Ben Dolic Germany Eurovision 2020 Violent Thing

Ben Dolic will not be automatically selected to represent Germany at the Eurovision Song Contest 2021, but he will enter the selection process with another song penned by Borislav Milanov.

That’s according to the Eurovision chiefs in Germany, who have given an exclusive interview to our friends at German Eurovision web site ESC-Kompakt.

Head of Delegation Alexandra Wolfslast, ARD’s Eurovision kaiser Christian Blenker and NDR entertainment boss Thomas Schreiber had a lot to say. But we’ll be focusing on the Ben Dolic element below. Visit ESC-Kompakt to read more about their thoughts on the Eurovision movie, Germany’ s replacement programme and more.

Ben Dolic will enter Germany’s Eurovision 2021 selection

Looking ahead to Rotterdam, Germany’s top brass say they will once again use their internal selection format, which relies on two juries. The two jury panels are the Eurovision Panel — a group of specially selected Eurovision fans whose tastes are thought to be predictive of results — and a jury of 20 international experts who have previously represented their country on a Eurovision jury.

Automatically picking Ben for Eurovision 2021 was considered, HoD Alexandra tells ESC-Kompakt. But ultimately this wouldn’t have been true to the German selection method, which is all about pairing the singer and song. Their juries ultimately decide on a package, not just an individual artist.

“We discussed it really intensively,” she said. “But Ben was not only chosen by the jury because he is an outstanding singer. The jury was won over by the combination of song and singer. We agreed that Ben could also be included in the selection process for 2021 with a new song.”

One factor in all this is the fact the EBU won’t allow artists to re-use their songs from 2020 in 2021. Christian — ARD’s Eurovision boss — told the German web site that this encouraged them to “start another selection process with two independent juries for the coming year.”

“Ben and Boris want to submit a new song together. We are very happy about that. Because it should be clear to everyone that the two compete to win. But we also want to give new artists a chance to compete for Germany at ESC 2021.”

Although the German selection system uses anonymity — people aren’t told who they are evaluating — it’s likely that many will recognise the unique timbre of Ben’s voice, especially set against Borislav Milanov’s production. Assuming there is a degree of sympathy for the artist, who won over countless new fans in the past year before Covid-19 ripped his Eurovision dream from his young hands, it seems like he might have a slight and unavoidable edge. That said, Germans also play to win. I strongly suspect the juries will vote for the best package — regardless of their sentimentality for the “Violent Thing” hitmaker.

Ben Dolic’s live Eurovision performance in Hamburg

ESC-Kompakt also asked the executives about Ben Dolic’s live performance in Hamburg at Germany’s Eurovision replacement programme. It was meant to recreate, albeit with obvious limitations, his stage show in Rotterdam. A lot of fans were left unimpressed.

Thomas Schreiber — the über-boss of Eurovision in Germany — was asked whether it was a success.

“Ben and [the team] had very little time for the rehearsals,” he said. “Choreographer Marty Kudelka was not allowed to travel and had to stay in LA while Ben rehearsed the production here. This is, of course, challenging. And the stage in Hamburg is not comparable to that in Rotterdam. The technical possibilities were limited. We originally set up the LED wall only for Ben’s appearance. And of course it was much smaller than the planned LED wall in the Ahoy Arena. There were also corona-related requirements, for example the distance between Ben and the dancers.”

No matter. Ben, a performer of the first order, absolutely slayed his Wiwi Jam at Home performance of “Violent Thing”, which you can watch below.

Are you excited that Ben is teaming up with Borislav for the 2021 selection? Are you hopeful he’ll have an even more contemporary hit on his hands? Let us know in the comments box down below!

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Andi
Andi
25 days ago

I rather want Max Mutzke aka The Astronaut!

