The 2020s are fast approaching. But when it comes to Eurovision the decade has already ended. It’s been ten years of ups and downs, with Austria experiencing the full range of emotions.
The Alpine nation notched up nine appearances, returning from a three-year break in 2011. In that time, Austria has recorded a last place in the semis, a nil points in the grand final and, of course, an iconic victory.
With a record like that, it’s clear that the country has had plenty of highs. But which of its entries did best and which did worst? Wonder no more as we’ve compiled a definitive ranking of Austria’s Eurovision entries in the 2010s.
For the purposes of this ranking, we’re going off the percentage of maximum possible points which each entry received at Eurovision.
For example, a finalist in 2019 could only receive a maximum of 960 points i.e. 24 points from each of the other 40 countries voting. If an act finished with 200 points, they would have received 20.83% of the points available to them.
This is not to be confused with the percentage of all votes cast.
Austria at Eurovision in the 2010s
9. Trackshittaz “Woki mit deim Popo” (2012)
Result: 18th in semi-final with 8 points — 3.33% of maximum possible points
Austria’s 2012 selection saw ten acts whittled down to a superfinal of two. In one corner was the hotly favoured drag queen Conchita Wurst, and in the other was the comedy rapping duo Trackshittaz. The latter won out scoring 51% of the televote to Conchita’s 49%. Alas, this uniquely Austrian brand of humour didn’t wash with Europe. “Woki Mit Deim Popo” (Wiggle Your Butt) finished last in an 18-song semi-final.
8. PAENDA “Limits” (2019)
Result: 17th in semi-final with 21 points — 4.38% of maximum possible points
Heading into Tel Aviv, Austria was enjoying its longest streak of success in the modern contest — five consecutive grand final appearances. However, “Limits” proved that there was a limit to its good fortune. The delicate ballad sung by the internally selected blue-haird PAENDA became lost in the melee, placing 17th of 18 in the second semi. A last-place and some blushes were avoided thanks to an apparent scoring mistake from a Swedish juror.
7. Natália Kelly “Shine” (2013)
Result: 14th in semi-final with 27 points — 12.5% of maximum possible points
After 2012’s disastrous outcome, Austria trimmed down its national final to just five songs. Natália Kelly comfortably emerged victorious, with “Shine” topping both the public and jury votes. Things did not go so well in Malmö. Lacklustre staging, an outfit better suited for drinks with the girls and the opening slot in the running order saw Austria come third from bottom in a 16-song semi.
6. The Makemakes “I Am Yours” (2015)
Result: 26th in the grand final with 0 points — 0.00% of maximum possible points
Following an almost 50 year wait, Eurovision returned to Austria in 2015. To mark the occasion, the country went big and held a four-week-long national selection. This threw up The Makemakes with “I Am Yours”. Unfortunately, these efforts didn’t reap rewards on the song contest scoreboard. Despite staging that included a burning piano, the rockers failed to register any points. But they didn’t finish last. Germany also scored nul points and the tiebreaker rules favoured the entry performed earliest in the running order.
5. Nathan Trent “Running On Air” (2017)
Result: 16th in the grand final with 93 points — 9.45% of maximum possible points
Despite a relatively successful national final one year prior, Austria went internal for Kyiv. The broadcaster opted for Nathan Trent and “Running On Air”. The cheeky chappy won over many fans and became a surprise qualifier. He seemed set for a strong showing in the final, sitting just outside the top ten after the jury vote. And then came the crushing blow. The public didn’t award Austria any points. To add insult to injury, split results released after the contest showed that the semi-final qualification was almost solely down to jury support.
4. Nadine Beiler “The Secret Is Love” (2011)
Result: 18th in the grand final with 64 points — 12.70% of maximum possible points
Annoyed by a series of bad results in the 2000s, Austria went on a Eurovision hiatus in 2008. However, when its neighbour Germany took home the glass trophy in 2010, the country saw the light and returned in time for Düsseldorf. Nadine Beiler won a ten-song selection that also included Trackshittaz. “The Secret Is Love” was enough to take Austria to its first grand final since 2004. The juries were particularly enamoured with the entry, placing it fifth overall.
3. Zoë “Loin d’ici” (2016)
Result: 13th in the grand final with 151 points — 15.35% of maximum possible points
In a break from the norm for Austria, Zoë and “Loin d’ici” were considerably more popular with the public than the juries. This trend started in the national final, the country’s last to date, and continued through both the semi and grand final in Stockholm. In fact, the televote placed Zoë second in semi-final one and eight in the Saturday night show. “Loin d’ici” is also notable for being Austria’s first and only entirely French-language entry. And since France peppered its 2016 effort with some English lyrics, it was also the only song to be sung completely in French that year.
2. Cesár Sampson “Nobody But You” (2018)
Result: 3rd in the grand final with 342 points — 33.93% of maximum possible points
He provided backing vocals to two successive top five Bulgarian entries, but for 2018 Cesár Sampson offered his services to his native Austria. Yet another internal selection, “Nobody But You” easily qualified for the semi-final and surprised almost everyone by topping the jury vote in the grand final. However, as was so often the case for Austria this decade, the public saw differently and ranked him much lower. In the end, he had to make do with a very respectable bronze finish.
1. Conchita Wurst “Rise Like A Phoenix” (2014)
Result: 1st in the grand final with 290 points — 67.13% of maximum possible points
She missed out on the 2012 ticket by the slimmest of margins and her internal selection was met with objections both at home and abroad. But Conchita Wurst and her message of unity proved unstoppable. “Rise Like A Phoenix” won over the public and jury alike, giving Austria its first win since 1966. The character of Conchita has since been retired, with creator Tom Neuwirth now preferring to perform under the male-identifying moniker of WURST.
Do you agree with the list? What are your rankings? What is your favourite Austrian entry of the 2010s? Let us know in the comments.