Since October, Germany‘s broadcaster NDR has been working through its complicated national selection process. And now it seems the broadcaster had found the six candidates who will compete in Unser Lied für Lissabon. The German tabloid newspaper Bild has published the names of the six acts. And while the names haven’t been confirmed by the broadcaster — they’ve got fans talking.
The six named artists are Ivy Quainoo, Michael Schulte, Natia Todua, Rick Jurthe, Steal a Taxi and . These six artists have gone through the selection process, which started with over 4000 acts, both newcomers and established artists.
The acts were whittled down using feedback from the so-called Europe panel, a group of 100 Germans selected to reflected the music tastes of Eurovision viewers in general.
But is this list of six names correct? ARD’s entertainment coordinator Thomas Schreiber hasn’t denied anything, but he isn’t prepared to confirm the acts yet. In a comment to Prinz Blog, he says, “At the present time, NDR will not comment on the speculation — for one simple reason: of the 6 participants in the preliminary round so far only 4 have reported back. Only when we have confirmations from all 6 participants, will we announce all 6 (planned as soon as possible).”
Schreiber also notes that while it was originally intended to have five finalists, the total has been expanded to six due to feedback from fan groups.
Ivy Quainoo is one of the best-known artists in the selection. She made a name as the winner of the very first season The Voice of Germany. Back in 2012, she won the show by a landslide and five years later you can still hear some of her songs on German radio stations. Ivy was born and raised in Berlin and her parents are Ghanaian. She currently lives in New York, but for the last few months, she was touring Germany.
Michael Schulte was also a contestant on the first series of The Voice of Germany. He made it to the grand final, and while Ivy Quinoo won the series, he placed a very respectable third. In the grand final, he performed a duet with the then-upcoming UK singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran. Since his time on The Voice, Michael has released a number of singles in a folk-pop style.
Natia Todua is the most recent winner of The Voice of Germany, winning the seventh series just two weeks ago. The Georgian-born singer had previously tried her luck on The X Factor Georgia and The Voice Ukraine — without much luck. Her fortuned changed when he entered The Voice of Germany, after working in Germany for a year as an au pair. The soul singer with a big voice has built up a fanbase in Germany, but fans have pointed out that being a Voice of Germany winner was no benefit to 2015 winner Jamie-Lee Kriewitz who placed last at Eurovision 2016.
Upcoming singer-songwriter Rick Jurthe also performs under the names Ryk and as part of the duo FOXOS. The newcomer may be familiar as one of the many artists who entered into San Marino’s 1 In 360 contest. There his talents weren’t overlooked — he was one of the 69 acts shortlisted for the fan club vote. He didn’t make the cut of San Marino’s ten finalists, but, one could argue, performing in Unser Lied für Lissabon will surely give his German career a bigger boost than the San Marino national final would.
Steal a Taxi
Steal a Taxi is a four-piece indie pop group, fronted by lead singer Makeda. The group formed in 2010 and describe themselves as “funky, fresh and so good lookin’!” They have been regularly gigging around Germany and have released a number of videos. It is not known whether Steal a Taxi have ever stolen a taxi.
Are you ready for some Trackshittaz-déjà vu? But unlike the Austrian group, these guys are not rapping, but singing and yodelling – in Bavarian! Known for combining their charming attitude with a modern yet traditional folk music sound, their fanbase is huge. VoXXclub’s song “Rock mi” even counts more than 19 million YouTube views. These five guys are more than ready for Eurovision and were often considered by German fans in the past.
If any of these six acts aren’t on the final list, we can expect one of the following names to be a replacement. Prinz Blog has compiled a list of 16 of the 17 shortlisted acts.
- Benedikt Köstler
- Boris Alexander Stein
- Danyal Demir
- Ivy Quainoo
- Juan Geck
- Lara Loft
- Michael Schulte
- Natia Todua
- Steal A Taxi
- Vinh Khuat
- Xavier Darcy
The six acts headed to the national final will be revealed when all the names are confirmed. The grand final of Unser Lied für Lissabon will be held on February 22 in Berlin.
What do you think? Would you be happy for these six artists to compete in the German national final? Who should represent Germany in Lisbon? Share your thoughts below.