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.

Score: 9/10

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.

Score: 2/10

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.

Score: 5/10

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.

Score: 4.5/10

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.

Score: 7.5/10

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.

Score: 7.5/10

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.

Score: 5.5/10

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.

Score: 4/10

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!

Score: 8/10

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.

Score: 9/10

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.

Score: 8/10

In the Wiwi Jury we have 40 jurors but only have room for 11 reviews. The remaining 29 scores are below.

Anthony: 8/10

Antranig: 0/10

Bernardo: 9/10

Chris: 7/10

Cristian: 9/10

David: 8/10

Dayana: 8/10

Denise: 6.5/10

Diego: 9/10

Forrest: 4.5/10

George: 7/10

Gökhan: 5.5/10

Jason: 6.5/10

Josh: 7/10

Kristin: 6/10

Liam: 6.5/10

Luis: 5.5/10

Marek: 9.5/10

Maria: 7/10

Mario: 6.5/10

Mike: 4.5/10

Mikhail: 9.5/10

Renske: 8/10

Sami: 6/10

Sinan: 7.5/10

Steinunn: 5.5/10

Tobias: 5/10

William C: 8/10

Zakaria: 6.5/10

















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.



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Grete Paia

“In a year of rock numbers”…..just 4 rock songs means that ESC is in danger of being deluged in rock music. No wonder all the reviewers on this website are giving 2/10 to every rock song to make sure this invasion never happens again

Andrey (from Russia)

Nice girl, but too old-fashioned song. Not for the final.



No, it’s not only you! She does look like Maria Olafs! Also, their songs are similar! You know, they are both sweet, cute and pinkish! I hope that she won’t flop like Maria, though!

Finally, I have to agree that 2015 was a year full of great songs! I am still listening to lots of them!

“At one point I thought it sounded like a children’s song but most children’s songs I know sound more mature than this.” Exactly. It’s the “A-Ba-Ni-Bi” of 2016. Childish, simplistic, not really all that great to be honest, but just look at the steaming pile of pandering half-baked formula garbage it’s up against. Of course it sticks out like a sore thumb. About 30 of the other entries are just slight variations of the same lousy generic Swedish pop song. I think there’s a non-trivial possibility that it could win the contest, IF (and only if) it’s fairly late in… Read more »
I have had more laughs from this review than any other. @CCC I burst out laughing when you wrote that listening to Loin D’ici made you want to claw your ears out & puke. I thought I was the only one. @Adam & @Canadian Eurofan “Dated” sure does get used way too much. If you don’t like a song, say it is “dated”. No further details are needed right? The moment I read “dated” in a review or comment, the word “dickhead” flashes before my eyes & I stop reading. You can get through some pages very quickly. But back… Read more »


me too, i liked it as well, it was a good song 🙂

David Who
@Canadian Eurofan Thanks for the compliment! 🙂 Yes about the Greece entry as well – that one i really enjoyed analysing because it’s really different. For the Greek song, when the time signature changes from 4/4 to 7/8, there are notes played on instruments that don’t fit into the key at all, so to me they sound non-diatonic. Of course, it could just be the result of an out of tune instrument being played, haha. But it sounds deliberate enough, just as deliberate as the hovering key of Austria’s song and that dark descending melody to “on chante, on chante.”… Read more »

I can’t stand this song. Thought it was okay at first but after the second listen it started grating. Now whenever I hear it I just want to claw my ears out and puke. The bouncy, bubbly, saccharine, cutesy tone is just too much.


Austria… I feel nostalgia of last year’s contest held in Vienna with so many amazing songs ?


Really nice song. Is it me or she does remind me of María Ölafs?

Tom L

Loin d’ici is this year’s Crisalide (Vola), loved by many Eurovision fans and OGAE, but ultimately outdated and overly theatrical. I think these two songs will share the same fate.



I loved ”Unbroken” and I was so sad when it didn’t qualify!


This is way better than some of you give it credit for. It doesn’t go out of its way to being overly dramatic, and it definitely doesn’t go out of its way to being lame or disjointed. There are few songs out there that can prove that less is more. This is one of the exceptions. My #6 after my first of 3 reviews.

