In this series, we’re continuing to look at the current participating countries of Eurovision and why we love them for all the right (and wrong) reasons. Next up, we take a look at Austria.

They debuted in 1957, the second year of the song contest. Since then, they’ve competed 51 times — but have also notably taken a few pointed periods of timeout. These are ten reasons why we love Austria at the Eurovision Song Contest.

1. Udo Jürgens took three attempts to win

In 1964 he sang “Warum nur warum?” and placed sixth. The following year he returned with “Sag ihr, ich lass sie grüßen” and did better with fourth place. Udo Jürgens came back in 1966 for the third year in a row and gave Austria its first ever Eurovision win with the French-themed “Merci, Chérie”.

2. They have finished last seven times

It’s not the record (that’s Norway with nine), but it’s close. They would have finished last eight times, but in 2015 The Makemakes were technically saved from last place when the nil points tie-break put Germany below them.

3. How awkward Trackshittaz was for the BBC

The name of the hip-hop duo had an English swear word in it. And worse, to English ears the chorus of their song “Woki mit deim Popo” sounded a bit like “F*** me with the poo-poo”. The BBC commentators had to speak very carefully in their Baku booth.

4. They’re not afraid to make a fuss if things aren’t working

  • In 1970, Austria stayed home to boycott the four-way winners’ tie of 1969. A tiebreak system was then introduced.
  • In the mid-1970s they took a break, thought to be a protest against the awkward scoring system of the time. The now iconic “12 points” voting system was then introduced.
  • From 2008 to 2010 Austria took three years off as a protest against bloc voting. The 50/50 televote/jury vote system was then introduced.

5. All that was happening with “Boom Boom Boomerang”

In 1977, it was Austria not Australia that took a boomerang to Eurovision. Schmetterlinge brought a striking “Boom Boom Boomerang” performance to the sedate Wembley Conference Centre venue. The four male singers of the group appeared to be wearing beige jumpsuits, but when they turned around, they revealed a tuxedo on their back half, complete with an alarming fake face. The bilingual lyrics started with this truthful couplet: Music is love for you and me / Music is money for the record company.

6. They do quite well in French

As well as Udo Jürgens’ 1967 win with the French-German “Merci, Chérie”, Austria also did well with a song entirely en français. In 2016, Zoë delivered the dreamy “Loin d’ici” and took audiences away to her fantasy land. The song finished 13th and was a big fan favourite.

7. They are the only host country to score nil points

It was all going so well in 2015. ORF were putting on a good show in Vienna, and the home crowd was excited to see national final winners The Makemakes with their hipster ballad “I Am Yours”. But they just weren’t especially memorable and in the end, no one remembered to vote for them.

8. Conchita’s triumphant comeback

In 2012, Conchita made the super final of Österreich rockt den Song Contest with the dance track “That’s What I Am”. She narrowly lost to Trackshittaz who pipped her with 51% of the vote. But her efforts had not gone unnoticed. Two years later she was internally selected by ORF, given a strong Bond-style ballad and went on to win Austria their second Eurovision victory.

9. Their last four male acts have had facial hair

Conchita served bearded-lady fantasy. The Makemakes had a scruffy hipster look. Nathan Trent wore a cute beard. Cesár Sampson was classicly handsome with a five o’clock shadow. We’re not sure what this all means.

10. The flaming fake piano

Iconic.

What are your favourite moments from Austria at Eurovision? Share the love below!

Read more Austria Eurovision news

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pp77
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pp77

Song from 2017,2018 was so overrated by juries, especially fro 2017 we saw televote and O points for Austria that year. with this system from 2016,Austria would be in better placement with song from 2015. Fore best song from Austria is song from 1989 (my country won that year). I like also song from 1977,1983,1985,1987,1992,1993,1994,1997,2013,2014,2016,2018

pp77
Guest
pp77

I forgot song from 1990,2000

Doreen
Guest
Doreen

so, why does actually nobody pay attention to the year BEFORE?

like „The most underrated song ever is from their country“
Natália Kelly / Shine is one of my all time favorites and finished third to last in the Semi. I mean, its the best austrian entry from the 2000s for me abd was robbed!

