Now that the National Finals season is finished and all songs for Eurovision 2016 have been selected we now have a period of around 5-6 weeks where we wait for the rehearsals to begin in Stockholm. What better way to fill the time than to look back over the 60 years of Eurovision at some of the best and worst entries that countries have sent to the Eurovision stage. There are 43 countries going to Stockholm to take part in the 2016 edition of our favourite musical extravaganza and we continue our journey with Austria who have won the contest twice in 48 appearances. You can check out the previous articles in the best and worst series for Ireland HERE and Spain HERE.
So this year Austria are represented by Zoë with the song ‘Loin d’ici‘ We will have to wait and see if it turns out to be more of a best or worst song for Austria but the overall reaction is fairly positive so far. You can look back at our announcement of the Austrian winner HERE.
So my selections for best and worst entries are based on a combination of actual results and personal taste. Austria have 2 winners and five top 5 finishes in 48 participations as well as coming last no less than eight times (although one of those times was in a semi final). So lots to choose from for Austria.
First off I am going to choose what is most likely the best Austrian entry ever. I speak none other than Conchita Wurst who brought the entry ‘Rise Like A Pheonix’ to the Eurovision stage in Copenhagen.
Conchita brought her big Bond Themed sounding power ballad to the stage and certainly divided opinion based more upon the stage look rather than the song itself. But she proved to be unstoppable not only qualifying to the Final in 1st place but going on to lift the trophy for Austria’s second victory with 290 points.
Moving along to finding one of the worst entries for Austria we are spoilt for choice since they have come last quite a few times. I head back to Rome in 1991 when Thomas Forstner represented his country for a second time with the song ‘Venedig im Regen’.
Now he sings a rather dull ballad about a chance sighting of a beautiful woman on a rainy day in Venice. Well exactly! Dull. Also his rather fetching violet outfit set off his lovely stylish mullet hairdo perfectly, lovely ears mind. Poor Thomas after coming 5th the first time he proceeded to come last with absolutely nul points.
My next entry that is one of Austria’s best was performed in Harrogate in 1983. None other than the duo going by the name of Mess with the song ‘Sonntag’.
Now this was a bouncy little number which really caught my attention. It had a catchy chorus and a great little dance routine not to mention the colourful outfits. The song is in praise of lying around on a Sunday, which is described as being one of the best things to do and I agree with that wholeheartedly. It came in 9th position amassing 57 points.
Back to another of the entries from Austria that really got on my nerves. It surfaced in Kiev in 2005 and it was Global Kryner with the song ‘Y asi’
The one thing I did like about this song was the trombone player but that was not a good enough excuse to vote for this alpine ditty. It was performed in English and Spanish and had something of the folk traditions of Austrian alps with lots of yodelling and brass. It had to perform in the Semi Final and failed to qualify for the Final coming 21st in a field of 25 with 30 points.
So moving on and my final song from Austria that I think is one of the best. Now this could prove to be controversial as it is another of those marmite song. But I loved it. It was 2003 and we were in Riga to see Alf Poier performing ‘Weil der Mensch zählt’.
Now this has all the hallmarks of a song that should be one of the worst. But I felt it was so bad it became brilliant. It was meant to be a bit of a send up of the competition and was performed in Alf’s local Styrian dialect of German. The song switches tempo from a simple folk melody during the verse to a singalong chorus before featuring loud guitar chords. As well as this it featured cardboard cut outs of animals playing instruments. What’s not to like? Anyway it ended up in 6th place with a remarkable 101 points.
So I have reached my last song for Austria and it has to be yet another baddie. Who am I going to choose? Dilemma? I am going for a song that many thought would do well but I felt was a car crash waiting to happen. It was 2007 and we were in Helsinki and the performer was Eric Papilaya with the song ‘Get a Life-Get Alive’
Now this song had the double honour of also being the official song for Vienna’s Life Ball as well as for Eurovision. It failed to do very much at Eurovision at all coming only 27th in the Semi Final with 4 points. Austria were miffed with this and proceeded to boycott the Contest for 3 years due to what they said was unfair voting systems. They came back in 2011 once the mixed Jury and Televote system was introduced.
So there we have it folks, my little delve into Austrian Eurovision history and some of the best and worst moments over the years. Do you agree with all or even any of my choices? Feel free to comment below.
This series will continue with another look at songs over the years for each and every country competing in Eurovision 2016 so keep coming back for more reflections of the best and worst that Eurovision has had to offer us.
Author: Andrew Main
Source: Eurovision Ireland