NB This version was published in October 2018 and has been replaced by an updated Top 5 from Austria.
One of my earliest top 5s that I did back in December 2016, I’ve had two further entries to consider. Recent winners of Eurovision, Austria has a long history in the contest having notched up 51 appearances.
Austria are twice winners (a long time apart in 1966 and 2014) but overall their record in the contest had not been an illustrious one. Between 1989 and 2018, they had only reached the top 5 once with their 2014 winner. However, they scored their third best result in 2018, and with three successive grand final qualifications, perhaps Austria have finally found the key to consistently performing well?
5. Trackschittaz “Woki mit deim Popo” (2012, last place in semi-final, 8 points)
Still 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 I believe but I still enjoy it! It’s fun and not meant to be taken seriously.
4. 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.
3. 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.
2. Cesár Sampson “Nobody But You” (2018, 3rd place, 342 points)
Entering into the top 5 with this update is the gorgeous Cesár Sampson. His uplifting gospel-influenced “Nobody But You” was my favourite pre-contest song and I was delighted that the humble former social worker Cesár surprised everyone (including himself) by not only making the grand final, but winning the jury vote. Well deserved I say and his third place finish was Austria’s best result outside of their two victories.
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? And am I right to place the 2018 entry so high? Let me know your thoughts below!