Austria in the Eurovision Song Contest

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Member stationORF
National selection events
Participation summary
Appearances52 (47 finals)
First appearance1957
Best result1st: 1966, 2014
Worst resultLast: 1957, 1961, 1962, 1979, 1984, 1988, 1991, 2012 SF
Nul points1962, 1988, 1991, 2015
External links
Austria's page at
Song contest current event.png For the most recent participation see
Austria in the Eurovision Song Contest 2020

Austria has participated in the Eurovision Song Contest 52 times since its debut in 1957. The country has won twice, in 1966 and 2014, and currently holds the record for the longest gap between wins, with 48 years between victories. The contest is broadcast in Austria by ORF. Vienna was the host city on both of the occasions that the contest was held in Austria, in 1967 and 2015.

Having finished sixth at the 1964 contest and fourth in 1965, Udo Jurgens won at his third attempt in 1966 with the song "Merci Chérie". This was Austria's only top three result of the 20th century. Austria won again in 2014, with Conchita Wurst and "Rise Like a Phoenix". Austria has finished last in the contest final seven times (1957, 1961, 1962, 1979, 1984, 1988 and 1991) and finished last in the semifinal in 2012. Cesár Sampson achieved Austria's eighth top five result and second-best result of the 21st century at the 2018 contest, finishing third with the song "Nobody But You".


Austria finished last at its first attempt in the contest in 1957, before Liane Augustin gave the country the first of its eight top five results in 1958, with fifth. Having finished sixth in 1964 and fourth in 1965, Udo Jürgens won the contest at his third attempt in 1966. This would be Austria's only top three result of 20th century. The country's best result over the next 46 years (1967–2013) would be fifth place, which it achieved with Milestones in 1972, Waterloo & Robinson in 1976 and Thomas Forstner in 1989. Austria has finished last in the final a total of seven times, in 1957, 1961, 1962, 1979, 1984, 1988, 1991. The country also finished last in the semi-final in 2012. Austria's best result of the 1990s was four tenth-place finishes, in 1990, 1992, 1996 and 1999. Austria's best result of the 2000s was Alf Poier's sixth-place in 2003, which was Austria's best placement since 1989.

After a three-year absence, ORF announced on 28 July 2010 that Austria would return to the contest in 2011,[1][2] where the country reached the final for the first time since 2004, finishing 18th.

Austria achieved its second victory in the contest at the 2014 contest, with Conchita Wurst winning with 290 points.[3] In a complete reversal of fortunes in 2015, following a tie-break rule Austria was placed 26th and scored nul points along with Germany (27th), they became the first countries since the United Kingdom in 2003 to score nul points at the final. Because of this, Austria became the first host country to receive nul points. Austria qualified for the final for the next three years, finishing 13th in 2016, 16th in 2017 and 3rd in 2018, until 2019 where they placed 17th in the second semifinal. Austria's third Top 3 result came in 2018, with "Nobody but You" by Cesár Sampson finishing third in Lisbon, the country's third-best result in the history of the contest.


Austria has opted out of participation in several Contests. The first of these was the 1969 Contest, which was staged in Madrid. As Spain was ruled at that time by Francisco Franco, Austria chose to boycott the Contest. Contest historian John Kennedy O'Connor points out, however, that Austria had given Spain two points in the previous event and since Spain only won by one point, the political protest was perhaps disingenuous.[4]

The following year, Austria was again absent. This was due to the unprecedented result in 1969 in which four songs tied for first place, a result which prompted several other countries to opt out as well.[4]

From 1973 to 1975, Austria stayed away as well. The exact reason for this is unclear, however the scoring system in use at one of these Contests - allowing all entrants a guaranteed number of points - may have been a factor.

