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Timebelle competes for Switzerland in this year’s Eurovision

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Timebelle competes for Switzerland in this year’s Eurovision
Photo: EBU/Eurovision Song Contest
11:38 CEST+02:00
A trio from Bern will represent Switzerland in the second semifinal of the Eurovision Song Contest on Thursday evening.
In February Timebelle won the Swiss public vote to sing their English-language song Apollo in Kiev, Ukraine, at this year’s contest. 
 
The Swiss-based group comprises Romanian singer Miruna Manescu, her husband pianist Emanuel Daniel Andriescu, and Swiss drummer Samuel Foster. 
 
The group’s name is apparently a reference to the famous Zytglogge mechanical clock in the Swiss capital and also “a tribute to a ‘beautiful time’ in Bern”. 
 
Unfortunately the trio is facing an uphill struggle to impress – according to Swiss media they are likely to place within the bottom ten countries. 
 
However they can’t do worse than last year’s Swiss entry – Canadian singer Rykka came last in her semifinal, failing to make it through to the grand final.
 
Since the semifinals 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.
 
In 1989 Swiss vocal group Furbaz entered Eurovision with a song in Romansh – the only Eurovision song ever sung in the minority language. They came 13th.
 
The country has twice won the contest: in 1956, when it hosted the very first contest in Lugano and won it with singer Lys Assia; and in 1988 when it was represented by Canadian Celine Dion who went on to worldwide fame. 
 
The contest is organized by the Geneva-based European Broadcasting Union. 
 
This year's bookies' favourite is Italian entry Francesco Gabbani. 
 
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