Like two years ago, the German broadcaster NDR has returned to a national final again, instead of making an internal choice. Last year’s singer Jendrik could not convince the juries and televoters and ended on the 25th rank, this entry was probably too shrill.
There have been six contestants fighting for the ticket to Turin this year. With a mix of online- and televoting the winner has been determined: Malik Harris with “Rockstars”. Unfortunately, the atmosphere has not been that relaxed and happy, due to the fact that one day before the show happened, Ukraine has been attacked by Russia. The Ukrainian winner from 2016 Jamala has been a special guest for that night and her song “1944” even had a deeper impact than six years ago. Malik Harris had Ukrainian flag on the backside of his guitar and showed it into the camera. The entire evening has been influenced by these circumstances.
Malik Harris was born in Landsberg am Lech (close to Munich) in 1997 and has US-American roots. His father Ricky Harris used to be popular talk master in German television. Malik’s music have been influenced by his musical orientated family, his grandfather was an opera singer and the grandmother a pianist. Malik started to study Spanish and French at the university, but did not continue as he has been focussing on making music. He started with singing cover songs and often used his guitar, keyboard and a loop station. His musical idols are named as Ed Sheeran, Macklemore and Eminem.
With his the success of his first EP “Like That Again” Malik started a solo tour already. Then his face was displayed on the Times Square Billboard in New York City for a week, when his song “When We Have Arrived” has been released. Malik had the chance to support international acts like James Blunt, Alex Clare, Jeremy Loops, Tom Odell and LP.
In the Eurovision song “Rockstars”, Malik tells his very personal story, looking back at the good old days of his childhood, when there were no big problems. Nowadays the world looks differently and we all yearn for the easy years of our youth. The song has a strong melody and even a rap part. With his positive attitude and charisma he will gain the hearts of the Europeans for sure. Let’s hope that it will also lead to a good result.
For Germany it’s the 66th time participating in the Eurovision Song Contest. Germany is one of the countries, which took part from the very beginning in 1956 until now, beside of one forced break in 1996. In that year there has been an international pre-selection and Leon’s “Planet Of Blue” has failed to qualify. In 1956 there were two entries per country allowed, Germany had “Im Wartesaal Zum Grossen Glück” by Walter Andreas Schwarz (2nd) and “So Geht Das Jede Nacht” by Freddy Quinn (also 2nd). In that year there was only one winner and all other participants came 2nd.
Germany was often very close to victory, with six second places it was very successful even though in the German charts, especially in the 1970’s and 1980’s. But in 1982 a young girl named Nicole was able to capture the European hearts by a storm with a little song of peace in rough political times called “Ein bisschen Frieden”. A lot of people believe that this peace song profited from the political circumstances. For a long time this was the only German winning entry, until another young cheeky girl named Lena could win with her unpretentious song called “Satellite”. Lena received almost all high votes from all over Europe. This song went number one in many European countries right after the ESC. A great success after countlessly attempts of German composers and songwriters – and particular Ralph Siegel - to bring the trophy back to Germany. Both singers Nicole and Lena are still successful in the music industry.
Germany belongs to the Big 5 countries (France, Germany, Italy, Spain and United Kingdom) – the biggest financiers of the EBU – so therefore these countries get a granted place in the Grand Finals and they don’t have to qualify anymore like the other countries.
One of the most successful German composers is Ralph Siegel. This guy has written a great amount of the German entries. He also wrote songs for Luxembourg, Montenegro and San Marino. He kept up the Eurovision spirit over decades with all his engagement against all critics.
The general interest in the Eurovision Song Contest changes from year to year, especially after Guildo Horn’s “Guildo hat Euch lieb” (7th) in 1998 a real “Eurovision-fever” has overwhelmed the entire country. Thanks to the popular German TV celebrity Stefan Raab, who even took part himself with “Wadde Hadde Dudde Da” in Stockholm 2000, and came 5th.
In the year 2011 Germany had the honour to host the Eurovision Song Contest for a second time after 28 years, after Munich 1983, the choice felt to Dusseldorf. The Germans showed how much they can love and celebrate the ESC. Furthermore the Germans were keen to show their latest stage technology in the Esprit Arena in Dusseldorf. The contest was a big success for the city of Dusseldorf, for the ESC and last but not least - the positive image of Germany as a Eurovision-enthusiastic-country. Unfortunately, the stroke of luck passed by. In the past years the German ESC songs did not shape up very well with one exception in 2018, when Michael Schulte could achieve a great 4th place with “You Let Me Walk Alone” in Lisbon. All the other German entries since 2013 were found at the bottom of the scoreboard.