That’s what you call a perfect… selection process. Or so Germany and its broadcaster NDR hoped on Friday as it announced their plans for the Eurovision 2018 national selection.

After three years of devastating results, NDR is ready to show that they are capable of climbing the scoreboard at Eurovision. They’ve kept their national selection concept, but they’re making it bigger and hopefully better with more international input.

Producers want to give international viewers a say. But instead of asking for their opinion only during the show, like in 2017, this time they will include them in the search right from the start.

A so-called Europe Panel will consist of 100 people representing the musical taste of Europe as a whole. It will be responsible for selecting the five candidates for the German final. They will evaluate every application and will judge all of the artists wishing to represent Germany. But that’s not all: the Europe Panel will also take part in the process of finding the potential Eurovision songs. And during the live show they will also have a say in the outcome.

So yes: there is probably a chance that YOU can be part of the Europe Panel! But don’t celebrate just yet. NDR explained that you cannot apply to become a member of the Europe Panel: “At least 10,000 people will be contacted through social networks. They have to go through surveys in a multi-staged selection process to have the chance of becoming a part of the Europe Panel.”

Digame mobile, an expert for app- and voting systems, will help NDR select the 100 most suitable people for the Europe Panel. The broadcaster will also receive support from other professionals for complex data models. Germany is stepping up the game, y’all!

International jury voting

The German national final will get even more of a European vibe. For many years, various countries have liked to hear the opinions of an international jury while choosing their acts. This has been proven to be a successful way of selecting. So Germany will follow the lead: during the national final, an international jury consisting of 20-25 members will also have their say. All of them have already been members of their country’s national jury at Eurovision in the past, so they know what to do.

Naturally German TV viewers will have the chance to vote for their favourite entry in the national final. The exact date is yet to be confirmed. Barbara Schöneberger will most likely host the national final again, as she has hosted the last four editions of Unser Song.

NDR/ARD will contact big record labels and producers and ask them to nominate their acts and songs. But you can also apply! The submission window for artists wishing to represent Germany at Eurovision is already open and will close on 6 November at 12pm. After that the Europe Panel and producers will go through all applications and start selecting.

Only 20 artists will get selected and will be invited to a music studio workshop. Together with music professionals, they will work on their voice, their singing style and general attitude. Based on those results the five lucky finalists will get selected by the Europe Panel. After that, the candidates will choose their own potential Eurovision song together with experts and producers.

Entertainment coordinator Thomas Schreiber is confident and he seems to be relieved to finally have found a promising method:

“We are very satisfied with our partners, who were there to help us developing a new concept. With the right mix of passion, sense and analysis we want to create a restart for Eurovision in Germany. Our goal is to keep the international opinion consistently in mind – from the first selection of candidates until the national final. […] We will promote this concept in front of the creative people in the music industry and in front of the fans – to fill the Eurovision-thrilled Germany with enthusiasm.”

Is this the right way to go for Germany? Will they finally be successful again after putting more effort into their selection? Or will Ann Sophie, Jamie-Lee and Levina soon be joined by a fourth failure? What do you think? Let us know below.

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L'oiseau
Guest
L'oiseau

That sounds a bit too complicated and cerebral… Germany trying too hard… An international jury is good, of course, but having only 5 songs in the final is too risky imo. It is a shame that the wider public cannot hear more songs. And then of course this obsession with singing in English and having songs written and produced in the US is beyond understanding… Is ARD really looking for home-grown talent? And there is so much of it in Germany…

Mark
Guest
Mark

Just send Texas Lightning again

michaelvangerwen
Guest
michaelvangerwen

YEEES!!!!!!

s1m0ne
Guest
s1m0ne

There is nothing worse than Unser Song 2017. Two bad songs. VERY bad songs. No international jury can help if you give them only two bad songs to chose from.
I understand next year will be five songs in the final. If those five songs will be as bad as those two songs from 2017, it will be another disaster.
How is it possible that poor Moldova does it right? They call everybody (EVERYBODY) and in the end they have 98% silly songs, but 2% masterpieces.
And it is natural this way.

Jakob
Guest
Jakob

It seems to be promising. International juries are an important step because the german public often vote strangely for songs which are fitting just for them.
Unfortunatly there are only 5 songs in the NF. I hope the Europe Panel will choose wisely the right ones otherwise we will see a NF with average songs as in the last years.

Polegend Godgarina
Guest
Polegend Godgarina

Juries won’t help. All they have to do is select good songs for their national final, and not two horrid rejects like they did this year.

Matty
Guest
Matty

It can only get better with Germany, but the submission period is in my opinion too short. There are two national holiday days next week and I think it will be bettter, to prolongate the submission period to the 30th of November for example, so the applicants have more time to decide whether they will take part or not.

