Mozart put it on the map in the 18th century, Maria Von Trapp made it swing in the sixties…and Trackshittaz made it crash out of the semis at Eurovision 2012 with a song about shaking your booty.
But since that ignominious result, Austria has quietly debunked the myth that success at Eurovision depends on your size as a nation and your number of neighbours, winning the contest in 2014 and notching back to back qualifications in 2016-2017.
Fresh from this year’s success, Austrian broadcaster ORF has confirmed it will use an internal selection to find Nathan Trent’s successor and a song for the Eurovision Song Contest 2018 in Portugal.
Singers and songwriters only have until the end of August to submit their song to the broadcaster – that’s Austrian efficiency for ya.
If songs are found to have been released previously, shared on social media or featured on video-sharing site YouTube they will be disqualified and knocked out of the running.
ORF’s ambition is to have the whole package signed, sealed and delivered by the end of August 2017. Presentation will likely follow after the Eurovision 2017-18 season opens on September 1.
A SECOND YEAR OF INTERNAL SELECTION FOR AUSTRIA
In seven appearances since returning to the Eurovision Song Contest in 2011, Austria has only used internal selection to pick its Eurovision acts on two occasions.
The first pick saw international drag superstar Conchita Wurst storm the scoreboard in Copenhagen, cruising to the win with a haul of 290 points and thirteen sets of 12 points.
The second saw Nathan Trent qualify from the death slot in the running order of semi-final 2 and land the central European nation a respectable mid-table finish with his song “Running On Air”.
With that track record of overcoming the odds, there’s little doubt Austria’s 2018 representative and entry will be set for success on stage in Portugal next year.