Vincent Bueno is another returnee from the cancelled 2020 contest. He was internally selected last year, and was confirmed as Austria’s 2021 artist. His song last year was a fairly uptempo soul-pop/funk number called “Alive” that was reminiscent of some of Justin Timberlake’s music. “Amen” is slower, more reflective and more serious song. As one can perhaps tell from its placing in this countdown, I prefer Vincent’s 2020 entry.
Like many Eurovision artists these days, Vincent originally came to public attention via a TV music contest show – in this case he was the winner of a show in 2008 called “Musical! Die Show”. He’s also a music and performing arts graduate of the Vienna Conservatory of Music. Vincent is of Filipino ancestry, and has spent some time building his career in The Philippines. I believe (and am happy to be corrected), he will be the first Eurovision main/lead artist of Filipino descent.
“Amen” (incidentally, one of two songs called Amen in this year’s contest) is definitely a song geared to juries – being slower tempo and including bigger, longer notes. One assumes that Vincent is a competent live performer based on his previous live show success, but it doesn’t appeal to me I have to say. I find the chorus far too repetitive – to the point of irritation and aside from that, it’s not a song that I find myself wanting to repeat listening to.
That said, I think it could well be the case that Vincent may have a better chance of qualifying this year than last, even if it’s with a less appealing song. It may pick up some support from juries and it is in the (arguably) weaker semi-final. (I still would put the chances at less than 50% though).
Austria in the Eurovision Song Contest
First entered: 1957
Appearances (excluding 2020 and this year): 52
Best result: Winner 1966 and 2014
Last year’s result: 17th in semi-final (did not qualify)