Österreich Rockt den Song Contest proved to be a really exciting show, presented by Andi Knoll and Miriam Weichselbraun. In the end, Natália Kelly won the ticket to Malmö! Her emotional interpretation of Shine, a positive song that talks about looking forward to life and never losing hope even in the most difficult situations, touched both the public and the professional jury.
Natália Kelly was born to parents from the US and Brazil, but her grandmother hails from Linz in Austria. Currently she is 18 years old and still going to school, but during the show she promised that the Eurovision Song Contest performance will be her first priority, at least for the months to come.
In the first part of tonight's show, each of the five acts first performed a popular Eurovision Song Contest hit. Those were not just cover versions, though: The Bandaloop started with an eighties-meets-electropop version of ABBA's Waterloo, Natália Kelly sang a soul-ish version of Celine Dion's Ne Partez Pas Sans Moi in minor key.
Then, Yela performed Love Shine A Light by Katrina & The Waves in a soul version, and Falco Luneau continued with a soft-rock version of Johnny Logan's What's Another Year. Of course, last year's winner, Euphoria, could not miss in this series - Elija showed his very own version of it.
After the Eurovision evergreens, they went on to present their national final songs (writers in brackets):
Falco Luneau - Rise Above The Night (Falco Luneau, Tony Cornelissen)
Yela - Feels Like Home (Daniela Bauer, Lukas Hillebrand, Alexander Pohn)
Elija - Give Me A Sign (Elija)
Natália Kelly - Shine (Andreas Grass, Nikola Paryla, Natalia Kelly, Alexander Kahr)
The Bandaloop - Back To Fantasy (Barca Baxant, Justin Case)
Spectacular effects were used in the ORF studios tonight: Just like at the Eurovision Song Contest itself, you could see pyros, props, smoke, fire and wind all together on the stage. While The Bandaloop clearly had the craziest performance of the night, entering the stage in feathery pink costumes, Natália Kelly used two of the most legendary "Eurovision effects": the wind machine, and the same kind of "curtain pyro" that was used as well by Ell & Nikki, the winners of the 2011 Eurovision Song Contest.
You can get to know the artists and check out the official video clips of their songs in our special feature we released before the final:
After a commercial break, the voting results were announced. A 50/50 mix of televoting and an international jury decided on the winner in the end. This is the full results table (jury votes + televotes = full score):
Falco Luneau: 24 + 25 = 49
Yela: 34 + 16 = 50
Elija: 6 + 10 = 16
Natália Kelly: 32 + 38 = 70
The Bandaloop: 4 + 11 = 15