Austria has decided: it’s the Trackshittaz!
Austra held their National Final, “Österreich rockt den Song Contest”, this Friday, and ten songs fought it out for the right to represent the country in Baku this May. Acts ranged from pop to rock to ballads to jazz, but, of course, only one could win out.
After a two-song Superfinal, Mühlviertel-based party-rap group Trackshittaz won the night with their ode to bootyshaking, “Woki mit deim Popo”:
Trackshittaz won the final by a razor-thin margin over the gender-bending Conchita Wurst and her disco anthem “That’s What I Am”:
The winning band, made up of Lukas Plöchl and Manuel Hoffelner, nearly made it to Eurovision last year, coming in second place to eventual winner Nadine Beiler. Their 2011 submission, “Oida Taunz!” made it to the top of the Austrian Singles chart, but missed out on the ticket to Düsseldorf. It looks like 2012 was their year, however!
Often times, people predict that non-English-language ESC entries are at a bit of a handicap, as they might not be as universally understood by a pan-European audience. Since the EBU’s language rule was abandoned after the 1998 contest, only one non-English song has won (2007’s “Molitva”). In 2010, the highest ranked song without English lyrics was Greece’s “OPA!”, in 8th place, while the 2011 Final roster only had three songs completely bereft of the language (Serbia, France, and Spain). To some, this might be a fear-inducing hurdle. However, despite the fact that “Woki mit deim Popo” is not only in German, but in a regional dialect of the language, the general message of “shake your booty” is pretty universal, especially considering the song’s presentation. Whether that comprehension will translate into actual votes the night of their semifinal is still to be seen, of course, but at the very least, this should get the crowds in the Baku Crystal stadium on their feet and working what their mommas gave them.