19 February 2016

Eurovision 2016: Review: Austria: Zoë: Loin d'ici

Zoë / Austria / Eurovision 2016
Zoë to fly the flag for Austria
The evening of February 12th saw the staging of Austria's national final of the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest. In the end, the Austrian public decided that Zoë Straub and her snappy little tune called Loin d'ici would travel to Stockholm in May.

The selection was something of a surprise, particularly following the jury vote which placed Loin d'ici in fourth place. However, bolstered by the public televote, the song progressed to a superfinal alongside Elly V's I'll Be Around (Bounce) - the favourite with the jury - and the rest is history.

Listening to the song is like taking a trip back to the mid-1980s when Vanessa Paradis was topping the French charts and climbing the UK's equivalent with the ultra catchy Joe Le Taxi.

Its appeal is exactly the same: its simplicity, a melody that you can recall quite easily and a singer who is easy on the eye. Of course, it has the added curiosity of becoming the first Austrian entry to be performed entirely in the French language. Francophones will rejoice and, no doubt, will help swell the number of votes for Austria.

In many respects, its skill is in the way that it is unassuming yet becomes ingrained in your psyche. Remember Kedvesem from ByeAlex, Hungary's entry in 2013? That song had the same kind of uncomplicated appeal in its composition but was written off by many within the Eurovision bubble. The same appears to be happening with Loin d'ici - yet it is a perfect example of what can be achieved to draw in votes, as well as fill three very pleasant minutes of Eurovision.

ByeAlex proved that their song was memorable enough with the wider public to scale the heights of the scoreboard. There's no reason why Zoë shouldn't repeat that feat.

Not a winner - no zero points this year either - but a very respectable placing could be in the offing for Austria.

What do you think?

Image by Ailura (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 at], via Wikimedia Commons


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