After returning to the contest in 2011 and getting not-so-decent scores for three years (as in: one 18th place and two DNQ’s), Austrian broadcaster ORF chose an internal selection and won. Now that Austria’s going directly to the final as a host, they decided to hold a national final again.
I didn’t watch the national final “Wer Singt für Österreich”, but it looks like the same story as Sweden 2013, when the public selected Robin Stjernberg after Loreen’s 372-point victory. Nothing in the national final seemed half as awesome as the previous winner. I would have picked a more “risky” entry, “Absolutio” by Johann Sebastian Bass (reminiscent of Finland’s Opera Skaala), but the televoters and jury went for the MakeMakes and their song “I am Yours.”
This is the kind of song that my dentist would play in his office while waiting to stick a tiny pneumatic drill in my tooth. It’s to calm people down in case the anaesthetic doesn’t work 100%. Otherwise, the song would feel just right in a small coffee shop/pub stage.If the MakeMakes are intending to give that feeling with a stripped-down, music-only based performance, they’re succeeding. However, I don’t know if the song is able to fill a 15,000-person arena. They might be able to pull it off with smaller camera shots and if their relaxed feelings can pass through TV screens. At the same time, since it is so calm, the only thing keeping my attention on the screen is that their piano is on fire. Unlike Ralf Gyllenhammer’s controlled flames in Melodifestivalen a few years ago, the MakeMakes’ piano gradually catches fire to the point that the lead singer would have to stop, drop, and roll if he kept playing.