Tonight, the German national final ‘Unser Star für Baku’ came to an exciting and suspenseful climax as the nation rallied to select their representative and song for the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest. Only two singers, Roman Lob and Ornella de Santis, were left in the running where they each sang three songs, one for each being selected for the epic showdown that was the Super Final.
For Ornella, it was an obvious choice. Quietly was a beautiful, simple song that had a very musical theatre/Disney sound to it. In fact, I thought it drew remarkable parallels to Memory from the musical ‘Cats’. Plus, the song suited her voice way better than the other two.
Performing second was Roman Lob with Standing Still, penned by British singer-songwriter Jamie Cullum. It is a great piece of anthemic adult contemporary pop that suited Roman’s style to a tee and was the song that brought the crowd and jury to its feet. With such a rousing reception, I was 90% sure that Roman Lob would win. I was proven right when, in an exciting last two minutes of voting that saw the jury members pacing and clambering up their seats in nervous anticipation, it was announced that Roman Lob won and will fly the German flag in Baku at the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest with Standing Still. Check the German entry below:
Germany 2012: Roman Lob – Standing Still
Despite the semi-finals being a bit lackluster, I can safely say the final of ‘Unser Star für Baku’ was definitely one of the more exciting national finals this season. It also produced yet another worthy contender in this year’s line-up, one that will surely make a splash on stage. At the time of writing, Roman Lob is trending worldwide on Twitter. Pretty exciting stuff and Standing Still is such a great song, so I’m really excited to see it competing at the Eurovision Song Contest.
As one fan eloquently put it, it’s time for us to stop Running Scared and learn to keep Standing Still.
We have a major Eurovision event taking place tonight: The Host City Insignia Exchange Ceremony, where the mayor of last year’s host city Düsseldorf will hand over the ‘Eurovision Keys’ to the mayor of the current host city, Baku. Also on the agenda will be the Semi-Final Allocation Draw, where lots will be drawn to determine which countries will be participating in the two Semi-Finals.
Thirdly, (and what I’m most looking forward to) the Host Broadcaster will unveil the visual theme, identity and slogan of the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest. To round it all off, we will have performances by former Eurovision-contestants and winners, namely Ruslana, Safura, Aysel, Lena, Alexander Rybak and of course, Ell/Nikki. Check out how the preparations are going.
Not too shabby, I must say. The show starts at 17:00CET and you can catch it live on eurovision.tv. Just make sure you have the Octoshape plug-in installed.
All images are courtesy of Eurovision.tv
Whilst out randomly YouTubing, I came across this awesome video that reminded me of possibly the best band/group to come out of Germany since forever: Dschinghis Khan! Oh, the costumes! The cheese! The über-catchy songs! The camp of it all! No other group has surpassed them and I doubt they ever will be. Here they are performing their iconic hits, nay, anthems: Dschinghis Khan and Moskau at the 2009 ‘Legends Of Eurovision’ concert:
Egads! It’s been 30 years and they still have that irrepressible energy! I’ve attempted those Russian hand stand things and all I’ve got to show for it is a sore bottom.
Winner of the 2010 Eurovision Song Contest, Lena Meyer-Landrut, has released a new single entitled Who’d Want To Find Love. The song will be featured in the upcoming re-release of her smash hit album ‘Good News’ and has been composed by reputed British singer-songwriter Ellie Goulding. Have a listen below:
It’s a fun, upbeat, catchy little song that really suits Lena’s unique vocals. It also makes for the perfect song to drive to this summer.
Lufthansa, the official airline of the 2011 Eurovision Song Contest, have been spotted flying their Eurovision colours:
It would have been nice to have the artist’s renderings to look at well but in this way, the reveal is bit more exciting. Design-wise, NDR seems to have combined the scale and simplicity of Oslo 2010 with the glamour and production of Moscow 2009. Of course, it’s too early to tell but with an 18×60 metre LED screen running along behind the stage, that massive lighting rig above and those running LED lights all across the stage, it looks like it’s going to be one of the best stages in a long time. Plus, having the audience completely surrounding it brings something completely new and unique as well.
I’m particularly intrigued by the running LED light sections on the floor, originating from the main stage and projecting outwards. My guess is that these lights will be visible from amongst the audience members and will serve to visually integrate them with the stage, much like how the overhead lights from Oslo 2010 did.
Another point of note is that it would appear that they are placing the Green Room directly behind the LED screen/stage like last year. I loved how the winner was introduced, with the entire backdrop being majestically raised to reveal Lena’s awestruck expression.
All-in-all, I think the stage is looking fantastic, even if it is on the verge of being derivative from previous stages. However, the 360 aspect is completely new for the Eurovision Song Contest and no doubt the production values of the German broadcaster will lift the show to new heights.
Tonight saw two ‘Big 5’ countries select their Eurovision entries, and I for one am wholly pleased with the results. After a slew of disappointing selections (Iceland, I’m looking at you), I’m happy that some countries are managing to get it right!