ESCFan2009
ESCFan2009
30 days ago

The concept is well executed given the televoting results in our National Finals. I am happy that Ben and Milanov can write a banger again – well, please a ballad banger this time, to let Ben shine even more. Something like “Beautiful Mess” would be epic. Thank you <3 And please, I understand everybody who wants diversity in the contest, but Boris wrote for Bulgaria (his homecountry), Malta (a small country) and Germany (we needed this desperately after the 2019 desaster and the last decade in general). These are 3 resonable cases out of 41. It’s okay for me (given… Read more »

Last edited 30 days ago by ESCFan2009
Marc
Marc
30 days ago
Reply to  ESCFan2009

Why do you need desperetaly Milanov? If a big country like Germany can’t do with its own industry.. imagine the rest.
Breaking Me comes from Germany and it’s overplayed in all radio stations across Europe. Germany has enough music industry

Nils
Nils
30 days ago
Reply to  Marc

Well … Germany of course has a large music industry, but most of its nationally popular artists are utterly terrible. And those few artists of international fame naturally stay away from Eurovision as far as they can, with Cascada’s underwhelming result being just another nail in the coffin. What’s disappointing though: there also are lots of good, genuine acts who didn’t get much exposure so far and who would love to represent Germany at the ESC. LaBrassBanda, Laing and Drangsal being only the most famous ones. Unfortunately, the current preselection method seems to be designed to find a pretty, yet… Read more »

ESCFan2009
ESCFan2009
30 days ago
Reply to  Marc

You are right! But I meant, we needed a good result after 2015-2017 and 2019, so I’d rather have Milanov with a banger (“Violent Thing” was miles ahead over “Sister”, we just don’t know what result it would’ve gotten) than another car crash on stage

EurovisionBenny_AUT
EurovisionBenny_AUT
30 days ago
Reply to  ESCFan2009

Even though Malta is a small nation, its songwriters and composers are definitely capable of making songs which appeal to a wide audience. Just think of the Maltese ESC entries in 1998, 2002, and 2005. All of these entries were penned by people from Malta and finished in the top 3 – all of them with the televoting system, and you have to keep in mind that Malta has no neighboring countries and hardly any diaspora. I find it sad that the Maltese broadcaster seemingly lost trust in its local composers/songwriters and doesn’t give them an international platform. Same with… Read more »

Mr Vanilla Bean
Mr Vanilla Bean
30 days ago

I find it so sad because to me, the Junior song ‘Not my Soul’ is actually a thousand times catchier and better than the bought ‘All of my Love’. If that’s all you get for your money, just do it yourself. They won with that Maltese song. Just the Junior thing, but still!

Last edited 30 days ago by Mr Vanilla Bean
Jake
Jake
30 days ago

The biggest issue I have with these internal selections, particularly with untested artists, is the fact that they are not tested as performers in front of an audience. They are going by the manufactured voice in a studio cut. And then hyped by a slick music video. So you’re buying into a package. And then you show up in Hamburg and it’s a messy mess and you have to do damage control with a million and one excuses. It doesn’t take away from Ben’s talent or his voice—but the package they created for him didn’t live up to who he… Read more »

Mr Vanilla Bean
Mr Vanilla Bean
30 days ago
Reply to  Jake

I don’t think Ben was the problem of that live performance. Whoever is responsible for that choreography and that staging really did a number on him.

Hyunwoo
Hyunwoo
30 days ago

If they don’t choose Ben Dolic, they will choose Madeline Juno or Nico Santos!

Nils
Nils
30 days ago
Reply to  Hyunwoo

god, please, no.

Generic Eurovision Fan
Generic Eurovision Fan
1 month ago

See I feel like they will obviously choose him, if he has a good song. Honestly, I’d rather see someone else, but Ben earned his place there and it feels right he goes.

Jake
Jake
30 days ago

How did he earn it? He was internally selected. He didn’t win anything. Ukrike, The Mamas and The Roop earned their places. Ben was given the opportunity.

Malo
Malo
30 days ago
Reply to  Jake

Correct me if I’m wrong, but he submitted his entry and won a “jury competition” right? Just because the selection wasn’t televised, doesn’t mean he didn’t win fair and square.

Ermin
Ermin
1 month ago

You complain about Borislav working for 3 countries, but is only natural. When you are good, people want to work with you. This is the definition of success in any profession.

