As reported on Monday, broadcaster NDR has finally confirmed what many were suspecting — Gemany’s act for Eurovision 2020 will be internally selected. This is the first time that the country has foregone a national final since 2009.
German website dwdl.de, subsequently interviewed the network’s Head of Entertainment Thomas Schreiber, asking why the decision was taken to go internal.
— ESC Deutschland (@eurovisionde) February 10, 2020
Germany’s Internal Selection for Eurovision 2020: Thomas Schreiber explains
Schreiber says that it took a while to come to terms with the country’s poor result at Eurovision 2019. However, the German broadcaster had already started looking for its 2020 act back in March 2019.
“Sometimes, one year is going over way quicker than one needs to work on specific processes, for example good staging.”
The delegation looked for Eurovision experts who could give a prognoses on how all the countries would fare in Tel Aviv. The 100 people who were closest to the actual placing got a place on the Eurovision Panel.
No national final for Germany
Thomas Schreiber explains that the 2019 national final required a lot of effort which didn’t really pay off. When you have a look at the audience that voted in the national final, you can see that the average age was much older than the audience who voted for the actual contest in May. In addition, many of those who voted in the German selection didn’t even vote during Eurovision itself:
“To talk in absolute numbers, there were 163,102 people who voted 374,313 times overall at Unser Lied für Israel. From those, only 26,794 voted during the contest in May while altogether, 406,886 people voted for their favourite in Tel Aviv. […] In other words: 93.4% of all voters in Germany didn’t vote in the German final.”
The German final and the Eurovision Song Contest reach completely different people. However, to find a successful Eurovision act it is important that the same people who do vote in the big contest also decide which singer should represent a country. That’s the reason, why we then only let the Eurovision Panel together with the international jury decide on the German act.
Entry selected on 12 December
Both juries decided on the German representative for Rotterdam on 12 December 2019. From then on, the German broadcaster has entered negotiations and held meetings with international choreographers.
As a result, NDR can work on the staging much earlier than in previous years. Schreiber emphasises how important this extra time is.
“When you think of Måns Zelmerlöw, you see that staging can elevate a song even more. Also, there are so much different ways to stage a song, for example Loreen or Conchita.”
The German broadcaster will now upload one video per week with a detailed explanation on how the selection process worked. Thomas Schreiber says that he knows there are people who are very upset about the broadcaster’s silence up to now. But with these videos, NDR wants to show transparency retrospectively.
Both the singer and the song will be presented on 27th February during Unser Lied für Rotterdam.
Schreiber also hints that the broadcaster wants to promote the act internationally – most likely at events in Amsterdam, London and Madrid.
The German selection process for Eurovision 2020
The two jury panels are the Eurovision Panel — a group of specially selected Eurovision fans — and a jury of 20 international experts who have previously represented their country on a Eurovision jury.
The juries rated a number of artists and performers, which each jury group getting 50% of the overall vote. In the end, this led to one stand-out combination who will be Germany’s act for Rotterdam.
Are you excited Germany’s new process? Would you rather have had a national final instead? Let us know in the comments.