Switzerland’s Rykka fails to make Eurovision final

Switzerland’s Eurovision entrant – Canadian born Rykka – failed in her bid to reach Saturday’s grand final after she was knocked out in the second semifinal in Stockholm on Thursday night.

Switzerland’s Rykka fails to make Eurovision final
Photo: Lukas Mäder/SRF

Rykka – the stage name of Christina Maria Rieder – took to the stage of the Globe Arena to sing English-language song The Last of Our Kind, which she co-wrote, dressed in a striking outfit that emitted smoke.

But her performance failed to impress voters, meaning Switzerland will not be represented in the grand final for the second year running.

Aiming to be the second Canadian to win the title for Switzerland after Céline Dion famously won in 1988, Rykka was against the odds from the start – literally .

Before yesterday’s semifinal British bookmaker William Hill put her at 250/1 to win, the worst odds of all the competitors.

Since the semi-finals were introduced in 2004 Switzerland has failed to qualify for the final nine times.

Its best performance in the 21st century came in 2005 when Estonian girl band Vanilla Ninja placed eighth for Switzerland with their song Cool Vibes.

It’s the only English-language song to have done well for Switzerland. Over the years the country has entered contestants singing in all four of its national languages, with both of the country’s winning songs being French.

In 1989 Swiss vocal group Furbaz entered Eurovision with a song in Romansch – the only Eurovision song ever sung in the niche language. They came 13th.

Watch Rykka's semifinal performance here:


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Lys Assia, Eurovision’s first-ever winner, dies aged 94

Swiss singer Lys Assia, the first-ever winner of the Eurovision Song Contest, has died aged 94, the competition's organisers said.

Lys Assia, Eurovision's first-ever winner, dies aged 94
Lys Assia pictured in the 1960s and in 2011. Composite: AFP

Assia, who won the first edition of the contest in 1956 in Lugano, Switzerland, with the song “Refrain”, “passed away on March 24th at Zurich's Zollikerberg Hospital, having recently turned 94,” Eurovision said in a statement.

Assia, whose real name was Rosa Mina Schärer, was born in 1924 in Rupperswil in the north of Switzerland.

She began her career as a dancer, but soon turned to singing, achieving her biggest hit in 1950 with “O Mein Papa”, Eurovision said.

Assia took part in the contest again in 1957 and actually came second in 1958 with the song “Giorgio”.

She tried to return as a contestant again in 2011, but was not selected to sing for Switzerland.

Assia is the only Swiss national to have won Eurovision, although Canadian singer Celine Dion won the contest on behalf of Switzerland in 1988 with the song “Ne partez pas sans moi”.

This year's Eurovision Song Contest is being held in Lisbon, Portugal in May.

READ ALSO: Six finalists compete to be Switzerland's Eurovision entry