My first Eurovision review of 2016! I feel like there should be a drumroll or something.
There aren’t a lot of official videos available yet, so I’m starting at the top of the alphabetical list with Austria. Ten contestants competed in the Wer singt für Österreich? – Who sings for Austria? competition. The winner was decided by a combination of professional jurors and televoters.
And the winner is ZOË! She will fly the Austrian flag in Stockholm with her song, Loin d’ici. Yes, that is French, not German, and it means, “Far From Here.” In fact, the entire song is in French. Whaaat? Check it out.
Okay, so it’s a nice song sung by a pretty girl. The video is actually more interesting than the song because it is wack-a-doodle! ZOË is rarin’ and ready to go for Eurovision with those screen effects and her walking in synch to the screen. Well done, in a wack-a-doo way. The effect was completely lost when the camera panned out to the audience, who for some reason kept looking to the left. Maybe they spotted themselves on another screen.
I thing my disconnect is that those effects would be great for a psychedelic, EDM kind of number, instead of an uplifting power pop ballad. Sure wish this was an EDM song. I’d like it better.
I also want to add that last year, and the year before that, and the year before that, etc., I bitched and moaned about non-English speaking countries presenting English language songs. I really want a more diverse Eurovision. So, it comes as a delightful surprise to have a German-speaking woman sing in French. It seems that ZOË is a fan of Édith Piaf, so there we have the French connection.
I don’t always like a song on the first or second listen, so Loin d’ici could grow on me. ZOË should channel her love of Piaf into a more powerful and soulful performance. Although this song gets no points from me at this point, I wish ZOË and Austria all the best.
Eurovision 2016 will be held 10, 12 and 14 May in Stockholm, Sweden. You can watch the entire contest live on eurovision.tv.