Germany in the Eurovision Song Contest 2015

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Eurovision Song Contest 2015
Country Germany
National selection
Selection processUnser Song für Österreich
Selection date(s)Club concert:
19 February 2015
Final:
5 March 2015
Selected entrantAnn Sophie
Selected song"Black Smoke"
Selected songwriter(s)
Finals performance
Final result27th (last), 0 points
Germany in the Eurovision Song Contest
◄2014 2015 2016►

Germany participated in the Eurovision Song Contest 2015 with the song "Black Smoke", written by Michael Harwood, Ella McMahon and Tonino Speciale. The song was performed by Ann Sophie. German broadcaster ARD in collaboration with Norddeutscher Rundfunk (NDR) organised the national final Unser Song für Österreich in order to select the German entry for the 2015 contest in Vienna, Austria. Prior to the national final, a wildcard selection round was held where undiscovered artists could apply to win a single wildcard to the main national final show. The wildcard winner, Ann Sophie, joined seven established artists that were invited to compete by the broadcaster in a show on 5 March 2015. After three rounds of public televoting, the winner was Andreas Kümmert with the song "Heart of Stone", written by Kümmert together with Christian Neander. However, upon the announcement that Kümmert had won the national final, the artist immediately forfeited his win so that runner-up Ann Sophie could go to Eurovision with the song "Black Smoke". The move garnered international media attention. The broadcaster confirmed in a post-show press conference that Ann Sophie would represent Germany at the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest with the song "Black Smoke".

As a member of the "Big 5" (France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom), Germany competed directly in the final on 23 May 2015 and did not have to qualify from one of two semi-finals held on 19 May and 21 May. However, Germany was obligated to vote in the second semi-final. In Germany's fifty-ninth Eurovision appearance on 23 May, "Black Smoke" finished in last place, twenty-seventh, out of 27 competing songs, making it the sixth time the nation had placed last in the history of the competition and the third time the nation received nul points.

Background[edit]

Prior to the 2015 Contest, Germany had participated in the Eurovision Song Contest fifty-eight times since its first entry in 1956.[1] Germany has won the contest on two occasions: in 1982 with the song "Ein bißchen Frieden" performed by Nicole and in 2010 with the song "Satellite" performed by Lena. Germany, to this point, has been noted for having competed in the contest more than any other country; they have competed in every contest since the first edition in 1956 except for the 1996 contest when the nation was eliminated in a pre-contest elimination round. In 2014, the group Elaiza won the German national final Unser Song für Dänemark, after qualifying from the wildcard round for new talents. Their song, "Is it Right", beat out entries from seven established German acts and went on to place 18th at the Eurovision Song Contest 2014 in Copenhagen.

NDR confirmed that Germany would participate in the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest on 23 May 2014.[2] On 8 September 2014, the broadcaster revealed details regarding their selection procedure and announced the organization of the national final Unser Song für Österreich.[3]

Before Eurovision[edit]

Unser Song für Österreich[edit]

Unser Song für Österreich ("Our Song for Austria") was the competition that selected Germany's entry for the Eurovision Song Contest 2015. The German national final took place at the TUI Arena in Hannover on 5 March 2015.[4] Like in the previous five years, the national final was co-produced by the production company Brainpool, which also co-produced the 2011 Eurovision Song Contest in Düsseldorf and the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest in Baku. Eight artists participated in the competition with two songs each; seven of the participants were established artists, while the eighth participant was selected from a club concert wildcard round for new talents. Both the club concert wildcard round and the national final were hosted by Barbara Schöneberger with Janin Reinhardt reporting from the green room during both shows.[4][5]

Club concert – wildcard round[edit]

Ann Sophie performing "Jump the Gun" during the club concert

One of the competing artists in the national final was selected through a wildcard round. German singer Andreas Bourani headed the campaign to encourage artists to submit their entries.[4] A submission period was open from 8 September 2014 until 9 January 2015 during which artists were required to upload a video with a performance of an original song or a cover version on YouTube and submit an online application. At the conclusion of the submission period, 1,213 entries were received.[6] Representatives of Norddeutscher Rundfunk (NDR), the production company Brainpool, youth-oriented and pop radio stations of ARD and the record labels Universal, Sony, Warner as well as some independent labels evaluated the performances received.[7] Ten artists were selected to compete during a live broadcast from the music club Große Freiheit 36 in Hamburg on 19 February 2015.[3] The winner, Ann Sophie, was determined solely by public televoting.[8] The wildcard round was aired on NDR Fernsehen, EinsFestival and online at eurovision.de.[9]

