September 18, 2019

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Internal, or external, it has become somewhat custom to plan well ahead of time, in order to fine tune both the act and the entry that will represent a country at the Eurovision Song Contest. In just a matter of 3 weeks, entries from the Former Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia and Malta will be officially revealed in a mixture of public and jury voting. In the meantime, Montenegro and Belgium have gone ahead selecting their participants, Knez and Loic Notter, with their respective entries set to be revealed at a later date.

Knez, a singer/songwriter who requires no introduction to the balkan region was "not so surprised by the invitation to represent Montenegro at the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest" and this is because he cites himself as a true "Eurovision Fan". He will be hoping to follow in the footsteps of Sergej Cetkovic whose entry "Moj Svijet" saw the nation move into the final for the first time. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9c7UPBiNa44

Loic Nottet, a relative newcomer to the music scene, having garnered considerable fame following his appearance on The Voice of Belgium, where he finished as the first runner-up. This is not the first time that the broadcaster has made a choice through this talent show, having previously selected Roberto Bellarosa. His entry "Love Kills" had finished in 12th place in the final, a successful result.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1QL5CL0ygLc

Whilst it is somewhat unknown how the song choices will be made, it is expected that Knez will write his own song, and present it to the public in a similar fashion that Sergej did earlier this year, whilst Loic will be discussing with his record label and presumably presenting a couple of songs which the public will decide upon. We urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com even through Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news.

Source: eurovision.tv

Earlier this afternoon, the European Broadcasting Union made public their selection for both host city and venue of the 2015 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest. Conchita Wurst and her entry "Rise Like a Phoenix" written by Mason, Patulka, Zuckowski and Maas gave Austria a second victory at the esteemed international victory, noting that it was eagerly awaited considering that the other one took place almost 50 years ago. Vienna, capital of Austria, has been selected as the host city of the 60th edition of the Eurovision Song Contest, following a bidding process which lasted several months and saw three cities battle it out towards the end.

ORF, the host broadcaster and the EBU, organising committee also confirmed that the venue will be the Wiener Stadhalle with an overall capacity of approximately 16,000 people. Set to take place on the 19th, 21st and 23rd May 2015, the Vienna was seen as the right choice as it is "the city of music and arts in the heart of Europe", according to Alexander Wrabetz, Director General at ORF who went onto add that "together we will do everything to assure a successful 60th Eurovision Song Contest". We urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com even through Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news.

Source: eurovision.tv

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QRUIava4WRM

Friday, 25 April 2014 15:30

ESC 2014: An In-Depth Review of Austria

It has become customary for the escflashmalta.com editorial board to engage professional individuals from the music industry to assess the songs competing in the Eurovision Song Contest as presented to the European Broadcasting Union during the Heads of Delegation Meeting. Greig Watts, Joseph Zammit, Sharon Vaughn and John Scott from the United Kingdom, Malta, Sweden and the United States have been entrusted with the second semi-final, comprising of sixteen songs and set to take place on the 8th May 2014 at the B&W Hallerne in Copenhagen, Denmark. Making use of the running order and moving onto number #6, we catch up with Austria (ORF) who will be represented by Conchita Wurst with the song Rise Like a Phoenix co-written by Charly Mason, Joey Patulka, Ali Zuckowski and Julian Maas.

Conchita Wurst was born as Tom Neuwirth on November 6th, 1988 in Gmunden/Austria. The young artist had always dreamed of a career in showbiz. It all really started in 2006 when he took part in the talent show Starmania. In 2007, he joined the boy band "jetzt anders!", which however only survived for less than one year. He first performed as his alter ego Conchita Wurst, the famous long-haired full-bearded lady, in the talent show "Die große Chance" in 2011. 

Since then, he certainly has not gone unnoticed in Austria. More recently, Conchita Wurst participated in the ORF production "The hardest jobs of Austria", where she worked in a fish factory, and in "Wild Girls", where a group of candidates had to survive in the deserts of Namibia/Africa together with native tribes. "For me the most special and honoring thing is that Austria shows tolerance and acceptance and I’m so happy to be this statement. I’m allowed to be the voice of their beliefs during this time and this really makes me very proud."

