Performance and Act
Gjon’s Tears is being loved by the camera. He connects with the cameras so well, knows when to look into the lense, and when it is allowed not to. Emotional connection is very strong with this guy, making Switzerland a potential winner for me.
Next up: 2021
Of course, Gjon’s Tears stays on the list for Eurovision. Switzerland would be crazy not to. They made a smart move selecting him in the first place. And there is no reason not to do that again. He surely delivered with his song for 2020 and I am sure he will do just that again in 2021.
Switzerland was a potential Eurovision winner for me in 2020. Not the big favourite, but definitely in my list up there. They had a singer who is able to give a convincing live performance, by grabbing the camera and being able to sing a lot of hard notes. The song, despite being in French, was easy to connect to. We will never know how close Switzerland would have come to victory, but the fact that they decided to stick with Gjon’s Tears is very good news to me.
Additional Scores from Eurovision Union and ESCDaily editors:
Average Score: 8.8/10
What do you think of Répondez-Moi? Follow our Eurovision 2020 reviews here.