18 March 2014

Eurovision 2014: Austria: Rise Like A Phoenix

Conchita Wurst
Conchita Wurst
We've known the controversial choice by the Austrian broadcaster ORF to send Conchita Wurst to the Eurovision stage in Copenhagen since last Autumn. However, today the song that this colourful character will sing has been revealed.

It's called Rise Like A Phoenix and is said to be a commentary on Tom Neuwirth's path to his drag persona, Conchita.

It's yet another ballad to feature in this ballad-laden year, but probably among the best of them. Very melodramatic, with the essence of a Bond movie theme, it's however very difficult to take the whole production seriously when one is watching a bearded "woman" perform it.

There has already been disagreement about Austria's choice of representative and now with the announcement of this song to a wider audience, it will only polarize the argument further. Russia's and Belarus' respective broadcasters have hitherto received petitions to edit Wurst out of the broadcast, but that action would contravene EBU rules.

Looking at the wider reaction, my belief is that the average Eurovision viewer is unlikely to vote this through, however good the song may be. It may qualify from its semi-final as, in general, the semis tend to have more "serious" Eurovision fans among its audience. Should it make the final, I think the song will find it tough to attract votes. Alternatively, it could "do" a Dana International and walk away with the whole thing.

Here's the video. What do you think?


Image (adapted) by Manfred Werner (Tsui) [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

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