German national broadcaster NDR has withdrawn Xavier Naidoo as their candidate for the Eurovision Song Contest 2016. After much critical speculation over the broadcaster’s choice, NDR announced this morning that they will be looking elsewhere and will announce in due course when they have decided on a new path to Stockholm 2016. NDR’s Head of Entertainment Thomas Schreiber praised Xavier as an “outstanding” singer and refuted accusations that he has been a homophobe and a racist.
Schreiber however acknowledged NDR had not anticipated the strong reaction from fans and will be returning to the drawing board for Stockholm 2016.
Fans will likely be hoping for a more democratic alternative, after Ann Sophie was selected last year in a shock national final which saw actual winner Andreas Kummert decline the ticket to Vienna.
Update: Xavier has posted a statement to his Facebook page:
A few months ago, ARD approached me and asked me to compete next year for Germany at the Eurovision Song Contest in Stockholm.
That was the sole proposal of ARD. I finally agreed after careful consideration, because this competition would have been a very special event for me. When shortly after our contractual agreement with the NDR and the completion of all preparations, things have changed due to a unilateral decision by the ARD, then that’s OK with me. My passion for music and my commitment to love, freedom, tolerance and coexistence has not slowed down.
Xavier Naidoo, 21.11.2015
Are you pleased NDR have reconsidered their selection or do you think they should have stuck to their guns? Do you think NDR will go for a national selection now? Comment below!