Yay Austria! Back in 2012, the country finished in absolute last place in Baku with the awesome-yet-completely wrong for the Eurovision Song Contest entry “Woki mit dem Popo” by Trackshittaz. The runner-up for that year’s national selection: Conchita Wurst. Don’t call it a comeback: she’s been here for years. Were the field not so ridiculously strong last year, “Rise Like a Phoenix” could have rivaled “Fairytale” and “Euphoria” in breaking scoreboard records. Regardless, Austria executed a flawless entry and deserved the win.
One of the perks of winning is getting an automatic berth in the Eurovision final. Did Austria take full advantage of this with its selection of “I Am Yours” by the Makemakes?
As Ben noted shortly after this song was selected, “I Am Yours” hits all three criteria expected of a host nation for the Eurovision Song Contest. The Makemakes are not a clone of Conchita Wurst, “I Am Yours” is a solid song demonstrating Austria’s win was not a fluke, yet the song is not strong enough to topple the rest of the field.
It could be argued that “I Am Yours” would not make it out of the semi-finals were it to compete as a normal entry. However, I think the reasons why it wouldn’t succeed demonstrates the strength of the song. There’s a ’70s Classic/Glam Rock vibe associated with the track, but the Makemakes seem to be genuine in their styling rather than trying to satirize the genre. Were they to show up in hot pink jumpsuits, that would be a problem.2 Instead, the group delivers a solid vocal and a respectable performance. The piano bursting into flames is a bit much, but this year might be lacking in pyrotechnics overall so the group should keep it.
This song will perform in slot 14 in the final, which is right in the middle of the show. This is perfect placement for the track, as it will serve as the bridge between the front half and the back half of the event. “I Am Yours” could make a run for the top half of the scoreboard with a solid performance in Vienna.