Last month Austrian broadcaster ORF announced the electronic-pop artist Pænda as their representative for Tel Aviv. And now Eberhard Forcher, Austria’s musical scout, has revealed in a podcast that Pænda was almost ruled out!

Eberhard is a radio host at ORF and since 2016 has been the scout responsible for finding suitable candidates for Austria at Eurovision. Thanks to him we’ve seen Zoe, Nathan Trent and Cesár on stage.

Austria wants to go in a different direction this year and he says it was looking “for something special, but at the same time radio friendly.” 

“If there was a recipe to win the contest, it would be one of the most wanted. But there is none. Every year is different and what might have worked two years ago, can be boring today.”

Talking about Pænda and “Limits

Forcher did not share many details about the song itself, but gave insights about Pænda and the selection process.

“Paenda is an artist who knows exactly what she wants. And this led to some conflicts with us who know more about Eurovision. But conflicts are there to be solved.”

Of course Pænda wasn’t the only artist who had negotiations with ORF and he confirmed contact with Hyäne Fischer, the long rumoured satire group. At one point Pænda was already out, because she originally competed with a different song. Forcher then contacted her team again to listen to her new album Evolution II for suitable tracks, finding the divisive “Limits”.

“The album is amazing, with wonderful sounds and extremely long instrumental parts, which aren’t suitable for Eurovision. But there is this one song that doesn’t fit in this context. Some people will shake their heads when they hear the song for the first time.”

It has not been announced when we will hear “Limits” for the first time, though her album will be out on April 26th.

What do you think? Are you excited to hear Pænda’s song? Tell us what you think in the comments section below!

 

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Alex
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Alex

wow this sounds promising. Austria can do well again if they do a nice stage show too. Well done ORF.

Lindon
Guest
Lindon

Marvin Dietmann does the staging. IMO he is the master of reduction, when I think of the simple, but very effective staging of Conchita. He can also do other stuff, like last year with the 60.000 Euro lift of Cesár.

Jonas
Guest
Jonas

Did anybody else use that lift? Was it part of the set design or just specially for Austria? I can’t remember it being used elsewhere in the show, though maybe my memory is faulty.

Greetings from Austria
Guest
Greetings from Austria

I think it was generally in the stage. The lift was used in the beginning or in one of the interval acts, if I remember correctly.

Lindon
Guest
Lindon
marty
Guest
marty

it was only used in the beginning for the dj set and for cesars staging. it was paid by ORF. 80.000 Euro if i remember it right.

Porsteinn
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Porsteinn

He also reduced Levinas ‘Perfect Life’ into an anonymous grey-in-grey.

Lindon
Guest
Lindon

I’ll give you that. The staging reflected the boring song too much.

insalata di cesare
Guest
insalata di cesare

Could not have been staged better.

Marco Schreuder
Guest

One one hand I am happy you are mentioning my podcast, on the other hand it would have been nice, if you would have linked it and mention the name.
The podcast is called “Merci Chérie” and is available on Apple, Spotify, Google Podcasts etc..
More at https://mercicherie.simplecast.fm

Lindon
Guest
Lindon

Thanks for this very interesting podcast. We’ve been wondering for a long time how this internal selection works. So far, we had the impression that this is more mysterious than the conclave in the Vatican. Greetings from the [email protected]

FreeFair
Guest
FreeFair

Finally, a delegation that actually understands how modern ESC works. Countries should simply send the highest quality, most interesting song possible, regardless of if it isn’t “stereotypically Eurovision”.

Cesar's salad
Guest
Cesar's salad

Your comment reminds me of how I feel like Sweden lost its sensability for modern Eurovision. Melfest 2019 is a festival of dated schlager and plastic pop of G:son and Kempe and if Semi 4 doesn’t have anything better, Sweden will crash and burn in Tel Aviv after an astounding series of great results.

