It’s the time of year when the Post-Eurovision depression is in full swing, but there’s no better cure than to reminisce! Together with ESCDaily Editor, Dennis Van Eersel, we will be discussing each of this year’s competing nations – from their results to how we think they could improve in the future!
Predictions, Personal Scores and Results
Results: 12th place, Semi-Final
Did Austria live up to expectations?
A: If you had asked me before the contest whether Austria would qualify, the answer would have been a firm no. Interestingly though, when rehearsals began, I started to see more potential. It was a sweet spot for Austria, with other nations lacking in their performances, opening the door for Austria to possibly come through. The stage show was stunning. It was simple, but stunning, and Vincent’s vocals were some of the best of the night. There was just one thing lacking, and that was the song. It was one of those songs that begs the question ‘who will vote for this, and whoever does, will it be enough to qualify?’. There was jury potential for sure, but overall it wasn’t enough for Austria to appear in the final this year.
D: In 2020 I thought Vincent Bueno would not have a chance at all, but when the song ‘Amen’ was released I predicted him to be a borderline qualifier. Despite some good vocals, the overall act was too bland to stand out from the pack and it ended up just outside the top-10, not making it to the final. They ended up in the regions where they don’t want to be, but were expected to end up.
How do you personally feel about the song for Austria at Eurovision 2021?
D: I’m a ballad fan and I must say I like the tiny gospel influences in ‘Amen’. Also visually, the opening of the song was strong. However, there is not a lot going on in the composition and when this also doesn’t happen in the act, it kind of bleeds out after the first 1.30 minutes of the song. I think there was more potential to this than came out of it, but it is still a giant leap coming from the cliché uptempo song ‘Alive’ for 2020.
A: I’m not a ballad fan, and it takes a super strong ballad to impress me. Usually the ballads that win me over the most are ethnic ballads, of which this certainly wasn’t. With that said, I agree with everything Dennis has said. The composition was kind of bland, and hugely repetitive. Even with strong vocals, it wasn’t enough to impress. This is the type of song I won’t actively listen to now that the contest is over.
Could Austria have done anything different?
A: The stage performance was great, visually and vocally. They made the most out of the performance in that sense, but the biggest issue was always the song. The song wasn’t strong enough to rely solely on jury votes to qualify, nor was it ever going to be a strong televote favourite.
D: After opening with strong and good camerawork in the opening of the song, I wish Austria could have kept that level throughout the full three minutes. It’s like they did most of their work in making the opening impressions, and then letting it go a bit with a lot of wide shots. I think there was room for improvement there.
What can Austria do to ensure success in future years?
D: Whilst Vincent Bueno was certainly not a bad vocalist, he wasn’t standing out as well. The biggest recent successes of Austria, with César and Conchita, came from gifted singers. If they combine that again, with a bit stronger compositions than we had in 2020 and 2021, I’m sure Austria will be in the final of Eurovision before we know it.
A: Austria is still very much hit or miss at the contest. I think even with the ‘gifted singers’ as you put it, it still is so dependent on the songs. César had a great song as well as an incredible voice, and Vincent was missing that piece of the puzzle. With the focus on the song again, Austria will certainly find themselves in the final again.
Which was better, the live-on-tape performance or the actual performance?
A: There was always a clear direction for this, and they delivered it from the back-up-tape all the way to Rotterdam. As much as they are pretty much identical, there was only really one difference which was just the grandness of the performance. It just felt a bit more atmospheric in Rotterdam. But if that performance didn’t help them to reach the final, I’m not sure the back-up-tape could have achieved it either.
D: I can see that overall the plan for Austria was finalized, the back-up tape was a mini-performance of what we saw in Rotterdam. In Ahoy the lighting and camera shots were just somewhat better. Vocally both performances were fine, perhaps even a little better in the back-up tape, showing Vincent is a capable singer. The issues I have written about above are there in both performances, so I guess the result would have been the same either way.