Germany in the Eurovision Song Contest
|Member station||NDR (1996–) (ARD)|
|National selection events|
|Best result||1st: 1982, 2010|
|Nul points||1964, 1965, 2015|
|Germany's page at Eurovision.tv|
| For the most recent participation see|
Germany in the Eurovision Song Contest 2021
Germany has officially participated in every Eurovision Song Contest since its beginning in 1956, except in 1996 when its entry did not qualify past the audio-only pre‐selection round, and consequently was not seen in the broadcast final and does not count as one of Germany's 64 appearances. No other country has been represented as many times. Along with France, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom, Germany is one of the "Big Five" countries that are automatically prequalified for the final, due to being the largest financial contributors to the European Broadcasting Union (EBU). The final is broadcast in Germany on ARD flagship channel, Das Erste. Germany has won the contest twice, in 1982 and 2010.
Germany first won the contest at the 27th attempt in 1982 in Harrogate, when Nicole won with the song "Ein bißchen Frieden" (A Little Peace). The second German victory came 28 years later at the 2010 contest in Oslo, when Lena won with "Satellite". Katja Ebstein, who finished third in 1970 and 1971, then second in 1980, is the only performer to have made the top three on three occasions. Germany has a total of 11 top three placements, also finishing second with Lena Valaitis (1981) and twice with the group Wind (1985 and 1987), and finishing third with Mary Roos (1972), Mekado (1994) and Surpriz (1999). Germany has finished last on seven occasions, receiving nul points in 1964, 1965 and 2015.
Having not reached the top-ten in 12 of the last 17 contests (2005–21), Michael Schulte achieved Germany's second-best result of the 21st century, by finishing fourth at the 2018 contest. Although German contestants have had varied levels of success, public interest remains high and the contest is one of the most-watched events each year.
Since 1996, ARD consortium member Norddeutscher Rundfunk (NDR) has been responsible for Germany's participation in the contest. The Eurovision Song Contest semi-final is broadcast on NDR Fernsehen (One and Phoenix in recent years), and the final is broadcast on Das Erste, the flagship channel of ARD.
The German representative in the contest is usually chosen during a national selection, broadcast on public television channel Das Erste, which is organized by one of the nine regional public broadcasting organizations of the ARD; from 1956 to 1978, Hessischer Rundfunk (HR); from 1979 to 1991 Bayerischer Rundfunk (BR); from 1992 to 1995, by Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk (MDR) and since 1996, by Norddeutscher Rundfunk (NDR). Between 2010 and 2012, private broadcaster ProSieben worked in partnership with NDR.
Radio coverage has been provided, although not every year, by Deutschlandfunk (DLF) and Bayern 2 from 1970 to 1979, hr3 from 1980 to 1985, 1991–94, 2007 and 2011 (both stations in 1983), NDR Radio 2 from 1986 to 1990, 1995 to 2006 and 2008–13, and WDR1LIVE in 2011.
Since 2010 production company Brainpool, which also co-produced the 2011 Eurovision Song Contest in Düsseldorf and the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest in Baku, have worked with NDR to co-produce the German national finals.
Germany has often changed the selection process used in order to find the country's entry for the contest, either a national final or internal selection (occasionally a combination of both formats) has been held by the broadcaster at the time.
The Federal Republic of Germany has participated in the contest since its inception in 1956. Germany participated in the first competition in 1956, but their placement in the contest is not recorded because only the first-place winner, Switzerland, was announced. Prior to the German reunification, the country was occasionally presented as "West Germany". The German Democratic Republic (East Germany) did not participate in the Eurovision Song Contest but instead took part in the Intervision Song Contest. This marked the first time that former East Germany participated in the contest in 1991 following the reunification on 3 October 1990.
With one win (1982) and four second-place results (1980, 1981, 1985 and 1987), Germany is the second most successful country in the contest in the 1980s, behind Ireland, who had two wins in the decade.
Germany is one of the founding countries of the Eurovision song contest.
ARD had selected an artist and song to represent them at the 1996 contest, to be held in Oslo, Norway. Due to the large number of countries wanting to compete at Eurovision, the EBU determined that only 23 of the 30 countries could compete. Hosts Norway qualified automatically, the other 29 songs went into an audio-only pre-qualification round, with the top 22 going on to compete alongside Norway in Oslo. Unfortunately for Germany, its entry, Leon with "Planet of Blue", failed to earn enough points to progress to the final, finishing 24th. ARD and the EBU were not happy with this, as Germany was the biggest financial contributor at the time. This is the only time that Germany has been absent from the contest.
