She’s the controversial artist who wants to sing for Austria at the Eurovision Song Contest and many assumed she was taking the piss with her Eva Braun themed video for “Im Rausch der Zeit”. But according to eurovision.de, Hyäne Fischer is a legitimate candidate to sing for Austria. In fact, she’s on the shortlist!
As with Conchita Wurst, Nathan Trent, and Cesár Sampson, Austria is not going to host a national final. Instead, the decision will be made internally. The strategy has proven very successful in recent years, with Conchita winning and Cesár managing to finish in third place.
This year’s race has already raised eyebrows. As we recently reported, Hyäne posted a music video in late November for “Im Rausche der Zeit” (In Inebriation of Time) and suggested that she would represent Austria at Eurovision 2019. Since then the video has clocked more than 180,000 views on YouTube and people have been busy trying to wrap their heads around it.
Despite the 1930s imagery, it isn’t an endorsement of Eva Braun or rightist movements in Germany. In fact, it’s been interpreted as quite the opposite: a smack down of the far-right movement in Austria’s government.
And it’s been getting a lot of media attention. Eberhard Forcher from the Austrian radio station Ö3 assisted ORF with searching for potential candidates and creating a shortlist of acts. He describes her song as a “musically crude mix of Marianne Rosenberg and the Pet Shop Boys.”
“The music video identifies Hyäne Fischer as a critic of today’s douchebag-culture, by deliberately aesthetically exaggerating such. This could also be misinterpreted by some people but the target audience will understand it.”
Tobias Krone from Bavarian broadcaster Puls isn’t worried that the wrong people — read that as the far-right — will celebrate Hyäne Fischer. “Her name alone shows what the project is: Satire. The ones who understand it will detect a lot of details in the video.”
Even Neue Zürcher Zeitung, one of the country’s more high-brow newspapers, deigned to discuss it: “Hyäne Fischer is the media phenomenon with a dark blond wig and a silver look, which puts Austria in a pop culture of anxiety, a bit of Obersalzberg aesthetics, a bit of radio aptitude and a big wish….After the victory of Conchita Wurst 2014, this would be the second attempt on the customs of an industry that has its steel heroine in Helene Fischer.”
Eurovision-de advanced the argument that Hyäne Fischer could also convey a sharp and transgressive humour that the audience of the Eurovision Song Contest understands well. Just remember Germany’s chaffing 1988 Eurovision act Guildo Horn with “Guildo Hat Euch Lieb”, which ended up in 7th place by mocking schlager music. Satirical performances are nothing new in the world of Eurovision and have definitely shown success in the past.
Who will represent Austria? ORF won’t be delivering an early Christmas present, as they say the artist will “be announced in the new year, not sooner.” Austria — and much of Europe — is waiting.