Colin
Colin
1 month ago
Reply to  Ermin

All the complains about re-occurring composers are probably mostly aimed at the concept of monopolizing the contest by a few. It just doesn’t help with the diversity of expression. Still, I’ll be the first one to admit that they are talented and have made their path for a reason. Milanov’s work on Tears are Getting Sober is amazing. G:Son made the great Euphoria! I loved Kirokov’s Scream last year. Laurell Barker? Empires. John Lundvik? Both of his 2019 songs. Ralph Siegel? Crisalide! The list goes on. What is true is that nobody can be *that* prolific and not a have… Read more »

Briekimchi
Briekimchi
1 month ago

I mean, it’s fine that they’re entering the selection process again…but, I don’t understand how a big country like Germany has moved away from German songwriters as much as they have. I’d understand if their international songwriting teams were delivering great results but they really haven’t.

ESC SSS
ESC SSS
1 month ago

It’s sad that we won’t see all ESC 2020 artists returning to ESC 2021, but I’m excited to see who are the new artists other than the ESC 2020 artists for ESC 2021.

Joe
Joe
1 month ago

I completely disagree that he is an “outstanding singer”… he can’t even belt… Really average and the outfit he has now is too hippy…

Ashton
Ashton
1 month ago
Reply to  Joe

wtf does his outfit have to do with anything

ESC SSS
ESC SSS
28 days ago
Reply to  Joe

Quit being a hater please!

Colin
Colin
1 month ago

Ben seems very sweet and I found myself enjoying Violent Think more than I thought a few months ago. IDK… his personality shines through. Good luck! 🙂
However, I am open to new artists as well. Good luck – all? 😉

Vince
Vince
1 month ago

I really like Ben and think he should have been internally picked (directly) instead of some horrendous choices by other countries whom shall not be named. Other than Ben, Lena and Vanessa Mai could be considered.

Tibor
Tibor
1 month ago

I don’t think this was a winning package and I am still not on board with Germany going internal. I think it’s a lazy method. So no, I’m really not excited about getting another off the rack Milanov track sung by Ben Dolic.

Mr Vanilla Bean
Mr Vanilla Bean
1 month ago
Reply to  Tibor

Clearly, it’s time for another off-the-rack Siegel.

Tibor
Tibor
1 month ago

Or – crazy idea- they could try something not off the rack at all. But then they would have to make an effort, and I guess that’s to much to ask of a tiny country like Germany.

Mr Vanilla Bean
Mr Vanilla Bean
1 month ago
Reply to  Tibor

That’s a radical idea, expecting both originality and effort from a German public broadcaster. 2010-2012 was like an accident and they probably still think it was their success. Is it possible that they scared away every good artist in Germany and therefore really can’t find anything between Munich and Kiel?

Tibor
Tibor
1 month ago

What they don’t get is: If you want a certain demographic to vote on your entry, you have to make the whole package appealing to said demographic. But NDR just complains that the wrong people are voting and go internal. Whatever.
And to the people who think this selection method works so well: Perhaps we should wait for a result before praising it to the skies.

Mr Vanilla Bean
Mr Vanilla Bean
30 days ago
Reply to  Tibor

It worked very well for them in 2009. They reached the final. 😉

Mr Vanilla Bean
Mr Vanilla Bean
30 days ago
Reply to  Tibor

About the demographic: does anyone under 60 even watch any of their programs?

Tibor
Tibor
30 days ago

I don’t think anyone under 60 watches television anymore, let alone NDR …

Nils
Nils
24 days ago

Remember 2010-2012 still was off-the-rack casting stuff – only better executed.

And yes, that’s just what they did. Everyone with the tiniest bit of credibility shies away now and it’ll take some really huge success to change that within the next five years.

Erasmus
Erasmus
1 month ago

So about other countries:

Who I think will stick with their choice in 2020: Russia, Poland, Moldova, Serbia and Armenia.

Could go either way: Ireland, Macedonia, Belarus and Albania.

Will not select their 2020 act: UK, Italy and Iceland

Which countries will return/debut: Montenegro (with an internal selection), Kazakhstan

May return/debut: Hungary, Andorra, Slovakia and BiH and for debut maybe Liechtenstein

Will not return/debut in 2021: Luxembourg, Monaco, Turkey, Morocco, and Kosovo and Lebanon won’t debut.

