NB. This version was published in December 2016 and has been replaced by an updated Top 5 from Austria.
Heading back to central Europe, since we’ve done Hungary, let’s do their former imperial partners – Austria. Recent winners of Eurovision, Austria has a long history in the contest – 2017 will be their 50th appearance.
I will confess the search for a top 5 was a bit of a struggle, even with so many songs to choose from! Austria are twice winners (a long time apart in 1966 and 2014) but overall their record in the contest is not an illustrious one. Since 1989, they’ve only reached the top 5 once with their 2014 winner. Will we see that winner in this top 5? I think you know the answer to that…
5. Nadine Beiler “The Secret is Love” (2011, 18th place, 64 points)
A classy entry from Austria that probably deserved to do better. It’s notable that Nadine began this song a cappella, no mean feat given the occasion and her youth.
4. Trackschittaz “Woki mit deim Popo” (2012, last place in semi-final, 8 points)
Very much a guilty pleasure this one! It came rock bottom in its semi-final which makes it the lowest performing of any of my Top 5 choices so far but I still enjoy it! It’s fun and not meant to be taken seriously.
3. Zoë “Loin d’ici” (2016, 13th place, 151 points)
A firm Eurofan favourite for Eurovision 2016 (she got very emotional with the reception she got at the London Eurovision Preview Party), the fan love carried her all the way through to a decent placing in the grand final.
2. Udo Jürgens “Merci, Chérie” (1966, winner, 31 points)
Austria’s first winner, Udo sadly passed away in December 2014, just a few months before Austria hosted Eurovision once again after their win earlier on that year. He was third time lucky at Eurovision, having come in 6th place and 4th place in the two previous contests. A classy and smooth winner, I’m sorry for the video, but it was very hard to find any footage of him performing the song at Eurovision 1966 that wasn’t copyright blocked in the UK by YouTube.
1. Conchita Wurst “Rise Like a Phoenix” (2014, winner, 290 points)
What else could it be for my top song from Austria? Conchita’s win was one of those great defining moments of the contest, and its impact felt far beyond Eurovision. I’ll always remember seeing Conchita at the Royal Vauxhall Tavern a few weeks before the contest – at that point we were just hoping she would qualify for the final, but voters all across Europe (including in countries who don’t have a reputation for LGBT tolerance) voted for her and history was made.
No surprises with my winner but are there any missing gems from the Austrian back catalogue? Let me know your thoughts below!