In the 2000s, Germany has been notable for their adoption of musical styles which are not typical of Eurovision, such as country and western (Texas Lightning – "No No Never" in 2006) and swing (Roger Cicero – "Frauen regier'n die Welt" in 2007 and Alex Swings Oscar Sings – "Miss Kiss Kiss Bang" in 2009). Germany had some successes throughout the decade, Lou - "Let's Get Happy" came in 11th place out of 26 in 2003. Germany tied for last in 2008 for points, but was awarded 23rd of 25 places when the results were posted. In 2009, ARD held an internal selection for the first time since 1995 due to lack of interest and viewing figures of the German national finals. Alex Christensen and Oscar Loya were selected to represent Germany at the 2009 contest, where they performed on stage with burlesque artist Dita von Teese. However they only managed to receive 35 points, placing 20th of 25 competing countries.
In 2010, ARD approached former entrant and songwriter Stefan Raab and private network ProSieben to co-operate in finding a winning entry for the country. It has been said that Raab was approached due to his good record at the contest, finishing 5th in 2000 as well as writing entries in 1998 and 2004, which finished 7th and 8th, respectively. Raab agreed and conducted a TV casting show called Unser Star für Oslo (Our star for Oslo) which was broadcast on ARD and ProSieben. A winner arose in Lena Meyer-Landrut with "Satellite", who went on to win the contest. Two further collaborations with ProSieben provided the second and third top ten result in a row respectively in 2011 (Lena, who returned to defend her title with "Taken by a Stranger") and 2012 (Roman Lob with "Standing Still").
The streak of top 10 finishes was broken in the 2013 contest, when Cascada's song "Glorious" finished 21st with 18 points. The group Elaiza in 2014, Ann Sophie in 2015, Jamie-Lee in 2016. and Levina in 2017 finished in 18th, 27th (last), 26th (last) and 25th (second to last) place respectively. Ann Sophie became the country's third entry to finish with nul points, followed by Nora Nova in 1964 and Ulla Wiesner in 1965, and the first since the introduction of the current scoring system in 1975.
Germany's luck changed in 2018, when Michael Schulte brought them back to the top 5 for the first time since 2010 with "You Let Me Walk Alone," finishing in fourth place. This is the first time since 2012 that more than one country from the Big 5 has made the top ten (with Italy finishing fifth) and the second time (after 2002) that two Big 5 countries have made the top five since the establishment of the rule. The year after, the duo S!sters with the song "Sister" was not able to replicate the same success, receiving nul points from the televote to finish in 25th place overall with 24 points.
Germany and the "Big Five"
Since 1999, four countries – Germany, Spain, France and the United Kingdom – have automatically qualified for the Eurovision final regardless of their results in previous contests. These countries earned this status by being the four biggest financial contributors to the EBU, and due to their untouchable status, became known as the "Big Four". In 2009, it was reported that the Big Four could lose their status and be forced to compete in the semi-finals; however, this never materialised, and the rule remained in place. When Italy returned to the contest in 2011, it was given the same untouchable status, thus upgrading the countries to members of a "Big Five".
Germany was the first Big Five country to win the contest after the rule was introduced, courtesy of Lena in 2010. In terms of success, they are currently second behind Italy, who won in 2021 with Måneskin, and finished second in 2011 with Raphael Gualazzi and again in 2019 with Mahmood. However, taking into account Italy’s absence from the contest for the first eleven years of the rule’s existence, Germany remains the only country to have won out of the original "Big Four".