Colin
Guest
Colin

Cesar, Nathan, Conchita , Zoe and Natalia all had really good songs. Impressive for Austria!

Ana
Guest
Ana

There’s only one that really counts to me.
Udo Jurgens.
He was one of my greatest Eurovision “discoveries”.
I fell in love, with all my heart and soul, in all three of his performances, and I’m happy that he won AT LEAST once. Probably my favourite song of his is “Warum nur, warum”, because this is the first one I’ve heard and I have a special fondness for it.

PS I like also Thomas Forstner’s performances and think he wasn’t appreciated enough 🙁

AngieP
Guest
AngieP

For the younger viewers like me, the strongest memory is from Austria at Eurovision is Conchita’s victory in 2014. It was a unforgetttable moment.
Apart from that, who could imagine Austria could make it work using French. Their win in 1966 and Zoe in 2016.

stommie
Guest
stommie

Was 2008-2010 a protest against block voting or because of horrible results in the previous years?

Jana
Guest
Jana

block voting

Denis
Guest
Denis

Yaa, no mention of Alf Poier? I remember how everyone saw him as the flop of that year pre-contest. How everybody knew he would be last. In the end he gave Austria thier best result in ages, 6th. That is an acheivement.!

Kris
Guest
Kris

Why I like Austria?
Their participants give good interviews

An evanescent song winning over a song that would have done really well globally is not a reason to love a country for me.

Dame Tu Conchita
Guest
Dame Tu Conchita

Loin d’Ici is still my most favorite song in Eurovision. And I still can’t get over the fact that The Makemakes got 0 points in 2015.

Joe
Guest
Joe

Always unique. Whenever it looks like they’re going to fade away into the background, they come back with something crazy and get everyone’s attention. I wasn’t a fan of Cesár on the night of the final (since I was rooting for Israel and until the televote I thought he might win) but in hindsight it was a very good song. Lots of favorites, especially Conchita, but as a gospel fan, I’m giving this to George Nussbaumer and “Weil’s dr guat gott” from 1996. Very underrated, although it deservedly finished in the top ten. Stood out in an already great year.… Read more »

Lolz
Guest
Lolz

Alf Poier was my favorite Austrian act

Solène
Guest

Nathan is the best for me

ESCFan2009 (male, 22, German)
Guest
ESCFan2009 (male, 22, German)

Conchita is an icon. And I actually love her song, too. Walking over glass… Once I’m transformed… And you’re my flame… Such art 😀

Jo.
Guest
Jo.

They know how to play the game and they will soon win again.

MusicIstheKey
Guest
MusicIstheKey

My favourite central European country, along with Belgium. (I don’t count Hungary etc. as central European, but some do). Why? because they are not afraid of taking chances musically. They often have some “alternative”, daring and great stuff. Some great NFs too….2011, 12, 15, 16. Only 2012 spawned a really good winner though I think. I don’t like any of their winners though. Not a fan of neither Conchita Wurst, of her kind of winning song. Just not my style. So here are 10 Austrian entries I LOVE, and my 10 reasons why I love Austria in ESC 🙂 1979… Read more »

Roy Moreno
Guest
Roy Moreno

Austria 2014 is one of the worsy 50 entries of all time in your opinion? Conchita? Really?

MusicIstheKey
Guest
MusicIstheKey

OK, saying it’s among the 50 worst entries of ALL from 1956-2018 is too harsh. But it’s not my kind of music / singer. But to their credit, the lyrics are good. They are quite universial, something everyone can relate too, if they feel vulnerable and things are hard. But things will always improve and get better in the end.

noone
Guest
noone

You don’t count Hungary as Central Europe? Honey, it’s a geographic and political term and means 9 countries, (Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Slovenia, Slovakia, Hungary, Poland, Czechia): Sometimes it also includes Croatia and North Italy depending on the source, but it never ever includes Belgium! Geography isn’t your personal feeling or opinions but facts!
You can google it or look on wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Central_Europe

Purple Mask
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Purple Mask

Austria have provided some very diverse entries for Eurovision over the past decade. To me, Austria proves that even when a country’s politics may be going in another direction, this does not have to affect their Eurovision participation at all. (Turkish broadcaster, take note.)

