Austrian broadcaster ORF has revealed the names and song titles of nine of the ten finalists who will compete in the national final Wer singt für Österreich?, as well as the five wildcard acts who’ll face a public vote later in the week to determine the tenth finalist.
The show will be presented by long-time Austrian ESC commentator Andi Knoll and 2015 co-host Alice Tumler. The national final will be held on Friday, 12 February at 20:15 CET.
Austria has faced mixed fortunes at Eurovision in recent years, winning in 2014 but scoring nil points last year. Broadcaster ORF has put together a line-up with an emphasis on Austrian newcomers. Here are the nine candidates, along with examples of their sound.
Bella Wagner – “Weapons Down”
Vienna-born Bella speaks five languages and has studied at the esteemed Prayner Conservatory. In 2015 she released “Plastic City”, an environmentally themed electro pop track.
Elly – “I’ll Be Around (Bounce)”
17-year-old Elly was born in Armenia, having moved to Austria as a baby with her family. She was a contestant on the most recent series of The Voice of Germany, but was eliminated in the Knockout round. Elly regularly uploads covers to her Facebook page.
Orry Jackson – “Pieces in a Puzzle”
German-born Orry considers his style “German soul”. He was a contestant on The Voice of Germany in 2011, but didn’t make it out of the blind audition round, after none of the judges — including Xavier Naidoo — turned for him. He has since established himself as an experienced collaborator with DJs and has worked with boy bands.
Céline Roschek & Farina Miss – “Sky is the Limit”
Violinist Céline Roschek plays both the classic and electric violin, in genres ranging from classical to pop. She’s partnered with singer Farina Miss, who is inspired by artists such as Erykah Badu, Jill Scott and D’Angelo.
Lia – “Runaway”
Lia was born in Sao Paulo, Brazil. She is best known in Austria for her participation in the talent show Starmania in 2008 – the year after a pre-Conchita Tom Neuwirth had placed second.
Vincent Bueno – “All We Need is that Love”
Born in Austria to Filipino parents, Vincent studied music in Vienna. In 2008 he won the talent show Musical – Die Show, looking to find an Austrian start of musical theatre. He’s since gone on to establish a music career in both Austria and the Philippines.
Lizza – “Psycho”
Lizza (Lisa Staple) is a 19-year-old single. In 2014 she signed her first record contract, and the following year she released her debut single “Every Minute of a Day”.
Zoë – “Loin d’ici” (Far from here)
Zoë is the daughter of Christof Straub, daughter of the successful indie duo Papermoon. She participated in WSFÖ last year, placing third with “Quel Filou”. Zoë’s song for 2016 appears to be a track on her 2015 French language album Debut.
Sankil Jones – “One More Sound”
Sankil was born in Vienna but grew up in New York. He has studied violin, singing and dance, and has worked as a model, choreographer and dancer. In 2010 he released his debut album Firestarter.
The tenth position goes to the winner of the wildcard voting on Facebook. From the 37 wildcard submissions, a shortlist of five has been selected. The wildcard voting will begin on Thursday 14 January at 9:00 CET. For 24 hours, users will be able to like their favourite songs. The one with the highest number of likes will win the tenth position at the WSFÖ final.
Laura Kamhuber – “Stay Tonight”
Ola Egbowon – “Addicted”
AzRaH – “The One”
Sara Koell – “Close to the Sun”
David Siedl feat. Madelene & MC Vio – “Wah Wah Whine”
What do you think of Austria’s nine picks? And who should win the wildcard vote? Share your thoughts below.