The country was ineligible to compete in 1998 and 2001, as it had not achieved sufficiently high placings in the five previous years.[4]

Prior to the 2006 contest, Austria announced that they would not enter a performer in protest at their poor results in previous years, arguing that the musical talent of the performers was no longer the determining factor in Contest success.[5][6] They returned for the 2007 contest in Helsinki, but came second to last in the semi-final. National broadcaster ORF cited the 2007 result, as well as declining interest in the Contest among Austrian viewers, as the reason Austria would not return to the contest in 2008. ORF programme director Wolfgang Lorenz also hinted that Austria may withdraw from the contest indefinitely, stating "ORF has no desire to send more talent out of Austria to a competition where they have no chances...Should the situation change, we'll be happy to take part again". [7] Despite withdrawing, the final of the 2008 contest was screened on ORF.[8]

In 2008, the EBU introduced two semi-finals to the contest, hoping that spreading countries out by random draw would prevent the kind of bloc voting that had warded Austria off. Additionally, they reintroduced juries to determine 50% of each country's result in 2009 (albeit not in the semi-finals, in which all but one of the qualifiers were decided entirely by televote). However, Edgar Böhm, director of entertainment for ORF, said that the semi-final format "still incorporates a mix of countries who will be politically favoured in the voting process" and "that, unless a clear guideline as to how the semifinals are organised is made by the EBU, Austria will not be taking part in Moscow 2009".[9] ORF decided not to participate in the 2009 contest, but did broadcast the final as in 2008.[10] The EBU announced that they would work harder to bring Austria back to the contest in 2010, along with former participants Monaco and Italy.[11] It was, however, confirmed that Austria would not participate in the 2010 Contest in Bærum.[12] In July 2010, the chairman of ORF, Alexander Wrabetz, stated that Austria would return for the 2011 contest, due to it being held in its neighbour Germany.[1][2][13] In 2011, Austria reached the final for the first time since 2004.


Table key
Second place
Third place
Last place
Year Artist Language Title Final Points Semi Points
1957 Bob Martin German "Wohin, kleines Pony?" 10 ◁ 3 No semi-finals
1958 Liane Augustin German "Die ganze Welt braucht Liebe" 5 8
1959 Ferry Graf German "Der K und K Kalypso aus Wien" 9 4
1960 Harry Winter German "Du hast mich so fasziniert" 7 6
1961 Jimmy Makulis German "Sehnsucht" 15 ◁ 1
1962 Eleonore Schwarz German "Nur in der Wiener Luft" 13 ◁ 0
1963 Carmela Corren German, English "Vielleicht geschieht ein Wunder" 7 16
1964 Udo Jürgens German "Warum nur warum?" 6 11
1965 Udo Jürgens German "Sag ihr, ich lass sie grüßen" 4 16
1966 Udo Jürgens German, French "Merci, Chérie" 1 31
1967 Peter Horton German "Warum es hunderttausend Sterne gibt" 14 2
1968 Karel Gott German "Tausend Fenster" 13 2
Did not participate between 1969 and 1970
1971 Marianne Mendt Viennese German "Musik" 16 66
1972 Milestones German "Falter im Wind" 5 100
Did not participate between 1973 and 1975
1976 Waterloo & Robinson English "My Little World" 5 80
1977 Schmetterlinge German, English "Boom Boom Boomerang" 17 11
1978 Springtime German "Mrs. Caroline Robinson" 15 14
1979 Christina Simon German "Heute in Jerusalem" 18 ◁ 5
1980 Blue Danube German "Du bist Musik" 8 64
1981 Marty Brem German "Wenn du da bist" 17 20
1982 Mess German "Sonntag" 9 57
1983 Westend German "Hurricane" 9 53
1984 Anita German "Einfach weg" 19 ◁ 5
1985 Gary Lux German "Kinder dieser Welt" 8 60
1986 Timna Brauer German "Die Zeit ist einsam" 18 12
1987 Gary Lux German "Nur noch Gefühl" 20 8
1988 Wilfried German "Lisa Mona Lisa" 21 ◁ 0
1989 Thomas Forstner German "Nur ein Lied" 5 97
1990 Simone German "Keine Mauern mehr" 10 58
1991 Thomas Forstner German "Venedig im Regen" 22 ◁ 0
1992 Tony Wegas German "Zusammen geh'n" 10 63
1993 Tony Wegas German "Maria Magdalena" 14 32 Kvalifikacija za Millstreet
1994 Petra Frey German "Für den Frieden der Welt" 17 19 No semi-finals
1995 Stella Jones German "Die Welt dreht sich verkehrt" 13 67
1996 George Nussbaumer Vorarlbergish "Weil's dr guat got" 10 68 6 80
1997 Bettina Soriat German "One Step" 21 12 No semi-finals
1998 Did not participate
1999 Bobbie Singer English "Reflection" 10 65
2000 The Rounder Girls English "All To You" 14 34
2001 Did not participate
2002 Manuel Ortega English "Say a Word" 18 26
2003 Alf Poier German[a] "Weil der Mensch zählt" 6 101
2004 Tie Break German "Du bist" 21 9 Top 11 Previous Year[b]
2005 Global Kryner English, Spanish "Y así" Failed to qualify 21 30
2006 Did not participate
2007 Eric Papilaya English "Get a Life - Get Alive" Failed to qualify 27 4
Did not participate between 2008 and 2010
2011 Nadine Beiler English "The Secret Is Love" 18 64 7 69
2012 Trackshittaz German[c] "Woki mit deim Popo" Failed to qualify 18 ◁ 8
2013 Natália Kelly English "Shine" 14 27
2014 Conchita Wurst English "Rise Like a Phoenix" 1 290 1 169
2015 The Makemakes English "I Am Yours" 26[d] 0 Host country[e]
2016 Zoë French "Loin d'ici" 13 151 7 170
2017 Nathan Trent English "Running On Air" 16 93 7 147
2018 Cesár Sampson English "Nobody But You" 3 342 4 231
2019 Paenda English "Limits" Failed to qualify 17 21
2020 Vincent Bueno "Alive"


