Throwback Thursday: The secret is out thanks to Nadine Beiler

Tell the truth… you forgot about Nadine Beiler.

Last year “surprise” top finisher Austria is having a pretty decent run at the Eurovision Song Contest lately. Cesár Sampson came in 3rd place with “Nobody But You,” and shocked many the bookmaker with the high result, but his strong vocals and flawless staging secured his position as one of last year’s best. It’s hard to fathom that the country has 7 last-place finishes in the contest given their recent success.

So I had a lot to work with when it came to picking a song. Selecting “The Secret is Love,” sung by Nadine Beiler seemed fitting. Eurovision loves it’s divas and Nadine’s vocal met the bar. 

Did you forget about Nadine?

She may not be rocking the bob hairstyle anymore, but this chanteuse won the 3rd season of Austria’s Starmania.  Think of Starmania like a watered down version of Idol but in Austria. 

Pssst… Conchita Wurst was on Starmania at the same time!

At any rate, with 68% of the votes— Nadine was on the path to Eurovision stardom. On February 25, 2011 Nadine won the Austrian national selection and prepared to make her mark on the Eurovision stage.

Setting the stage: Eurovision 2011

Eurovision 2011 was in Germany. It is honestly one of my favorite Eurovision years, admittedly not for the music though. The production itself was just QUALITY. The hosts were great (actually funny) and the semis and final just flowed well. Let’s not forget that 2011 was Austria’s return to the contest after taking a 6-year hiatus.

Going into the final, I was rooting for Italy. Raphael Gualazzi’s, “Madness of Love,” still hits and is one of my FAVORITE Eurovision entries of all time. Now, I had a feeling Azerbaijan was going to take top honors, but “The Secret Is Love,” always stuck out to me. Nadine’s vocal stood out to me. She was nervous. She was timid. She was unpolished, but still there was something so enduring about her performance. It was HER. It was Nadine Beiler.

With the design of the contest being built around the motto “feel your heartbeat,” Nadine gave me all the feels with her sincerity and authenticity. She may have only come in 18th place overall but in the jury scores, “The Secret Is Love” was in 5th place!

What our other editors had to say:


Whilst “The Secret is Love” is not one of my all time favourite entries, and – to wind back to Alesia’s very first sentence – I had definitely forgotten of its existence, there is no doubt that this goes down as one of the most professional entries Austria has sent. 

It is absolutely no surprise that the juries ate this one up with such delight. In equal measure, it’s totally understandable that the televoters forgot all about it compared to other entries on the night. 

Indeed, for me the song that I most love from 2011 is the ever iconic “What About My Dreams” by Kati Wolf for Hungary. In actual fact, the top 5 at the 2011 contest is possibly the worst set of results for me as a fan that ever occurred – I didn’t like any of them. I couldn’t believe Hungary scored so low, but sometimes the contest throws up results so surprising that all you can do is sit back and enjoy the show for what it is… though if anyone can actually offer an explanation as to how Ukraine finished fourth, I’d appreciate it.


2011 is one of my favourite years to date, along with 2014. So a lot of entries stood out to me. Whilst the contest was held in Germany, my 12 year old self was actually obsessed with “The Secret is Love”. I had it on repeat and thought it was pure perfection. Fast forward to now, aged 19, I must admit that I forgot about this song. Upon hearing it again for the first time in forever, I still enjoy it. However, the whole concept of love songs makes me cringe unless they’re not in English. I have a tendency to avoid songs in my native language unless it’s of an indie/rock nature. Nevertheless, “The Secret is Love” was a good, solid entry in a strong and memorable year. Even with that winner.

By the way, Bosnia & Herzegovina should’ve won.


If there is a country that has shown to be properly versatile in the last few years, that is definitely Austria. Look at their track record since their return, and all songs are radically different. Out of all of them, “The Secret Is Love” is the most obviously down my alley. Somehow, though, I never quite managed to connect with it. Sure, Nadine has an amazing and powerful voice, but to me that was about it. The song is just a collection of cliches and the staging did nothing to help it. In the year of Poli, Aurela, and Lena at her highest and most amazing, she was never going to stand out in the female field. So, in general and to sum up, it’s a no from me.

Btw… Germany should have pulled the back-to-back!


A type of ballad that the likes of Simon Cowell go bananas for, but the Eurovision viewers can’t be bothered to vote for. I’m not madly in love with it and I don’t dislike it either, I think it’s just – there. Nadine has a good voice and I think Austria deserved to qualify, but I think their result was deserved. Wonder how well the D-dorf audience would have reacted to Trackshittaz “Oida taunz” though….

What do you think of Austria’s 2011 entry? Discuss below or follow us on social media on @ESCXTRA. 

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