Bonsoir Stockholm, Vote 10/10 Classement : 1ère / 43 !!! C’est ma chanson préférée !!! Zoe est magnifique, elle nous fait rêver et voyager et j’ai envie de dire pourquoi pas ? En cette période troublée (crise économique, guerres, terrorisme…) cela fait énormément de bien. J’aime bien sûr beaucoup aussi la musique et la voix de la chanteuse. L’ensemble est délicieux et je lui souhaite le meilleur pour le concours. Je suis convaincu qu’elle ira en finale !!! Le public est enthousiaste lorsqu’elle chante. Elle a déjà conquis l’Autriche, le charme peut fonctionner en Europe. Vielen Dank und Ich wünsche… Read more »
Canadian Eurofan
@David Who Great comment, I appreciate the insight of your musical analysis. It would be great if someone on the Wiwi team was able to provide this type of analysis!! (was it also you that identified the non-diatonic scales used in the Greek entry?) I will have to give this one a closer listen, although so far I don’t like it much. I think that “dated” is a judgement that gets thrown around waaaaayyyyy too often on Wiwibloggs (it usually seems to translate to “not a dance or electro track”) but in this case I feel it’s perfectly applicable. Specifically… Read more »

@Chance – I liked your comment! It is a bit much, isn’t it?

@Nicky91 – I did see it! I did the Eurovision sorter (Mr. Gerbear!) and Malta is officially number four for me! Am hoping that she can produce that live vocal that makes me want to move her up even more!


I really like this song and I can see people vote for this because it’s sweet and different. Still I’m not sure she’ll pass to the final though. Anything could happen, from NQ to top 10.


I like her voice, but the more I listen to the song the more I feel like it’s going to give me diabetes.


As much as self-loving comments suck, as much do self-derogatory ones too. The Austrian critics don’t have to be the toughest bashers, when a majority praises this bold and popular choice. After Conchita, we don’t have to prove narrowmindness anymore.

Zoe, je t’aime et ta chanson, et je te souhais le meilleur succès! Je suis sûr que tu nous rendes fiers! Tu vas!!!!!



it’s weird for me, but normally i like sweet young girls, but i can agree with your opinion

and have you seen latest video of Malta, on eurovision YouTube channel, so Walk On Water is about achieving the impossible 🙂


Just no. It is sickly sweet and has absolutely no edge to it whatsoever. The song does not really require any vocal ability and like a lot of other reviewers, I struggle to see where it will fit in as regards to this competition. It definitely gets blown away by some of the strong female songs.I find the choice to sing in French very cynical considering the 0 points that Austria received last year (a much better song by the way!).
Countries that use a national final should not producing entries like this.



Maria Olafs was so nervous last year, i really liked her she was Amber’s roommate in Vienna 🙂



P.S.:I think that Rezo has to be more accurate with his personal scores and reviews!


I really like this, it’s really sweet and her vocals suit it! However, it is pretty unpredictable how it will do in Stockholm. It will either stand out or get lost like Maria Olafs from last year. Everything depends on the staging, so they have to be careful!


There’s “dated” and then there’s “retro.” And this song is totally retro, harkening back to when music was simpler and clearer and dominated by the romantic language. French is probably second only to Italian in pure beauty for a singing language, and Zoe, despite being Austrian, nails every bit of it. Its a clear, upbeat, happy song, one that just leaves you feeling sunshiney inside. IN a world where everything tries to be cool and edgy, its a breath of fresh air. One of the most unique acts in a while, and one that’s set to dazzle on the big… Read more »

This song is sweeter than a pound of sugar. A dark background would suit it much better than flowers and pink skies. In the voting it could go anywhere. 5/10



for me as well, i first liked the French language for Austria, but it’s too sweet, and like you say it lacks any other emotion than sweetness, that becomes boring at the end

it’s also in a strong semi final, and i find this 1 of the weaker songs of the semi final 1, and Zoe was awful live in Israel

my non-qualifiers from semi final 1 are: Finland, Greece, Montenegro, Austria, Moldova, Estonia, San Marino and maybe Bosnia&Herzegovina


Are there any similar songs from past decades that is similar to Loi D’ici? I want to know some for the sake of personal reference because I cant understand how it sounds dated. I would understand if it’s the violin part. But as a whole? Not really.


At first I liked it, but then lots of songs started to be released and this one plummeted in my personal rank.

It’s sweet, but lacks the emotional factor. Constant sense of happiness that at the end becomes boring.

