A Swede who lives in Finland and who is lost in Euroland - the wonderful world of Eurovision
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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Semi 2: 06 Austria

This edition of the Eurovision Song Contest marks the 25th anniversary since Austria last made it to top five. A celebration could be in place and what could be more suitable than a return to form?

Conchita Wurst - Rise Like A Phoenix (Austria 2014)

Many things have been said about the Austrian participant, a great deal of which has been a bunch of sad drivel. The mere thought of a drag queen sporting a beard seems too much to deal with for many people also in the more tolerant areas of Europe. Surprising and sad.

But even the people who can't stand the combination of a beard and a dress must hear the amount of talent going on here. This is such a classy, dramatic ballad in an exquisite arrangement, paired with an impressive set of vocal chords. Standing out of the crowd is a clear advantage in the ESC and this is an entry most viewers will notice.

If you can't pay attention to the song just because of the image of the performer, then you really have a problem. Deal with it. Conchita Wurst is a silly stage name, you say? So was Dana International.

Qualifier: Yes. Conchita will storm into the final where she has the possibility of doing really well. The first top five placing in twenty-five years is not unthinkable. Neither is a victory.

My grade: 5/5


  1. I agree that this is one of the best ballads of the year, so far it hasn't risen to my top, but that may happen when I have time to listen to the songs more thoroughly.

    What will probably be unfortunate is that the media and I'm sure many of the Terry Wogan type commentators will take the fun and controversy out of Conchita Wurst's image and ignore the song. I hope, however, that people will realise that the song too is worth attention.

    1. I think all that will work in Austria's favour. The more prejudice that is poured over this entry, the more annoyed people will get. Which could make people more willing to voting for it than they normally would have been.

  2. It is overrated due to the controversial singer, but it is an average James Bond theme song screaming the "dramatic '90s" all over it. Sorry, trying to be politically correct you failed to sense the predictability of this entry and several flaws of the performance. Anyway, Ukraine's Verka did well and so will this, but not based on talent. In my opinion Albania and Slovenia are far better than this one. Hogla

    1. I omitted a great deal of things I could have written here. For instance how low regard I had for Conchita's entry in 2012 and my doubts concerning the reason ORF selected her in the first place, how pleased I was when the song in question greatly surpassed my expectations.

      If there is one thing I'm not, then it's being politically correct. This is my favourite song of the year, regardless of who performs it. I've seen a live performance of it and can't detect a single flaw in the way it is sung. But maybe you could point them out for me?

      And there is no point in discussing differences in taste either. If you think Albania is a great song and this isn't, then we're not likely to agree anyway. And we don't have to.