Joe
Joe
1 month ago
Reply to  Erasmus

Moldova’s all but confirmed that Natalia Gordienko is sticking around. Russia would depend on Little Big’s touring schedule, but considering the insane amount of attention “Uno” got, I doubt they’d be quick to let go of them. I wouldn’t be so quick to dismiss the chances of the UK or Iceland sticking to their original artist(s), unless they’re really uninterested (Dadi seems kind of over it by now). You don’t mention Lithuania either but I think the Roop stand a strong chance of coming back. Montenegro I think will indeed return. Kazakhstan…depends. They showed Shine a Light and are in… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Joe
Erasmus
Erasmus
1 month ago
Reply to  Joe

True James and Dadi may return, but I have a strong feeling they won’t.. I didn’t mention Lithuania since they will use NF (Aksel, Elisa, Uku etc.. may all return).
About returning countries I agree with everything, but Turkey will return some day just not this year… maybe in 2023.

Jonas
Jonas
1 month ago
Reply to  Erasmus

What about the Vatican? Full EBU members!

Colin
Colin
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonas

Vatican is a tricky one. By all means, they *could* participate. They have broadcasting rights and they have finances to sustain it. Still, I doubt this would happen, because they are a religion-centric country with a lot of variables to think about. For instance, the official Vatican-based Tv would have to fully show all the performances, including those with stagings like Replay and Marry Me. The Cardinal council would have to greenlight such project. Then there’s the issue of a performer, even if having an Italian singer would be okay. The content of the song would probably be subtly religious,… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Colin
Jonas
Jonas
1 month ago
Reply to  Colin

That’s all true. Still, it could happen – other countries have similar problems. Conservative, dictator-led. San Marino with the televote. There are many singing priests. A trio called The Priests once released You Raise Me Up, which was written by people with four Eurovision wins between them. Father Ted might be free. It could be a good thing – who better to benefit from the “celebrate diversity” theme?

Jonas
Jonas
1 month ago
Reply to  Erasmus

Liechtenstein will not debut. They’re not even EBU members, full or associate.

Erasmus
Erasmus
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonas

True, but they may become one (easier than Kosovo). We’ll see.

Joe
Joe
1 month ago
Reply to  Erasmus

Kosovo has a massive uphill climb to EBU membership.

Joe
Joe
1 month ago
Reply to  Joe

And maybe they’ll get there someday! But they’ve got a lot of people to convince. Just a fact!

Esc2021rotterdam
Esc2021rotterdam
30 days ago
Reply to  Erasmus

I think belarus is also gping to bring val back. By what I heard Belarus didn’t want to do a national final for 2020 but at the end they had to do for next year they have a way to not hold a national final. Also Albania is not going to bring arilena back and fik 59 will choose the act for next year.

Last edited 30 days ago by Esc2021rotterdam
Robyn Gallagher
Admin
1 month ago

The German (and Swiss) selection jury system works well. They should be able to pick the best entry for 2021, regardless of who the singer is. It’s only when Germany holds national final that there seems to be any trouble!

Joe
Joe
1 month ago

Well yeah. As they pointed out, the station’s usual demographic, who would likely be forming the majority of the televote, are older, and therefore might not be the perfect people to steer the German entry in a contemporary direction. And it’s already worked wonders for Switzerland: the two entries they’ve selected with this method were phenomenal!

Colin
Colin
1 month ago

However, my favorite (and the most successful) German song of 2010s (2018’s You Let Me Walk Alone) came as the winner of (a quite strong) national final. While the competition wasn’t overall as strong, they had very good options in Makeda and Aly Ryan last year, but they picked the wrong song.

Ashton
Ashton
1 month ago
Reply to  Colin

And Lilly Among Clouds as well. Surprise was one of the most dynamic and interesting ballads of that NF season.

Jonas
Jonas
1 month ago

I think they should have just pre-selected Ben & Boris. The whole thing now sounds as if it could be a big waste of time…they clearly will have a big advantage, especially with the fan jury. If they win, people will say it’s unfair to the other entries…if they lose, people will say it’s unfair to them. All the effort by the other competitors, and the whole thing will remain behind closed doors. Lena got to do a two-in-a-row ten years ago, and nobody complained.

Jimmy Smit
Jimmy Smit
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonas

True, but Lena’s two-in-a-row came after winning the whole Contest and becoming a national star in Germany.

