Austria has made an internal selection, like last year. This method turned out very successfully as César Sampson could make the 3rd place in Lisbon with the song “Nobody But You”. This year the choice felt to PAENDA. This is an extraordinary and authentic artist which is showing the modern sound of Austrian music, that’s why an expert jury wanted her to represent Austria in the Eurovision Song Contest in Tel Aviv.
The original name of PAENDA is Gabriela Horn, who is born in Deutschlandsberg, close to Graz in 1988. This young and talented girl has been in touch with music since her early childhood, learned to play the guitar and the piano, also joined a choir.
Later on, Gabriela moved to Vienna and studied jazz and pop at the Vienna Music Institute. In 2015 she participated in the casting show Popstars. Nowadays she is teaching singing and has her own music studio. Her singles “Waves” , “Good Girl” and “Paper-thin” reflect her unique music style avoiding any pretentiousness or clichés. PAENDA’s aim is to build bridges between the music styles.
Her song “Limits” is another master piece, very unique which cannot be put into one music direction. Her striking blue hair underlines her maladjustment. The song is about to believe in yourself. Maybe this song does not convince by first hearing but it’s growing every time you listen to it. This Austrian entry will definitely shine in Tel Aviv, no matter which rank it makes.
Finals: 47 (7 since 2004)
Top 10: 24
Chances for Top 10: 46%
Chances for Final: 64%
For Austria it’s the 52st time in the Eurovision Song Contest. Thanks to Conchita Wurst, Austria could be the winning country for a second time. Vienna was a wonderful host city in 2015. The Vienna ESC 2015 was truly magical and showed the city and the country in the best possible light.
In the very beginning in 1957, the Austrian debut song “Wohin, Kleines Pony” by Bob Martin made the last place in Frankfurt. This should not be taken as bad omen, as there were quite a lot of successes over the years. 46 times the Grand Final could be reached and at least Austria could get a Top10 position for 22 times.
The biggest moments for Austria were of course Udo Jürgens’ entry “Merci Chérie” in 1966. To our all regrets Udo Jürgens passed away in 2015. He started a very successful career, not only in Austria and Germany, even beyond. He composed more than 1000 songs and released 50 albums and sold more than 105 million albums. Luckily he was able to witness the second Austrian victory “Rise Like A Phoenix” by Conchita Wurst in Copenhagen 2015. This was a truly revival of the “Sleeping Beauty Austria”. Firstly criticised in its own country, later celebrated as hero - Conchita has shown what tolerance and freedom really means to the entire world. Conchita also become a kind of icon for the gay and lesbian community and stands for equal rights. After her victory she travelled around the world, has been invited to TV shows in Australia and performed in the UN headquarters in Vienna.
Austria has mainly participated on a regular basis, but in recent years they even paused due to unsuccessful entries in the early 2000’s. But the Austrians came back with more enthusiasm and new energy. Nadine Beiler sang “The secret is love”, she has qualified for the grand final in Düsseldorf and made the 18th rank with a stunning performance, the host country Germany awarded this with 12 points! The old twist between Germany and Austria regarding the voting has smoothened. Last year Cesár Sampson surprised everyone with a great song and a wonderful performance, he came third in the Grand Final and delighted the juries and televoters.
Publisher, Editor, Journalist
About me: My first Eurovision Song Contest I watched behind the walls of the former GDR in 1987. This was even possible at that time! Since then I am following the ESC every year on TV. In 2004 I had the chance to watch it live in Istanbul. Due to the fact that Jens and Bernd have collected many interviews, photos, etc. the idea came up to show all this contest to the public. We founded the website eurovisionlive.com and we have been one of the first to offer the medium internet for the Eurovision Song Contest.