ESC 2023 Song Review: “Watergun” by Remo Forrer (Switzerland)

1) The Result

In a fairly lop-sided result, Marius Bear’s gentle ballad “Boys Do Cry” qualified for the final almost entirely on jury votes, and ended up in 17th place in the final entirely due to jury votes.

2) The Process

Switzerland switched to internal selections in 2019 after four consecutive non-qualifiers and have qualified each year since, so they seem to be working by the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” playbook.

3) The Artist

Remo Forrer is a fairly fresh face on the music scene, winning The Voice of Switzerland in 2020 at the age of 19.

4) The Song

Following in the footsteps of his predecessors Marius Bera and Gjon’s Tears, Remo Forrer brings us a moody, piano-driven ballad which showcases his rich vocals. The lyrics express the fear of having to participate in a war.

5) The Verdict

In the usual Eurovision setup, you would think that the juries would usher this to the final. However, with the removal of juries in the semis, this is a bit more of a risk — although there definitely always has been a decent televote bloc for ballads.

There’s no doubt that Forrer’s voice is one of the more impressive ones on offer this year, and I really like the staccato run (if that’s how to describe it) on the piano, but that’s about it for me. I can’t get past what a strange idea it is to have a song about fear of war coming from Switzerland, arguably the country in Europe least likely to be part of a war.

My ranking: 28th