Yesterday the Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of music unprofessionals — travelled to Austria and paid a visit to the Hangar-7 aircraft museum in Salzburg. Amongst the historic planes we discussed Zoë‘s song “Loin d’ici”. Did it transport us to paradise? Or were we stranded in reality? Read on to find out!
Zoë – “Loin d’ici”
“Loin d’ici” reviews
Edd: In a year of rock numbers and shouty ballads, Austria’s sweet little ditty stands out like sore thumb… a sore thumb covered in pink rose petals. Zoë possesses a voice from heaven and the organic instrumentation elevates the song to a higher ground. If she can swap the wedding look with some thing a bit more Alice in Wonderland, I can see this going top 10.
Patrick: I’m Austrian and I’m sad, disappointed, annoyed and pissed at the same time. Zoe is a pretty girl, but that is not the only factor to do well in Eurovision. Her song is dated, boring and in French. Yes, people will say that French is the Mother tongue of Eurovision and she can sing in any language she chooses. Yes, that might be true but I’m pretty sure Austrians think differently. I’ve heard a lot of people talk about it badly — even radio hosts say she won’t do well. The only point that I like about her is her personality but thats pretty much it. Flowers, cotton candy and unicorns – Austria zero points once again.
Robyn: “Loin d’ici” perplexes me. It just doesn’t seem to fit with the other 42 and I have no idea where to rank it amongst the others. Zoe creates a lush dream world in her tale of the endless search for paradise. Perhaps that and the French lyrics make it one of the boldest entries of 2016. Or perhaps not.
Angus: Zoë is a nice girl, with a nice song and a nice staging. Unfortunately, nice doesn’t work for Austria, as Natalia Kelly proved in Malmö. “Loin d’ici” pulls it back a little in the bridge when Zoë gets her growl on, but with such a bubbly pop song she’s going to struggle against the heavyweights in her semi-final.
Bogdan: I rooted for Zoë at the Austrian selection and I am absolutely delighted that she won. Her unique, niche song, as well as the French language should make it stand out from the pack and hopefully help Austria advance to the final from its difficult first semi-final. My only complaint is that the song gets a bit repetitive towards the end, but by then I am too mesmerised by the colourful visuals and the singer’s contagious smile to really care.
Padraig: Zoë takes us to paradise and blows away all the fusty Francophone cobwebs en route. For years, French language Eurovision entries have primarily been associated with misery, angst and the occasional sprinkling of satire. By comparison, “Loin d’ici” is fresh and breezy. There’s no hidden agenda, no pain to be inflicted. However, the song is also a victim of its own simplicity. It’s too light to be considered a pop banger while musical purists are likely to perceive it as cheesy. But one man’s cheese is another’s charm, and I’m completely enchanted.
Deban: The overdose of pink, married with floral staging leaping out of fluffy LED clouds is divisively sweet. Barbie aficionados may respond well to this, but they’ve never been the barometer for good taste. Zoe holds her own in what she offers. It’s a beautiful fantasy, but ultimately it’s not real enough to secure a victory.
Rezo: I don’t know any French. I can only listen the song simply, because the language is so beautiful and gentle. In my mind, music is an art. It doesn’t matter the language — the important thing is to appreciate the art. It’s simply different and a nice song.
William: In a country far from here, Zöe is searching for paradise — and by god she takes me there! Her sweet and tender voice fits the song perfectly, and she somehow manages to be soft, breathy and powerful all at once. The song is repetitive, sans doute. But the live performances have show us that it’s also uplifting, affirming and a real crowd-pleaser. This is Paris meets Ibizia, sophisticated meets frothy, and I just LOVE it!
Judit: This song was the first from this year’s field which landed on my playlist. I love her voice, and the funny is that I love a French lyric which came from Austria. The background is like fairyland, and I really hope, they will keep it in May. She needs to be in the final, but at least it’s a unique song, and you can always remember it.
Max: Light, catchy and carefree, “Loin d’ici” is a polished entry that should whisk Austria into the final. Zoe transports us to a colourful oasis with this enchanting song and the performance’s bucolic visual presentation. Even though it sometimes feels as though it could be blown over by a single breath, it finds strength in its fragility. This quieter affair should stand out amongst the heavier entries that populate the first semi-final.
In the Wiwi Jury we have 40 jurors but only have room for 11 reviews. The remaining 29 scores are below.
William C: 8/10
The highest and lowest scores are dropped prior to calculating the average score. This is to remove outliers and reduce potential bias. We have removed a low of 0 and a high of 9.5.