With Eurovision 2020 having been cancelled, broadcasters around Europe are looking for alternate content to screen on 16 May. In Germany, broadcaster Stefan Raab has confirmed he will be producing a show to screen on 16 May — the Free European Song Contest.

The show will screen on the ProSieben network. This isn’t Germany’s Eurovision broadcaster, so the show can’t be thought of as Germany’s official replacement for Eurovision 2020. But with the show helmed by Stefan Raab, it’s sure to have solid Eurovision credentials.

An acclaimed broadcaster and television producer, Raab has been involved with five German Eurovision entries, all finishing in the top ten. This includes Lena’s 2010 victory with “Satellite” and Raab’s role co-hosting Eurovision 2011. Later in 2011, he announced he was ending his Eurovision career, but with this new show, it appears Raab may be returning to his old turf.

Few details of the show have been confirmed, but Stefan Raab is excited by it. In a statement, he said, “Music connects many people to one another, especially in difficult times. This marks the birth of a new, free European song competition. That is the birth of the Free European Song Contest.”

ProSieben’s managing director Daniel Rosemann shared Raab’s enthusiasm, saying, “Stefan Raab loves music. Stefan Raab loves the European idea. We are excited about the great opportunity to live and celebrate Europe in these times with a new music competition.”

Stefan Raab’s other Eurovision proposal

German media has revealed that Stefan Raab had also pitched an official Eurovision replacement show to the EBU. The show proposal was presented by Raab and ARD entertainment coordinator Thomas Schreiber.

Schreiber described their proposed show as involving the 41 countries of Eurovision giving live performances. The show would be held in keeping with different countries’ Covid-19 regulations, which could require the artist to be on lockdown in their own home.

Schreiber explained, “Wherever it would have been possible — it could have been a TV studio, it could just have been an artist behind a piano who connects via Skype, Zoom or Facetime. The main thing is that it is sung live. Everyone implements it as sympathetically as possible and the most expensive solution does not have to be the most likeable.”

However, the EBU rejected the idea and are going with the Eurovision: Europe Shine a Light show.

Schreiber is fully supporting the EBU’s offering, saying, “I would find it difficult if Germany, as one of the large countries in Europe, would evade a European idea, which is why we are there and support it now […]  But in these times it is important to stick together.”

Schreiber also says that Saab’s show is a “nice idea” but says he’s hosting it on “the wrong day” as it will be on at the same time as Europe Shine a Light.

What do you think? Should the EBU have picked Raab’s concept? Which show will you be watching? Tell us your thoughts below!

Read more Germany Eurovision news here

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MTD
MTD
6 months ago

“However, the EBU rejected the idea and are going with the Eurovision: Europe Shine a Light show.”

Going with the least faved option, one that no one asked for and one that no one bats an eye for it.

Good job EBU.

James
James
6 months ago
Reply to  MTD

ARD’s proposal was outvoted according to reports.

Rich Uk
Rich Uk
6 months ago

Having just watched the Musica Che Unisce yesterday couldn’t this format work with this years 41 competing nations. It was a well thoughout show. As long as the artists perform the songs under the strict lockdown measures in place beforehand and to the strict EBU guidelines, I am sure it can be a well produced show like Musica Che Unisce was. At the end of the day it will be more about the song and the composition itself instead of the stage performance. With the current lockdown measures in place right now singing in the artists home could work. Just… Read more »

Miranda
Miranda
6 months ago
Reply to  Rich Uk

But what if one or more of the artists of 2020 are in no good health to perform by that time (even from their home) or worrying about loved ones.. I think EBU could not take that risk to have them do a real performance.

Anita
Anita
6 months ago

I love that he is doing it and hope it will be a great success and maybe lead into a German San Remo… just dreaming.