"We, and not at least myself, want to stand for a society without hate and discrimination. And if I’m honest, I think everyone of the contestants should stand for the same, cause we are joining a very opend minded project, so they should be open minded too." This is just a part of the exclusive interview organised by eurovision.tv which could be seen on the biography page.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ni5n097kTs

Austria has only won the Eurovision Song Contest one occasion, that being back in 1966 when Udo Jurgens who had already represented the country twice took the podium with Merci Cherie. Since the introduction of the semi-final system, Austria has not been as successful though noting that following a couple of years off, they returned in 2012 to mixed success going into the final with Nadine Beiler and then finishing dead last with the Trackshittaz.

Professional Critics Voice their Opinion

Rating: 70%

Greig Watts: This one has already got a lot of press for obvious reasons, I am going to try and judge the song without interference from that, and actually I like the way it feels a bit Culture club/Boy George (funny that) to start with, and then it goes all James Bond in the chorus and 2nd verse. Almost has a Shirley Bassey meets Adele vibe, and actually im really liking the song and almost wishing it didn’t have all the hype around it as it could be a potential winner and the vocalist actually performs it really well, would be nice to just judge the song, but from my own experience in the competition its not just about the song these days

Joseph Zammit: Well this is certainly an interesting one. Here we have the mandatory gay/drag act that has become a staple on the Eurovision stage. This time however, it comes with a twist! The male singer in full drag, also has a full beard! Originality points all round!! Not much to say about this one because the music has nothing to it. Watch any James bond movie and you would have heard this song. It can easily be the new Bond theme for the upcoming Bond movie, 'James Bond – Not a Close Shave!' Also, on a personal note, can there for once be a drag act song which is not about self revelation and fighting oppression? All in all, a relatively predictable and unoriginal song.

Sharon Vaughn: Her voice is divine, and the song is compellingly appropriate for the artist and her journey. However, it does feel a bit Vegas and over the top.

John Scott: The I found the song to be quite effective with interesting retro elements. It sounds like a great theme for a James Bond movie. The song is a great match to his voice.

Source: eurovision.tv

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ToqNa0rqUtY

Published in Editorials

Conchita Wurst, the Austrian representative at this years' edition of the Eurovision Song Contest with the song Rise Like a Phoenix co-written by Charly Mason, Joey Patulka, Ali Zuckowski and Julian Maas was officially performed LIVE for the very first time during the local version of Dancing with the Stars, a reality programme known to have a distinctively high viewership. ORF, the public broadcaster know that the internal selection of Conchita will ultimately raise cause for concern amongst the more conservative countries competing in the international event but kudos to them for taking a stance, and working the proper tricks of promotion.

Whilst not one of the favourites to triumph come May, Austria are set to qualify according to bookmakers who are putting them in eighth place, just behind Malta whose entry Coming Home, written by Richard Edwards Micallef and performed by Firelight is currently in fifth place. Conchita clearly gave a performance to be reckoned with, noting that the Bond-sounding anthem has been given a great visual presentation with lights, dry ice and some glitter towards the end. It is all about the key-change in the long run and Austria might be getting their best result in years should people vote according to the song. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all the latest news.

Source: ORF

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bHFC8jIECvs

It was just weeks after the Eurovision Song Contest that the public broadcaster responsible for the participation of Austria at the international event announced Conchita Wurst as the next representative opting to forego the national selection process, following the disappointment at the hands of Natalia Kelly and her song Shine. There is no such thing as bad press, but it is worth noting that the artist, a man with a beard in drag has received a lot of negative criticism in both Russia and Belarus, with boycott being a severe possibility.

In a press conference held in Vienna earlier today, it was revealed that the song that Conchita will be performing in the second semi-final of the Eurovision Song Contest bears the name Rise Like a Phoenix and has an inspirational message, one which is empowering to both men and woman. It is co-written by Charly Mason, Joey Patulka, Ali Zuckowski and Julian Maas and is being promoted through an official music video which you may watch below. We urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all the latest news about the 2014 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest set to take place at the B&W Hallerne in Copenhagen, Denmark on the 6th, 8th and 10th May 2014.

Source: ORF

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ToqNa0rqUtY

ORF, the Austrian national broadcaster responsible for the country's participation at the Eurovision Song Contest announced Conchita Wurst as their next representative earlier this year. She was the third internally chosen female vocalist, following in the footsteps of FYR Macedonia and San Marino who will be represented by Tijana Dapcevic and Valentina Monetta respectively. Conhita was leaked as the next artist to represent the western nation earlier than planned by the broadcaster confirmed the news relatively quickly. Without a shadow of doubt, they will be more careful when it comes to revealing the song.

