It’s another of the big 5 now and poor Germany has suffered even more than the UK in recent years in the contest (aside from their 2010 win!), coming last in 2015 and 2016, and only a slight improvement last year with second from last. Can the Mick Hucknall-esque Michael Schulte improve their recent record?
Michael won the German national selection, Unser Lied für Lissabon, by a country mile and I can kind of understand why – it’s a heartfelt ballad, sung well, and has a personal backstory. The song is a tribute to his deceased father, who passed away when Michael was 17. Inevitably there have been comparisons made to Ed Sheeran in terms of the type of song this is, though I think that is almost inevitable for solo male ballads of this sort.
So the two questions are – what do I think of it and will Germany avoid the bottom 3? On the first question, I don’t actively dislike it (else it would have been lower in my list) but at same time it doesn’t do anything for me. Heartfelt tribute it may be, but I feel like I’ve heard this song many times before. I personally wanted Ivy Quainoo to win after seeing her performance in the final, singing “House on Fire” but it wasn’t to be. Hopefully she will get to represent Germany at the contest in the future.
There isn’t a consensus on how this will do in Lisbon. Some people are rating this highly, and saying this could be Germany’s best result since 2012 when they finished in the top 10. Others are more sceptical, and I’m currently one of those. Like the UK, and several other countries, Germany has to put something really stand out in to have a chance of doing well. Their last three songs have all been decent, yet finished near the bottom. That was mostly undeserved, but such is the nature of the contest that could also happen with this song – a decent ballad sung in English can get swallowed up (unless you’re Australia, Sweden, Russia or Azerbaijan which get points regardless of their entry), especially being from Germany.
So it will be interesting to see if Michael can buck the recent trend of German results or if he will be languishing in the bottom part of the scoreboard again (possibly with a couple of other Big 5 countries…)
Official music video:
Live at German national final (Unser Lied für Lissabon):
Germany at the Eurovision Song Contest:
First entered: 1956
Appearances (excluding this year): 61
Best result: Winner 1982, 2010
Last year’s result: 25th