Now that the National Finals season is finished and all songs for Eurovision 2016 have been selected we now have a period of around 5 weeks where we wait for the rehearsals to begin in Stockholm. What better way to fill the time than to look back over the 60 years of Eurovision at some of the best and worst entries that countries have sent to the Eurovision stage. There are 43 countries going to Stockholm to take part in the 2016 edition of our favourite musical extravaganza and we continue our journey with Germany who have won the contest on two occasions, finished 2nd on six occasions, 3rd on five occassions and finished last on six occasions. This has been achieved in 59 participations meaning they have only missed one Final and this was because they failed to qualify from an audio only qualification process in 1996. You can check out the previous articles in the best and worst series for Ireland HERE ,Spain HERE, Austria HERE, Bosnia & Herzegovina HERE, Iceland HERE,Belarus HERE, Denmark HERE and Georgia HERE.
On the day that this article was due to publish it was announced that Roger Cicero who represented Germany in Helsinki in 2007 has died from the effects of cerebral infraction. In November last year he collapsed due to exhaustion. His song was ‘Frauen regier’n die Welt’ and was very well received but only finished in 19th position. Here as a fitting tribute is a video of his performance.
So this year Germany are represented by Jamie-Lee with the song ‘Ghost’. We will have to wait and see if it turns out to be more of a best or worst song for Germany but the overall reaction is fairly positive so far. You can catch up on our recent article announcing who would represent Germany HERE.
So my selections for best and worst entries are based on a combination of actual results and personal taste. Now Germany have the most entries to choose from of any country making the choice all the harder as they have had many good entries over the years as well as a few absolute howlers.
The first song in our look back at Germany’s best and worst starts with one of the howlers . The year was 1998 in Birmingham and the artist was Guildo Horn with the song ‘Guildo hat euch lieb!’
Now Birmingham was my first ever contest that I attended and I was in awe of it all. From the wonders of Chiara and Jill Johnson to the delights of Danijella and Dana International, then we had Guildo Horn. He was sandwiched between Israel and Malta in performance order and Oh what a performance. Inspired or downright awful depending on your sense of humour. It certainly was the utmost parody song and included the playing of cowbells and then climbing all over the stage gantry and going into the audience and ruffling Katie Boyle’s hair. It surprisingly did well in the voting and finished 7th with 74 points.
Moving along we look at one of the best entries for Germany. We were in Oslo in 2010 to see the resurgence of contemporary German music that was Lena with the song ‘Satellite’.
Lena Meyer-Landrut to use her full name was a discovery from the show Unser Star für Oslo and the song was written by an American/Danish collaboration. The presentation on the Eurovision stage was simple, Lena in a back dress with backing singers but no choreography and low lighting. The simple but catchy pop song certainly was one of the favourites and so it proved when the votes came in as it stormed to victory with 246 points. It went on to also storm the charts in Europe reaching number 1 in seven countries.
So now we move back to look at another worst entry for Germany. We were in Millstreet back in 1993 and the performers were a group called Münchener Freiheit who sang the song ‘Viel zu Weit’
Now this song was a ballad with the singer describing “untouched worlds” and comparing them to the problems of our own. It’s only problem was that it was a tad dull and even in the heavily laden ballad years of the 90’s this did not hit the right spot with the juries. It ended up in 18th place with 18 points.
Our next song has us delving back into the mists of time almost before I care to remember although I do remember this amazing song. The year was 1975 and we were in Stockholm to see Joy Fleming singing the song ‘Ein Lied kann eine Brücke sein‘.
Now this song has lots of history attached to it for various reasons. First off Joy had 3 British backing singers, Madeleine Bell who was the lead singer of the group Blue Mink and Sue and Sunny who were in the original line up of Brotherhood of Man before they went to Eurovision. Also they were backing singers for when Lulu won in 1969. Then composer Rainer Pietsch’s unconventional and highly energetic count-in as he conducted the orchestra in Stockholm; Pietsch loudly stomped his foot and yelled “One, two! One, two, three, four!” and right before the second verse he suddenly made a leap in the air. The song was sung in English in the last chorus. Joy performed this soulful ballad with much energy and I am to this day astounded that it only finished in 17th position with only 15 points. It has become a huge fan favourite especially among those of a more mature nature.
So onto our last song that was one of Germany’s worst. We were in Dublin in 1995 to see Stone and Stone perform the song ‘Verliebt in Dich’
Now the song was a religiously themed ballad and was sung by the husband and wife duo Glen and Cheyenne. It was not well received by the juries and in fact failed to attract anything but one measly point from Malta leaving it languishing in last place 23rd.
We now arrive at the last song for Germany and it is the first ever winner for Germany and still to this day a lovely song to listen to. It was 1982 and we were in Harrogate to see Nicole sing ‘Ein bißchen Frieden‘
Written by the timeless and enigmatic Ralph Siegel who also was on stage for the performance playing the piano. The gentle ballad describes a wish for world peace, with the lyrics sung in first person, and also describes the beauty of the natural world. Nicole was sat on a stool playing a white acoustic guitar during the performance. It ended up winning with 161 points and went on to top the charts in eight European countries including the UK. Nicole sang the winning reprise in English, French, Dutch and German.
So there we have it folks, my little delve into German Eurovision history and some of the best and worst moments over the years. Do you agree with all or even any of my choices? Feel free to comment below.
This series will continue with another look at songs over the years for each and every country competing in Eurovision 2016 so keep coming back for more reflections of the best and worst that Eurovision has had to offer us.
Author: Andrew Main
Source: Eurovision Ireland