German broadcaster ARD has internally selected popular German R&B singer Xavier Naidoo as Germany‘s act for 2016. The traditional national final competition will be replaced with Unser Song für Xavier, where the public will vote on the song Xavier will perform in Stockholm.
The last we heard from Germany, their new Head of Delegation was planning to ditch the Clubkonzert component of the 2016 national selection, but it was implied that there would still be some sort of national final. Now Eurovision.TV has confirmed that Xavier Naidoo has been internally selected by broadcaster ARD, with a national final to choose his song.
Unser Song für Xavier
Some of Germany’s top songwriters and producers have been invited to submit songs. On 15 December, a panel of three music experts, including 2010 and 2011 representative Lena, and with input from Xavier, will select a shortlist of six songs. From them, input will be sought from film and art students on ideas for staging.
On 18 February Das Erste will broadcast Unser Song für Xavier, where Xavier will perform the six songs and viewers will vote, with the winning song becoming Germany’s entry for Eurovision 2016. Germany previously used a similar format in 2011 when Lena performed 12 songs, and on a smaller scale in the finals of 2010 and 2012.
Xavier Naidoo is a hugely successful artist in Germanophone countries. Since the late 1990s, his music has regularly charted in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. He’s a major star in Germany, though he is also known for his unusual political views and belief in conspiracy theories.
In 2011 and 2012 Xavier was a judge on The Voice of Germany, where he mentored Iveta Mukuchyan. In 2012, as part of the duo Xavas, he won the Bundesvision Song Contest with the song “Schau nicht mehr zurück” (“Don’t look back”).
This reported change is yet to be confirmed by ARD or NDR, but it follows Germany’s double trouble earlier this year. During the live national final of Unser Song für Österreich, Andreas Kümmert – who had won with a landslide 78.7% of the vote – dramatically announced that he did not want to participate in Eurovision 2015.
The honour instead went to runner-up Ann Sophie. However her song “Black Smoke” did not go down well in Vienna, scoring a disappointing nil points along with Austria. With that result, it seems that the traditional Unser Song für… format was in need of a shake-up and this change could be what Germany needs.
Is Xavier Naidoo a good choice for Germany? What sort of song should he sing? Should ARD go back to the traditional Unser Song für… format? Share your thoughts below.