Draw Artist Song Televote Place
1 Klangpoet "4 U" 11.6% 4
2 Lars Pinkwart "Tornado" 5.7% 8
3 Sophie "Imperfection" 8.0% 5
4 Moonjos "Haggard Heart" 12.0% 3
5 Louisa "Boomerang" 2.5% 10
6 Aden Jaron "We’re on Fire" 7.3% 7
7 Alisson Bonnefoy "Burning Down" 7.5% 6
8 Ann Sophie "Jump the Gun" 24.1% 1
9 Sendi "Battlefield" 3.2% 9
10 Ason "Hey You" 18.1% 2

National final[edit]

Ann Sophie performing "Black Smoke" at Unser Song für Österreich
Andreas Kümmert performing "Heart of Stone" at Unser Song für Österreich

The national final featured eight competing artists performing their song entries. The seven established artists were revealed on 14 January 2015.[5] The selection of the winning entry was to occur over three rounds with public televoting determining the results for each round. The first round reduced eight artists to four, the second reduced four artists to two, and the third round was to result in the selection of the winning artist and song.[10] In addition to the performances from the competing artists, the show featured guest performances by Eurovision Song Contest 2014 winner Conchita Wurst, German singer Mark Forster and Swiss singer Stefanie Heinzmann.[11][12]

Artist Songs (English translation) Composer(s)
Alexa Feser "Glück" (Luck) Steve van Velvet, Alexa Feser
"Das Gold von morgen“ (The gold of tomorrow)
Andreas Kümmert "Home Is In My Hands" Andreas Kümmert, Christian Neander
"Heart of Stone"
Ann Sophie "Black Smoke" Michael Harwood, Ella McMahon, Tonino Speciale
"Jump The Gun" Beatgees, Katrina Noorbergen, Laila Samuels
Fahrenhaidt feat. Amanda Pedersen "Frozen Silence" Andreas John, Erik Macholl, Amanda Pedersen
"Mother Earth" Andreas John, Erik Macholl, Alexander Freund, Fiora Cutler
Faun "Hörst du die Trommeln" (Do you hear the drums) Ingo Politz, Bernd Wendlandt, Faun
"Abschied" (Farewell)
Laing "Zeig deine Muskeln" (Show your muscles) Michael Vajna, Nicola Rost
"Wechselt die Beleuchtung" (Change the lighting) Nicola Rost
Mrs. Greenbird "Shine Shine Shine" Chris Buseck, Sarah Nücken, Steffen Brückner
"Take My Hand" Sarah Nücken, Steffen Brückner
Noize Generation "A Song For You" Linnea Deb, Joyce Leong, Anton Malmberg Hård af Segerstad, Jewgeni Grischbowski
"Crazy Now" Grischbowski, Axel Ehnström
Round 1[edit]

In the first round, each artist performed one of the two songs they had selected to perform first. The top four artists were selected by televoting to proceed to the second round.

First Round – 3 March 2015
Draw Artist Song Result
1 Mrs. Greenbird "Shine Shine Shine" Eliminated
2 Alexa Feser "Glück" Advanced
3 Faun "Hörst du die Trommeln" Eliminated
4 Noize Generation "A Song For You" Eliminated
5 Ann Sophie "Jump the Gun" Advanced
6 Fahrenhaidt feat. Amanda Pedersen "Frozen Silence" Eliminated
7 Laing "Zeig deine Muskeln" Advanced
8 Andreas Kümmert "Home Is In My Hands" Advanced
Round 2[edit]

In the second round, the four artists that qualified from the first round performed their second song. Out of all eight songs of the remaining artists (both from round 1 and 2) the top two songs were selected by televoting. These two songs had to be from different artists. Should the top two songs have been from the same artist, only the first could advance together with the third placed song.

