Is Heilsarmee allowed to represent Switzerland at the 2013 Eurovision Song Contest in Malmö? That was the question a lot of people asked after the band had won the Swiss national final in Kreuzlingen last Saturday. Today it was announced that they are allowed, providing that they change their outfits and band name.
According to the Swiss broadcaster SRF they already asked the EBU before the national final was held whether in case of a victory of Heilsarmee they would be allowed to represent Switzerland at the 2013 Eurovision Song Contest in Malmö. As the band had not won the final yet, the request was not responded by the EBU.
Today EBU’s statement is that the song You and Me conforms to the rules of the Eurovision Song Contest. Nevertheless a performance of the act Heilsarmee is only possible if they will not wear the official uniform of the Salvation Army. In addition to that they are not allowed to perform under the name Heilsarmee. All these changes will be checked again by the EBU reference group in January.
Sven Sarbach, head of SRF’s department Show & Events says that he appreciates that the song You and Me which was chosen by a big majority of the TV viewers conforms to the rules and is thus allowed to be performed at the Eurovision Song Contest.
The decision whether Heilsarmee agrees to the demanded changes is expected for tomorrow. In case that they deny a participation in Malmö it is likely that the second placed band Carrousel will get the ticket to Malmö.
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