Joe
Joe
6 months ago
Reply to  Anita

I really wish they’d used Bundesvision that way, like a Sanremo-style “first refusal” deal, instead of their largely-lousy run of entries starting right around the same time.

cupcake
cupcake
6 months ago

Stefan Raab went into retirement some years ago. If it hadn’t been for an article, about the same topic, in one of our newspapers yesterday I’d call “april joke”.

Benny
Benny
6 months ago
Reply to  cupcake

He didn’t retire. He just went completly behind the camera. He is still producing several TV Shows for ProSieben and conceptulizing them.

Cupcake
Cupcake
6 months ago
Reply to  Benny

Didn’t know that. Always thought he’d retired completely. Thx 🙂

Grafton
Grafton
6 months ago

i genuinely thought it was an aprils fool

Joe
Joe
6 months ago
Heix
Heix
6 months ago

Great. But EBU should create Eurovision video / national studios contest with all songs from this year with jury and tele voting, with both semis and final. Where is the problem in digital era? We dont want to forget all 2020 songs, we want winner. Next year you can create normal contest in Rotterdam with the same acts (majority of countries) and some new acts (some countries) and with new songs.

Katariina
Katariina
6 months ago

The show the EBU came up with looks terrible. I don’t know why they couldn’t just do a one-off “Eurovision Video Contest” and crown a winner amongst the 2020 songs using their music videos. If someone wants to come in and offer up something better than the EBU has then be my guest.

James
James
6 months ago
Reply to  Katariina

Musica Che Unisce

Denis
Denis
6 months ago

I actually think it sounds better than what EBU has planned. Because it is about 2020, as it should be..

esc1234
esc1234
6 months ago

when you break a 64 year old tradition, cheap copies will arise.

First row at ESC and JESC
First row at ESC and JESC
6 months ago
Reply to  esc1234

esc1234 – I agree with you about the “tadition thing ” but if you would know Pro7 and the mastermind Raab, you wouldn’t say “cheap copies” – you will see, it is the opposite.

James
James
6 months ago
Reply to  esc1234

Not the first time that Eurovision had knock-off counterparts in its history. Most recent is Turkvision and earlier than that was the Intervision Song Contest for Cold War-era Eastern Europe.

Kuhkatz
Kuhkatz
6 months ago
Reply to  esc1234

And guess what was one of the „cheap“ copy in the past?
Bundesvision Song Contest for all 16 States (Bundesländer) of Germany that ran for 10 years and 11 editions, and the creator was…. Stefan Raab

esc1234
esc1234
6 months ago
Reply to  Kuhkatz

do you actually compare a 64 year old european contest with a 10 year old local contest? yeah ok

Jalisse
Jalisse
6 months ago
Reply to  esc1234

I prefer a “cheaper” copy (which won’t be cheap, you’ll see) than what the EBU is planning to do, which I have no intention to watch. Go Stefan!

Banan banan
Banan banan
6 months ago

I rather watch this, then cringe EBU show

Jalisse
Jalisse
6 months ago

Yess Herr Raab! Show EBU how it is done!

First row at ESC and JESC
First row at ESC and JESC
6 months ago

Mr. Raab’s nickname is “Mr. 100 percent” – if he announce something, he makes sure that this will happen and will be a 100 % success. He is a real entertainer, a producer and a real smart ass. I would bet money on him and on his show #FreeESC – and the private broadcaster “ProSieben” (Pro7) is a powerhouse with a lot of money to make his wish come true.

KuhKatz
KuhKatz
6 months ago

It’s Stefan Raab, so he doesn’t give a f*** at all if EBU has a show at the same time.

However, I’m still not warm with the concept of the EBU and I believe that with Raab’s concept, there would be a lot more satisfaction around here.

Mr Vanilla Bean
Mr Vanilla Bean
6 months ago

Raab saved Eurovision in Germany and after he wasn’t involved anymore, it all went right back into the sewer. It’s too soon to judge but the EBU should definitely fear being ridiculed by Raab beating them. He’s not one to lose often.