Roll out the red carpet and put your Wienerschnitzel in the oven — tonight Austria will crown the winner of Wer singt für Österreich and decide its Eurovision 2016 representative. Ten acts are competing to follow in the footsteps of The Makemakes and to try and get Austria back on the top half of the leaderboard after Conchita Wurst’s victory two years ago.
In recent weeks, our readers have had the chance to vote for their favourites and they have deemed Zoë the runaway winner with her French song “Loin d’ici”. Meanwhile, the Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of music unprofessionals — has reviewed all ten songs. Unlike our readers, the Wiwi Jury believes this will be a close call with 0.04 points separating the Top Three. Ultimately, the Wiwi Jury chose Elly as our favourite with “I’ll Be Around (Bounce)”.
Austria Eurovision 2016: Our favourites
Now, we’ve combined the results of the Wiwi Jury and our poll to offer a loose prediction as to who will be crowned the winner tonight. Wiwi Jury winner Elly ranked third in the poll while Zoë ranked third with the Wiwi Jury, meaning the two are practically inseparable. But the poll outweighs the Wiwi Jury in the event of a tie, meaning that Zoë narrowly has the edge. Orry Jackson will enter the final with an outside chance of defeating these ladies, finishing in third with his song “Pieces in a Puzzle”.
1. Zoë – “Loin d’ici”
The best: This is my jam! Zoë has brought us an incredibly amazing composition. All those instruments perfectly communicate with each other and let the melody fly. Those strings are simply amazing. You can hear all the epicness in this song, which brings you back to the great times of magnificent Austrian composers. This is unique and flawless. It’s playful, it’s joyful, it’s pure happiness! Je l’adore! (Mikhail, 10/10)
The worst: I’m one of those who don’t get the hype around this song nor the artist. I have quite a problem with singers who send French songs in a country where the people don’t speak the language. The fact that her dad is quite famous in Austria might help Zoë, but this is just a bland song that brings us nowhere but the toilet — because this is a toilet break in Eurovision. If Austria sends her, it’s doomed to stay in the semi. Au revoir! (Patrick, 3/10)
Wiwi Poll: 1. Wiwi Jury: 3.
2. Elly – “I’ll Be Around (Bounce)”
The best: Elly is channelling Ellie Goulding circa Delirium with shrewdly calculated verses and a chorus that explodes out of nowhere. I can’t help but wish this song was representing Armenia instead. This is the only one with a chance of qualifying at Eurovision, especially with Armenia and Austria in the same semi and sending her an easy 12 points. Home girl SLAYS! (Antranig, 10/10)
The worst: “I’ll Be Around” sounds like it’s building up to a massive chorus, but it never delivers. Instead we get a fast and furious burst of dubstep, and then an inexplicable key change. The song feels really underdeveloped, in need of a tighter, simpler structure. It’s a pity – Elly has a brilliant voice and deserves a better song. (Robyn, 5/10)
Wiwi Poll: 3. Wiwi Jury: 1.
3. Orry Jackson – “Pieces in a Puzzle” (6.38)
The best: The repetitive chorus is a disappointment in an otherwise solid entry. A lot of the Austrian entries are trying to pull off a fresh, modern sound and are failing in their efforts but Orry is not one of them — I wouldn’t mind hearing this on the radio anytime, though it certainly needs a better chorus if it is to go anywhere at Eurovision. (Antranig, 8/10)
The worst: My favourite part of making a puzzle is taking it apart at the end. So let’s tear this up. It’s a clichéd, saccharine mess. The lyrics are very Junior Eurovision and the lack of variety only emphasises that fact. The production is fine — I love the thumping dance elements. But ultimately this is too simple and too cheap to do well at Eurovision and — if there is a God — in Austria. I think ORF left out a few letters because O-R-R-Y is soooo O-R-D-I-N-A-R-Y. (William, 3.5/10)
Wiwi Poll: 2. Wiwi Jury: 4.
4. Lia Weller – “Runaway”
The best: I know Eurovision national finals are saturated with ballads, but I can’t help falling in love with them. “Runaway” is my absolute favourite this year. Lia’s voice is compelling and on point and “Runaway” builds quite nicely to the big climax. Nothing new here, but it’s charming and real. Lia, you go, girl! (Bernardo, 8.5/10)
The worst: There’s always a place for ballads in Eurovision, but in order for them to do well, it really has to have something to make it stand out from the other ballads and incredible singers. Lia has a good voice, but vocally she is far from Austrian Eurovision divas such as Nadine Beiler or Conchita Wurst. A country like Austria, that doesn’t have that many friends to vote for it, needs something to really stand out. This wouldn’t be the best choice for them. (Sami, 5/10)
Wiwi Poll: 5. Wiwi Jury: 2.
5. LiZZA – “Psycho”
The best: I like what’s going on here — “Psycho” starts out with some airy wind chimes and works its way towards an edgy chorus. This belongs in a horror movie set in a dimly lit trailer park. Unfortunately the electric guitar pulls this song down several notches and in the end I’m left with something I like which would have little chance of qualifying. Send that electric guitar back to Albania where it belongs. (Antranig, 8/10)
The worst: When I hear the word PSYCHO I think drama, danger, madness and blood. This is far less interesting. The sound of an axe murder sawing through your front door while you scream? That’s memorable. The sound of Lizza singing a non-existent melody while a xylophone plays in the background? Less so. Seriously cannot remember a single note of this. (William, 3/10)
Wiwi Poll: 4. Wiwi Jury: 5.