It was thought that a song selection would be taking place in the hope of keeping in line with the tradition of letting the public have a say but nevertheless, the management of Conchita Wurst and the broadcaster have come to an understand that they should pick the track together. Ultimately, Conchita who has garnered fame in Austria through the Got Talent franchise wants to feel comfortable and with experience of performing in front of major crowds, the experience should be invigorating and enlightening. In 2012, she narrowly missed the chance to represent the nation as her entry That's What I Am finished in second place with 49% of the final vote. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all the latest news.

Source: ORF

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Me7o80gRXiw

Thursday, 04 April 2013 01:00

Austria: Reviewing the track 'Shine'

All of the preview videos for the competing entries in this years' Eurovision Song Contest were formally presented to the European Broadcasting Union during the Heads of Delegation last month and therefore, formal introduction of each entry will start taking place on our portal. All of the information is obtained from the official website of the international spectacle and indeed, pertaining to the running order as decided by the producers, Austria will be opening up the feature from the first semi-final where sixteen countries will compete. ORF, the broadcaster responsible for the participation of Austria in the Eurovision Song Contest will be represented by the song Shine co-written by Andreas Grass, Nikola Paryla, Alexander Kahr and Natália Kelly, who also offers vocals.

Despite her young age of only 18 years, Natália Kelly, can already look back at more than ten years of professional experience as a singer and pianist. Shine might be Natália Kelly‘s debut single, but it would nonetheless be hard to describe her as a newcomer: The 18-year-old from Lower Austria, who has US American and Brazilian roots, has been adding to her stage experience for the past ten years, thanks to a wide range of performances, and by participating in numerous music competitions. Quite a few juries have been impressed by Natália Kelly’s abilities as both pianist and singer. This early success is not solely due to her unique voice: her artless and self-confident flair have also given Natália Kelly’s music an individuality that juggles playfully with contrasting elements from pop and R'n'B.

Produced by Austrian hit factory songwriter Alexander Kahr, Shine will be Natália Kelly’s musical business card, bringing together her national experiences with international elements, and thus reaching out to her promising future. She will be releasing her debut album right in time for the Eurovision Song Contest. Talking about her participation in the 2013 Eurovision Song Contest, Natália says: 'It is an honour and a great pleasure to be able to represent Austria. An international competition like the Eurovision Song Contest is an amazing opportunity for an artist to gather important musical experience and to develop further on a personal level.' As a matter of fact, it is worth noting that Natalia Kelly was selected to represent Austria following a national final procedure which saw another four act compete. Shine was selected by a mixture of public and international jury voting.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y2O0lziuq8A

As mentioned before, Natália Kelly had to go through a national selection in order to achieve the role of representing her own country in the Eurovision Song Contest and heading into the competition, she was not perceived as the public favourite. ORF, the broadcaster responsible for the organisation of this selection had in mind the result of the year before when selecting the possible entries and indeed setup a professional commission who went to look for performers and suitable songwriters. Indeed, the line-up was mixed and the show was organised in a very high standard. Ultimately, following a mixture of public and jury vote, Natália Kelly was decided as the winner with a twenty point advantage in the final tally. Her closest competition was Feels Like Home by Yela.

1957 is the year in which Austria first started to take part in the Eurovision Song Contest and despite finishing in last place on three occasions prior to achieving their best ever finish, that being in 1966 with the song Merci Cherie sung by Udo Jürgens. As a matter of fact, Udo had already represented his country on two other previous occasions and his results just got better each time. Nevertheless, Austria would never finish within the top three ever again and since the millennium, their best result was achieved back in 2003 with the track Weil der Mensch Zählt performed by Alf Poier. Following a break between 2008 and 2011, the nation returned with Nadine Beiler and her entry The Secret is Love making it to the final, finishing in eighteenth place before facing another disappointing result last year. 

Professional Critics Voice their Opinion

Rating: 50%

Magnus Kaxe: Random song and production that need a strong vocal performance to come through. Natalia Kelly's voice is unfortunately a little bit weak (I can even hear some false notes here and there). Instead of shining, Austria, stays in the shadows tonight.  

Lina Eriksson: Natalia is sweet but I'm missing some edge to this chorus. It's a bit boring to be frank. The risk is people will forget about this song cause it doesn't really shine and leaves one yearning for more.