Kimmie
Guest
Kimmie

Xavier Naidoo, Söhne Mannheims, Unheilig, Laing, Avantasia, Gregorians, Scooter… You have so many big names, who want to compete in Eurovision. Send them! I want to see big stars at ESC, not beginning artists. ESC is so big for them… Btw everyone wants to see Rammstein there, but it seems, they are not interesting 🙁

valdo
Guest
valdo

Agree, there is stubbornness that I can’t understand.
I understand when is about UK, because they are strange anyway and they drive on the wrong side of the road, but Germany…why?

Mark
Guest
Mark

They were gonna send Xavier Naidoo, but he was far too controversial.

HBau
Guest
HBau

Laing or bust!

Robyn Gallagher
Editor

Things that don’t work at German NFs:

* When artists are competing with more than one song
* A wildcard entry
* When televoters have a chance to change their mind in a second round of voting

As long as they ditch all this stuff and just have one single round of voting, their 2018 NF is going to be a million times better than previous years. Having an international jury is also hopeful because tbh, the German public makes strange decisions sometimes.

Muffin
Guest

It’s better for us to have international juries because we make strange decisions?
ok… perhaps it would be better if we would stop participating at all. The Songs are written in US, sung in english and now not even the final decision should lay in the Hands of the german Audience?! What’s the Point in sending a “german Entry” then? The last selected Songs were s***. Yes.. But at least it were the s*** we’d choosen. And don’t forget.. it was not as if we had a big choice. Both Songs were.. you know.. ¯\(º_o)/¯

Natalia
Guest
Natalia

Robin Bengtsson was chosen by international jury and Sweden doesn’t mind because this is a clue will do well in Eurovision where you can’t vote for your country.

”Songs are written in US, sung in english”
Why don’t you change that?

Mark
Guest
Mark

I very much prefer the 2013 National Selection. I can’t understand why they don’t go back to that format, but with an international jury instead of the radio juries…

I assume it might have cost far too much.

Carmen
Guest
Carmen

Is great that the singer can choose his/hers own song, something that Levina couldn’t do. Will they still sing covers in the final? I’ve heard that Sanremo gave up covers.

Mark
Guest
Mark

San Remo has a new person in charge.

I like San Remo, but I only watch the final. If you thought the German National Final was far too long, you haven’t been exposed to San Remo.

CookyMonzta
Guest
CookyMonzta

That most likely solves half the problem. Now they have to present a roster with songs that most people will be willing to give their 12 points to.

If it were up to me, I’d start with Madeline Juno. 🙂

AngieP
Guest
AngieP

It sounds good and Germany wants to improve their results in Eurovision. That’s why they changed last year’s mess (the NF) and added international juries. I don’t know if this is always helpful, but they’re on the right way.

Mark
Guest
Mark

Unser Song needs a Melodifestivalen remake.

Richardinho
Guest
Richardinho

tbh I can’t imagine Germany sending a bad song to EV. I do expect them to continue to finish in the bottom 5, for whatever reasons, and the usual people to bore on about how there staging should have been slightly different.

Mark
Guest
Mark

Germany is a country that should always do better than what they have, for no other reason than the sheer size of the country.

Richardinho
Guest
Richardinho

Year after year, they send good songs. I don’t see what else they can do, or why it really matters anyway how high they place. It’s not actually in any of the big 5s’ interest to actually win Eurovision (other than for a bit of national satisfaction).

beccaboo1212
Guest

I want LaFee to fly the German colors in Lisbon! 😀

Hada
Guest
Hada

“They’ve kept their national selection concept”

Which is the problem to begin with. Their NF concept sucks. It doesn’t matter how many international big name juries you have or how fancy the stage is, if you’re trying to play match between random singers and random songs. Unless they start making bespoke songs for their representatives, they’ll stay at the bottom of the table.

Muffin
Guest

I second this.
Greetings from Germany

Mark
Guest
Mark

Unser Song needs a Melodifestivalen make over.

I much prefer to 2013 format.

Frisian esc
Guest
Frisian esc

Just internally select helene fischer and make a nf for her like”ein song für Helene” or something.

Polegend Godgarina
Guest
Polegend Godgarina

The rest of Europe wouldn’t be here for it. That type of dated schlager is only a thing in Germany and cultural neighbors.

Mark
Guest
Mark

What’s schlager?

I’m Australian; is it a European thing?

Jo
Guest
Jo

SEND BARBARA!!

blondboybc
Guest
blondboybc

Let’s hope whoever they choose aren’t given US-style carbon copy songs as this year…how’s that working for you Detushcland?

Polegend Godgarina
Guest
Polegend Godgarina

Um, there are no songs like Perfect Life in the US market.

Mark
Guest
Mark

Perfect Life is like Sia’s Titanium… Sia is Australian.

Polegend Godgarina
Guest
Polegend Godgarina

The production is David Guetta’s–a French DJ. 🙂