In this series, we look at songs from different countries, and songs from the national finals to discuss what would have happened if another song had actually won. We can all think of a time where a song coming 2nd or 3rd, or even last would have done better than the actual winner, and here is your chance to discuss with us.
Today we’re looking at the Austrian national for 2016, titled ‘Wer singt für Österreich’ which featured 10 acts competing to earn their place at Eurovision. We’re going to look back on some of the national finalists, and also the winner to decide whether Austria made the best choice in the national final, or whether the other acts could have given Austria a higher position at Eurovision.
Zoë – The Actual Winner (At Eurovision, 13th place with 151 points)
The national final result was decided by a mix of jury and public vote, and featured two rounds of voting – the overall final, then for the super final. The song was the first Austrian entry to be sung entirely in French, and upon her win, gained a strong fan base. The song was cutesy and sweet, and the nice stage performance at Eurovision gained her 13th place, a respectable spot considering the standard set in 2016.
Elly V – 2nd Place
Elly performed the song I’ll Be Around (Bounce), which earned her the runner up position in the national final. The song was modern and fresh, and featured a catchy beat. The staging was up to date with the current Eurovision trends, using the backing screens to full advantage.
Bella Wagner – 3rd place
Bella Wagner was announced as the 3rd place getter with the song Weapons Down. It’s quite a different entry to both Loin d’ici and I’ll Be Around. It’s like an Aminata sound with a different voice, and the song has quite a melancholy vibe about it. The stage performance is simple but slightly strange, which sometimes can be a good thing, and sometimes not.
With Zoë coming a respectable 13th place in the final, would either of these songs do better at Eurovision? I think in a way, with Austria sending a cutesy song such as Loin d’ici, they were avoiding risk. An entry such as Bella’s is polarising, and it’s probably unlikely that a song such as that would have reached the same heights as Loin d’ici, as it’s more of a feel good song rather than Weapons Down, which doesn’t have as wide of an appeal.
Something like I’ll Be Around is a song which is somewhere in between Bella and Zoë in the sense that it is pop enough to gain a broader audience of potential voters, but also not just a simple, uncreative entry. I think I’ll Be Around could have potentially done really well at Eurovision, potentially to the same level as Loin d’ici. What really puts me off in this song is the key change which sounds like it ended in the wrong key. If that had been bigger, and higher, it would have been an absolute knockout song which I would have said with no doubt that it would have definitely challenged Loin d’ici.
Out of who could have received the best results for Austria, I would have to say that out of these particular three, Zoë and Elly V are definitely on par with one another. Zoë did end up in 13th place which is a lot better than last place with 0 points the year before, so 13th place doesn’t look so bad.
What do you think about these three entries? Which song do you think would have done the best at Eurovision 2016?