Eurovision 2018 Previews: Germany

Next up on our preview is the land of lederhosen, precision engineering and roads with no speed limits. It’s Germany!!!

History

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, Levina came 25th in the final with “Perfect Life”, one place higher than the previous two years.

Selection

The German broadcaster, ARD, organised Unser Song für Lissabon (Our Song for Lisbon), to select the German entry for Lisbon. Six artists were selected and then took part in a songwriting camp to create their entries. In the final, the winner was chosen by a 100-member Eurovision panel, an international expert jury and public voting. After getting top marks in all three votes, Michael Schulte was awarded the German ticket to Lisbon.

Artist

Michael Schulte was born on April 30 1990 in Eckernförde in Schleswig-Holstein in northern Germany and grew up in Dollerup. As he lived close to the border with Denmark, he attended a Danish-language school where he graduated from in 2009. After finishing school, he went onto complete his civil service. His musical career kicked off in 2008, when he would publish covers of songs onto his YouTube channel. From there, he was signed with a management company, and later signed with Weinstein Media. He made his first TV appearance in 2011, where he participated in the first series of The Voice of Germany, placing third overall. Afterwards he signed with Edel AG, and released his debut studio album “Wide Awake” in 2012. He has released two further albums: “The Arising” in 2014 and “Hold the Rhythm” in 2017.

The song Michael will perform in Lisbon, “You Let Me Walk Alone”, was written and composed by Thomas Stengaard, Nisse Ingwersen, Nina Müller and Michael himself.

Song Review

Germany may end their last-place woes yet! This song is heartfelt, beautifully constructed and full of sentimentality. It was the best of the bunch in the national final. It does come off a bit generic at times though. It’s not something exciting or new that we haven’t heard before. While I don’t think this will win, I think Germany have done enough to avoid the bottom of the scoreboard this time.

What Could Have Been

Another of the standout songs from the German selection was Ryk with “You and I”. Ryk’s soft voice combined with classical flares results in a beautiful song. This finished third in the final but it’s not without its fans. Conchita Wurst even said in an interview that this song was her favourite from the selection and that Germany may have passed up a winning song! Who knows what would have happened?

 

                          Viel Glück Deutschland!

Do you want to leave Michael alone or tag along with him? Leave your comments below. Stay tuned tomorrow for another Eurovision preview!

(Sources: eurovision.tv, ARD, Wikipedia, YouTube)

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Eurovision 2017 Previews: Germany

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!!!

History

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.

Selection

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.

Artist

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.

Song Review

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)