Eric Papilaya, finalist of the 3rd season of the Austrian talent show Starmania, has been chosen by the Austrian public brodcaster to represent the country at the 52nd Eurovision Song Contest.
On 26th of January the Tyrolian Nadine Beiler won the 3rd edition of Starmania, an Austrian talent show, beating Thomas "Tom" Neuwirthby a landslidegetting 68% of all votes cast over mobile phones by viewers of the show. ORF, the Austrian public service broadcaster,contacted the participants of the talent show andasked them if they were interested to represent the country at the forthcoming Eurovision Song Contest. Finally they madethe decision: Eric Papilaya, one of the finalists of the 3rd season of the Austrian talent show Starmania, will hold the red-white flag of the country in Helsinki.
The 28 year old singer comes from Laakirchen, he's also guitarist and has theatrical experience. His song will be officially presented to the public on early March. For the first time there will be a co-operation with Life Ball, Europe's largest AIDS charity event, which annualy takes place in Vienna as Eric's song will be the official theme song of the show. Gery Keszler, the supervisor of the charity event stated: ''That is a great opportunity to send our message of the tolerance and joy of lifeto millions of Europeans''
Last year Austria didn't participate at the contest in protestof their poor results in previous years. In October of 2006 ORF announced the country's come-back. Eric Papilaya will have to compete at the semi-final of 10th May.
You can watch Eric's performance of HRHat the Starmania show here.