Matt Mercieca (Muxu): I like the tone of her voice, and the vibe throughout the whole song is very current, I wish the chorus had that extra kick, I think the sudden key change at the end isn't needed , a couple of big ad-libs over normal chorus would have been cooler. I like the song personally, but don't think it will make a huge impact on the festival.

Source: eurovision.tv

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1RPLzJ5hqYc

Published in Editorials

One of the countries that has somewhat been phased out of the Eurovision Song Contest for quite some time due to what they stated to being a number of political issues returned in good form last year and will be hoping to maintain that as they take part in the 2012 edition of the competition which is being staged in the city of Baku, Azerbaijan. In fact, the sixteenth position in the running order has been handed out to Austria who left this showcase following a disappointing result back in 2007 with Eric Papilaya and his song Get a Life, Get Alive. This time round, they are being representing by a group who actually finished in the runner-up position last year commonly known as Trackshittaz and the track that they are putting forward is actually in a dialect bearing the name Woki Mit Deim Popo written by Lukas Plöchl and Manuel Hoffelner.

Trackshittaz consists of Lukas Plöchl alias “G-Neila” and Manuel Hoffelner alias “Manix”. Born in the upper Austrian Mühlviertel district, both band members are flagship examples of their unique genre - “tractor gangster party rap”. The duo first became known for their YouTube hit Alloa bam Fraunz, based on the house track Alors On Danse and Lukas Plöchl’s participation in the ORF casting show Helden von Morgen.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lq0VzhWkZkE

After their debut Oidaah pumpn muas’s (platinum status), which appeared early in 2011, and their following hit Prolettn feian längaah (gold status), both of which reached no. 1 in the albums chart, their run of success continued in February 2012 with their third album Zruck zu de Ruabm (gold status). Trackshittaz goes back to its roots here, the raps centering on party and village life. They are supported on their travels by their producer Sam Vahdat, who emphasises the authenticity of the duo and sparkles with his wild sounds and heavy beats.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QE_1opqE1F4

After coming second at the national final of the “Eurovision Song Contest” in 2011, Trackshittaz succeeded this year in the competition for the Austrian ticket to Baku. In May, they will face the next challenge - the First Semi-Final of the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest. Hopefully, they’ll get not only Austria but all of Europe dancing with their boisterously youthful impetuosity and their song Woki Mit Deim Popo.

The Critics Voice Their Opinion

Jan Van Dijck

  • Don’t believe that Europe is waiting for a rap song made in Austria, although the song has got something. Reminds me of the German entry back in 2000 by Stefan  and entitled Wahhe Hadde Dudde Da. This one could be a black horse….and therefore finds the half way stage with me with five (5) points.
Knut-Oyvind Hagen
  • Oh, no no. Last year you sent a beautiful singer with a lovely voice, and now this mess without any 
  • qualities at all? Shame on you, Austria. If justice is done, you will battle with Macedonia and San 
  • Marino for the last place in this semi final. I fear it might entertain a few, but for me it ain't amusing 
  • it all, just very underwhelming. One (1) point is more than enough in this case.
Pitchtunes
  • This is a rap performance on top of a dance-influenced production. The rap itself is not outstanding, it hasn’t got the right feeling or vibe. Even though it's a parodic performance it has some elements of a hook and that is why, we agreed to give this track a total of three (3) points.

Entry Background

Performers: Compact Disco

Composers: Lukas Plöchl

Authors: Lukas Plöchl and Manuel Hoffelner

Song: Woki Mit Deim Popo

Language: Austrian

Broadcaster: ORF

History of the Nation

Austria has been competing in the Eurovision Song Contest since the second edition was held way back in 1957 and their history has been slightly negative noting that they have finished in last place on seven occasions, the last of which came way back in 1991 when Thomas Forstner took to the stage for the second time in his music career with the song Venedig im Regen only to be completely ridiculed by achieved the dreaded nil points. The fact of the matter is that years earlier, in 1989, he managed to finish in fifth place with the track Nur ein Lied. Nevertheless, they have managed to rack up a victory back in 1966 with Udo Jurgen and his song Merci Cherie and their last top ten result comes in 2003 with madman Alf Poier finishing in sixth place with his performance of Weil der Mensch zählt. It will be interesting on how the Trackshittaz will be received in Europe!

Source: Eurovision.tv for the Biographical Information and all respective media

Published in Editorials