You’ve heard the leaked refrain Poe, Poe, Poe, Poe, Poe, Poe, Poe on Twitter. And now it’s time to hear the rest of Teya & Salena’s “Who the Hell is Edgar?” — Austria’s Eurovision 2023 song.
ORF’s program director, Stefanie Groiss-Horowitz, who was part of the selection committee, previously described the song as a “happy dialogue between two friends which doesn’t fit in any musical box but still is enjoyable and catchy.”
I can vouch for Stefanie’s comments: I also ranked the songs as part of the selection process. The song is unlike anything we’ve heard from Austria at Eurovision before. It’s playful, quirky, comedic and shouldn’t work. But, owing to their chemistry and charisma, Teya & Salena turn what could be a joke into something musical and memorable. It drives forward and forces you to smile. I moved from WTF to OMG to YAS in pretty quick succession. It’s a mind-f*ck I’m happy to live again and again.
“Who the Hell is Edgar?” Austria’s Teya & Salena reveal Eurovision 2023 song
Well, since you asked: Edgar Allen Poe was a Boston-born writer and poet, and an early pioneer of the short story. His material was often dark and centred around themes of the supernatural. In “The Raven,” a mysterious talking bird visits a distraught lover. And in “The Fall of the House of Usher” we meet a bizarre and isolated family where little is as it appears.
The song satirises the music industry, where songwriters get just 0.003 cents per stream and where women often struggle to gain the respect of their peers. As they sing: “Zero dot zero zero three,
give me two years, and your dinner will be free, gas station champagne is on me.”
We don’t know how much Teya and Salena love American fiction. But we do know they have been trying to get to Eurovision individually for a while.
Selena, who hails from Styria, first bid to represent Austria in 2018 with “Behind the Waterfall.” She lost out to Cesár Sampson, who represented the nation in Lisbon. Teya, who lives in Vienna, tried to represent Austria and later Serbia in 2020. Her song “Sudnji Dan” came 10th at Beovizija 2020.
Back in January, Teya expressed her excitement at her selection. She said: “Already as a child, I wanted to go to the Eurovision Song Contest because it embodied the idea that even big dreams can come true, no matter who you are and where you come from. I can hardly wait to get on that stage! Only then the seven-year-old me will believe that all this is real.”
Salena said: “My biggest childhood dream is just becoming true. Back then I watched Conchita on stage and told my parents that this is exactly what I want – an enormous stage and people who feel the same way about music as I do. From there on, I worked even harder on myself and my singing. For me, the ESC stands for diversity and is a place for people with visions and dreams like the ones us two have. The moment we both stand on the stage, sing the first lines and realise that an audience of millions is watching is probably the moment I am most looking forward to – it’s when the dream becomes reality.”
What do you think of their song? Can this qualify from the semi-final? Could it even win? Let us know down below!
I have been listening to this on repeat. So catchy, love the lyrics. Teya and Salena are so charismatic! <3
Girls, call Universal, yall are about to be stars! This definitely has that X factor that a lot of songs here are searching for. Hype for the hype queens, forever may they reign.
I liked it on the first listen but wtf I’m already getting addicted to it! 😀
It’s a song about being possessed by the ghost of Edgar Allen Poe, and it’s a total banger, what is going on? Who could have seen this coming, Teya and Salena are a blast and if this doesn’t reach the final I will descend into a total strop. There’s a ghost in my body, and what a totally unexpected treat.
This is fantastic – I’ve been listening to it on loop since yesterday. If the live performance lives up to expectations, I think it’s safe to say this could be this year’s Konstrakta… but why stop there? Is there really a song out there that’s better? (I don’t think ‘Tattoo’ is)
I like it
I’m obsessed and… can’t believe I’m saying this but this might actually be.. my overall favorite so far?? What the hell??
The Austrian public broadcaster right now is thinking.. this wasn’t supposed to happen! People weren’t supposed to like it, what the hell? I think the beancounters at ORF are waking up feeling a bit nervous this morning. Haha, I love this song. All sorts of bonkers.
I only got to hear this song two or three times this morning, but it has been distracting me in my head all day. The best reference point I can come up with for it isn’t a pop singer at all, but viral comedian turned musical-sitcom star Rachel Bloom– intelligent and trenchant and silly and profane all at once. I’m not sure if she has a following outside of America–her show got infamously terrible ratings– but y’all might dig the musical aspect of “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,” it’s brought me a lot of joy. And it seems like this song will, too–… Read more »
Exactly! This is very Rachel Bloom-ish. Curious to see how it will work on a stage.
I am a HUGE fan of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. Such a multilayered and funny show, with some of the best continuity and character progression ever put to television. Thanks for reminding me of that. Yeah, now that you tell, I can totally see the resemblence, which makes me love this entry even more. It’s certainly my favorite Austrian entry since 2018.
Huge respect to Rachel Bloom – the artist I immediately thought of was Marina & the Diamonds? Either way, a sign of how good this is!
This one manages to be the ghost of a satirical comment about mass culture and the streaming era living in the body of a catchy pop song with top-notch production. One of a kind, for sure! I’ve read some people saying they’re trolling Eurovision, but I don’t think it’s the case, I think they’re trolling the whole system, which makes it not a lazy entry, but a very creative one. Now let’s see if they can also manage to make work on a stage which for now is a great sketch and an addictive track. Not an easy task, but… Read more »
Fresh and uplifting – and silly as hell! Love it!
Ngl, I was really sceptical going into this. Like, I was expecting disaster, trash. And… It’s good. Like, really good. Top 10 even xd That leak was the best thing that could’ve happened to this entry, because this was great surprise.
Maryland’s slow takeover of ESC continues…
2022 had a contestant with a partner from Maryland.
And of course Ash Haynes of The Mamas is from Washington DC, which is on Maryland land.
In 2036, Eurovision will be exclusively Marylanders and Ihor Didenchuk
It’s already on youtube trends here in Spain. Didn’t expect it since nobody really knew about Teya or Salena before this song
I really hope they will know to deliver it live. There’s potential.
I love this too much. The fact that they wrote a song criticizing the music industry with good lyrics and a sick beat? Amazing. The fact that it features Edgar Allan Poe Poe Poe Poe Poe Poe Poe Poe Poe Poe Poe? Winner.
Very nice! There’s a lot going on here and I think it mostly works really well. I like that the song opens up space for certain intellectual ideas and a cultural critique (beyond the music industry) while also being a catchy pop song. The music is a little generic and simple at times but at least that makes it accessible. That aside, I like the absurd ghostly refrain and the risk the song takes with the silly chorus. I hope they lean into the absurd humour of it all and emphasise the concept behind the song and the video for… Read more »
I hope commentators do their job, and explain this to the audience, or at least make some effort to understand it themselves and not just uninformedly call it a joke entry.
Yes. If the song could acheive that, it would be quite something.
Preferably with a suggested reading list that includes Adorno and Horkheimer’s essay, ‘The Culture Industry: Enlightenment as Mass Deception’ (1944) and Barthes’ Mythologies.
They will be in the swag bag, I would assume.
I just read a good critical artycle about the song. You lifted the song, but I guess to get that the people understand that would be difficult because of the lyrics and this kind of sound its not taking seriously. I like what you have written.
I don’t understand the hype.
It’s the new Eurovision trending : praise mediocrity.
I like the song, I just don’t unerstand the hype. It is nothing new, avant-garde or revolutionary.
I think they are here to have fun, not to compete…
OF: UK’s entry comes out tomorrow morning
I simply LOVE this
Is there a reason Edgar ALLAN Poe is misspelled throughout the article?
Yes. An easily made innocent mistake.
Or a slightly Freudian demonstration of the song’s meaning.
FIRST PLACE, WINNER OF ESC 2023,
Teyas and slayena will bring us back to Austria as they should next year.
Hopefully they can elevate this song live.
Edgar Allen poe is is 5th in the global top tracks and it’s also my new winner.
This needs to win or else there’ll be a ghost in my bodyyyyyyy.
Anyway Crystal ball died and he said that mae muller is UK representative, I hope its wrong because then it means UK is back to its flop era….
Crystal Ball likes to troll, a lot. Apparently Mae Muller has gigs planned elsewhere when Eurovision happens so that’s kinda unlikely.
The greatest troll Crystal Ball ever pulled was cutting “Who the Hell Is Edgar?” to make it sound like the worst song in the world.
Fun fact: Teya competed 2020 in Beovizija with Sudnji dan. Good Luck on the bug stage, girl 🙂
ok just saw now that its stated already in the article. you have all the right to bash me 🙂
Happy International Women’s Day!
Happy International Women’s Day!
Jonas do you like it???
I’ve only listened once, so haven’t fully absorbed it… but yes!
Happy IWD! Close the gender pay gap now, not in 300 years!
I am in shock! This year is WILD as a results not having juries in Semis.
The lyrics are so gimmicky, I just can’t.
This is very refreshing and very good. Was worth the wait. If that translates well live this can be a contender. Well done!
This song so perfectly encapsulates my life right now in some ways, which is a bit of a depressing realisation, but it also speaks to how “on the money” this song’s concept is. Bravo Teya & Salena, I was not expecting that. Unique for Eurovision, surely.
This is so gooooood! Love it.
I think Greece will probably withdraw from the competition this year, as a result of the lawsuit.
What lawsuit ?
Greece is staying in ESC. However broadcaster might have difficulties after May as a results of lawsuit … We will see.
Ofc Azerbaijan and UK will reveal this week their entries. Same with Portugal and Sweden.
No they won´t 🙂
Source for your information?
The Sun are reporting about the UK entry
What are your sources?
“crystalball” on twitter.. he is leaking most of the song this year.. he is never wrong!
OK so the crystal ball said Mae’s I Wrote A Song will likely be the UK’s entry. IDK where they got the other things.
Also the Crystal Ball’s gone so.
HAHA he just don’t want to lose his job, but he will return in the future..
He is amazing! I think he work on the EBU and that’s why he know everything!
Yea we kinda figured they work for the EBU somewhere. Where did you get the info about Armenia & Azerbaijan tho? And Greece withrawing? I highly doubt that.
Today Ukraine will release the revamped “Heart of steel”.
I actually expected it to get revamped. Interested to hear it.
Oh it’s out.
If the UK was to send this the fandom would come for their heads. I actually can’t tell where their vocals start or end and what will be canned backing tracks. It feels so messy to me. And, yes, the amount of, call it “kitsch” call it “original” call it “zany” songs this year makes me think a more serious song will stand out. Because home viewers can’t vote for all the “zany” options and no jury will score all of these songs with top scores. I’m also shocked that all these songs are being justified as having some kinda… Read more »
Yes I’m ready to sing poems on Leto Svet melody, just with autotune background track and I should be a favorite.
This is also the fault of most of the other 2nd SF countries who are just sending painful mediocrity, they are forcing people to support an entry like Austria’s that at least some personality and creativity behind it.
…that at least has*
The edit feature is sorely missed.
Yes, people would have gone for the British heads if they had sent this. Because, as we all know, Austria is a Eurovision powerhouse who qualifies each year, and is regularly finishing in top 10 or nearby. The sellar qualifications of Halo, Amen, and You attest to that. Joke aside, this is Austria, not Sweden, Azerbaijan, Norway or Ukraine. They have 3 NQs in a row, were robbed by the juries in 2016, robbed by televoters in 2017, and even their biggest recent success in 2018 came as a surprise. Prior to live, people were questioning whether he’ll qualify. Let… Read more »
Well if nothing else works go for the crazy factor! I kid you not, this is the most interesting Austria has been since like forever. Fun, catchy and quirky!
There are too many “different” songs and sounds this year, that most of them might cancel each other, for many people there who aren’t esc super fans but watch and vote, there won’t be that situation when they listen 30+ ordinary songs and then they hear 1 super different and they are like “wow, lemme vote for this”. This time, they will listen to too many strange sounds and watch too many weird performances, so they might opt to vote for ordinary song. Just saying, from a logic perspective
I totally agree that a more palatable song could stand out from the crowd and lots of votes from the jury and public. The countries who could do this personally for me are Italy, Estonia or Sweden if Loreen is picked. Personally I would love a song that is bit different however a very good song to win hence why Slovenia is my favourite song at the moment!
Or if Israel send a typical ethno female bop, they might dtand out not for being that amazing but for being the only of its kind this year. 2021 gave us that kind of female bops (San Marino, Serbia, Moldova, Cyprus, Azerbaijan) and all of them canceled each other. Also, “different” songs of that year (Iceland and Lithuania) did score top 10, but canceled each other winning chances. So in order to win it all, one has to have super different or whatever kind of a song, while everyone else can’t follow if that “different”one aims for the win. Loreen… Read more »
Spain Sweep i guess, for me EAEA is one of the most stand out song from this year, maybe some other ballads will do well too
Being from the UK I can actually vote for this song in semi final 2 and I can definitely confirm that I will be voting for this song a number of times! Right now it’s definitely my 2nd favourite song of Eurovision with Slovenia being number 1. I definitely think this will qualify and I think there is a strong chance this will finish top 8 in the Eurovision final. This for me looks like it has the whole package with a seriously great hook, amazing lyrics and it absolutely unforgettable. As long as the vocals are on point and… Read more »
Oh I really love this. Its like a big “wtf” for my ears, but I am here for it. Austria has sent a song that has televote appeal. It won’t win the contest, but I think it will make the GF even with bad staging. Great entry.
LOVE IT !
Song and dance have Gangnam Style vibe. Love it.
This is insanely catchy and the music video is incredibly fun. I really look forward to how this is staged live, and hope Austria qualifies again!
Woooow it’s daring, fun, well-produced and well-carried ! Didn’t expect anything from Austria except those weird POEs I saw overwhelming Twitter since january ^^ What a nice surprise!
This has potential on stage (though maybe too mich ahah, they do need to make sure they’re keeping it tasty, there’s a thin line between being over the top and overdoing things, so far they’re great). Good luck Austria!
Semi 2 potential winner btw eheh
To those saying this song IS phenomenal because of its message and critique, could you please explain me (in a coherent way if poss.) Why Poe? What does Poe has to do with the “message” of this song?(Beyond, maybe, the fact that It is a one syllable name that fits the Melody).
Poe is an example of a popular author whose works are distorted, plagiarized, or used for profit from people who have no interest in his ideas to begin with, and just want to make money. This could be applied to many other authors, but they’ve decided to have Poe be the symbol of that.
It is ironic that the very song in question, which addresses this topic, exhibits a generic quality and bears resemblance to past musical compositions, thus lacking in originality.
That does not make sense. It is too “general” to be a valid explanation.
Most songs tend to have a ”general” meaning for as many people to be able to relate. I can’t help you further.
You can’t help Jonkofui… Anything you’ll say to them will “not make sense”.
The kind of Gothic stories that Poe tells seem very appropriate for a song about being possessed by an author’s ghost.
This is also extremely relevant:
“He is the first well-known American writer to earn a living through writing alone, resulting in a financially difficult life and career.”
Edgar Allan Poe – Wikipedia
Oh my god, this song might actually be brilliant.
This song has so many layers and meanings within it! Amazing!
The song IS about being possessed?
Well, at least it’s got some substance to it, unlike the absolute bad joke that was Subwoolfer for example.
I don’t really mind it, actually. That 2nd SF is such weak sauce that I’ve honestly got to rank Austria at least top 3 of the semi at this point, almost by default.
True, Subwoolfer had no deep meaning. But to their credit – and quite unusual for Eurovision, they never claimed to be anything a fun three 3 minutes. That’s why it worked.
This year we are deluged by nonsense pretending to be DEEP.
Edgar made me rank Austria as my #1 and I don’t even know why.
Holy Padre, there’s a ghost in your body! It’s my #3 atm
I was kinda concerned about this, but now I unironically believe this is a contender to potentially win Semi 2 with a strong performance
Very excited to see the staging for this, an amazing entry from Austria
I was saying same with Halo last year 🙁
Halo was an insane banger, but the live performance wasn’t enough for most people
I did hope they would qualify but it is what it is
Hopefully this year will be better for Austria
Woki mit deim poe poe !!!
Haha I love it ! Sure qualifiers if the live voices are good (: nice thing After 3 NQ
Woki mit deim Poe Poe. Nice!
I would rate cautiously studio cuts and rather wait for live, remembering what happened to Halo.
Personally, I always rate studio cuts separately from live performances so I can have both the images and then make a more accurate conclusive comparison. It’s also more fun this way.
I watched Salena several times singing live in metro-stations in Vienna. She delivers, very good singer. Had always thought, she’ d B perfekt for ESC.
I like this entry a lot more than I thought I would’ve (based on the snippet we heard earlier in the season). I don’t think this is a joke entry. I think this could definitely qualify for the final. Interested to see the staging.
whether they intent to troll or not it’s actually good that Austria sending something funny again. the last time I remember is way back 2003 😛
They’ve sent a funny song in 2012 too, but it was too tacky and missed the mark.
That wasn’t funny it was gross.
I wouldn’t count this as a troll act. Croatia this year, THAT’s a troll act
Croatia’s entry is objectively not a troll act. It would be sensible for Westerners whose countries haven’t had to suffer through decades of communism to refrain from calling it a troll act, I think.
The republics never truly acheived communism; they got lost on authoritarian state capitalism. Whatever, now everyone can suffer through capitalism together.
Okay this will qualify and end up in the top 12 in the final.
Dutch Crystal ball here? :d