Live: Third heat in Austria’s Wer singt Für Österreich?

Austria’s selection Wer singt Für Österreich? continues in the third heat of the process this evening, where the Eurovision entries are presented. As hosting nation, after Conchita Wurst’s champion entry in 2014, the pressure on broadcaster ORF for a decision is high.

The preselection this year consists of 20 shortlisted entries, from which only 6 advanced from the first show. Last week those chosen 6 sang two popular songs in a showcase, and now tonight their Eurovision entries are presented for Vienna. The jury will decide upon one song for each to take to the final next week.

As usual, you can follow with us here and watch, here, beginning at 20:15 CET!

The 6 contestant and their 2 songs each are:

  • Johan Sebastian Bass – Monsters / Absolutio
  • Zoe – My Heart Still Beats / Quel Filou
  • Celina Ann – When I Fall / Utopia
  • Folkshilfe – Ned Au / Who You Are
  • The Makemakes – Big Bang / I Am Yours
  • Dawa – If You Return / Feel Alive

Follow our commentary below! Newest updates appear at the top.

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22:12 – And that concludes the night! Thanks for following with us, and we hope to see you next week for the finale when the next winner for Vienna will be chosen

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22:05 – Results

Which songs will they be moving on with? The jury decides:

Celina Ann will sing Utopia

The Makemakes will sing I Am Yours

For Johan Sebastian Bass they choose Absolutio

While Zoe will be singing the French Quel Filou

Dawa will sing Feel Alive

And Folkshilfe will take Who You Are to the finale

A great selection – all my personal favorites from the 6 contestants have qualified!

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21:59 – And that’s it for the second round of performances.

Now the jury will narrow down everyone’s selection to just 1 song to sing next week in the finale.

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21:52 – Folkshilfe – Who You Are

The fun group of guys are back to close the show with a feel-good song, a clever English chorus. Centered around a virtually untranslatable phrase “amoi so” – it’s an incredibly popular sound, a little mid-2000’s. The melody is catchy, falling and rising with the different languages. The harmony is spot on, as always, and indeed it is a very happy, feel-good tune. The accordion brings a little something extra and the percussion keeps the energy afloat.

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21:45 – Zoe – Quel Filou

Taking her second song French, very traditional. Again we see cello holding up the bass, fiddle accents and a 1920’s style melody. It’s a bit club-ish in that way, with a sassy vocal and quietly suggestive atmosphere with breathy backing vocals. Quick-tempo Guitar strumming makes up the bulk of the music with a folky French flair. It’s much better than her first song, and a nice composition all ’round.

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21:36 – The Makemakes – I Am Yours

The lead man starts at the piano this time, in a softer ballad composition, compared to their first old-school rock number. It has a true timeless feel, with a lovely melody and polished vocals. The emotion strongly comes through on this one – definitely the best we’ve heard them so far. The chorus is catchy and a very easy tune to sing a long with, harmonized just slightly by backing vocals. Perhaps again a late ’70-early 80’s, Billy Joel vibe. One of the better songs we’ve heard so far tonight.

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21:28 – Celina Ann – Utopia

Celina is up next. Her second song is an upbeat pop number that shows her attitude – but it’s classy rather than in your face. Possibly a ballad, it rather straddles that line. But the lyrics are sassy and her vocals are again very good, clear and complimentary to the music in a lower register. Celina can belt the lyrics without overdoing it, which is not always the case in these types of songs. The backing vocals are minimal, and the piano grows with the bass. It’s a nice composition, but it’s not huge.

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21:21 – Johan Sebastian Bass – Absolutio

This is more upbeat than the last, accented with operatic female voices. The melody is somewhat timeless in a classical bass kind of way. A little better than their first song, the synth vocal, electronics and steady pop/dance composition represent the band well. A little swing to the sound, and of course the high dramatics in appearance and arrangement. It’s still not as strong as their covers we heard last week, playing with a more reserved delivery.

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21:13 – Dawa – Feel Alive

This time Dawa goes first, their second song based in a quick cello tempo with small chime embellishments. It’s less folk and more alternative indie-pop ballad style. They’ve lost the accordion, making it a softer composition that builds again lightly. It’s a sweet melody and lyric, made for a summer nights spent in the country. The sounds all mix extremely well and the vocals are, as usual, emotionally anchored in a rough delivery that is very singer-songwriter.

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21:11 – And that’s it for the first round of songs! Now we’ll move on to the second entry each contestant has prepared.

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21:03 – Zoe – My Heart Still Beats

Gathering advice from almost all of the coaches, the young Zoe, who took on some impressive cover songs last week, starts with a slow ballad. It too builds in the typical way, but it’s more acoustic playing with percussion, harmony, and a minimal light show. It’s not incredibly memorable, but it’s a fair composition for a love song. Her vocals are soft and kind of reigned in, where they could either stress the emotion more or take a bigger stand in the climax.

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20:55 – Johan Sebastian Bass – Monsters

Coached by another large native name in the music business. For their first song, they come with a dramatic, eerie tune that slows into a more melodic, less-synthesized vocal performance. It’s like if classical drama met pop-rock and danced around some progressive electronica. It’s an interesting combination with a lot of keyboard tricks, that somehow nicely works. It’s not as decorated as their cover songs last week, which may or may not be a better thing. It’s a fairly good composition, but a bit quiet to what we’d expect to hear from them.

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20:47 – Folkshilfe – Ned Au

While this folk group has been working with Vlado Dzihan as their coach. Ned Au starts in almost a carnival atmosphere with the accordion teasing the drums. These guys are all about harmonizing choruses and a few vocal tricks – and they do it well. Always upbeat and lively on stage, they seem to be a crowd favorite. The melody is easy and catchy, about mid-range. It’s a fun, old-school kind of composition that stands out the most so far this evening.

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20:38 – Dawa – If You Return

Inspired by a German coach who’s had his hands in some major punk-rock as well as acoustics, Dawa come to the stage with a percussive, folky number. It’s quick tempo, but the melody falls very lightly with the rough vocals taking the spotlight. Some clapping adds another layer to the accordion, cello, classical guitar picking and of course the bass drum. It’s infectious in a shady kind of wild way that keeps the energy right on the edge without ever climaxing.

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20:30 – Celina Ann – When I Fall

Second up tonight it’s Celina who smashed it in creativity last week during the cover songs. Ian Dench (writer of radio hit You’re Unbelievable) and Sahron Vaughn (writer of Jedward’s Waterline) are Celina’s coaches in the competition. Her first song is slow building in darker tones to rise into an effortless ballad. In typical fashion, it swells around the chorus and falls off at the verse. The vocals are polished in a hollow timbre that echoes through the room. It’s a bit of an 80’s feel.

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20:25 – The Makemakes – Big Bang

Described by Jimmy Harry, the bands songwriting coach, as having a “classic 70’s rock feel”, he would indeed be right. The rock bass and drumming sequences are very tamed but contour to the melody in a driving way. It’s very mellow rock, at best, but suiting for the sound effect and the era that the band are kind of emanating tonight. The chorus has an easy groove that’s got everyone including the host dancing around. The vocals are clean but average. Not a bad start to the show tonight.

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20:20 – The contestants have been hanging out in a castle working with some big name producers/coaches like Jimmy Harry, who has worked with the likes of pop-stars Madonna and P!nk, and the woman wrote helped write 2010’s Eurovision winner Satellite – among others.

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20:15 – Welcome to the show!

It’s a stacked lineup of talent in Austria this year. Tonight we finally hear the 12 Eurovision entries, and one song for each of the 6 contestants will move on to the final next week.

Our host this evening, Mirjam, introduced everyone and the rules.