Servus and hello everyone! Today is the first day of the semi-finals of the Eurovision Song Contest - and I'm publishing the first of three posts about the ESC. I'll be writing about my home countries' participants from the past, the present - and... well, I can't write about future candidates. Today's topic is.... * drumroll * Austria!
5 facts about Austria's participation in Eurovision
There's a lot to say about Austria's participation in Eurovision - so I decided to pick just five interesting facts. If you'd like to learn how we managed to come in second to last although we received zero points, keep reading ;-)
1) Austria "managed" to get 0 points 4 times...
1962 - "Nur in der Wiener Luft" ("Only in the Viennese Air") by Eleonore Schwarz wasn't received too well and did not get any points.
1988 - Wilfried wasn't particularly successful with his song "Lisa Mona Lisa".
1991 - "Venedig im Regen" by Thomas Forstner was not popular with Europe's voters. Autriche, nul points.
2015 - "I'm Yours" by The Makemakes was (for reasons I don't understand, as it's definitely one of my all-time Eurovision favourites) not successful at all.
2) ... but we only won twice.
1966 - Merci, Udo! The late Udo Jürgens won the Eurovision Song Contest in his third attempt in a row with his song Merci, Chèrie. Thank you for the music, Udo!
2014 - Conchita Wurst rose like a phoenix and won with a powerful, James-Bond-like song. Her success was not only a success for amazing music, but also for the LGBTQ community. Thank you, Conchita!
- 1969: The ESC took place in Spain, where Francisco Franco was in power at the time.
- 1970: Four songs had tied for first place - sever countries chose to opt out. One of them was Austria.
- 1973-1975: Nobody knows why.
- 1998: Austria didn't have enough points from the previous years to compete.
- 2001: Again, Austria didn't have enough points.
- 2006: Austria didn't enter due to the... erm... mediocre results in previous years. (But there was an entry in 2007 and Austria came in second to last!)
- 2008: Austria was still upset because of the few votes it had received. But at least the finals were broadcast.
- 2009: Austria complained that the guidelines for the semifinals were not clear enough - but at least, again, the finals were broadcast.
- 2010: Apparently, Austria still wasn't too happy about the rules (or the few points?).
4) How Austria came in second to last with 0 points
In 2015, when The Makemakes received no points, Austria still didn't come in last: Germany also did not get a single point. Due to the rules of the ESC, the song that was performed earlier in the running order is favoured. (Have I mentioned that The Makemakes are in fact brilliant and would have deserved more points? ;-))
As of 2017, Austria has given most points - in the grand finals and in the semi finals! - to the UK. And they've returned the favour: Austria has also received most points from the UK. Thanks for your support, Britain! And thanks for your brilliant musicians - most of whom have never entered the Eurovision Song Contest.
What's your favourite Eurovision song? Who's gonna win this year's finals? Let me know in the comments below!