It started on the roof. And it ended with THE ROOP getting crowned its winner. Eurovision Song Contest 2020 – the German Final gave Germany a worthy Eurovision replacement show on May 16, unfolding at Hamburg’s concert hall Elbphilharmonie. The building always celebrates music and Saturday was no different.
Fans were excited when broadcasters NDR and ARD decided to give German viewers a special “alternative final”, right before they aired Europe: Shine A Light. The whole procedure had started one week earlier when popular German YouTubers WorldWideWohnzimmer aired a “German alternative semi-final” on 9 May. Together with some experts they watched and commented on all 41 music videos of this year’s entries.
Yesterday the wait was over. After Germans voted for their favourites, only 10 songs made it to the final stage — the “alternative German final”. Host Barbara Schöneberger presented the 10 most popular Eurovision 2020 entries in the concert hall in Hamburg. Some of them were even performed live by the actual artists.
After host Barbara welcomed TV viewers in a – well, let’s say very special “kiss dress” — it all made sense. She performed “Save Your Kisses for Me” and some other Eurovision classics in front of empty seats. But it didn’t feel empty as the idea was entertaining and beautiful to watch. Germany’s last successful act at Eurovision, Michael Schulte, also took part in the show.
The competition started with Ben & Tan from Denmark, who are used to singing in front of an empty hall. Thank you, Dansk Melodi Frand Prix 2020! Ben revealed after their performance that he was born in Germany and surprised everyone with a little interview fully in German. After music videos by Azerbaijan and Sweden, it was time for THE ROOP to grace the stage.
Due to social distancing rules, the Lithuanians decided not to bring their quirky and crazy dancers to Germany with them. The ROOP performed “On Fire” as a three-man power band. Even though Vaidotas danced alone, nothing felt weird. He kept his cool, even if he had to hold his magnifying glasses by himself rather than his dancers doing it for him.
The show continued with Switzerland’s Gjon’s Tears and Malta’s Destiny, who of course will both be back in 2021. Iceland’s Daði og Gagnamagnið were next on stage. And that’s when host Barbara started to struggle a bit. Instead of teasing the band, a voice from the production said the band’s – quite complicated — name. We’ll forgive you, Barbara.
Daði did not need to travel very far to come to Hamburg as he lives in the German capital Berlin. But he was accompanied by two backing musicians only. Although the German alternative final can be seen as a serious competition, they decided to go a more experimental, risky way. The Icelanders gave viewers a new alternative version of “Think about Things” without the popular dance routine. Many fans felt something was missing, but it was still very artistic.
The show closed with Italy’s Diadato and Bulgaria’s Victoria, who gave us an acoustic version of “Tears Getting Sober” via video-performance. And of course… Russia. Even is she tried to stay neutral, we could clearly see host Barbara loved Russia’s Little Big this year.
After giving TV viewers four – yes, FOUR – recaps and people online wondering if there were some technical issues, the show continued with Michael Schulte performing his 2018 entry and his new single “Keep me up”.
The moment everyone was waiting for arrived. Finally we would know which song Germans would have given their 12 points to. And to keep things realistic, an expert jury, consisting of 100 people, voted. The outcome was decided by a 50/50 split.
Even if many expected that juries would vote for ballads or sophisticated songs only, the German expert jury clearly was in the mood for some fun! Host Barbara revealed that the jury gave their 8 points to Malta, 10 to Lithuania and 12 to Iceland. 12 points from the German jury to Daði og Gagnamagnið. Russia got 7 points – Switzerland 6.
After that, it was time for the viewers. And we could clearly see some differences with the audience compared to judges. Iceland’s alternative version of “Think about Things” only managed to get 7 points, Denmark – who got only one point from jurors – snatched 8 from German televoters and Russia got 10. Closing the vote with 12 points were The ROOP from Lithuania. They won the night! You can see the final results below.
The ROOP then entered the stage again and performed their entry “On Fire”. It was a close competition. But since Iceland have already won many other alternative votes, we were happy to see The ROOP do so well. Maybe the Lithuanian broadcaster will change their mind and internally choose the band for 2021 after they come home with the German Eurovision 2020 trophy?
What do you think about the German winners The ROOP? Did you watch the show and would Ben Dolic end up high on this years scoreboard? Let us know below.