Nadine Beiler’s "The Secret is Love" for Austria!
…and another name is added to our ever-expanding list of participants!
Tonight, the second of our four returning nations revealed their song for Eurovision 2011 (we already know about Italy’s “Follia d’Amore“, and while we know that Senit will be representing San Marino, her song has yet to be officially announced. As for the Hungarians, we’re still waiting!). Since leaving the competition after a disappointing score in 2007, Austria has been biding its time on re-entering the ESC, citing a frustration over the bloc voting that helped Serbia, Russia, and Norway to victory, among other frustrations. However, when Germany won a resounding victory last year, the Austrians had no reason to argue, and they rejoined the fray.
This year, Austria served up a pretty extensive National Selection, with thirty songs competing in an online component, fighting it out for ten spots in the televised final. Making it to the final were local stars, including two winners from the talent show StarMania, the winner of “Germany’s Got Talent”, and even Joe Sumner, the son of British musical legend Sting.
After all of that, who gets to cross the border into Düsseldorf?
Nadine Beiler was the winner of the third season of StarMania (a season that also showcased Eric Papilaya, Austria’s 2007 ESC representative). The 20-year-old singer has had a few Top-20 singles in her homeland, and her debut album cracked into the Top 5 (she is expected to release her follow-up album later this year).
Compared to the Lithuanian entry that we saw yesterday, this is a major improvement in the ballad department. When I heard “C’est Ma Vie“, I thought of “Butterflies“, last year’s Belorussian representative. “The Secret is Love”, however, reminds me more of “Há Dias Assim” from Portugal. Instead of treacle, Nadine gives some measure of substance. However, I have a feeling that detractors will claim that she’s trying too hard to be like certain American pop or R&B divas (Christina? Beyoncé?), and I can definitely see where they’d be coming from. I doubt that “The Secret is Love” is this year’s new front-runner, but it’s definitely a respectable return from a nation that we’ve missed in the competition. Welcome back, Austria!