Stefan Raab and his Eurovision protégé Lena

With Eurovision 2011 done and dusted, Stefan Raab can finally loosen his lips about Düsseldorf. In a series of recent interviews, the 2011 host and former Eurovision contestant declared his formal retirement from the song contest, and dished on his favorite acts.

“The final of the 2011 Eurovision Song Contest was an absolute highlight of my Eurovision Song Contest career,” Raab said at a May 19 press conference. “I have decided I will not be involved as a host, chairman of the jury, composer and musical producer in the Eurovision Song Contest in Germany any more.”

Given his rather lame performance as host this year, old Stefan may be stepping out of the spotlight before it’s forcibly turned off. At this year’s contest Wiwi and Vebooboo were not impressed with his sexist sense of humor, or his lackluster English (he made Latvia’s 2010 contestant Aisha seems like she had a strong grasp of English).

In a separate interview with Germany’s Total TV, Raab divulged that Serbia’s pharmacy-student-cum-Eurovision-contestant Nina emerged as his favorite. “Such a funny background…on the big screen there was such a tunnel that one almost goes crazy watching it if seated in the stadium!” Sounds like 12 points to us.

Raab, of course, was impressed by his darling Lena, and made no mention of the media’s recent portrayal of her as a “super bitch.”

“Of course I’m quite proud of Lena as well, she did an unbelievably good job in the past year.  She was 19 when she won ESC and not even a year later she is taking part again.  I have a great deal of respect for her efforts and the pressure she put herself under…I take my hat off to her.”

Despite seeing some acts perform more than nine times during the week, Raab still failed to predict the final results.  “I hadn’t actually thought Azerbaijan would win. I thought Jedward would place well.  I found Greece and Italy surprising.  It’s a big surprise that he (Italy) came so far.”

It’s also surprising that more Eurovision fans aren’t familiar with Raab’s colorful performance at the 2000 Eurovision Song Contest in Stockholm. Singing “Wadde hadde dudde da?”—a farcical ditty sung in an invented German dialect—he placed fifth, dressed as a futuristic cowboy.