Second Round – 3 March 2015
Draw Artist Song Result
1 Alexa Feser "Das Gold von morgen" Eliminated
2 Ann Sophie "Black Smoke" Advanced
3 Laing "Wechselt die Beleuchtung" Eliminated
4 Andreas Kümmert "Heart of Stone" Advanced
Alexa Feser "Glück" Eliminated
Ann Sophie "Jump the Gun" Eliminated
Laing "Zeig deine Muskeln" Eliminated
Andreas Kümmert "Home Is In My Hands" Eliminated
Round 3[edit]

In the third round, public televoting determined the winning entry. At the conclusion of the show, Andreas Kümmert was selected as the winner with the song "Heart of Stone". However, upon the announcement that Kümmert had won, the singer ceded his win to runner-up Ann Sophie with the song "Black Smoke".[13][14] In regards to forfeiting his win to Ann Sophie, Kümmert stated: "I'm not really in the right shape to accept this" and "I just think that she's simply much more qualified and suited." His unprecedented decision to withdraw garnered international media attention.[15][16][17] Following the show, the German broadcaster held a press conference where they confirmed that Ann Sophie would represent Germany in Vienna with "Black Smoke".[18]

Third Round – 3 March 2015
Draw Artist Song Televote Place
1 Ann Sophie "Black Smoke" 21.3% 2
2 Andreas Kümmert "Heart of Stone" 78.7% 1

At Eurovision[edit]

Ann Sophie during a press meet and greet

According to Eurovision rules, all nations with the exceptions of the host country and the "Big 5" (France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom) are required to qualify from one of two semi-finals in order to compete for the final; the top ten countries from each semi-final progress to the final. In the 2015 contest, Australia also competed directly in the final as an invited guest nation.[19] As a member of the "Big 5", Germany automatically qualified to compete in the final on 23 May 2015. In addition to their participation in the final, Germany was also required to broadcast and vote in one of the two semi-finals. During the semi-final allocation draw on 26 January 2015, Germany was assigned to broadcast and vote in the second semi-final on 21 May 2015.[20]

In Germany, the semi-finals were broadcast on EinsFestival and Phoenix and the final was broadcast on Das Erste with commentary by Peter Urban.[21] The German broadcaster also broadcast the three shows with sign language performers for the hearing impaired on EinsPlus.[22] The German spokesperson, who announced the German votes during the final, was Barbara Schöneberger.[23]

Final[edit]

Ann Sophie at a dress rehearsal for the final

Ann Sophie took part in technical rehearsals on 17 and 20 May,[24][25] followed by dress rehearsals on 22 and 23 May. This included the jury final where professional juries of each country, responsible for 50 percent of each country's vote, watched and voted on the competing entries.[26] After technical rehearsals were held on 20 May, the "Big 5" countries, host nation Austria and special guest Australia held a press conference. As part of this press conference, the artists took part in a draw to determine which half of the grand final they would subsequently participate in. Germany was drawn to compete in the second half.[27] Following the conclusion of the second semi-final, the shows' producers decided upon the running order of the final. The running order for the semi-finals and final was decided by the shows' producers rather than through another draw, so that similar songs were not placed next to each other. Germany was subsequently placed to perform in position 17, following the entry from Montenegro and before the entry from Poland.[28]

The stage show featured Ann Sophie dressed in a black jumpsuit, high heels and a single large gold earring with black feathers. Ann Sophie began the performance with her back turned to the audience and then performed a routine that included walking, gesturing and dancing. The stage lighting was black and white with yellow spotlights and smoke being displayed on the background LED screens. Another element of the performance were large stage prop lamps that emitted a yellow light.[24][25] On stage, Ann Sophie was joined by four backing vocalists: Giovanna Winterfeldt, Bibi Vongehr, Lan Syreen and Kayna Okwuazu.[29]

At the conclusion of the voting, Germany finished last in twenty-seventh place, failing to score any points.[30][31] The nation initially tied with Austria as both countries finished with zero points, however, due to a tiebreaker rule that favours the song performed earliest in the running order, Germany was placed twenty-seventh, while Austria, which performed in position 14 during the final, placed twenty-sixth.[32] This was the sixth time Germany finished in last place and the third time the nation received nul points, the previous occasions being in 1964 and 1965.[1]

Voting[edit]

Voting during the three shows consisted of 50 percent public televoting and 50 percent from a jury deliberation. The jury consisted of five music industry professionals who were citizens of the country they represent, with their names published before the contest to ensure transparency. This jury was asked to judge each contestant based on: vocal capacity; the stage performance; the song's composition and originality; and the overall impression by the act. In addition, no member of a national jury could be related in any way to any of the competing acts in such a way that they cannot vote impartially and independently. The individual rankings of each jury member were released shortly after the grand final.[33]