P!nk Forever
Guest
P!nk Forever

Wiwibloggs failed to point out Thomas Forstner‘s 2 time participations. Don‘t you have someone in your team who stans hard for him? Then we have Nadine Beiler, who was in the same casting show as Conchita (then formerly known as Tom Neuwirth). Nadine won it, Tom placed 2nd. Should have had a place in that Top 10. Last but not least: Cesar Sampson. What he has accomplished is incredible for Austria‘s standards. The fact that he‘s in the Symphonix team who did a couple of productions for Eurovision over the past years falls flat here. A flaming piano is not… Read more »

Polegend Godgarina
Guest

Let’s be real we all only realized they were competing after 2014.

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

Except the Austria 2012 “scenario” was infamous in the UK for testing the censors. So they were definitely noticed then! 😀
(It sounds like swearing, so… was it banned on radio? I wonder.)

MusicIstheKey
Guest
MusicIstheKey

Huh?! Sorry, but they had lots of great songs in the (distant) past. And I don’t even like their 2014 song / singer

Nick
Guest
Nick

if you started watching eurovision in the 2000’s I’m not even surprised about your comment despite the country’s long and big history. Austria didn’t even particpate in any final between 2005 and 2010. However recent years changed things quiet a lot. Austria was in the final every year since 2014 (5 years in a row), won and hosted the Eurovision and almost won again this year. I’m excited to see what future brings for my country.

Roelof Meesters
Guest
Roelof Meesters

I feel like these listsshould be ’10 interesting facts about …’ but I still stan! Austria really came back since they won, Conchita is definitely an icon and I love how they send so much quality since their return (let’s forget 2012 shall we) and I think their spots in the final are deserved, even tho Cesar was overrated by the juries and overall placement.

MusicIstheKey
Guest
MusicIstheKey

I prefer their 2012 song to2014 by miles. Conchita is too much about the visuals for me, I can’t imagine her winning if it wasn’t for the beard. And the song….Boring dated OTT ballad. Just not my kind of music. Wasn’t happy for the winner that year, I prefered e.g. NEtherlands. I find their 2012 song much more fresh, different, daring and catchy. A bit silly song maybe, but I like it.

Roelof Meesters
Guest
Roelof Meesters

Yeah but its really the mark that Conchita left, and I personally really love the song and performance. 2012 was just awfull XD But that’s your opinion.

Loin dici
Guest
Loin dici

I am delighted with your opinion, but to be more objective, 2012 was generally of a lower quality compared to 2014. I mean, I would still be delighted with a song written carefully about inner strength and perseverance as a high-placer, rather than a song about stripping and worship of women’s butt, even if the latter’s catchier and fresher.

Vladimir P.
Guest
Vladimir P.

There are three mistakes in the article.

1. Austria won in 1966, not 1967. Sandie Shaw won in 1967.
2. “Merci, Chérie” was in German, in spite of the French title.
3. Austria did not take a break from 2005 to 2010. In 2007 they participated in the Helsinki edition with “Get a life, get alive” performed by Eric Papilaya.

Mako
Guest
Mako

You love Austria because they have finished last seveth time at the contest ? Lmao

It’s weird but why not

Roy Moreno
Guest
Roy Moreno

Austria won the 1966 contest, not 1967, that was the UK :3

Conor K
Guest
Conor K

Where Is the king: Alf Poier? ?

Roelof Meesters
Guest
Roelof Meesters

Somewhere drunk in a bar

MusicIstheKey
Guest
MusicIstheKey

I really don’t miss him 🙂