David Who
I love Zoe and i love this song. I’m surprised people haven’t picked up on the hidden darkness in the music. For example, “On chante, on chante” is a chilling downward melody transitioning the key into E minor – not exactly happy music. On its own without the glossy presentation, this song is open to interpretation. The person is singing and dancing whilst looking for paradise – paradise is often a religious concept, something we could find after death… when i first heard this song i felt this hidden dark side to it. Musically it’s not certain whether the song… Read more »

i don’t like this song, but some mixed reviews by the wiwi juries

it’s too sweet for me, having said that Zoe seems cute and the song seems cute, but it’s dated and it sounds like a hit from the 70’s hahahaha

some advice from me for Zoe, just enjoy the contest and have lots of fun

but this is a non qualifier for me i would score this a 4/10

Antranig Shokayan

Home girl sounded horrendous live at the national final in my humble opinion. I’d give this a 3 to a 5 if she sings it well live in Stockholm because the song is not awful – albeit very dated – but she needs to hit those high notes to get there. “Quel Filou” and “Adieu” are much better songs as well – borderline amazing. “Loin d’ici” is as sweet as shoving five dozen chocolate-glazed donuts in your mouth simultaneously. #overload


Hardcore ESC fans be like:

Idea alert!!!!!!!!! I hate a song. It reminds me of a song that I heard some time back. I’m gonna call the song dated, because suddenly having any similarity to songs in the past is bad! Any song that is not completely unique and futuristic is terrible and deserves nul point!*

*exceptions: Attractive female vocalists, any Spanish entry, most Swedish entries

But I’m not biased, I give all entries a chance!**

**except any entry not conventionally eurovision-esque, any UK or Greek entry, any attractive muscly male singer, most Eastern Europe entries especially by males


Super hiper mega overrated! This is awful, how is this childish song doing so well is beyond me. Like Antranig, i give this a big fat ZERO! The positive thing is that at least is better than Conchita’s disastrous win…


Can I just notice that this year in particular almost every song has been called dated. Seams like certain trends are returning, right? Also, any adjective looses it’s strenght when used too often.


I’m so glad Zoë’s here this year, I really liked her song ‘Adieu’ in Austria’s selection last year and wanted her to go so I’m happy. She’s so sweet too and her English is great when she speaks! Good luck, what a pretty song, a breath of fresh air


Year of rock numbers???? LOOOOL This is year of female and pop numbers. We have 22 female soloists. It is ESC record. Sad…

John Doe

This song doesn’t fit in.


Its more uptodate then Russia.


It’s certainly not a bad song, it’s quite sweet and very pink 🙂 I don’t understand why Austria is singing in French and not German, or English. But somehow it works and it works quite well. I wish Austria well, they are rather unlucky at Eurovision, Conchita was an exception, but I wish them well. Austria do deserve to qualify over other songs in its semi final which are overrated only due to the countries they are representing. Austria should qualify but I don’t expect it get anywhere near top 10. It’s a nice listen though 6.5/10 Danke österreich 🙂

Bhrister Cjorkman


It is dated but it is good. If performed 30 years ago it would have a serious shot of winning.


I hate this song, I don’t see the hype in it.
It Sounds like a JESC song for kids, it’s baaad.



Is this an hommage to Merci, chérie 50 years later? Austria in French again. But to boring to qualify, i’m afraid…


I actually find Austria’s song really good, cute, sweet, fairytale and I like it.
Why is it so underrated here

Robyn Gallagher

Toms: The Wiwi Jury uses a 21-point scale ranging from 0.0 to 10.0, at 0.5 intervals. The average is taken from this and rounded to two decimal places. That’s the Wiwi way.


Yes, Austria has solid score B-)

I love this song so much, my current 9’th

Vladimir P.

One of mu fav entries this year. Good luck!


This song is sweet. Zoe is a charmer and her vocals are great. I’m perplexed by Austria sending a song in French but hey whatever tickles your pickle.

For me the song has a lovely retro feel, some might say dated but in my personal opinion it’s doesn’t have the negative attributes which contribute to designation of the term.

I’m not sure if the song has the oomph required to qualify, some might find it a tad forgettable or beige vanilla. Just like Georgia, which I really enjoy it might not have the universality required.

Good luck Austria !


This is so weird. It’s dated, cheesy and childish but yet so catchy. She’s very talented but I find it hard to believe that the GP will like this. It’s just so sweet and innocent, maybe a bit too much.

Sorry Austria but I don’t like this song. It is so annoyingly repetitive and trying to be cute and sweet. I just dislike this kind of music. And why did you include that horrible Eurodance beat? Alter Ego / Play / Say Yay: 9,0 Love Wave / 1944: 8,5 Ghost / Pioneer / Slow Down: 8,0 Utopian Land / Made of Stars / What’s the pressure? / Sound of Silence: 7,5 Sing it away / Goodbye: 7,0 Help to fly / Icebreaker / Heartbeat: 6,5 Colour of your life / Walk on water: 6,0 Blue and red, Ljubav je: 5,0… Read more »