I followed tonight's Austrian national final with great interest - exciting to see how ORF would handle their big comeback after four years of absence.
I had also heard the songs in advance and knew Austria had one of the stronger bunches to choose from.
Even happier was I when my two personal favourites reached the superfinal together with some token ballad who was only there to even out the numbers. Or so I thought.
When the Austrian televoters had their say, the token ballad had defeated both of my fun, original and notable favourites.
Nadine Beiler - The Secret Is Love (Austria 2011)
Nadine is not a bad choice as such. The girl can sing and she possesses a certain stage presence that could come in handy when facing the european competition.
But the song is so ultra conservative, so un-original, so unremarkable. Not badly written, surely way better than many other token ballads we have heard through the years. But a bland ballad is always a bland ballad.
Given how Austria could have stood out, this was a real disappointment and a missed opportunity. Which, come to think of it, is Austria by the number when it comes to Eurovision.
So, welcome back, I guess.