|Entry selected but did not compete|
Congratulations: 50 Years of the Eurovision Song Contest
|Artist||Language||Title||At Congratulations||At Eurovision|
|Nicole||German||"Ein bißchen Frieden"||Failed to qualify||7||106||1982||1||161|
|1957||Frankfurt am Main||Großer Sendesaal||Anaid Iplicjian|
|2011||Düsseldorf||Esprit Arena||Anke Engelke, Judith Rakers and Stefan Raab|
Barbara Dex Award
|1956||Fernando Paggi||N/A||Host conductor|||
|1958||Dolf van der Linden||N/A||Host conductor|
|1960||Franz Josef Breuer|
|1961||Franck Pourcel||Host conductor|
|1977||Ronnie Hazlehurst||Host conductor|
|1984||Pierre Cao||N/A||Host conductor|
Additionally, several German conductors have conducted for other countries (not counting instances where a German musical director had to step in for another country that didn't bring their own conductor), including:
|Klaus Munro||Luxembourg||1972||Winning conductor|
|Thilo Krasmann||Portugal||1976, 1978, 1979, 1994, 1995, 1997|
|Rolf Soja||Luxembourg||1978, 1986|
|Rolf Zuckowski||Switzerland||1979, 1981|
Heads of delegation
|Year||Head of delegation||Ref.|
Commentators and spokespersons
This section needs additional citations for verification. (January 2020)
Over the years ARD commentary has been provided by several experienced radio and television presenters, including Ado Schlier, Thomas Gottschalk, Jan Hofer, Wolf Mittler, Fritz Egner and Werner Veigel. However Peter Urban provided ARD TV commentary every year since 1997, however due to his health issues in 2009 he was forced to step down as role as German commentator with HR disc jockey Tim Frühling filling in to commentate at Moscow. Urban returned to commentate for Germany in 2010. In 2020, Michael Schulte was set to commentate the contest together with Urban. Both of them commentated the replacement show Eurovision: Europe Shine a Light instead, as well as the show "Eurovision Song Contest 2020 - Das deutsche Finale" from the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg.
|1956||Wolf Mittler||No spokesperson|
|1959||Elena Gerhard||Hans-Joachim Rauschenbach|
|1962||Ruth Kappelsberger||Klaus Havenstein|
|1963||Hanns-Joachim Friedrichs||Werner Veigel|
|1964||Hermann Rockmann||Lia Wöhr|
|1966||Hans-Joachim Rauschenbach||Werner Veigel|
|1971||Hanns Verres||No spokesperson|
|1974||Werner Veigel||Hanns-Joachim Friedrichs|
|1979||Ado Schlier, Gabi Schnelle||Lotti Ohnesorge|
|1987||Christoph Deumling, Lotti Ohnesorge||Gabi Schnelle|
|1988||Nicole, Claus-Erich Boetzkes||Lotti Ohnesorge|
|1989||Thomas Gottschalk||Gabi Schnelle|
|1991||Max Schautzer||Christian Eckhardt|
|1992||Jan Hofer||Carmen Nebel|
|1996||Ulf Ansorge||Did not participate|
|1997||Peter Urban||Christina Mänz|
|2009||Tim Frühling||Thomas Anders|
|2010||Peter Urban||Hape Kerkeling|
|Not announced before cancellation|||
|2021||Peter Urban||Barbara Schöneberger|
|Songs of Europe||Unknown||Das Erste|
|Congratulations: 50 Years of the Eurovision Song Contest||Peter Urban||SWR, WDR|
|Eurovision Song Contest's Greatest Hits[k]||NDR, MDR, EinsFestival|
|Eurovision: Europe Shine a Light[l]||Peter Urban, Michael Schulte||Das Erste|
- Germany in the Junior Eurovision Song Contest
- Germany in the Eurovision Young Dancers
- Germany in the Eurovision Young Musicians
- Germany in the Eurovision Dance Contest
- Germany in the Türkvizyon Song Contest
Notes and references
- The full results for the first contest in 1956 are unknown, as only the winner was announced. The official Eurovision site lists all the other songs as being placed second.
- Contained English, French, and Dutch words in the reprise.
- In 1996, Germany failed to qualify for the contest from the pre-qualification round. The official Eurovision site does not count 1996 in Germany's total list of appearances.
- Spain originally gave its 12 points to Israel and 10 to Norway. After the broadcast it was announced that Spanish broadcaster wrongly tallied the votes and Germany should have got the top mark - 12 points - instead of being snubbed, as it happened. The mistake was corrected and so Germany was placed 7th over Norway. Israel and Norway both received 2 points less than originally and Croatia, Malta, Portugal, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Belgium, Estonia and Turkey all received one point less than indicated during the broadcast.
- While Austria and Germany both finished with no points, Austria is listed as finishing ahead of Germany due to the tiebreaker rule that favours the song performed earliest in the running order.
- The 2020 contest was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Contains two sentences in German
- All conductors are of German nationality unless otherwise noted.
- Also conducted for Belgium, Luxembourg, and Switzerland
- Although the song didn't actually feature the orchestra, Raab still took the conductor's bow as the song's composer, writer, and arranger.
- Broadcast on 16 May (NDR and MDR Fernsehen) and 22 May (EinsFestival)
- Broadcast on a one-hour delay.
- "So wird der deutsche Act für den ESC 2021 gesucht". eurovision.de (in German). 7 July 2020. Retrieved 8 July 2020.
