While it seems just like yesterday, it has been seven years since we saw Sebalter take to the stage with his song, Hunter of Stars. At that point, Switzerland was in the midst of a Eurovision crisis. The nation had failed to qualify more often than not since the introduction of the semi-finals. Prior to Sebalter, the nation qualified once in 2011, however even then finished last in the final. It was time for something fresher, and Sebalter was the answer.
Switzerland finished confidently in 4th place in the semi-final, breezing through to the final. What was it that was so different between their previous non-qualifying entries and Hunter of Stars? I think the biggest difference was just the joy the song and performance brought to the Eurovision line-up. Realistically speaking, the song isn’t fantastic, and in fact, I would even label it completely bonkers, but Sebalter could really charm.
Listening to the song again now after all these years, there’s one thing that hasn’t changed. I have no idea what he is singing about. Lyrically, this is all over the shop, and almost impossible to sing along with, which usually isn’t a great sign for Eurovision. Despite that, this performance still had the ability to get you up and dancing, or at least get a foot tap going. There was just enough interest with the pyro, and of course, the whistles, that it actually did have the ability to stay in your mind.
In the final, Switzerland managed to finish in 7th with the public vote, while they were down in 22nd with the jury. In the scheme of things, it makes sense. It was charming enough to be able to appeal to the audiences, but when it boils down, what’s left is a hard to follow melody and passable vocals.
When looking at the recent history of Switzerland, I do think that this is one of the stronger entries, but it failed to act as a turning point for the nation. The following two years saw Switzerland finish in last place, but as we know, they are finally finding their Eurovision identity.
I can’t recall how I felt about this song at the time, but looking back, I’m not hugely impressed. It was a nice morale booster for Switzerland at the time, but the nation still had a long way to go. It’s a 5/10 for me.
Song: Hunter of Stars
Final Ranking: 13th in the Final