Year Location Venue Presenter Photo
1967 Vienna Großer Festsaal der Wiener Hofburg Erica Vaal
2015 Vienna Wiener Stadthalle Mirjam Weichselbraun, Alice Tumler and Arabella Kiesbauer 20150520 ESC 2015 Moderatorinnen 3112.jpg


Marcel Bezençon Awards[edit]

Year Category Song Performer(s) Composer(s) Host city Ref.
2014 Press Award "Rise Like a Phoenix" Conchita Wurst Charley Mason, Joey Patulka, Ali Zuckowski, Julian Maas Denmark Copenhagen

Related involvement[edit]

Heads of delegation[edit]

Year Head of delegation Ref.
2019 Stefan Zechner

Commentators and spokespersons[edit]

Between the 1970 and 1998 contests, every contest was commentated by Austrian radio journalist and actor Ernst Grissemann, with the exception of the 1979 and 1990 contests. Grissemann admitted to future German commentator Peter Urban in 1995 that he only stayed for the dress rehearsal and then provided the Austrian commentary live from the ORF studios.[17] After 1998 Grissemann stepped down from the commentary and was replaced by Andi Knoll. Austria has also broadcast the contests which it did not compete in, except for the 2010 contest.

Year Television commentator Radio commentator Spokesperson Ref.
1957 Commentary via ARD Germany No radio broadcast Karl Bruck
1960 Emil Kollpacher
1964 Willy Kralik Walter Richard Langer
1967 Emil Kollpacher
1968 Willy Kralik
1969 Did not participate
1970 Ernst Grissemann
1971 Hubert Gaisbauer No spokesperson
1973 No radio broadcast Did not participate
1976 Hubert Gaisbauer Jenny Pippal
1978 Walter Richard Langer
1979 Max Schautzer
1980 Günther Ziesel
1981 Ernst Grissemann
1982 Tilia Herold
1983 Rudolf Klausnitzer
1984 No radio broadcast
1985 Walter Richard Langer Chris Lohner
1986 Hans Leitinger Tilia Herold
1990 Barbara Stöckl Walter Richard Langer
1991 Herbert Dobrovolny Gabriele Haring
1992 Ernst Grissemann Martin Blumenau Andy Lee
1994 Tilia Herold
1995 Stermann & Grissemann
1996 Martina Rupp
1997 Adriana Zartl
1998 Did not participate
1999 Andi Knoll Dodo Roščić
2001 Did not participate
2002 Dodo Roščić
2003 Martin Blumenau
2006 No radio broadcast Did not participate
2007 Eva Pölzl
2008 Did not participate
2009 Benny Hörtnagl
2010 No broadcast
2011 Andi Knoll Martin Blumenau & Benny Hörtnagl Kati Bellowitsch
2012 Stermann & Grissemann
2013 No radio broadcast
2017 Kristina Inhof
2018 Kati Bellowitsch
2019 Philipp Hansa


All conductors are Austrian except those marked with a flag.

