He’s the Head of Entertainment at Germany’s broadcaster NDR. And following the recent EBU Reference Group decision, Thomas Schreiber has now commented on the decision by the EBU to require broadcasters to send new songs to Eurovision 2021. In an exclusive statement given to German Eurovision website ESC Kompakt, he expresses the disappointment that many fans — and broadcasters — have felt with the announcement.

Why has the EBU Reference Group decision led to mixed reactions?

Schreiber said that the EBU’s decision not to allow the Eurovision 2020 songs to be submitted again “wasn’t coordinated with the participating broadcasters”.

He also pointed out that the decision was made despite the fact that there’s no confirmation nor dates set for Eurovision 2021. Besides, given the fluid situation of the pandemic, it may be “wishful thinking” to even stage Eurovision next May.

“First and foremost, huge investments of the 41 participating countries have been destroyed as well as the hopes and dreams of the artists and the Eurovision family,” he said. “The decision of the Reference Group mostly takes into account the economic interests of all participating countries. Consequently, it doesn’t reflect the views of a majority of the countries.”

What will replace Eurovision on May 16?

Schreiber recently hinted at a Eurovision replacement show in May. The German broadcaster is currently figuring out what exactly that might be. Other broadcasters like the BBC have already announced replacement shows for May 16. Schreiber suggested that there could be a joint programme with Dutch colleagues.

In any case, Schreiber did confirm that there will definitely be a programme on Germany’s TV station ARD. Further details are forthcoming as the situation evolves.

What do you think about Thomas Schreiber’s statement? Do you agree with the decision not to allow this year’s songs to compete once more? Tell us your thoughts below!

Read more Germany Eurovision news here

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JONAS
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JONAS

The whole process seems shambolic – I’m giving up on EBU!

Una
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Una

OK, the decision was taken by the Reference Group. You can’t have too many people making sound decisions in times of emergency. Over 40 broadcasters. Plus EBU. Plus the host city. Plus the governments of each participating broadcaster. Jon Ola Sand talked about considering other scenarios than cancelling. Cancelling it was the best decison of the worse.
EBU thinks differently than individual broadcasters or songwriters or artists or fans. They know much more and deeper than us.

Kenny Cordero
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Kenny Cordero

A decision made to benefit only 2 countries is reckless and disrespectful not only to the artists but to the songwriters. The EBU should reverse their decision on the songs.

Jonas
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Jonas

He’s right, there may not be a Eurovision in 2021. That’s why they should have forged ahead with a low-scale broadcast this year. It would set a precedent for next year to follow. The songs wouldn’t have gone to waste. Performers wouldn’t be so disappointed, producers and songwriters wouldn’t feel as if their efforts were completely in vain. It would have given viewers across Europe something to unite over instead of this horrible virus. The EBU were of course correct to cancel the big Eurovision production that was planned, but their subsequent decisions were unnecessarily rushed.

Robyn Gallagher
Admin

It’s a bit contradictory. He’s saying he’s disappointed that broadcasters weren’t allowed to reuse their 2020 songs but is also saying that the next edition of the contest might not even happen in 2021. Maybe this isn’t an issue for him, but I think by 2022, those songs are going to start to sound really stale. The world will be a very different place once the worst of Covid-19 is over and I would rather hear songs that reflect that reality, rather than ones that throwback to before things were awful.

Dimitris
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Dimitris

You just took the words from my mouth, I sweeear <3

Robyn Gallagher
Admin

Tbh, I’m waiting for an R&B jam with lyrics like “Don’t need no social distancing cos baby you are here with me”.

Robyn Gallagher
Admin

“My heart is self-isolated when I’m without yoooou”

Dimitris
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Dimitris

Or a catchy banger going like ”Isoooo-lalalate!!” ?

1TruSeer
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1TruSeer

Oh no, in May 2021 the last thing I want to hear is a bunch of songs about Covid19

Sal
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Sal

He has a good point about May 2021… even if Covid19 goes away in the summer it could return again in the winter and still disrupt things in early 2021…

leopard
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leopard

One word… vaccine. Or cure.

Optimistically, we’ll have it at the beginning of 2021. After all, we can’t be locked in house forever.

Paule
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Paule

And that’s why they shouldn’t have canceled ESC in the firstplace. Now they make some empty promises for 2021 to be the best show ever and then they will have to deal with the decision of a contest without audience or an online contest again.

Xoxoxo
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Xoxoxo

Make video contest in May with voting or postpone ESC 2020 until autumn. If you destroy everything what national broadcasters made for 2020, half of them will boycott you next year.

UniUniverso
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UniUniverso

Still better than what the BBC is planning to do.

The Roop is On Fire
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The Roop is On Fire

Ana: difference is that broadcasters, artists and songwriters are involved in this issue which is unlike last year’s contest in Israel. They may boycott this as it’s a strike through their hearts. Who knows.

leopard
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leopard

I get that it’s not really fair but I think it was good decision.

Especially because several countries decide to send new artist from NT festivals (which is kinda understandable because these shows are huge there)… I mean, you can’t have mix of old and new songs in a same year, it’s nonsense. After all, it’s wouldn’t be fair to new songs.

And from selfish reasons, I want new songs and festivals next year, I can’t wait 15 months only to hear live version of old songs in (semi)finals.

Anna
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Anna

Just select Ben internally

Mr Vanilla Bean
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Mr Vanilla Bean

And since he is one of those joyous people who already feel the need to question May 2021… Well, if you believe that, your entry would become even older until there’ll be a contest. I get that nobody knows what’s gonna happen at this point, but already being an alarmist about an event 14 months from now should be beneath someone in his position. I’m not surprised, though.

Mr Vanilla Bean
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Mr Vanilla Bean

I don’t think he’d be so disappointed if a song like ‘Sister’ was competing for them. And no offence, but Germany is not Moldova, they don’t even feel whatever amount they invested in Eurovision 2020. I get that he needed this probably-would-have-been-good place because he’s mostly been so unsuccessful at his job but nobody has it easier than him to come up with something decent. They have money, no NF anymore and finally gave in and just bought everything abroad.