Prior to today’s rehearsals, plenty of Eurofans had written Germany off. But today Michael Schulte delivered three touching performances that silenced the haters and announced his arrival as a likely Top 10 finisher.
The show begins with Michael standing centre stage before a black projection screen that displays the lyrics to his song, which come with cute drawings — a house, for instance. All the while Michael looks straight into the camera. He really does seem to be singing to you.
The angle of the camera and the lack of light transports Michael to another world. On the close-ups, in particular, the stage really seems to disappear. The drawings and the words become unidentifiable and it’s as if we’ve moved from Altice Arena to some representation of his memory and most inner thoughts.
As the song progresses, the screen turns to red — black for death, red for life? — and we see touching images of people with their own fathers. Michael spreads his arms and the projection screen seems to mirror an infinite series of him with white outlines against the black screen. It suggests rightly that his story — the loss of a parent, or indeed any loved one — is actually everyone’s.
Vocally Michael didn’t falter. And on the final run-through his eyes watered up and it became even more apparent how much the song means to him. The show ends with him standing before a black screen with the word “ALONE” in white. It’s a stirring conclusion that’s sure to leave plenty of viewers remembering their own losses, recent and distant.
Many acts strive for a sense of authenticity and sincerity, but end up coming off as sterile or forced. This bucks the trend. It really seems to come straight from Michael’s heart. My clear winner of the day.
Michael Schulte — “You Let Me Walk Alone”: Reviews and Reactions
Germany: First rehearsal at Eurovision 2018
Germany: First press conference 2018
Photo: Eurovision.tv (EBU)