It didn’t take long for the first eurodrama of the season to shine through. Last Thursday, broadcaster ARD broke the news that award-winning artist Xavier Naidoo had been internally selected as the German representative for Eurovision 2016, thus scrapping any earlier plans for an open national final. A few hours later, German fans were raging with fury about the choice, flooding Twitter with fierce criticism against Naidoo and ARD, and triggering a media storm that has made headlines even in prominent German media such as the Berliner Zeitung or Focus OnlineBut warum, nur warum has the choice of an established artist like Naidoo gone down so badly with the German public opinion?

Is “internal” a synonym for “undemocratic”?

Germans want to have a say — whether they care about Eurovision or not. A large share of criticism towards ARD revolves around the fact that the German audience won’t have a say in the choice for Stockholm. Those who watched last year’s Unser Song für Österreich may well remember the outrage and disappointment seen in many faces in the audience when Andreas Kümmert turned down his ticket to Vienna after receiving a whopping 78.7% of the votes. So go figure now: absolutely no say about the artist, although the audience will have a say on February 18 about the song Naidoo will perform in Stockholm. Alas, internal selections don’t seem to go down well in a country where all citizens (regardless of whether they even own a TV set) are legally bound to pay a quite annoying TV licence (the infamous Rundfunksteuer).

Allegations of homophobia

But it’s not only about the internal selection, y’all. Xavier Naidoo is not only well-known for his successful hits, his victory at the Bundesvision 2012 or his trademark beret. He’s also known for his unconventional political views and lyrics that have caused quite a stir (what Germans quite accuately call a shitstorm!). It has led many to wonder aloud whether he’s the best choice to represent Germany in an international contest. Naidoo made big headlines in 2014 by starring at a rally by the Reichbürgera movement of citizens allegedly linked to far right parties who assert the existence of the German Reich and consider the current Federal Republic of Germany an occupied state. He is also alleged to uphold quite controversial views regarding conspiracy theories about 9/11. The whole controversy comes at a very delicate moment for Germany, when the rise of far-right movements like Pegida is reaching alarming proportions.

Some of Xavier’s old hits have also raised hackles: the NSFW lyrics for his 2012 track “Wo sind” featuring Kool Savas deals with violence against children, and many believe they carry a homophobic message. Some go as far as interpreting some hidden references to Hitler. Will Xavier fall prey to these homophobic accusations, just as Aram MP3 did in 2014? The drama is big with this one!

Xavier defends himself: “I want to bring the whole thing home”

Online petitions have already surpassed 15,000 signatories against Naidoo’s appearance in Stockholm. Both the German broadcaster and Xavier himself have stood their ground and denied the accusations. ARD’s Thomas Schreiber and Head of Delegation Carola Conze have stood firmly behind Naidoo, saying “He’s neither a right-wing militant, a homophobe or antisemitic.” The singer himself, who has pledged to bring Eurovision back to Germany, has released a statement condemning the tirades of hate towards him: “From my first performance ever on stage, I have stood openly behind values such as freedom, tolerance and love. No one that knows me personally has ever said otherwise. (…) I’m happy to live in a “colourful” Germany, with a richness in lifestyles and religions. (…) I stand behind freedom of speech. It’s indeed a shame that people who don’t know me at all are speaking ill about me just on the basis of unaccurate and unsubstantial information”.

A national final to let German viewers select a song for Xavier is scheduled for February 18th.

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ESCaddict
Guest
ESCaddict

Is this an attempt to manufacture drama where there is none or just an excuse to use “y’all”?

My Name Is Feminnem?
Guest

It’s completely irrelvant what he think of gays! that pink bubble thinking again…….some people are so self centered

ct greece
Guest
ct greece

My God, Germany just can’t seem to get its ESC choice right in the last few years does it? Choosing in artist because he has brown skin notwithstanding his problematic political activism which has been well-known for many years shows that there is something wrong with people making these sort of decisions. Taking part in a rally that calls for the re-establishment of the German Reich is no laughing matter in today’s Europe. Releasing a song about killing satanists that abuse children with homophobic lyrics like “why don’t you like vaginas, we all got out of one” is reminiscent of… Read more »

Julian
Guest
Julian

So this year will be booing of Russia and Germany already. One or too more and booing maybe be the next sought after trend in the near future.

mawnck
Guest
mawnck

All the Germans have to do is the same thing the UK always used to do to their singers – Pick the one song Xavier Naidoo absolutely DETESTS, so he’ll have to sing it for THE REST OF HIS LIFE.

PS – American here, born and raised in the South. I don’t understand the insistence on using “y’all” either (especially in italics). Whatever effect y’all are going for, I don’t think you’re achieving it. I hope you’ll stop.

(Reposted, without links to the UK videos, because fneh on the wiwibloggs comments filters, all y’all.)

