Once again Germany, I’m sorry. Sorry that I have to have a last place among so many dedicated, talented and enthusiastic artists, but as I always say, this isn’t an objective assessment of quality or talent, but my own pure subjective take on what I like the most or find most skippable on Spotify. I’m afraid that this does mean I have the German entry, this year the singer Malik Harris and his song “Rockstars”, in my last place for the second year in a row.
Malik is a 24 year old singer whose song “Rockstars” (cowritten by Malik) was shortlisted for the German national final (making a return after a couple of years of internal selection). While the selection of songs in the final was, to put it mildly, quite a samey and beige selection, Malik won the televote and came second in the online vote, making it a fairly convincing win (no national or international juries were used in the final vote).
To focus firstly on the positives – it’s a heartfelt song that clearly means a lot to Malik himself, it’s a positive he is a cowriter of it, and he’s a good live singer (not always guaranteed!). It’s a modern sounding song, and for better or worse, it is not a polarising entry like 2021’s effort. The lyrics are relatively deep and very personal – and their fluency no doubt helped by fact Malik has an American father (a Germany-based actor and TV presenter), who was present at the national final (and who camera cut to during the live performance).
For all that though, it does take my last place. Why? Well, the genre and tempo is not a favourite of mine, and I’m just not that keen on the timbre of Malik’s voice. It does remind me somewhat of the 2016 Swedish entry, “If I Were Sorry” and that was a song I was not at all fond of. What really puts it in my last place though is the (angry) spoken word section of the song. Some people say that is the best part, but for me it’s what seals it as a “Spotify skipper” for me.
Germany of course have a guaranteed place in the final, but they will be hoping to improve on the last two contests where they have not received a single point from the public votes (though did at least scrape some jury votes). I happen to think this might escape that fate as it’s a fresher song, with a decent singer, but I am doubtful if it will escape the bottom 5 and depending on what qualifies for the final, could be in the running for last place. It’s the weakest of the big 5 by some way so there is, for once, likely to be no UK to rescue or accompany it in the lower echelons of the scoreboard.
Germany in the Eurovision Song Contest
First entered: 1956
Appearances (excluding this year): 64
Best result: Winner 1982, 2010
Last year’s result: 25th