Matthew
Guest
Matthew

I think there’s high expectations for this one, I hope they can pull it off, I’m looking forward for something interesting hopefully. I think Mahmood for Italy is head and shoulders above the rest, I hope something can compete with him.

MusicIstheKey
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MusicIstheKey

This sounds promissing to me – the more original, the better I think when it comes to ESC 🙂

Joe
Guest
Joe

Nobody asked, but here’s my top so far:
1. Spain
2. Italy
3. Australia
4. Albania
5. UK
6. Latvia
7. CR
8. Slovenia
9. Estonia
10. France
11. Croatia
12. Montenegro
Only songs I’d go so far as to say I dislike are the last two, and the rest I enjoy very much. Top seven are excellent songs.

Joe
Guest
Joe

(I base the Georgia part not on the candidate songs, which I know nothing about, but rather the fact that it’s apparently going to be in Georgian again)

Joe
Guest
Joe

And very specifically, Slovenia, CR, Italy, and Latvia have already picked stuff I wouldn’t call typical at all.

Joe
Guest
Joe

The hell? I based the first part on a longer thing I write about how this year actually has been going in a cool kind of different direction but it didn’t post for some reason.

Jonas
Guest
Jonas

It might show up later…that has happened to me.

Joe
Guest
Joe

Huh, what do you know! You were right.

Joe
Guest
Joe

I’ve been digging this year for the most part because there haven’t actually been that many (I hate this term but whatever) “Eurovision-y” songs selected. Montenegro, Croatia, and the UK, Spain kind of. The rest are all different in their own way. When I think of the songs that could possibly represent Portugal, Iceland, Georgia, Lithuania, and Romania (and based on the artists chosen, Poland, Greece, Austria, and the Netherlands) I’m thinking very different stuff from what we usually see every year.

Joe
Guest
Joe

OK, scratch that: the song that IS representing Romania! (Oh boy, I really don’t want to drag the mess from the SN comment threads here).

Erik
Guest
Erik

Until now we have so many average songs like Estonia, Croatia, UK, Spain etc. and nothing is more boring than an average sound. Therefore I really hope that Austria sends something uncommon and special to Tel Aviv.

MusicIstheKey
Guest
MusicIstheKey

I agree!

NickC
Guest
NickC

Sorry to be the saying the elephant in the room, but it is such a weak year where everybody is playing super safe that one country who thinks outside the box and take a big risk will win. It could be Austria, indeed.

Colin
Guest
Colin

So far, I see only UK, Montenegro and maybe Latvia playing it super-safe, with UK being the best one at it. Others at least have some edge to them, even if not a good one (Cough… Croatia…cough). Hatari, Gergo Szeker or Conan would be really unique if picked. Also, while Light On does verge on safe, it’s such an extraordinary beautiful ballad that I can see it as a dark horse. From already chosen ones, Estonia, Italy and Albania are quite interesting. I am really hoping Austria has a good song now. I do agree, however, that at this point… Read more »

OrangeVorty
Guest
OrangeVorty

The UK obsession with safe entries appals me. No wonder our entries don’t get played on Radio 1, chart or cross over into Europe. Really, its a bag of sh*t.

Jo.
Guest
Jo.

The selections are in general weak to average, but there are exceptions.
Internal selections should increase the competitiveness, cuz so far Italy sits unbothered on the top.

Katitam
Guest
Katitam

There will be other 30 songs, and some countries have exceptional entries in their NF. Others have typical songs, but I think the quality of each year it depends on the previous winner. I know that Salvador isn’t very loved in the eurofandom, but his winning inspired, you like it or not, and that’s why 2018 was a strong year full of quality and diversity. This year, Netta’s victory with a fun and radio-friendly pop song allowed safe songs between the NF. But, fortunately, some countries are not playing safe. Slovenia, Albania, Australia and others are not safe songs at… Read more »

Katariina
Guest
Katariina

We have 30 songs left to hear, many of them coming from internal selections (which are nearly always better than national finals). Stop it.