Erin
Guest
Erin

Can you really not tell the difference between the right to express an opinion and the need to fight opinions based on prejudices which exclude entire groups over race, religion or sexual orientation? You can have an opinion about being against gay marriage, but that doesn’t mean you’re automatically anti-gay! You can have an opinion about Germany’s post World War One borders and territories lost, but you can’t pervert facts for populist and short term gains. There are obviously good people and bad people on every segment of the population, whether they are gays, black, white, Jewish, Christian, Muslim…you don’t… Read more »

mawnck
Guest
mawnck

All the Germans have to do is the same thing the UK always used to do to their singers – Pick the one song Xavier Naidoo absolutely DETESTS, so he’ll have to sing it for THE REST OF HIS LIFE.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bTBvCaw0SLM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ew43u2gS0Y
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lb0dBVWozRo
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bHe9l9JYMLg

PS – American here, born and raised in the South. I don’t understand the insistence on using “y’all” either (especially in italics). Whatever effect y’all are going for, I don’t think you’re achieving it. I hope you’ll stop.

Adam
Guest
Adam

Unlike Mans, these allegations seem to have some solid basis to be made upon, so i wouldnt be surprised of some worthy backlash against him

esc1234
Guest
esc1234

mans and aram mp3 “drama” are nothing compared to this. i grab my popcorn and i am not voting for germany this year 🙂

WillFran
Guest
WillFran

I’m stressed because you persist in using that irritating word! You’re taking the biscuit now. I used to enjoy this site, but that’s the last straw, I won’t be visiting this site anymore, you just can’t take the criticism on board.

Brnik
Guest
Brnik

The Queen of Europe you say – who the hell is that?

Sarah
Guest
Sarah

Who cares!

Michael
Guest
Michael

oh god another year of this…….boring

Muscle_joe
Guest
Muscle_joe

So any talk about homosexuals is now homophobic? No wonder why no one takes Eurovision seriously…

Österrike
Guest
Österrike

This silly sh*tstorm is so outrageous Y’ALL!! Hasn’t the Queen of Europe preached tolerance and acceptance? Hasn’t she made the case? Why does Xavier Naidoo, who is an astounding artist and lyricist, get so tangled up in silly accusations? How can he be homophobic, when he wrote a public letter to Angela Merkel, demanding marriage equality? I think it is a kind of stupidity to misinterpret his lyrics and call him something that he is not. He had this one song with Savas, but it is clearly against conspirationalists in the dark, committing satanic rituals and blood sacrifices on children.… Read more »

CookyMonzta
Guest
CookyMonzta

@adrianauk, Charles: In the end, the German people will ultimately decide if he goes to Stockholm or must be replaced.

mocosuburbian
Guest
mocosuburbian

Okay just using y’all is passable but going so far as italicizing it is just cringe

Charles
Guest
Charles

PS: This whole y’all thing is just too Britney-Spears-dummy-blond-bs … can we try to inject some smartness into the attitude please? Nobody wants to be 15 in their thirties … or at least I’d like to think so.

Charles
Guest
Charles

And controversy for 2016 already started … and fans love it in hindsight whether they’d like to admit it or not. Then … we don’t have a song, yet the singer is already being slammed to bottom position due to alleged homophobic and anti-semite statements and, as predicted, gay fans are already attacking him … with no real evidence … classy and typical (yet they don’t mind the whole backstabbing among themselves during a night out at the club or at the .. bath… oh never mind!). The point is again, we still don’t have a SONG … I repeat… Read more »

@EugeneESCUK
Guest

Firstly with regard to the selection process :- If someone asked me to choose a song for the UK, I would do EXACTLY the same as ARD. It’s very rare to get a really good artist and a really good song together. So I would select the artist internally and give the artist 6 songs and let the public choose the song, but I would have a professional jury as well. The UK tried this for 12 years from 1964 to 1975…………………….. EVERY song was a TOP 10, 11 of the 12 songs were Top 5’s, 6 of the 12… Read more »

No more y'all
Guest
No more y'all

GIVE IT A REST WITH THE Y’ALLS!

Padraig Muldoon
Editor

@WillFran (aka No more y’all) almost all your comments relate to the use of “y’all”… I think you’re the one who needs to rest. The fact that your comment is written entirely in caps suggests that you are rather stressed.

blondboybc
Guest
blondboybc

Nil points!

jr esc nl
Guest
jr esc nl

Maybe they spotted a trend of homophobes ending up in the top 10 and asked xavier to represent them? xD

Thiefo
Guest

Aram in 2014 and Mans in 2015, every year seems there to be a target homophobic and whatnot accusations.

True or not, I don’t really care, if his song is a good one I’ll support Germany, if not.. well.. not! As simple as that.

DenizNL
Guest
DenizNL

Ooow the drama, pass me the popcorn please. But seriously, I hate that he is like that, but that doesn’t make me hate him.

fikri
Guest
fikri

aww, i was just starting to like him. :/ but based on his statement, he seems genuine. idk. i don’t wanna dwell on it too much… in the end of the day, it’s all about the music and performance and i’m sure he will do his best to entertain the majority gay audience in stockholm come may 2016.

Dave24574
Guest
Dave24574

Germany: Zay-wro points!

adrianauk
Guest
adrianauk

Inocent till proven guilty 🙂

Firehunter
Guest
Firehunter

He is too ugly for Eurovision.

V
Guest
V

Boo Germany!