News - Austria will not go to Belgrade | Eurovision Song Contest News - 2007 Helsinki, Finland 

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Written by

Steve Holyer


20/Nov at 12:01




Flag of Austria

ORF says 'No' to Eurovision 2008

Austria will not go to Belgrade

The Austrian broadcaster will not be sending a representative to the Eurovision Song Contest in 2008 according to a press release issued today. The broadcaster seems to have trouble drumming up interest in the Song Contest amongst its viewers in recent years. However the broadcaster says political questions about the semi-final organisation of the contest are at the root of their decision to not participate this year.

According to Edgar Bohm, entertainment head for the Austrian public broadcaster, there are still too many open questions regarding the two semi-finals in 2008 for ORF to commit now to sending an entry.

"We must send our application to the Eurovision Song Contest 2008 right now, but at this time important points ... have not been clarified," Bohm said.  While it's clear that there will be two semi-finals in 2008, the entertainment chief said that ORF is not sure how the countries will be divided into the two semis.  As has previously reported, the Eurovision Broadcasting Union (EBU) that organizes the competition plans to assign countries to "pots" based on statistical patterns and other criteria.  These "pots" would be used to determine the participants of the two semis.  However, ORF points out that the procedure has not been finalised.  "We could still find a division between East and West, and that variation is certainly out of the question for us."

The ORF programme director Wolfgang Lorenz added, "The Song Contest is clearly a sign of the complicated nature of a united Europe.  We've already seen in 2007 that it's not the quality of the song, but the country of origin that determines the decision.

In recent years the quality of the Austrian entries have failed to impress many viewers.  However the ORF programme director has gone on record saying, "As long as the  the Song Contest is a political parade ground and not an international entertainment programme, 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," the programmer director finished.

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john moore [43567]
Wed 21 Nov 2007 01:20:57

Well I am sorry to see Austria go, I love the country and hope that when Eurovision is fixed and has abolished phone voting that they will return to a fair and un bias competiton.
It is a shame that there are so much politics involved in eurovision now becuase really it should be about the songs. I think their needs to be two seperate Eurovisions, An east and a west because soon the west will get fed up and pull out. and I don't think that eastern europe could afford to host the Show on their own seeing that is mainly our money that pays for it. No disrepect to Greece, Cyprus, Israel, slovenia, bosnia and Hertzagovina, Bulgaria and Croatia as I do believe that they are amazing eastern countries and have prodcued some brilliant songs and I did enjoy Serbia this year. X

Marino 2008 [39366]
Wed 21 Nov 2007 00:57:36

@ John Ibrahim

Which festival did you watch??

Armenia gave 12p to Russia (predictable, neighbour voting)
Austria gave 12p to Serbia (predictable, diaspora voting)
Belarus gave 12p to Russia (more than predictable...)
Belgium gave 12p to Turkey (predictable, diaspora voting)
Bosnia gave 12p to Serbia (predictable, the exYug circus)
Bulgaria gave 12p to Greece (neighbour voting)
Croatia gave 12p to Serbia (predictable, the exYug circus again)
Cyprus gave 12p to Greece (no comment)
Denmark gave 12p to Sweden (predictable, neighbour voting)
Estonia gave 12p to Russia (hehe, with 30% of Russians...)
France gave 12p to Turkey (predictable, diaspora voting)
FYROM gave 12p to Serbia (again and again...)
Georgia gave 12p to Armenia (predictable, neighbour voting)
Germany gave 12p to Turkey (predictable, diaspora voting)
Greece gave 12p to Bulgaria (without Cyprus, 2nd neighbour in the list)
Hungary gave 12p to Serbia (predictable, neighbour voting)
Iceland gave 12p to Finland (the Nordic thing)
Ireland gave 12p to Lithuania (predictable, diaspora voting)
Israel gave 12p to Belarus (many Israelis are original from Belarus)
Latvia gave 12p to Ukraine (neighbour voting)
Malta gave 12p to UK (an old pattern recovered for the event)
Moldova gave 12p to Romania (no comment)
Montenegro gave 12p to Serbia (I thought it will vote Ireland, hahaha)
Norway gave 12p to Sweden (well, no comment again)
Poland gave 12p to Ukraine (big surprise...)
Portugal gave 12p to Ukraine (predictable, diaspora voting)
Romania gave 12p to Moldova (the new Greece-Cyprus)
Russia gave 12p to Belarus (and 15p if it could do it..)
Serbia gave 12p to Hungary (Magdi is Serbian indeed)
Slovenia gave 12p to Serbia (Did Yugoslavia really break??)
Spain gave 12p to Romania (that's because Ecuador can't participate)
Sweden gave 12p to Finland (Nordic thing strikes again)
Switzerland gave 12p to Serbia (ufff, so unexpected!!!)
The Netherlands gave 12p to Turkey (first time in History)
Turkey gave 12p to Armenia (painful, but predictable)
Ukraine gave 12p to Belarus (well, it was 51/49 with Russia)
UK gave 12p to Turkey (no 100% predictable, but no surprise)

