Austria in the Eurovision Song Contest 2017

Eurovision Song Contest 2017
Country  Austria
National selection
Selection process Internal Selection
Selection date(s) Artist: 19 December 2016
Song: 28 February 2017
Selected entrant Nathan Trent
Selected song « Running on Air« 
Selected songwriter(s) Nathan Trent
Finals performance
Semi-final result 7th, 147 points
Final result 16th, 93 points
Austria in the Eurovision Song Contest
◄2016 2017

Austria participated in the Eurovision Song Contest 2017 with the song « Running on Air » performed and written by Nathan Trent. On 19 December 2016, the Austrian broadcaster Österreichischer Rundfunk (ORF) announced that Nathan Trent had been internally selected to compete at the 2017 contest in Kiev, Ukraine. The song that Trent will compete with, « Running on Air », was also internally selected and was presented to the public on 28 February 2017.

Austria was drawn to compete in the second semi-final of the Eurovision Song Contest which took place on 11 May 2017. Performing during the show in position 2, « Running on Air » was announced among the top 10 entries of the second semi-final and therefore qualified to compete in the final on 13 May.


Prior to the 2017 contest, Austria had participated in the Eurovision Song Contest forty-nine times since its first entry in 1957.[1] The nation had won the contest on two occasions: in 1966 with the song « Merci, Chérie » performed by Udo Jürgens and in 2014 with the song « Rise Like a Phoenix » performed by Conchita Wurst.[2][3] Following the introduction of semi-finals for the 2004, Austria had featured in five finals. Austria’s least successful result has been last place, which they have achieved on eight occasions, most recently in the 2012.[4] Austria has also received nul points on four occasions; in 1962, 1988, 1991 and 2015.[5]

The Austrian national broadcaster, Österreichischer Rundfunk (ORF), broadcasts the event within Austria and organises the selection process for the nation’s entry. ORF confirmed their intentions to participate at the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest on 28 May 2016.[6] From 2011 to 2013, ORF had set up national finals with several artists to choose both the song and performer to compete at Eurovision for Austria, with both the public and a panel of jury members involved in the selection. For the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest, ORF held an internal selection to choose the artist and song to represent Austria at the contest. In 2015 and 2016, the broadcaster returned to selecting the Austrian entry through a national final.

On 21 September 2016, ORF announced that they would opt for an internal selection in order to select their act and entry for the 2017 Contest.[7]

Before Eurovision

Internal selection

Before the announcement of Nathan Trent as Austrian representative for Eurovision 2017, ska band Russkaja was rumoured to have been selected by ORF.[8] ORF searched the act for the 2017 contest by searching within the young Austrian music scene with the help of music experts Eberhard Forcher – who also worked on the choice of the acts for the 2016 Austrian national final – and Christof Straub – who co-wrote the 2016 Austrian entry « Loin d’ici » and is father to Zoë, the 2016 Austrian representative –. Nathan Trent was invited to submit a song to ORF after the release of his first single, « Like It Is » and after this, he was selected by ORF to represent Austria in Ukraine. Trent was also among the 33 artists shorlisted to compete to represent Germany in the Eurovision Song Contest 2017. ORF’s choice was announced on 19 December 2016. The song that Trent will perform in Eurovision Song Contest 2017 was announced to be published in February 2017.[9][10] On 26 February, it was confirmed that Trent would be singing « Running on Air » at the Eurovision Song Contest. The song was released on 28 February.[11]


Nathan Trent made several appearances across Europe to specifically promote « Running on Air » as the Austrian Eurovision entry. On 2 April, he performed during the London Eurovision Party, which was held at the Café de Paris venue in London, United Kingdom and hosted by Nicki French. Between 3 and 6 April, Trent took part in promotional activities in Tel Aviv, Israel where he performed during the Israel Calling event held at the Ha’teatron venue.[12][13] On 8 April, Nathan Trent performed during the Eurovision in Concert event which was held at the Melkweg venue in Amsterdam, Netherlands and hosted by Cornald Maas and Selma Björnsdóttir.[14] On 15 April, Trent performed during the Eurovision Spain Pre-Party, which was held at the Sala La Riviera venue in Madrid, Spain.[15]

At Eurovision

Nathan Trent during a press meet and greet

According to Eurovision rules, all nations with the exceptions of the host country and the « Big 5 » (France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom) are required to qualify from one of two semi-finals in order to compete for the final; the top ten countries from each semi-final progress to the final. The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) split up the competing countries into six different pots based on voting patterns from previous contests, with countries with favourable voting histories put into the same pot.[16] On 31 January 2017, a special allocation draw was held which placed each country into one of the two semi-finals, as well as which half of the show they would perform in. Austria was placed into the second semi-final, to be held on 11 May 2017, and was scheduled to perform in the first half of the show.[17]

Once all the competing songs for the 2017 contest had been released, the running order for the semi-finals was decided by the shows’ producers rather than through another draw, so that similar songs were not placed next to each other. Austria was set to perform in position 2, following the entry from Serbia and before the entry from Macedonia.[18]


