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Austria: Conchita Wurst – Rise Like A Phoenix

    With just Russia left to present their 2014 entry, Austria became the penultimate nation to reveal their song for Copenhagen. Chonchita Wurst was internally selected back in September, but in Rise Like a Phoenix, he has given us a song worth waiting for. As as stand alone song, Rise Like a Phoenix is highly competent with oodles of character and classy musical accents. If Azerbaijan were to enter this Bond-influenced song, they would have a damn good chance of winning! The problem is that Austria have given the song to a polarising singer. I salute Austria's liberal stance,…

Review Overview

Song Appeal
Vocal Strength
Staging Potential
Likely Televote Appeal
Likely Jury Appeal
Historical Support Strength

To Russia With Love

Austria should attract support from the UK and Ireland with additional support from the more liberalised western-leaning nations.

User Rating: 3.17 ( 39 votes)

 
 
With just Russia left to present their 2014 entry, Austria became the penultimate nation to reveal their song for Copenhagen.

Chonchita Wurst was internally selected back in September, but in Rise Like a Phoenix, he has given us a song worth waiting for.

As as stand alone song, Rise Like a Phoenix is highly competent with oodles of character and classy musical accents. If Azerbaijan were to enter this Bond-influenced song, they would have a damn good chance of winning!

The problem is that Austria have given the song to a polarising singer. I salute Austria’s liberal stance, but in making such a bold and brave choice, they’ve clearly reconciled the fact they won’t be winning this year. Moreover, in appointing such an attention grabbing artist, there is a danger that his appearance outlives the song in viewers’ memories.

Luckily for Austria, they were drawn into semi-final two, rather than the more conservative first semi-final. Austria should attract support from the UK and Ireland with additional support from the more liberalised western-leaning nations. Given that semi-final two has one less participant and isn’t as hotly contested as the first semi-final, the qualifying margin should be fairly low. It’s conceivable that a score in the late 40s might achieve qualification. Austria’s average is 27 points!

Last year, Natalia Kelly managed 27 points with an unexceptional song from first in the running order. A year before, Trackshitterz were awarded just 8 points from a much later slot. The question is: where does Conchita fit in that that range? Will Austria attract more points than last year, or will Conchita’s image overpower her song and score lower?

Where do you think Austria will finish?

  • Qualification History
  • Final Performance
  • Allies
Since the introduction of the new semi-final format, Austria have failed to qualify twice in five attempts. 20% qualification success.

Highest semi-final score (since 2004): 69 (2011: Nadine Beiler – The Secret Is Love)
Lowest semi-final score (since 2004): 4 (2007: Eric Papilaya – Get a Life – Get Alive)
Average semi-final finishing position: 17th
Average semi-final score: 27 points

Austria hasn’t finished in the top-10 since 2004.

Highest score (since 2004): 64 (2011: Nadine Beiler – The Secret Is Love)
Lowest score (since 2004): 4 (2004: Tie Break – Du bist)
Average final position: 19th
Average final score: 36 points

Average Points Received

Bulgaria – 3.8
Bosnia & Herzegovina – 3.2
Turkey – 2.7
Slovenia – 2.7
United Kingdom – 2.6
Greece – 2.5
Denmark  – 2.3

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20 comments

  1. Do you think people vote for this shockingly looking man? I mean the song is okay but think about the view on TV.

    • Conchita isn’t the norm, people accept that. Although, there have always been left field elements to Eurovision. However, people only seem to have a problem when it comes to someone’s appearance or sexuality. How his appearance affects his televote is debatable, but shouldn’t the contest be about the music?

  2. Vocal Strength 5? Uh…OK.

    Good song though.

    • i’m opposite – i think gav has the vocal strength just about right but i think the song strength has been overrated – it’s pretty sub-bondian. quite boring in fact, which only gives voters the novelty aspect of voting for a transvestite with a beard (and an admittedly great voice).

  3. While there are certainly people who will share Montell’s view and despise Conchita for appearance there are also people who will be especially motivated to pick up their phones because Conchita’s looks promote liberal values and emphasise socially constructed aspects of gender performativity.

    Conchita has more quality than the usual drag acts and the beard is simply a new twist to that concept.