Well, apart of 37 , more than unfair, BORING votes, there was only five unexpected twelves. Two of them came from back-up juries (Albania and Andorra; if televoting worked there, their twelves would be dramatically and predictable different) and the other three (Czech Republic, Finland and Lithuania), not especially affected by predictable patterns of voting, gave their respective twelves to three different countries (Ukraine, Serbia and Georgia).
- that's no fair
- that's predictable and boring
- that's really frustrating for countries like Austria, because it realizes that there's no chance!

Benjamin Johnson [10217]
Wed 21 Nov 2007 00:45:52

sorry for the typo

@ Marino 2008

We know what would happen if Spain does not enter............ ;)

Benjamin Johnson [10217]
Wed 21 Nov 2007 00:35:58

@ Marino 2008

We know what would happen is Spain does not enter............ ;)

Benjamin Johnson [10217]
Wed 21 Nov 2007 00:28:36

@ Michael UK

I think he will wake up when a 'big 4' country or countries withdraw!!

Molly Parton [29330]
Wed 21 Nov 2007 00:18:08

well you can't blame them!

Michael UK [23926]
Wed 21 Nov 2007 00:18:04

we all know that televoting is gonna be the death of eurovision, and we also all know that mr stocks-useless is gonna do nothing about it. i wonder how many more western countries have to pull out be for the he wakes up and smells the coffee!

Marino 2008 [39366]
Wed 21 Nov 2007 00:12:39

TVE has said no word about the next ESC. Sinceresly, I'm not 100% sure that Spain will be in Belgrade...

John Ibrahim [43557]
Tue 20 Nov 2007 23:46:00

Im tired of people complaining, my god.......there is no pleasing everyonr, so what ever happens, happens. If western countries want to pull out let them, they'll only be looked upon as sore losers and not being "brave" as most people say.....ive been re-watching the shows from 2004-2007 and whenever a country in the east gave votes to its neighbour, or other "political" votes they got booed, but when western countries get points from their neighbours or so they dont boo.....what does that tell you, im sorry but maybe the eastern countries feel that majority of the western countries have been in ESC so long, that they have high expectations from their expiriences from the contest that the west doesnt fulfill. This is was a prime example of it, same old rock songs from nordic countries, outdated pops songs and cheesy gimmick songs from the rest and you wonder why your not voted for. Look at years 2004-2006 there were great western songs there, that some did great, and compare those great songs to the ones sent this year......The only western country that was robbed this year that put in a great effort, which by has the only means to complain is Portugal. Just people wait to see what happens with these changes before you start ranting like mindless complaining machines.

Owen Williams [36362]
Tue 20 Nov 2007 23:38:17

:O NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO another westerner bits the dust!
Not that Austria actually sent that many good songs recently

Dule M [28341]
Tue 20 Nov 2007 23:31:13

so they actually want to be secured they will participate in the final...just like 44 other countries. Ty sending a song instead of nonsense aids messages, esc parody or latino-yodle...There are proper places for it: Aids concerts, Parody TV Shows and Circus.... They are pissed cause they dont het in, but lie on falling interest. Hm...yeah right. You didnt complain earlier, but now suddenly an Ex-Yu country wins you get about the future of EU!...

Alexandros Roussos [16979]
Tue 20 Nov 2007 23:25:36

I absolutely agree with Florian G.!!!

Puerta amigo, descanse en paz [36645]
Tue 20 Nov 2007 23:23:14

Dopri Yutri, this is Vienna calling. It was a wonderful show this evening. All we wanted to say is, don't look back in awareness, but forward in anger....

