Hail Cesar! ORF reveals Cesar Sampson will represent Austria at Eurovision 2018

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This morning Austrian broadcaster got in bright and early to reveal its act for Eurovision 2018. Cesar Sampson was revealed as Austria’s man for Lisbon on the Ö3-Wecker radio show. And this won’t be the first time at Eurovision for him.

On stage as part of Poli Genova’s posse at Eurovision 2016

Cesar is an experienced performer and producer and has delivered guest vocals for many Austrian artists. But he’s also an experienced backing vocalist on the Eurovision stage.

He’s previously worked on entries for Serbian and Macedonian acts, but in recent years, he’s been part of Team Bulgaria. In 2016, Cesar joined Poli Genova on stage at the end of her feelgood song “If Love Was a Crime”. Earlier this year in Kyiv, he was heard but not seen as part of Kristian Kostov’s offstage backing vocals.

So being involved with a fourth-placed song in 2016, then a second-placed song in 2017, ORF could be looking at Cesar to do one better next year in Lisbon.

The Bulgarian connection continues with the songwriters. The song will be created by Symphonix International — which Cesar is part of — the team that was behind “If Love Was a Crime”, “Beautiful Mess” and Poli Genova’s 2011 entry “Na Inat”.

But Cesar’s song for Eurovision isn’t ready yet. It will be revealed to the public sometime in February. But anyone interested in hearing his vocal talents can get a taste in his radio interview. There he sings a medley of “Rise Like a Phoenix” and “Euphoria”, showing off a rich soulful voice.

And, we notice, he also does a bit of modelling. Check out his portfolio at this Slovakian modelling agency. Eurovision’s Next Top Male Model 2018, anyone?

Cesar won’t be the first Eurovision backing singer to later be selected as a main performer. Iceland’s 2010 representative Hera Björk made her Eurovision debut in 2008 as a backing vocalist for Euroband, and again for Yohanna the following year.

And more recently, Imri Ziv moved from being the backing vocalist for Nadav Guedj in 2015 and Hovi Star in 2016 to singing his own song “I Feel Alive”. Serbia’s 2017 act Tijana Bogicevic made her Eurovision debut in 2011 as the backing vocalist for Nina.

What do you think? Can Cesar deliver the goods for Austria? What sort of song should he sing? Tell us what you think below!

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