Susi
Guest
Susi

Very excited to hear Limits. A self written quality song by a female artist is just what is needed for this year’s Eurovision. And better divisive than mainstream. Austria is up for another surprise.

esc1234
Guest
esc1234

i am so happy that the song wasnt initially writen for eurovision, i am curious to hear it

Bluelime
Guest

Love her style, can’t wait to see what Tel Aviv has in its pocket

https://www.americaloveseurovision.com/ check this out btw

Valentino
Guest
Valentino

Glad to see Austria wants to win again!

MaxxW.
Guest
MaxxW.

Actually Pænda revealed during an interview with Ö3, that “Limits” will be presentet to public in the first week of March.

MaxxW.
Guest
MaxxW.

Update!: The 8th MARCH is the day, “Limits” will be presented to public in the Ö3 morning show.

Héctor
Guest
Héctor

Really looking forward to listening to it.

JeyDelRey
Guest
JeyDelRey

I like the fact that he said Eurovision is not predictable. I hate when people say “it’s not an Eurovision song, it’s not for ESC”. If there is one thing true, it’s that you never know what is going to work or not during the actual night. And that’s the beauty of the contest. 🙂

Cesar's salad
Guest
Cesar's salad

My takeaway here: “Limits” was not written for Eurovision. It was not even a candidate. Sounds exciting.

Jo.
Guest
Jo.

“I’m gonna write a song for Eurovision” rarely works.

Bnxlnx
Guest
Bnxlnx

Then tell that to all the songs in Mello! hahaha just kidding

Lukas Auer
Guest
Lukas Auer

You know “Toy” was espacially written for esc? 😮
And many songs in national selections.

Jo.
Guest
Jo.

“rarely”

Jo.
Guest
Jo.

I have high expectations from Ramona Flowers, so don’t let me down. And don’t do those cheesy drop beats like in Light Me Up, it’s boring.

Nini Kiwini
Guest
Nini Kiwini

Really intrigued by this article.
I really hope that paenda will come with something different but amazing to continue my country’s qualification streak that we have going on since conchita.
I also just found out paenda lived in a city just a few kilometres away from my hometown and yet i havent heard of her prior too her being selected

Polegend Godgarina
Guest

a divisive song? austria is coming for BLOOD this year

Alex
Guest
Alex

I believe Austria might surprise us this year!

Fast Food Music Lover
Guest
Fast Food Music Lover

Great use of reverse psychology there. Now we all have low expectations and the song might actually do well once it is released.

MusicIstheKey
Guest
MusicIstheKey

low expectations? That doesn’t seem so here

Loin dici
Guest

Interesting. Seeing how Forcher didn’t give up on Pænda so easily, I hope he does it right again this time!

Roy Moreno
Guest
Roy Moreno

I mean, Secret Garden won with a song almost full of instruments and no lyrics
Maybe it’s still possible to win like that :3

Mr. Vanilla Bean
Guest
Mr. Vanilla Bean

In a time where the music isn’t live, I would not encourage that.

James
Guest
James

The violin solo there I thought was all playback. It didn’t seem like the violinist onstage had her instrument plugged .

Jonas
Guest
Jonas

Fionnuala Sherry was absolutely playing live during Secret Garden’s performance! There was no playback.

Joe
Guest
Joe

I say this as someone who calls Nocturne his all-time favorite Eurovision song: that kind of win could never happen again. The fact that it did was a miracle, but I doubt it will be repeated.

Roy Moreno
Guest
Roy Moreno

Which is a shame
Do you know if Secret Garden are still active?

Jonas
Guest
Jonas

Yes, they are still active. They have released several albums, the most recent being a “Greatest Hits” from last year. Fionnuala broke both her arms in an accident, but admirably worked hard to recover and play her violin again. Their new album Storyteller will be out soon! You can learn more on their official website, secretgarden.no.

Roy Moreno
Guest
Roy Moreno

Thank you so much! Fantastic news!