So, here are the amounts of the Austrian immigrants.
Russia 14.270 people
Hungary 15.455 people
Former yugoslav Republic of Macedonia 15.986 people
Romania 21.871 people
Poland 27.056 people
Croatia 58.719 people
Bosnia-Hercegovina 90.988 people

And here come the big people:
94.762 people come from .... our dear neighbours..!! Germany!!!!
116.800 people come from.... Turkey!!!!
and finally
137.662 people come from .... Serbia!!!!!!!
(excluding all those who already have austrian citizenship but are from another origin)

Carles Roma Roma [36077]
Tue 20 Nov 2007 23:19:26

No more televoting or ESC will die.
Austria is in the right decision.
Other countries have to do the same.

Darko S. [38353]
Tue 20 Nov 2007 23:15:41

I would really like to see Iceland as a winner in Belgrade.

Yes please, me too. Dispatch Silvia right away for a second go at things. Carola is very welcome too, let's have some action in Belgrade. :P

Night Elf [43921]
Tue 20 Nov 2007 23:05:08

Marino 2008

What would you say about Estonia, Iceland and Poland. They didn't reach final in a few years and yet they don't play drama like Austria and take part in ESC one year, than next year don't etc.

I would really like to see Iceland as a winner in Belgrade. That's the one of the few countries that fail so many times with good song and yet they didn't withdraw and play drama over everything like a lot of western (and eastern) countries did with even bad song.

Marino 2008 [39366]
Tue 20 Nov 2007 22:58:00

This withdrawal leaves three free spots...but, watching the panorama, I highly doubt that they will be occupied (San Marino, Monaco and Luxembourg???? wow, it would be extremely good to be true!!).

John W [10615]
Tue 20 Nov 2007 22:50:14

It's funny: in the DANCE contest Austria did very well!
If the new format works out well, we should see Austria again.

Mike Strothmann [12216]
Tue 20 Nov 2007 22:36:27

A shame Austria will not enter but I am not shocked :( The politcal/neighbour/bias voting patterns render this country useless in getting anywhere with any song and coupled with a lack of interest and viewing figures in the country...what is the point some ask hence the decision.
I am sad because I know big 4 have same problem but have good audience share,money and guaranteed qualification..but still hated and can get nowhere lol.

John W [10615]
Tue 20 Nov 2007 22:35:32

Could you please ask ORF if they are planning on this being a long-term arrangement (a la Italy/Luxembourg), or if there is a chance of them returning in the near future.
Thanks! :)

Marino 2008 [39366]
Tue 20 Nov 2007 22:31:19

I know that Austria will withdraw (I wrote it in a post some days before) because to participate in the current ESC it's absolutely nonsense for this country.
Why Austria would want to participate? All we know that first Austria has no chance to reach the final (I laugh with people who say: "bad losers, send good song!" NO, you know that an Austrian song must be 50 times better than a Russian or a Bosnian one for getting the same points), and second, the show has no audience, only a few Balkanic immigrants that ORF doesn't care.
And it's only a warning. If the changes proposed by EBU don't revert some ashaming tendences we saw in Helsinki, I'm totally sure that Spain, France, Ireland, Portugal, Andorra, Belgium and Netherlands will join Austria next year. May be Eastern countries are not worried by these absences but I'd like to see how they'll pay the fees without the Western countries...

a b [26468]
Tue 20 Nov 2007 22:30:59

I just started a petition! It would be extremely nice if you sign it! :)


london calling [25194]
Tue 20 Nov 2007 22:27:47

OK so Austria sent mediocre songs. But so does Macedonia, Armenia, etc etc but we all know they get plenty of points ...but not a country like Austria.
ORF and the Austrians feel Eurovision in their country is becoming the preserve of immigrants (just check out the Austrian televote) and that they stand no chance in ther wider Contest. So they're losing interest. The same is happening in the Netherlands and other Western countries. But don't expect Mr Svantelius to change the voting.... not until the crisis gets really bad.

Simon Evans [25827]
Tue 20 Nov 2007 22:23:24

Sad news, but they're absolutely right.

Night Elf [43921]
Tue 20 Nov 2007 22:01:51

I think that 2 semifinals shouldn't be separate on west and east countries (although I can't see how is that possible because there are more countries on east and 4 of west countries are already in final). I think that wouldn't be a fer.

Carles Batlle [18502]
Tue 20 Nov 2007 21:59:45

Who can blame them, or any Western European Country, if they decide to pull out?

Darko S. [38353]
Tue 20 Nov 2007 21:42:53

Fair enough, let's see what happens. If I were to decide, I'd go for a wholly random draw across the two semis instead of application of statistical data which I think is nonsense and can only be seen as further engineering of the voting system to suit those it's supposed to suit.

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