Switzerland has enjoyed little success at the annual Eurovision Song Contest in recent years but the tide may be about to turn - its entry is through to this year's final.
Swiss singer-songwriter and model Luca Hänni was voted through during Thursday's second semifinal in Tel Aviv, Israel. The final takes place on Saturday. Israel is hosting the event because it won last year’s competition in Lisbon, Portugal.
Hänni is best known for winning the German talent show, “Deutschland sucht den Superstar” (Germany seeks a superstar) in 2012. At Eurovision, he is singing a track he composed called, “She got me”.
This is the first time Switzerland has reached the final since 2014.
A 6% chance
According to the EUROVISION oddsexternal link, Switzerland now has a 6% chance of winning with Hänni, standing fourth on the list on Friday morning. That might sound low, but it is considerably better than much of the competition, including Spain and Britain. This year 41 countries are participating.
Traditionally, Switzerland does not fare that well. It has won twice: first in 1956 and again in 1988. Lys Assia won the first-ever competition in Lugano with the song “Refrain”. And 31 years ago, Canadian Céline Dion triumphed for the Alpine country with “Ne partez pas sans moi”.
Bricklayer turned musician
Hänni was born in Bern and learned to drum, play the guitar and piano at an early age. After finishing school he began training as a bricklayer, but stopped the apprenticeship after two years to concentrate on his music career. The 24-year-old’s song was chosen out of a total of 430 applications and performed before a test audience and an international jury of experts.