    In short, it’s a very good and important entry.

  4. Meh, I’m a bit underwhelmed by this song. It feels average, very Shirley Bassey But to the audience who has never seen Conchita before, this will be of course a moment where everyone is gawking at their TV in disbelief, talking with their families and friends. The song may not even be properly heard in most households, it will simply be the impression of the bearded drag queen who sang that big Shirley Bassey-ish song. Nobody will remember the name of the song, possibly not even the country they’re voting for. Conchita could turn up and sing a power ballad about sausage rolls being stale on Mondays and she would still make the same impression.

    The juries may or may not pay more attention to the song itself and of course the vocals, which are good, but don’t blow me away by any means. I think Conchtia will qualify because it’ll be the act DR will want people to wait for, plus she is in the semi final with fewer ex-USSR countries. The final is another question. I don’t think the song is all that to be honest, if someone else was singing it I’d give it 20th in the final maybe? But, it’s difficult to say how relevant that is with Conchita performing.

    • You forgot one important thing: It was Europe -especially televoters- who gave us the first transsexual Eurovision winner. It was the talk of the town back in 1998 in Birmingham. Many people were also yawning in disbelief: “This is just here to shock us” or “Juries should punish this!”. Unfortunately, in that year 100% televoting was introduced in 18 of the 25 voting countries. And the end verdict was clear: Dana International won

      We are now 16 years further. Europe has changed a bit in the meanwhile as well. Gay marriage have been introduced in Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Luxembourg, Belgium, France, Spain, Portugal and Iceland. I think we have again a sure qualifier. And despite the reactions in here, I think TOP 10 could be in reach.

      Furthermore, Conchita is from a different planet if you compare her entry with Slovenia 2002 and Denmark 2007. This is genuine and heart-felt.

  5. Like Axel, Conchita is also one hell of a performer. Like Azel, people will say Conchita’s song is a tad bit boring. But like Axel, Conchita’s voice raises me up. It is heart-felt what she is singing about. A bit of RuPaul, David McAlmont and Dame Bassey. Call me gay -and I am gay- but I love it. Not only that. It’s daring what Conchita is showing us. All aspects of this Austrian entry result in an effective total package: the David Arnold-esque composition, Conchita’s voice, Conchita’s looks, the lyrics. Sure qualifier….and we will see what will happen there. Obviously Russia is witholding from voting for this one :-).

    • I wouldn’t be so sure about Russia withholding from voting for this one. Did anyone notice, by any chance, that the Russian jury gave 6 points to Yohio in the Melodifestivalen finals this year? 🙂

      • But that’s one bloke acting independent of the state. Both countries need to make the final before we can test the theory though.

        • Right. And it’s also worth noting that the Russian juries shunned Alcazar, who IMO came off as much gayer than the glam-rock YOHIO. I’m sure Russian ESC viewers skew a bit gayer than the average Russian but I don’t see how this can appeal to anyone even a little conservative.

          As for the song–CW is obviously very competent vocally but I’m not quite sure about the song itself. I liked it better the second time I heard it but I’m not won over yet. It’s certainly classy but it lacks the catchiness/memorability(??) of recent successful ballads (“HOLD ME/just UNFOLD ME”, “my GRAVITY!”, et cetera). Will the people who have no objections to Conchita ever like the song enough to pick up the phone? I predict we will need a HELL of a performance to make that happen.

  6. I would say that Conchitas song is a grower. I like it, but I don`t think it`s a top-10 song.

  7. With good staging I can really see this song reaching Top 10 in Grand-finals. I hope Austria suprises us!

  8. jeez there’s gonna be a lot of work for the gold leaf sweepers this year

  9. Wow. I am so happy that Austria won. VIENNA/SALZBURG 2015!!!!!!!!!! My step dad and I went to Paddy Power yesterday and he put a bet on Austria for me. and I won €40. That will come in handy when I go to Benalmadena in 7 weeks time. 🙂 I have asked my mum what I want for Christmas ALREADY and that was tickets to see the contest in Austria next year.

  10. So it’s a long hair and a beard from Austria again: http://songcontest.orf.at/videos/stories/2697835/ (given they make the right choice). What’s your thought about this one?

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