GERMANY: After two semi-finals, Germany’s preselection ‘Unser Song für Deutschland’ culminated in a Grand Final featuring six songs, one of which would represent the host nation this year. After the performances, I pegged Mama Told Me, Push Forward and Taken By A Stranger as my personal favourites to win. Naturally I was pleased when Push Forward and Taken By A Stranger went through to the Super-Final and ultimately, Taken By A Stranger came out on top. I’m loving the song, as I feel it was unique and stood out a mile and will do so on the big night. Taken By A Stranger is sexy, sophisticated and spooky and will do well in the competition. It’s also the most contemporary and unusual offering thus far and will definetly make an impact.
SPAIN: Lena had barely finished reprising Germany’s newly selected 2011 Eurovision entry before it was time to switch over to watch Spain’s national final. After some mediocre songs and a touch of drama, it was Lucía Pérez who won the right to represent the Iberian country with Que me quiten lo bailao. Literally (and roughly) translated as ‘May they never take me away from what I’ve danced’, the title is a Spanish colloquialism which means ‘They cannot take away from me the good things I’ve lived’. It was certainly the best song on offer and it has an authentic charm that could see Spain do well. It reminds me a bit of Portugal 2009 actually, and that’s a good thing. It’s a warm, happy and uptempo song that will get Esprit Arena dancing. Good choice Spain!
On a side note, I’ll admit that after Iceland’s, Belgium’s and Ireland’s dismal selections, I was a bit disheartened at the direction this year’s contest was heading, but my faith was restored when Germany showcased the entries from The Netherlands, Switzerland, Norway and Romania and it reminded me that there were indeed some brilliant songs already selected. At this point, my Top 3 would have to be Germany’s Taken By A Stranger, Norway’s Haba Haba, and Switzerland’s In Love For A While.
After Erik, Nadia and Haddy’s flawless and professional hosting of the 2010 Eurovision Song Contest in Oslo, German organisers have got some pretty big shoes to fill. I’ve always felt that hosts should be more than parrots spouting lines like ‘Good evening Europe’ and repeating spokepersons’ votes in French. Hosts need to have a certain chemistry that will gave the show that special magic that will make the entire contest truly memorable. For me, the best hosts this decade were Janna and Miko, who presented the 2007 Eurovision in Helsinki. Those two had so much charisma and chemistry, it just lifted the show to another level. Of course, we’ve had our fair share of parrots, Alsou and Ivan from Moscow 2009 being the most recent example.
So who could pull off presenting Düsseldorf 2011? I wouldn’t mind these two:
German model and fashion icon Heidi Klum and Oscar Loya, German representative in 2009. Heidi will bring the glamour and Oscar will do well with his charisma. They are both bilingual and, with their vast experience on the stage/runway, they should do a credible job hosting the Eurovision Song Contest. On top of that, Heidi has the cutest accent. It’s sort-of American with a sublte German lilt that is pleasing to the ear. And they ain’t bad on the eyes either.
Now I’m not too familiar with the German entertainment industry so I’m not an authority on German TV personalities who would make good hosts. For all I know, there might be folks out there better suited for the task than these two. But these are the two that come to mind.
Alright, so according to the German media, four cities have had their bids shortlisted to host the 2011 Eurovision Song Contest. Namely Berlin, Düsseldorf, Hamburg and Hanover.
Apparently, we were supposed to hear an announcement on the 15th of September but clearly that hasn’t happened. Fans have been left scratching their heads wondering where we’ll be headed to come May.
Everyone has their favorites but the general consensus is that we’ll be heading to Berlin. Personally, I’m all for Berlin. It’s an amazing, modern and artistic city that will no doubt embrace the Eurovision with open arms. Also, there is that historical significance. The last two times Germany hosted the contest in 1957 and 1983, they did so in Frankfurt and Munich respectively. Both times Berlin was out of question because of the separation of West Germany from East Germany and all that. Therefore, its quite something for Germany to be hosting the Contest for the first time as a unified country and in that regard, what better way than having it in Berlin?
Only one thing stands in the way of Berlin’s bid and that is their proposed venue. Many thought Berlin would give us this:
The O2 World Arena. The perfect venue to house the extravagant production Eurovision has become. It really would have been perfect. But instead, they proposed this:
The now defunct Tempelhof Airport. It has long since ceased service and is now a protected monument of some sort and the people of Berlin are trying to find new uses for it and save it. But using it to host Eurovision? It’s way too small and way too old. Granted, its certainly different and fits that zany Berlin artistic sensibility. But I just can’t picture it.
Now Düsseldorf has it going on for me. Their proposed venue is the Esprit arena:
Now that is awesome! I almost see another production like Moscow 2009.
Hamburg and Hanover are out for me. Though I love both cities (Hamburg is the Eurovision capital of Germany and I’ve got family in Hanover), their venues were not up to scratch.
So there we have it. Personally, I think it will be either Berlin or Düsseldorf. According to the media, the supremos at the EBU and ARD like Düsseldorf for the arena but are keen on Berlin as a city. Maybe they are trying to persuade Berlin to use the O2, hence the delay in announcing the Host City? I certainly hope so.
But no matter which city, our German hosts will undoubtedly put on a great show.
Where do you guys want to see the Eurovision being held?