Carola Conze, Germany’s new head of delegation for Eurovision 2016, is ready to avenge the country’s last place finish from Vienna. To that end she’s announced that she’s ending the Clubkonzert for unknown artists. For the past two years the Club Concert has selected the wildcard for Germany’s national selection, resulting in Elaiza (2014) and Ann Sophie (2015) performing at ESC. Are you relieved, just a little?
Ms. Conze doesn’t mess about and she is aiming high. Speaking to eurovision.de, she doesn’t rule out winning again. In her mind it’s all a matter of “taking all the way up” once Germany is back in the game. It’s a case of go big or go home.
It appears that the Clubkonzert would interfere with those plans. After discussions with execs at ARD, she “sees little future in it”. It’s actually a very soft way to describe the show, which has produced an absolute zero and a meh-midtable song. Prior selections, including the early years of the Unser Song für…format, gave us Lena (winner!) and Roman Lob (eight place!). And it did that without any Clubkonzert creating sympathy for an outsider.
Germany’s decline in recent years began in 2013, when fan favourite Cascada finished in a pretty unglorious 21st place in Malmö. After that wildcard Elaiza wasn’t right for Copenhagen and finished 18th. And wildcard Ann Sophie became a zero of our time with “Black Smoke”.
Conze doesn’t elaborate on whether she will give a wildcard to an unknown performer, thereby allowing them to compete with the established acts (as in past years). The wildcard may very well still exist.
The issue we have with the televised Clubkonzert is that it builds so much hype for the wildcard that Germans may be tricked into feeling too much for them. This clouds their judgment in the national final and they may rank the wildcard higher than they normally would. Who of us doesn’t respond to David as he fights Goliath, or an amateur singer defying the odds to beat a sea of established acts? That’s the main fear of wiwibloggers Padraig and Luis, as you can see in our video reaction to the news below.
Would a third amateur in a row secure Germany yet another poor placing? Who knows: it could all be very Lena or very Ann Spohie. Who’d have thought the “Black Smoke” singer would have finished last with zero points anyway? Well, actually, wiwiblogger William did a night before the final (skip to 8:34)…