Austria is one of those nations at Eurovision where you never really know what you’re going to get. In the last decade, we’ve seen the nation fail to qualify, win the contest, then come last as the host nation with zero points, and return back into the top 10, only to follow that with a non-qualification. This year, Vincent Bueno was set to represent the nation with the song Alive, but where would it have sat on the results table?
Anita (Eurovision Union)
Song and Vocals
After Vincent Bueno was selected, we had to wait a little while before the song was released. I didn’t know what to expect from Vincent, but I didn’t expect this. Alive is an infectious upbeat entry that would have been perfect to open the semi-final. It starts off a bit more subdued and soulful, then breaks into the pop beat which is definitely catchy. In a way, it has a similar feel as ‘What’s The Pressure’ which Europe loved just for its energy.
Yes, it’s not the most original song, but I think there’s always room for a song like this at Eurovision. It’s a feel good song, and if the vocals and performance were strong, then I don’t see why this wouldn’t make it to the final. For me, it’s the type of song that I would enjoy in the context of Eurovision, but I wouldn’t necessarily listen to it outside of the contest.
Performance and Act
Forgive the pun, but I think this song would have come alive in the stage performance. I’d imagine it would have been choreography heavy, a good lighting plan and lots of movement. I think it would have really boosted the crowd’s energy, especially if it was an opening number, and that energy usually comes through well on television screens.
Next Up: 2021
It’s great that we’re seeing Vincent return in 2021, as I think there’s a lot of potential with him. With a strong songwriting team, we could see something special from Austria next year, perhaps something that maintains that level of soulfulness but in a more contemporary way. They are capable of creating good stage shows, so I’m curious to see how they approach the contest next year.
This seemed to be middle ground with fans, and although it may not have been a convincing qualifier, I still think this had the potential to make it to the final. It’s a nice, non-offensive entry that will energise audiences and viewers at home. The song was catchy, but not outstanding, however a strong visual performance could have been the deciding factor for Austria.
Song and Vocals
Vincent makes a confident impression at the start of his song ‘Alive’ in the studio version of the song. For me it lacks some originality, but cliché songs also have a market at Eurovision. I assume the song would have involved Vincent joining in some kind of dance routine. If that was true, it would have been interesting to hear what the effect on his vocals would be.
Performance and Act
We don’t know what Austria had in mind to stage the song ‘Alive’. It needed a boost in the live performance to make it memorable enough for a qualification. The end of the song creates the possibility to interact with an audience. Which usually isn’t a great idea at Eurovision, because connecting with the venue for a lot of artists means they forget to interact with the camera.
Next up: 2021
Vincent Bueno is another artist that was chosen internally and already got offered their chance to represent their nation after all. I am curious to find out what they will come up with next. ‘Alive’ was not predicted to have a good result in Rotterdam, so I would not be surprised if the Austrian delegation learns from that and comes up with a song in a different genre. It is hard for me to judge if Vincent is able to do more than just the genre he is most familiar with.
The Austrian entry for 2020 was not convincing enough for me. I have doubts with the singer and his capabilities in a televised live performance. And the song also lacked something that makes it interesting enough to keep the audience hooked for the full three minutes. The last part is of course something that can be improved in 2021, whether Vincent Bueno will also develop himself in the right way will be known when the rehearsals start next year.
Additional Scores from Eurovision Union and ESCDaily editors:
Average Score: 5.75/10
What do you think of Alive? Follow our Eurovision 2020 reviews here.