Joe
Joe
1 month ago

Bummer. Oh well. I like their selection method so as long as it gets them a good result, keep doing what you’re doing, Germany.

Aaron
Aaron
1 month ago

Shame he won’t be automatically selected but Ben is talented and so is B-OK. I can see another potential winner coming for Germany in 2021.

Mr Vanilla Bean
Mr Vanilla Bean
1 month ago

You’re such a violent thing, NDR. Well, it was one of the best song/singer combinations of 2020. It would be awesome if Boris Milanov and Ben Dolic could even up the ante. I’m definitely not fond of the selection method of fan groups and focus groups and whatever groups, but what can you do. Better this than an NF that produces last place contenders. Still, I hope a healthy amount of broadcasters won’t give in to ‘fans whose tastes are thought to be predictive of results’.

Jofty
Jofty
1 month ago

In which case Think About Things could be the next Fuego though I’m sure some people would not mind at all!

Denis
Denis
1 month ago

Why Milanov though? I can’t be the only one tired of him representing three countries every year. Doesn’t these countries have writers of their own? Besides that Milanov has a very generic sound, it literally can represent any country. Which is why he is hired I guess. He is also very uneven. Sometimes it’s a hit, sometimes it is not.

Mr Vanilla Bean
Mr Vanilla Bean
1 month ago
Reply to  Denis

I think he’ll try harder for the German broadcaster. Big country, big market, more money. Already in 2020, Germany got his hit, whereas Malta bought his miss.

Jofty
Jofty
1 month ago

I preferred Ben to Destiny but I am pretty sure she would have finished in front of him in final. So perhaps not quite a “miss”. As for money, no problems. “Budget” in 2016 was 1.5m Euros.

Last edited 1 month ago by Jofty
Mr Vanilla Bean
Mr Vanilla Bean
1 month ago
Reply to  Jofty

I’m sure Destiny would have scored well. But for me, it’s a miss because I adore Destiny and want her to have a great song and win Eurovision.

Jofty
Jofty
1 month ago

Yes, a think a ballad is the way to go as per Chiara or Glennis Grace. I cannot see Malta winning with an uptempo song.

Mr Vanilla Bean
Mr Vanilla Bean
1 month ago
Reply to  Jofty

As for 2016, it astonishes me that they couldn’t do any better than ‘Walk On Water’ with such a budget. I’ll just remember the ‘7th Wonder’ Ira, that one was iconic.

Jofty
Jofty
1 month ago

Yes well…..I would have preferred if they had stuck with the original “winner” Chameleon (# 1)!

Mr Vanilla Bean
Mr Vanilla Bean
1 month ago
Reply to  Jofty

I am still waiting for that revamp. -.-

Ashton
Ashton
1 month ago

I’m so confused by your taste. Walk On Water and All Of My Love are both spectacular songs, period

Mascha
Mascha
1 month ago
Reply to  Denis

He’s a good songwriter and while I’m not generally against songwriters working for other countries, I think every songwriter should only be able to enter once every year.

Joey
Joey
1 month ago
Reply to  Denis

I honestly think that I rather have Borislav writing songs than the Russian creep.
Borislav’s songs are actually pretty good. 🙂

Erasmus
Erasmus
1 month ago
Reply to  Joey

agree. I mean 3 songs per year out of 41 really isn’t much.

Jonas
Jonas
1 month ago
Reply to  Erasmus

Yes, it is.

Ashton
Ashton
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonas

it’s really not though

Jimmy Smit
Jimmy Smit
1 month ago

I’m glad to hear Ben will be involved in the selection process. I hope he can represent Germany for 2021. It sounds like the German delegation want to be as fair and as balanced as possible in selecting their entrant. Giving the chance for other artists to enter and receive feedback on their entry makes sense for a number of reasons. They’ve also clearly been supportive of Ben and have a good relationship with him.

Jimmy Smit
Jimmy Smit
1 month ago
Reply to  Jimmy Smit

Also, nice to see how committed the German delegation is to bringing home the trophy again and how engaged they are with national Eurovision fan press!

Jofty
Jofty
1 month ago
Reply to  Jimmy Smit

What nice comments Jimmy. I have little or no doubt (I am a betting man) that Ben will appear at Eurovision 2021 and representing Germany most probably.