Austria wants to rise like a phoenix. Broadcaster ORF hopes to move forward from the infamous nul points on home ground in Vienna. On November 17 it announced the rules for its national final for Eurovision 2016: Wer singt für Österreich?
The open call for songs, which is already running, closes on December 11th. Musician and producer Eberhard Forcher will be in charge of selecting nine out of ten hopefuls to compete in the Austrian national final, which will take place in Vienna on February 12th. But what about the tenth candidate? Here’s the novelty of the Austrian format, y’all: Facebook (uh-oh-uh-oh) will decide!
Forcher, together with a panel of musical experts, will select a bunch of candidates that will be published in mid-December on the official ORF Eurovision page on Facebook. The most liked act will then get a wildcard to join the remaining 9 finalists at the national final in February, where the Austrian representative for Stockholm will be chosen by a mix of televoting and jury.
Setting things right
After Conchita Wurst stormed to victory in Copenhagen in 2014, Austria hosted the diamond jubilee of Eurovision in classy Vienna, where The Makemakes met their demise sharing an all-germanophone nul points with Germany’s Ann Sophie, despite a charismatic performance of their entry “I Am Yours” that set the piano and the Wiener Stadthalle on fire. It was the very first time a host nation got the wooden spoon at Eurovision. Can Austria go from zeros to heroes in Stockholm?