Following the release of the full split voting by the EBU after the conclusion of the competition, it was revealed that Germany had placed twenty-fifth with the public televote and twentieth with the jury vote. In the public vote, Germany scored 5 points and in the jury vote the nation scored 24 points.[34]

Below is a breakdown of points awarded to Germany and awarded by Germany in the second semi-final and grand final of the contest, and the breakdown of the jury voting and televoting conducted during the two shows:[31][35][36][37]

Points awarded to Germany[edit]

Points awarded to Germany (final)
12 points 10 points 8 points 7 points 6 points
5 points 4 points 3 points 2 points 1 point

Germany did not receive any points at the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest.

Points awarded by Germany[edit]

Split voting results[edit]

The German jury comprised the following five members:[33]

  • Johannes Strate – Chairperson – bandleader, singer, songwriter
  • Leslie Clio – singer, songwriter
  • Mark Cwiertnia (Mark Foster) – singer, songwriter
  • Sascha Reimann (Ferris MC) – musician, rapper, actor
  • Swen Meyer – music producer
Split voting results from Germany (Semi-final 2)
Draw Country J. Strate L. Clio M. Cwiertnia S. Reimann S. Meyer Average Jury Rank Televote Rank Combined Rank Scoreboard (Points)
01  Lithuania 12 3 9 15 14 10 10 11
02  Ireland 8 4 7 5 3 4 12 9 2
03  San Marino 17 17 17 17 17 17 15 16
04  Montenegro 16 10 13 11 10 13 11 12
05  Malta 13 8 11 6 7 9 17 14
06  Norway 3 1 3 4 2 2 8 4 7
07  Portugal 7 9 14 12 13 11 9 10 1
08  Czech Republic 5 13 6 2 12 6 7 7 4
09  Israel 6 6 4 9 9 5 2 3 8
10  Latvia 1 2 1 1 1 1 5 2 10
11  Azerbaijan 11 16 8 7 16 12 13 13
12  Iceland 14 14 15 16 8 16 16 17
13  Sweden 2 5 2 3 4 3 3 1 12
14   Switzerland 15 12 10 13 11 14 14 15
15  Cyprus 4 11 5 14 5 7 6 6 5
16  Slovenia 9 7 12 10 6 8 4 5 6
17  Poland 10 15 16 8 15 15 1 8 3
Split voting results from Germany (final)
Draw Country J. Strate L. Clio M. Cwiertnia S. Reimann S. Meyer Average Jury Rank Televote Rank Combined Rank Scoreboard (Points)
01  Slovenia 15 8 19 13 10 10 23 20
02  France 21 25 12 6 22 17 25 22
03  Israel 9 7 6 18 8 9 7 6 5
04  Estonia 6 6 5 12 6 6 14 9 2
05  United Kingdom 20 20 26 14 23 23 26 26
06  Armenia 17 23 23 21 25 24 19 23
07  Lithuania 10 11 9 25 13 11 21 19
08  Serbia 16 22 17 19 11 15 9 11
09  Norway 4 4 4 3 2 3 15 7 4
10  Sweden 3 5 2 2 3 2 5 2 10
11  Cyprus 11 18 13 23 21 16 16 18
12  Australia 8 9 8 4 9 7 3 4 7
13  Belgium 5 3 7 7 4 5 4 3 8
14  Austria 7 10 11 10 5 8 17 12
15  Greece 13 19 16 22 18 19 13 17
16  Montenegro 19 16 25 16 14 20 24 24
17  Germany
18  Poland 22 26 14 17 20 22 8 13
19  Latvia 1 1 1 1 1 1 12 5 6
20  Romania 18 21 24 15 16 21 11 16
21  Spain 14 13 20 9 19 14 20 21
22  Hungary 12 17 10 20 15 13 10 10 1
23  Georgia 24 12 15 8 12 12 18 14
24  Azerbaijan 25 14 22 24 26 25 22 25
25  Russia 2 2 3 5 7 4 2 1 12
26  Albania 26 24 18 26 24 26 6 15
27  Italy 23 15 21 11 17 18 1 8 3

References[edit]

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External links[edit]