Prior to 1999, the Austrian entry was performed without orchestral accompaniment in 1989 and 1997.[20]


See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]


  1. ^ Specifically Styrian, a Southern Bavarian dialect spoken in Styria.
  2. ^ According to the then-Eurovision rules, the top ten non-Big Four countries from the previous year along with the Big Four automatically qualified for the Grand Final without having to compete in semi-finals. For example, if Germany and France placed inside the top ten, the 11th and 12th spots were advanced to next year's Grand Final along with all countries ranked in the top ten.
  3. ^ Specifically Mühlviertlerisch, a Central Bavarian dialect spoken in Upper Austria.
  4. ^ While Austria and Germany both finished with no points, Austria is listed as finishing ahead of Germany due to the tiebreaker rule that favours the song performed earliest in the running order. Therefore, Germany finished in 27th (last) place, with Austria in 26th.[14]
  5. ^ If a country had won the previous year, they did not have to compete in the semi-finals the following year.


  1. ^ a b Klier, Marcus (27 July 2010). "Austria will return to Eurovision in 2011". ESCToday. Retrieved 27 July 2010.
  2. ^ a b "Song Contest: Österreich tritt 2011 wieder an" (in German). ORF. 2010-07-27. Retrieved 27 July 2010.
  3. ^ "Austria wins Eurovision Song Contest". BBC News. 11 May 2014. Retrieved 11 May 2014.
  4. ^ a b c O'Connor, John Kennedy (2005). The Eurovision Song Contest: The Official History.
  5. ^ Philips, Roel (18 June 2005). "Austria withdraws from 2006 Eurovision Song Contest". Retrieved 10 December 2006.
  6. ^ Philips, Roel (20 June 2005). "Austrian Broadcaster explains withdrawal". Retrieved 12 December 2006.
  7. ^ Holyer, Steve (20 November 2007). "Austria will not go to Belgrade". Retrieved 20 November 2007.
  8. ^ Klier, Marcus (2 January 2008). "ORF likely to broadcast Eurovision Song Contest 2008". Retrieved 1 March 2008.
  9. ^ Kuipers, Michael (3 June 2008). "Austria: ORF will decide in the Autumn". ESCToday. Retrieved 3 June 2008.
  10. ^ Klier, Marcus (18 September 2008). "Austria: No return to Eurovision in 2009". ESCToday. Retrieved 18 September 2008.
  11. ^ Floras, Stella (13 January 2009). "EBU working for Eurovision full house in 2010". ESCToday. Retrieved 30 July 2009.
  12. ^ Klier, Marcus (22 September 2009). "Confirmed: Austria will not take part in 2010". ESCToday. Retrieved 21 September 2016.
  13. ^ Wrabetz, Alexander (2010-05-31). "Wrabetz will ORF-Antreten "sicher überdenken"". (in German). Archived from the original on 5 June 2010. Retrieved 2010-06-01.
  14. ^ "Rules for the Eurovision Song Contest 2009" (PDF). European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 18 July 2009.
  15. ^ "Winners of the Marcel Bezençon Awards". 11 May 2014. Retrieved 8 December 2019.
  16. ^ McCaig, Ewan (24 April 2019). "Austria: Vienna Hosts Eurovision Farewell Party For PÆNDA". Retrieved 6 December 2019.
  17. ^ "Begegnung in der Box | Das Erste: Eurovision Song Contest - News - Mein Grand Prix". 2011-05-14. Retrieved 2014-05-14.
  18. ^ "Andi Knoll outet sich: „Ich bin seit 18 Jahren mit einem Mann zusammen"". (in German). 29 April 2019. Retrieved 9 December 2019.
  19. ^ "Eurovision 2019 Spokespersons – Who will announce the points?". 18 May 2019. Retrieved 9 December 2019.
  20. ^ "And the conductor is..." Retrieved 4 January 2020.

External links[edit]