Switzerland has participated in the Eurovision Song Contest 55 times since making its debut at the first contest in 1956, missing only four contests, in 1995, 1999, 2001 and 2003. Switzerland hosted the first contest in 1956, and won it themselves. Switzerland won the contest again in 1988.
In the 21st century, Switerland has only once reached the top ten, in 2005 with the girl band Vanilla Ninja finishing eighth. Since the introduction of the semi-final round in 2004, Switzerland has failed to qualify for the final seven times. At the 2014 contest, Sebalter gave the country its second best result of the century, finishing 13th.
Switzerland had been absent from Eurovision four times since their participation began in the first contest. These absences, in 1995, 1999, 2001 and 2003 were caused by poor results in previous contests that relegated Switzerland from the contest.
Switzerland has four official languages, French, German, Italian, and Romansh. For decades, the song requirements stated that the song had to be performed in a national language, which gave Switzerland leeway as they could perform in any of the four languages. Out of their 51 appearances in the Contest, Switzerland has sent 52 songs, 24 of which were in French, 12 in German, nine in Italian, nine in English, and one in Romansh. Both of Switzerland's winning songs have been sung in French.
a. ^ The full results for the first contest in 1956 are unknown, only the winner was announced. The official Eurovision site lists all the other songs as being placed second.
b. If a country had won the previous year, they did not have to compete in the semi-finals the following year. In addition from 2004-2007, the top ten countries who were not members of the big four did not have to compete in the semi-finals the following year. If, for example, Germany and France placed inside the top ten, the countries who placed 11th and 12th were advanced to the following year's grand final along with the rest of the top ten countries.