There is only one week left before it all kicks off. THE EXCITEMENT!!! Bringing us into the final stretch of previews is our last group of countries; the automatic finalists. This group includes the Big 5, the five largest financial contributors to the Eurovision, and this year’s host nation. Kicking it off is the home of lederhosen, precision engineering and roads with no speed limits. It’s Germany!!!
Germany was one of the seven countries to take part in the very first Eurovision Song Contest in 1956. Apart from an absence in 1996, Germany has taken part in every single contest to date. They have won on two occasions, in 1982 when Nicole sang “Ein bisschen Frieden” and in 2010 when Lena sang “Satellite”. Last year, Jamie-Lee Kriewitz came last in the final with “Ghost”, landing Germany with its second consecutive last place.
The German broadcaster, ARD, used the format Unser Song 2017 to select this year’s German entry. New solo artists were invited to complete an online application or attend a live casting show. 2,493 singers were whittled down to just five for the national final. An in-studio panel were able to give comments on the performances, as well as international viewers through the Eurovision Vibes app, but the decision was solely done by public voting in Germany. The voting was conducted over four rounds. In the first round, the five candidates performed a cover song of their choice. The top three advanced to the next round. In the second round, the remaining contestants performed their version of “Wildfire”, one of the two candidate songs for Eurovision. The top two contestants advanced to round three. In the third round, the two remaining candidates performed their version of “Perfect Life”, the other candidate song. The public then picked their two favourite combinations of both artist and song. In the final round, Levina battled herself to determine which song she would sing in Kyiv.
Isabella Lueen, known professionally as Levina, was born on May 1st 1991 in Bonn in North Rhine-Westphalia but was brought up in Chemitz in Saxony. She won the Jugend Musiziert contest at the age of 9 and started writing songs at the age of 12. After finishing secondary school, she went over to London and obtained a bachelor’s degree from King’s College London. She now splits her time between Berlin and London, where she currently studies music management at the London College of Music. Her debut album “Unexpected” was released last week. Her entry for Kyiv, “Perfect Life”, was written and composed by Lindy Robbins, Dave Bassett and Lindsey Ray.
If this is Germany’s attempt at not finishing last again, I’m not holding out for much. The song is sweet and it does sound a lot like what you would normally hear on the radio today (most notably “Titanium” *cough cough*) but it’s very flat and there is no journey. Instead of going for something spectacular, Germany have opted to send something very safe and cookie-cutter. If they want to get out of the last-place rut they have been in for the past few years, they will have to do a lot better than this.
What Could Have Been
Germany’s selection this year was chaotic, for a lack of a better word. (Well, at least the winner is actually going to Eurovision!) We didn’t get to hear some of the versions of the candidate songs but of those we did hear, I think Levina’s rendition of “Wildfire” would have been a better choice for Germany. It has what “Perfect Life” lacks; feeling, a journey in the song and no allegations of plagiarism. It’s no winner but to me, it had a better chance of avoiding last place.
Viel Glück Deutschland!
Will Levina have a perfect time at Eurovision this year? Leave your comments below. Stay tuned tomorrow for another Eurovision preview!
(Sources: eurovision.tv, ARD, Wikipedia, YouTube)