Tonight the Austrian representative in the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest was chosen in the show Wer singt für Österreich? - Who sings for Austria. Ten acts participated, and first a combination of a jury and televoting decided the top-two, who made it to the final round of voting. In the end, the all-important superfinal was won by ZOË! She will sing Loin d'ici in Stockholm!
The question Who sings for Austria? - the title of tonight's show - has been answered: In a thrilling show, featuring performances of ten competing acts and of the latest Austrian Eurovision Song Contest winner Conchita Wurst, ZOË won the televoting in the super-final against Elly V. You can watch her winning performance of Loin d'ici below:
After winning the superfinal of the Wer singt für Österreich, ZOË shared her feelings. "It feels surreal to me", she commented her victory. "I never thought I would get this chance."
Watch the whole interview below (with thanks to ORF):
ZOË's career as a singer started early, influenced by her father Christof Straub who plays the guitar in the band Papermoon. In 2013, the 19-year-old artist, whose idol is Edith Piaf, started her career as a singer-songwriter. In 2015 she already participated in the Austrian national final for the Eurovision Song Contest with her song Quel filou - an "incredible and unique experience", as she describes it herself.
Her participation brought a lot of changes to the young singer. After her first single, her first album called Debut followed suite. "Those were undoubtedly the two highlights in my career so far", she comments. Despite that, she kept her expectations low before tonight's final, not wanting to be disappointed, no matter what the results might be:
"If I get the chance to represent Austria, I will give everything. I am hoping for many nice memories and experiences from the national final."
The winning song was jointly chosen by the TV viewers and an expert jury, consisting of Conchita Wurst, madita, and Julie Frost. The fourth juror was a combined vote of Austrian media experts who have been closely following the Eurovision Song Contest in the past years.
In the first round of voting, the votes of the TV viewers and the jury were combined to determine the two super-finalists, while the jury points were given immediately after each performance, and the televotes were given after all songs had been performed.
Then first the top three of the combined vote were announced: Bella Wagner, Elly V, and ZOË.
Out of these three, Elly V and ZOË were revealed as the two winners of the first round. The two superfinalists then performed their songs once again, and this time televoting solely decided the winner and thus the Austrian representative in Stockholm: ZOË with Loin d'ici! You can listen to the song below:
The following ten acts have participated in tonight's show (in order of appearance, jury points in brackets):
Vincent Bueno: All We Need Is That Love (25 points)
LiZZA: Psycho (32 points)
Orry Jackson: Pieces In A Puzzle (19 points)
Elly V: I'll Be Around (Bounce) (37 points)
Lia: Runaway (18 points)
Céline Roscheck & Farina Miss: Sky Is The Limit (10 points)
The show was presented by Alice Tumler and Andi Knoll - they were also part of the hosts of the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest in Vienna.
In tonight's show, Conchita was not only a juror - she also performed on stage, for the first time with a band. Accompanied by piano, guitar, bass and drums, Conchita sang a somewhat more serious version of That's What I Am, the song she had performed in the 2012 national selection, which didn't give her a victory yet.