From 4000 applicants, six lucky finalists have been selected. German broadcaster ARD has confirmed the six acts who will compete in the national final Unser Lied für Lissabon in February. The six are: Xavier Darcy, Ivy Quainoo, Ryk, Michael Schulte, Natia Todua and voXXclub.
The six names were confirmed this morning by ARD. The list contains five of the six names leaked by German media earlier this week. The one name missing is the alt-pop group Steal a Taxi. In their place is the singer-songwriter Xavier Darcy.
The initial 400 applicants were reduced to a long list of 211. Then the 100-person Eurovision Panel picked selected the best 17 acts . The panel of Germans aimed to replicate the tastes of general Eurovision viewers across Europe. A short list of 17 acts performed at in-person auditions, and eventually the six finalists were selected by the Eurovision Panel and an expert jury.
Singer-songwriter Xavier Darcy might be from Munich but he has French and British ancestry. Earlier this year he released his debut self-titled album Darcy. The album made it to the German iTunes top 50 chart. Darcy has toured extensively, including many appearances at festivals, and has made an appearance on the popular late night show Inas Nacht.
Ivy Quainoo is one of the best-known artists in the selection. She made a name as the winner of the very first season The Voice of Germany. Back in 2012, she won the show by a landslide and five years later you can still hear some of her songs on German radio stations. Ivy was born and raised in Berlin and her parents are Ghanaian. She currently lives in New York, but for the last few months, she was touring Germany.
Upcoming singer-songwriter Rick Jurthe performs under the name Ryk and previously performed as FOXOS. The newcomer may be familiar as one of the many artists who entered into San Marino’s 1 In 360 contest. There his talents weren’t overlooked — he was one of the 69 acts shortlisted for the fan club vote. He didn’t make the cut of San Marino’s ten finalists, but, one could argue, performing in Unser Lied für Lissabon will surely give his German career a bigger boost than the San Marino national final would.
Michael Schulte was also a contestant on the first series of The Voice of Germany. He made it to the grand final, and while Ivy Quinoo won the series, he placed a very respectable third. In the grand final, he performed a duet with the then-upcoming UK singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran. Since his time on The Voice, Michael has released a number of singles in a folk-pop style and has built up a substantial YouTube following.
Natia Todua is the most recent winner of The Voice of Germany, winning the seventh series just two weeks ago. The Georgian-born singer had previously tried her luck on The X Factor Georgia and The Voice Ukraine — without much luck. Her fortuned changed when he entered The Voice of Germany, after working in Germany for a year as an au pair. The soul singer with a big voice has built up a fanbase in Germany, but fans have pointed out that being a Voice of Germany winner was no benefit to 2015 winner Jamie-Lee Kriewitz who placed last at Eurovision 2016.
voXXclub bring something different — singing and yodelling in Bavarian! Known for combining their endearing attitude with a modern yet traditional folk music sound, their fanbase is huge. VoXXclub’s song “Rock mi” even counts more than 19 million YouTube views. These five guys are more than ready for Eurovision and were often considered by German fans in the past.
Next step — writing the songs
While the six acts have been selected, they don’t yet have songs. In the next stage of the (very long) national selection process, around 15 German and international songwriters will come together at a three-day songwriting camp. They’ll work with the six singers — many of whom are experienced songwriters — to come up with the right Eurovision entry for each act.
The six acts will each perform their song at the national final Unser Lied für Lissabon on Thursday, February 22.
What do you think of the six selected acts? What sort of songs would you like to hear them perform? Who should be the one to represent Germany in Lisbon? Share your thoughts below!