- "Eurovision 1956 Results: Voting & Points". Eurovisionworld. Retrieved 4 March 2020.
- "Eurovision - Country: Germany". Eurovision Live. Retrieved 3 March 2020.
- Floras, Stella (16 December 2008). "Germany: No national final for 2009". ESCToday. Retrieved 26 May 2009.
- O'Connor, John Kennedy (2005). The Eurovision Song Contest 50 Years The Official History. London: Carlton Books Limited. ISBN 1-84442-586-X.
- Murray, Gavin (28 May 2008). "Big 4 (France: Germany; Spain; United Kingdom): May lose automatic place in Eurovision final". ESCToday. Retrieved 13 September 2008.
- Viniker, Barry (14 September 2008). "Eurovision 'Big Four' final spots confirmed". 'ESCToday'. Retrieved 14 September 2008.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 12 February 2010. Retrieved 24 May 2009.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- Fulton, Rick (14 May 2007). "The East V West Song Contest". Daily Record. Retrieved 24 May 2009.
- "Rules for the Eurovision Song Contest 2009" (PDF). European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 18 July 2009.
- Washak, James (19 March 2021). "Germany: NDR Starts The Search For Its Eurovision 2022 Entry". Eurovoix. Retrieved 1 April 2021.
- Adams, William Lee (9 July 2015). "Poll: Who was the worst dressed Barbara Dex Award winner?". Wiwibloggs. Retrieved 8 December 2019.
- Roxburgh, Gordon (2012). Songs for Europe: The United Kingdom at the Eurovision Song Contest. Volume One: The 1950s and 1960s. Prestatyn: Telos Publishing. pp. 93–101. ISBN 978-1-84583-065-6.
|volume=has extra text (help)
- Roxburgh, Gordon (2014). Songs for Europe: The United Kingdom at the Eurovision Song Contest. Volume Two: The 1970s. Prestatyn: Telos Publishing. pp. 142–168. ISBN 978-1-84583-093-9.
|volume=has extra text (help)
- Roxburgh, Gordon (2016). Songs for Europe: The United Kingdom at the Eurovision Song Contest. Volume Three: The 1980s. Prestatyn: Telos Publishing. ISBN 978-1-84583-118-9.
|volume=has extra text (help)
- Rau, Oliver (23 May 2005). "Jürgen Meier-Beer withdraws". esctoday.com. Retrieved 18 December 2019.
- "Eurovision Rewrites the Rule Book". dw.com. 7 October 2007. Retrieved 18 December 2019.
- Granger, Anthony (6 September 2015). "Germany: Carola Conze New Head of Delegation". eurovoix.com. Retrieved 5 December 2019.
- Granger, Anthony (1 November 2017). "Germany: Carola Conze Steps Down as Head of Delegation". eurovoix.com. Retrieved 5 December 2019.
- Granger, Anthony (2 March 2019). "Germany: Christoph Pellander To Step Down as Head of Delegation in July". eurovoix.com. Retrieved 5 December 2019.
- Kourouvanis, Fotis (5 December 2019). "Germany: New Head of Delegation". eurovisionfun.com. Retrieved 11 December 2019.
- "Dr. Peter Urban kommentiert". duesseldorf2011.de (in German). 17 December 2010. Archived from the original on 24 March 2012. Retrieved 5 July 2011.
- Eurovision Club Germany
- Bayer, Felix (27 February 2020). "Professionell - aber auch originell?" (in German). Spiegel. Archived from the original on 28 February 2020. Retrieved 28 February 2020.
- NDR. "ESC 2020: Ben Dolic bei "Unser Lied für Rotterdam"". eurovision.de (in German). Archived from the original on 28 February 2020. Retrieved 28 February 2020.
- Wærhaug, Sølvi (24 August 1981). «Nesten krise …». VG. s. 36.
- Wærhaug, Sølvi (18 August 1981). «Fire verdensdeler følger Momarkedet». VG. s. 37.
- "Eurovision Congratulations to be screened in Germany". ESCToday. 28 September 2005. Retrieved 30 September 2019.
- "Germany: Will Broadcast Eurovision's Greatest Hits". Eurovoix. 2 April 2015. Retrieved 2 April 2015.
- "Jubiläums-Show: "Eurovision's Greatest Hits" im TV". NDR. 24 April 2015. Archived from the original on 26 April 2015. Retrieved 24 April 2015.
- Granger, Anthony (26 April 2020). "Germany: Organises Two Shows To Determine The Nations Eurovision 2020 Winner". Eurovoix. Retrieved 9 July 2020.
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