Austria, the name of the country alone is basically synonymous with famous classical music. Boasting names such as Mozart, Haydn, and Strauss, you would think that Austria would constantly school the competition and bring a refined elegance to the modern day Eurovision Song Contest. But my oh my how wrong you would be my friend. For poor little Austria it seems the concert is over, and the harsh reality of modern day fickle tastes and political voting has begun to set in. However, I’m sure that with the right person, Austria could see their luck improve in Denmark!
Austria has a long history in the contest, they first entered in 1957, just one year after the very first contest. However, beginner’s luck seemed to elude them, they finished last on their very first attempt. In fact, in their history at the contest, poor Austria has come dead last a total of 8 times, including three nul points scores! (Cue the extremely sad violin.) However, they have won the contest once, all the way back in 1966. In the new decade, Austria has been absent a few times, their longest break being from 2008 to 2010. Since their return in 2011, their best result was in 2011 with Nadine Beiler and “The Secret Is Love”, which came 18th in the final. Their worst result since then came just a year after in 2012, when Trackshittaz and “Woki Mit Deim Popo” came dead last in the semi-final.
From 2008 to 2010 Austria did not compete at Eurovision. When they returned in 2011, they used a full national final to select their entry, and have continued this ever since. However, in 2011 and 2012 the results were 100 percent televote scores. In 2013, it was a split 50/50 between a televote score and a jury score.
Possible 2014 Entrant
Digging around in the Austrian music scene, I found a few artists who I think could bring Austria back to glory. The artist I want to highlight in detail is Christina Stürmer. Christina hails from Altenberg bei Linz, and came into the public eye when she placed second on the Starmania music casting show in 2003. Her debut single, called “Ich Lebe” topped the Austrian chart for 9 weeks. After that she had a string of hits, and with a re-release of “Ich Lebe” in the German speaking parts of Europe, she established herself as a popular artist in that realm. She had her career peak back in 2006, and has had moderate success since then, which would possibly make a Eurovision run a bit more likely. Her main style is a soft brand of pop-rock, with catchy guitar riffs mixed with infectious pop beats. I really like that she only sings in German, I think a language change could prove beneficial to Austria, as well as sending the rarely seen pop-rock entry.
The infectious beats of this song just make me smile! Her spunky attitude and great vocals would bring Austria back to the final I believe. And we rarely see pop-rock at the contest, so it would certainly bring interest!
Natália Kelly-Natália Kelly actually hails from Hartford, Connecticut here in the United States, and moved to Austria in 2000 at the age of 6. She had my second favorite song in the contest this year, a sweet inspiring slow pop tune, and a powerhouse/soulful voice to match. The fact that she finished SO LOW in her semi-final is completely beyond my comprehension. I’m glad the juries saw what she was really made of, that long note near the end of the song alone should have put her through. Going first with a slower song is probably what killed her chances, so I think with a song that allows her to have a bit more soul in her voice, and that has a bit of a quicker tempo, she could really go far in a future contest. Don’t give up Natália, you really do shine!
James Cottriall-James Cottriall is an English musician that resides in Vienna. In 2009 he won a singing competition called “The Voice”, not related to the popular worldwide television series, and had his first single produced, called “Unbreakable”. The single was met with instant success, remaining in the charts for a very extended period. He competed in the 2012 Eurovision selection show with his song “Stand Up”, however he did not win. His style is best described as pop with an acoustic sound, he often has a simple acoustic guitar background with some pop beats mixed in as well. His voice is very sweet, and he would definitely appeal to the younger girl voters, however, opposed to some other “boy-toy” entries, he has actual musical talent.
What do you think? Who could be the fresh face Austria needs to get back into the final, and to give Vienna its first win in almost 50 years? Is it one of these artists, or do you have a personal favorite of your own? Let us know with a comment below!
Photo: Natália Kelly
Zachary Thomas is Wisconsin-based correspondent for WiwiBloggs.com. Follow him on Twitter @CheerZach. Then follow the team from wiwibloggs.com on Twitter at @wiwibloggs to keep up with the latest Eurovision news and gossip!