Nathan Trent took part in technical rehearsals on 2 April and 5 May, followed by dress rehearsals on 10 and 11 May.[19] This included the jury show on 10 May where the professional juries of each country watched and voted on the competing entries.[20] The Austrian performance featured Nathan Trent dressed in white with silver boots. At the beginning of the song, he was sitting on a large silver crescent moon, made from the same material as a disco ball. The LED screens displayed large clouds of smoke — purple, white, blue and orange when Trent jumped from his moon. Twelve bright yellow lights beamed from the back of the stage. He walked to the front of the stage and after a while he returns to his moon. The four backing singers appeared on stage at the end of the song and they were also dressed in white like Nathan Trent.[21]

At the end of the show, Austria was announced as having finished in the top 10 and subsequently qualifying for the grand final.[22]


Shortly after the second semi-final, a winners’ press conference was held for the ten qualifying countries. As part of this press conference, the qualifying artists took part in a draw to determine which half of the grand final they would subsequently participate in. This draw was done in the reverse order the countries appeared in the semi-final running order. Austria was drawn to compete in the first half. Following this draw, the shows’ producers decided upon the running order of the final, as they had done for the semi-finals. Austria was subsequently placed to perform in position 4, following the entry from Belarus and before the entry from Armenia.[23]


Points awarded to Austria

Points awarded by Austria

Jury members

The following five members will comprise the Austrian jury: [24] The fifth member of the jury, Sasha Saedi, was confirmed on 9 May 2017.[25]


  1. ^ « Eurovision Song Contest 1957 ». European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 25 November 2014. 
  2. ^ « Eurovision Song Contest 1966 ». European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 25 November 2014. 
  3. ^ « Austria wins Eurovision Song Contest ». BBC. 11 May 2014. Retrieved 25 November 2014. 
  4. ^ « Eurovision Song Contest 2012 Semi-Final (1) ». European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 25 November 2014. 
  5. ^ « History by Country – Austria ». European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 25 November 2014. 
  6. ^ Granger, Anthony (28 May 2016). « Austria: Eurovision 2017 Participation Confirmed ». Retrieved 29 December 2016. 
  7. ^ Jiandani, Sanjay (Sergio) (21 September 2016). « Austria: ORF confirms participation in Eurovision 2017 ». Retrieved 29 December 2016. 
  8. ^ Gallagher, Robyn (22 September 2016). « Has Austria selected ska band Russkaja for Eurovision 2017? ». Retrieved 29 December 2016. 
  9. ^ « It’s Nathan Trent for Austria in Kyiv! ». European Broadcasting Union. 19 December 2016. Retrieved 29 December 2016. 
  10. ^ Ude, Christian (19 December 2016). « Ein Newcomer fährt für Österreich nach Kiew ». Kleine Zeitung. Retrieved 29 December 2016. 
  11. ^ Luukela, Sami (26 February 2017). « AUSTRIA: NATHAN TRENT TO SING « RUNNING ON AIR » AT EUROVISION 2017″. wiwibloggs. Wiwibloggs. 
  12. ^ Kavaler, Ron (22 March 2017). « ISRAEL CALLING! EUROVISION PROMO EVENT SET FOR APRIL 3 TO 6 ». Retrieved 30 April 2017. 
  13. ^ Laufer, Gil (5 April 2017). « Tonight: Israel Calling 2017 to be held with 28 participating countries ». Retrieved 30 April 2017. 
  14. ^ Jordan, Paul (29 March 2017). « Eurovision in Concert sets a new record with 33 acts ». European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 30 April 2017. 
  15. ^ Fuster, Luis (1 April 2017). « MADRID CALLING! 19 ACTS WILL TAKE PART IN EUROVISION SPAIN PRE-PARTY ». Retrieved 30 April 2017. 
  16. ^ Jordan, Paul (25 January 2017). « Semi-Final Allocation draw to take place in Kyiv ». Retrieved 25 January 2017. 
  17. ^ Jordan, Paul (31 January 2017). « Results of the Semi-Final Allocation Draw ». European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 31 January 2017. 
  18. ^ Jordan, Paul (31 March 2017). « Semi-Final running order for Eurovision 2017 revealed ». European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 12 April 2017. 
  19. ^ « Press ». European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 12 May 2017. 
  20. ^ Weaver, Jessica (10 May 2017). « Eurovision 2017: Live updates from semi-final 2 jury show ». Retrieved 12 May 2017. 
  21. ^ Outerson, Michael (2 May 2017). « First rehearsals begin for Tijana Bogićević, Nathan Trent, Jana Burčeska and Claudia Faniello ». EuroVisionary. Retrieved 12 May 2017. 
  22. ^ Kryvinchuk, Yullia (12 May 2017). « SEMI-FINAL THRILLER: 10 more qualified — Grand Final complete! ». European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 12 May 2017. 
  23. ^ Jordan, Paul; Nilsson, Helena (12 May 2017). « EXCLUSIVE: Running order for the 2017 Grand Final released! ». European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 12 May 2017. 
  24. ^ Jordan, Paul (29 April 2017). « Who will be the expert jurors for Eurovision 2017? ». European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 3 May 2017. 
  25. ^ Granger, Anthony (9 May 2017). « ESC’17 changes to juries in five countries ». Euroviox. Retrieved 9 May 2017. 

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