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Eurovision veteran demands judge apologise

A row has broken out around Switzerland’s entry for the Eurovision Song Contest after one of the judging panel criticised a contribution by 87-year-old former winner Lys Assia.

Unbreakable, a rock number by Sinplus, a duo of two brothers from Ticino, was chosen on Saturday to represent Switzerland in next year’s contest in Azerbaijan after winning the largest share of the vote – 17.8 per cent.

Thirteen other hopefuls had performed songs, including Assia who won the first-ever contest in 1956 for Switzerland.  Her entry this time around, It was my life, secured 5.4 per cent of the vote and a thumbs down from one of the judges, German rocker Stämpf, who likened it to “cruise ship” fodder.

Assia said she was “humiliated” and has demanded a written apology from him.  

Celine Dion’s entry in 1988 was the only other time Switzerland has won the competition. Switzerland is hoping to improve on last year’s result, when Anna Rossinelli’s entry came last in the final with just 19 points.

Azerbaijan will hold the contest for the first time in May.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR