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!