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We finally have a host city and tens of thousands of people will head to Vienna next May when Austria will host the Eurovision Song Contest for the first time in 49 years. This is a significant accomplishment for the country that gave us some of the biggest classical composers.
Now that we know where we’re going next year, we can shift our focus to other news as they continue to break. As we previously reported, Alexander Wrabetz, the general director of the broadcaster ORF, already gave away a few details regarding the show and it sounds like the hosts have already been chosen. Wrabetz: “And regarding the host duo there will be a big, positive surprise”.
The hosts are a major part of the show and can significantly improve (or ruin) the viewing experience. Since 2010, it has become a tradition to have three different hosts with only Sweden switching it up in 2013 when they had went with one host to entertaining the viewers. Based on Wrabetz’ comment, it appears that we’re going back to the traditional ‘two host’ setup so I’ve been thinking about who should host the contest.
After much consideration, I narrowed it down to 10 individuals and I picked them for different reasons. Keep in mind that I am not fond of them all myself but also considered publicity and how to increase interest in the contest. You can vote at the end for your favorites and also share your favorites. The list is in no particular order.
1. Andy Knoll
The 42 year old radio host and TV presenter has been Austrian commentator for the contest since for 15 years. Not only that, he also has plenty of experience as the host of the Austrian Nation Finals. In addition, he has been the host of several non-Eurovision related shows such as the Amadeus Austrian Music Awards, Die Grosse Chance and Wie Bitte? . Considering that he has been with the broadcaster for 20 years and his close ties to the contest, Knoll would be a great option.
2. Christina Stürmer
This incredible talent started her career when she finished second at Starmania, an Austrian Idol like show. She didn’t win the show but she certainly won over the hearts of millions of fans releasing six albums and selling almost two million copies. A true original, Christina proved to skeptics that you can sing in your native tongue and still be successful. If that wasn’t enough, the 32 year old singer also won tons of awards including the Echo and Amadeo. Her unique and outgoing personality would be a great fit; she could even be part of the Opening or Interval Act.
3. Mirjam Weichselbraun
We always like to see people who have previous exposure to the Eurovision Song Contest and Mirjam has plenty of that. She has been the host of the Austrian National Selection Shows four times and that alone should make her a front runner for the job. Her resume is impressive and it would take too much time and space to go over everything that she has accomplished but the 32 year old star is not a host, she also worked as an actress (including voice work), appeared on Stage and interviewed big time celebrities including Jon Bon Jovi and Nickelback. So having such a versatile talent as part of the hosting team is a no-brainer to me.
4. Arabella Kiesbauer
Arabella is not only known in Austria but has had a long career in Germany as well. She was born and raised in Vienna by her grandmother so having a local person hosting the contest can’t be a bad thing. The 45 year old journalist started her career with ORF in the 80s and had her big breakthrough in 1994 when she became the host of her own daily talk show in Germany. The show ran for ten years and during that time she also posed for Playboy. In 1995 she was the target of a letter bomb and unfortunately her assistant was injured. Thankfully they caught the guy and justiced was served.
5. Eric Papilaya
You probably recognize that face and/or name. This handsome fella represented Austria back in 2007 with the song “Get A Life – Get Alive”. Even though he didn’t manage to qualify to the Finals, Papilaya continued to release music in his home country. He previously took part in Starmania where he placed fifth. He has been the host of Music Nuggets on Servus TV and currently works at Puls-4-Studio. His personality and resume would make the 36 year old a great fit!
The oldest person on this list is a fan favorite as he was the first Austrian winner when in 1966 convinced the juries with the song “Merci, Cherie”. Some may not even know this but the 79 year old veteran actually took part in the contest three times (1964, 1965 & 1966). Jürgens sold more than 100 million records and wrote over 800 songs. His career started in 1950 when he won a composer contest organized by ORF and things just took off from there. His music has been so popular in Germany, Austria and Switzerland that in 2007, the Musical Ich war noch niemals in New York (I’ve never been to New York) opened in Hamburg using his music into a familial storyline. How awesome would it be to have a legend host the contest?
7. Conchita Wurst
No introduction needed, she just has to be on that list. Conchita’s victory has been one of the most memorable ones in the history of the contest sending a message across the continent that equality and freedom are human rights and not to back down under any circumstances. Her warm personality and status as a fan favorite would make her a perfect choice and considering Ms. Wurst is the reason we’re going back to Austria for the first time in 49 years, she should be a shoo-in for the hosting job.
8. Christoph Waltz
Why not bring some Hollywood glamour to Eurovision? Waltz has won more awards than anybody else on this list and includes an Academy Award/Oscar as best Supporting Actor in Inglourious Basterds. He is one of Austria’s biggest exports so giving him the hosting job would only be appropriate. Yes, he is an actor and may not have the same amount of hosting experience as some of the other folks on this list but he has been a guest host at “Saturday Night Live” in New York. Plus, he speaks English, German and French fluently so he’ll be the perfect person announcing the results.
9. Kati Bellowitsch
She may look familiar to you and there is a reason for that. Since Austria’s return to the contest in 2011, Bellowitsch has announced the points given to other countries from Austria during the voting phase of the evening. And who can forget her 2014 appearance when she decided to support Conchita Wurst by wearing a fake beard. She is very well liked among Eurovision fans. She also has plenty of Hosting experience under her belt including Forscherexpress and Drachenschatz.
10. Arnold Schwarzenegger
Another Hollywood legend is Action Star Arnold Schwarzenegger who also was the Governour of California for eight years. Everybody knows this guy so no need to go into details. Some may say he has been involved in too much personal drama but let’s face it. Having the Governator hosting the biggest music competition in the world, that will draw a lot of attention and new viewers which is something that we can’t just easily disregard.
So who do you think should host the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest in Vienna? Vote in the poll, you can also add your own suggestions.
Don’t forget to join the conversation HERE and share your thoughts with fans and readers from all across the globe.