Eurovision 2019 Review: Austria – Pænda – Limits

paenda limits

Austria sends electro pop artist Pænda with ballad ‘Limits’
Austria had one of the biggest successes in their Eurovision history last year, mostly thanks to the inclusion of juries. Cesár Sampson’s ‘Nobody But You’ managed to win the jury vote in the final, but did not perform as well with televoters at home. His 13th place in that ranking delivered him the 3rd spot overall. The Austrians opted for another internal selection this year and electro pop artist Pænda is the lucky one. Her song ‘Limits’ will represent the country in Tel Aviv in May, in hopes of bringing the trophy home once more after Conchita Wurst’s victory in 2014. But what are the chances of qualification?

Although Pænda, who has released one studio album so far with the second being released in April, is mostly known for her heavily electronic pop style, she is going to Eurovision with an almost completely stripped back song. Her ‘Limits’ starts out with hardly any instrumentation to back her up. She works her way through the verses almost a capella, sounding fragile and emotional. In the chorus she hits a couple of high notes, but even then the song remains stripped back and understated. Although the pure emotion of ‘Limits’ will definitely stand out as one of the most quiet moments of the evening, the comments on YouTube highlight the risk of sending a track like this to Eurovision. A considerable amount of the people who love the song, admit that it took them more than one play to fall in love. This is a clear disadvantage in Eurovision, as most listeners won’t hear it more than once or twice before voting.

As with every entry in Eurovision, a lot will depend on how Pænda will get the song across live on stage. If she vocally nails this and succeeds in keeping the attention of the viewer with a compelling visual performance, she might actually turn out to be one of the surprises of the night and a dark horse in the competition, that will probably impress the juries more than the televoters. Whether Austria will succeed or not, Pænda delivers another classy track for her country.

Review on semi-final performance:
Paenda brings one of the most fragile and quiet moments of the night and although ‘Limits’ is a beautiful composition, the high notes start to become somewhat repetitive towards the end. It seems like Paenda was struggling to keep her voice under control, possibly due to nerves. Especially towards the end she sounded uncertain and missed some notes. The visual part of things was on point with beautiful lighting and camera work. This song however needed a pitch perfect, emotionally gripping vocal. Unfortunately that is not what Paenda delivered and we won’t see her again in the final on Saturday. It later turned out that she finished 17th out of 18 with a painful 0 points from televoters at home.


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