After nearly a decade of unremarkable and misfire performances and a few years without entering at all, Austria has decided to try again in 2011 – no doubt they feel newly inspired after Germany’s win last year. Tonight in their selection show Dusseldorf, Wir Kommen! (Dusseldorf, here we come!) Austrians made a statement that they are taking this year’s contest seriously.
Voters selected to send Tyrolean native (holla!) Nadine Beiler with “The Secret is Love.” Beiler starts the ballad without musical accompaniment, but she builds it, adds gospel backup singers, and belts out the last choruses out with gusto.
The song may border on old fashioned, but I think Austrians have made the smart choice. “The Secret is Love” is the first honest-to-goodness traditional female ballad to emerge so far in 2011, and there are plenty of people who will vote for a big ballad if it’s well sung. Austria will have achieved a victory simply if it makes it out of the semis. Beiler is talented, and this song will greatly appeal to the ballad voters.
As an aside, the 1st runner up was a highly entertaining, surprisingly funny performance from Trackshittaz, a Bloodhound Gang/DJ Oetzi “gangsta” (their word, not mine) hip hop duo. They had some good moments on the luge tractors and sampling via accordion.
The 2nd runner up was Klimmstein feat. Joe Sumner. From our pigeon German, we gather that Joe Sumner is Sting’s son making an attempt at a music career in Austria because they would “eat him alive” in Britain. If he isn’t Sting’s son, he should be. Their entry “Paris, Paris” was confusing and overthought, but all is forgiven in the last 15 seconds with Joe doing his best Sting impression and wailing “Jacuuuuuzzi! Jacuuuuuzzi!”