6. Farina Miss & Céline Roscheck – “Sky is the Limit”
The best: Célina and Farina present “Time” V2.0, I guess. On first listen, the repetitive nature of the song actually isn’t too bad, but it does start to lose your interest after one or two more plays. It doesn’t grow anywhere, and they’ll need a killer stage show to really push the song further, but there’s nothing too bad here. (Chris, 6/10)
The worst: Well this sounds cheap. The sky is the limit, and my patience is limited. Farina and Céline spend too much time on loop. It’s dizzying, but not in a good way, and their strings do not belong on the dance floor. The only nice thing I can say is that they look great in the thumbnail image. Go girls! (William, 1.5/10)
Wiwi Poll: 6. Wiwi Jury: 6.
7. Bella Wagner – “Weapons Down”
The best: I am a sucker for lyrics, especially good ones. I know lately we’ve been hearing peace/war songs every year but this isn’t Boggie or Polina. It is very different, so modern and funky. Bella’s voice is not the usual voice we hear at Eurovision. I can imagine perfect modern staging. It might work for her to go to Stockholm, and you know what? I would be happy. Bella is different, and different is good! (Patrick, 7.5/10)
The worst: God, this really sucks the air out of the room. She talks about folks laying their weapons down — just play your song and they will all pass out. I love morose music, but this is too much. It doesn’t stir emotion but rather mindlessness and lethargy. If this goes to Stockholm one of her soldiers will need to fire a gun to wake the audience up. (William, 3/10)
Wiwi Poll: 7. Wiwi Jury: 7.
8. Sankil Jones – “One More Sound”
The best: This song sounds like the sort of work by a superstar DJ who gets a guest vocalist to come in and anonymously warble over his sick beats. The result: in this song, Sankil feels secondary to the music, a glorified backing singer. He’s a very talented performer (apparently a fan favourite) but this isn’t the right song for his big Eurovision shot. (Robyn, 6/10)
The worst: Sankil’s voice is displeasing, and the song isn’t suitable for either Eurovision, or a non-EDM audience. I wanted it to stop right from the very beginning. It’s not that I wasn’t feeling it, it’s that it was disturbing me. It’s annoying. I felt so weird after listening to this, and in that weirdness moment, I decided I’ll skip listening to this again in the future, aka the national final. (Luis, 0/10)
Wiwi Poll: 8. Wiwi Jury: 9.
9. AzRaH – “The One”
The best: This wasn’t my favourite of the wildcard picks, but oddly enough, it’s now sounding like one of the better WSFÖ finalists. I wouldn’t want “The One” to win, though. It’s too repetitive and that stealing/healing rhyme sounds like it came out of a rhyming dictionary. But I like the song’s jazzy sounds, the little flourishes. (Robyn, 6.5/10)
The worst: She won the Facebook wildcard and all I have to say is this: she must have a lot of friends who pressed like. AzRaH has a rich, soulful voice, but the song seems incomplete. It’s like she mixed it herself using one of the free audio programs that comes with Windows. I get “pure” music, but this just feels a empty and leaves me bored. (William, 4/10)
Wiwi Poll: 10. Wiwi Jury: 8.
10. Vincent Bueno – “All We Need is That Love”
The best: I’m still waiting for this song to explode in the chorus and bring me electro-pop realness, but it fails to do it! Vincent may have the swag but he does not have the song or the lyrics to go to Eurovision and that’s a shame, because the song has the potential to be great. And the rap?! O-M-G, just cut it off! (Bernardo, 5/10)
The worst: Is that a horny cat singing? It seems so. Unpleasant voice meets electronic burping and an incredibly awful chorus with all those la-la-las, which are horrible. No one can la-la-la better than Ivi Adamou. And what do we hear next? Some awful rap, which makes this mess even worse. (Mikhail, 1/10)
Wiwi Poll: 9. Wiwi Jury: 10.
WSFÖ 2016: Combined Prediction
WSFÖ 2016: Fan Poll Results
WSFÖ 2016: Wiwi Jury Results
- Elly – “I’ll Be Around (Bounce)” (7)**
- Lia Weller – “Runaway” (7)**
- Zoë – “Loin d’ici” (6.96)
- Orry Jackson – “Pieces in a Puzzle” (6.38)
- LiZZA – “Psycho” (6.04)
- Farina Miss & Céline Roscheck – “Sky is the Limit” (5)
- Bella Wagner – “Weapons Down” (4.5)
- AzRaH – “The One” (4.38)
- Sankil Jones – “One More Sound” (3.42)
- Vincent Bueno – “All We Need is That Love” (3.15)
Who do you think will win the ticket to represent Austria in Stockholm? Let us know in the comments below!
WSFÖ 2016 Viewing Details
Wer singt für Österreich will be streamed live on Eurovision.tv from 20:15 CET.