On Tuesday Eurovision 2016 star Iveta Mukuchyan revealed that she had been included in Germany’s selection process for Eurovision 2021, but that ultimately she wasn’t picked.

In an Instagram post she speculated that it was “most likely” down to her “political move from 2016” in which she waved the flag of Nagorno-Karabakh.

NDR has now given a statement to the German web site ESC Kompakt. The broadcaster says that digame — the firm that helps it with its selection process and the analysis of ratings and scores — made a mistake in including Iveta in the process.

“For the selection process, digame and NDR have agreed that Germany should not be represented at the ESC by artists who have already participated in the international competition for another country. Iveta Mukuchyan was mistakenly included in the first selection for 2021 and contacted by digame. With the sole reason that she had already participated in the ESC for Armenia, she was then removed by digame for the further course of the selection. There was no other reason or a separate agreement with NDR. Political statements played no role.”

Germany at Eurovision 2021

Looking ahead to Rotterdam, Germany’s top brass are once again using 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.

This means they are not automatically selection their 2020 artist Ben Dolic. Automatically picking Ben for Eurovision 2021 was considered. But the country’s HoD has said that 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.

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Mo E.
Mo E.
18 days ago

She deals with this situation in the most humble manner – if we we look at Aly Ryan in contrast…

Nicky
Nicky
19 days ago

just go for Sasha aka dick brave

bit of big band uptempo pop pls

Last edited 19 days ago by Nicky
Whisker
Whisker
20 days ago

I think there is something rotten is the state of Germany. Interesting damage control.

Red X
Red X
20 days ago

This makes me wonder what her entry would’ve been

Kim
Kim
20 days ago

What I find frustrating is that there were companies and people involved in the selection process that must have no or limited interest in Eurovision otherwise they would have known that Iveta has previously appeared for Armenia. It’s not as though she was an artist from a decade ago that was lost in the semi final, Iveta had a top 10 entry from the last 5 years.

Una
Una
20 days ago
Reply to  Kim

“g00GLE”

Una
Una
21 days ago

“… 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.”
Sorry but I had a major LOL moment reading this. This method hasn’t worked for them. I keep wondering why they didn’t keep the 2018 method when they got that awesome song and result with Michael Schulte.
And think of Fra 2020. “First came the song”. Then the artist. LOL.

James
James
20 days ago
Reply to  Una

The sort of continued with the same process (artists and songwriters working together to come up with songs) they had in 2018 for the contest after. The only change that did eventually made a difference was allowing a “wildcard entry” outside the process to take part, which was of course “Sister”.

Funny enough, that song came out from the songwriting camp for Switzerland’s own selection process. Go figure. hehehe

elma
elma
20 days ago
Reply to  James

Imagine Luca Hänni singing Sister…

Whisker
Whisker
20 days ago
Reply to  elma

I do and it’s hilarious!

Una
Una
21 days ago

OMG. So d0ig0amE are in charge with all those important things in the big contest as well but cannot use g00gle to check artists out? Sorry, this is how it comes across. Or maybe they didn’t know about that rule about artists that had represented other countries previously. But that wouldn’t make much sense. Apologies if I am wrong.
Either way, I am glad they clarified things.

elma
elma
20 days ago
Reply to  Una

I think they knew, they just somehow added her by accident.

Una
Una
20 days ago
Reply to  elma

I can only *speculate*: you can’t add someone who is not eligeble in the first place just by accident. Second, I feel a bit bad – subjective of course – about a “mistake* like this – in case they will still be partners next year. Enough said. There were some problems in the last edition too in the first semi. I rest my case based of course on speculation and personal observations based on what I’ve read here.

Jofty
Jofty
20 days ago
Reply to  Una

Let’s hope they have heard of ABBA or it could be very embarrassing

Robert
Robert
21 days ago

BBB Bring Ben Back!

Nicky
Nicky
19 days ago
Reply to  Robert

Ben isn’t german, so he does not deserve a second chance

Jonny
Jonny
21 days ago

That rule is such a shame

Whisker
Whisker
20 days ago
Reply to  Jonny

No it’s not.

Alex
Alex
21 days ago

well digame didn’t do their job right, i guess!

In any case, i think they should find an artist that hasn’t done ESC before, i agree with this criterion!

Good luck finding a good song/artist.

I think Ben Dolic lacked stage charisma but the song was amazing!

Leo
Leo
21 days ago
Reply to  Alex

It was one of my faves as a song but I fear the stage show would have made it the new I Feel Alive. But we all know what happened to its nation the next year…

Ron
Ron
21 days ago

LOL The only way this broadcaster could have known about Iveta is through her participation in Eurovision (Iveta is not famous in Germany). So, they learned about her from Eurovision, included her in their preselection and then removed her because she had already participated in Eurovision…yeah that makes a lot of sense.

Jonas
Jonas
21 days ago
Reply to  Ron

Another way they could have known about her is if one of her songs was entered into the selection contest. Which is what happened…

Una
Una
21 days ago
Reply to  Jonas

Did she ever mention having submitted a song? Or that someone did it for her?

Ron
Ron
20 days ago
Reply to  Una

She had not submitted a song. In fact, she didn’t even know they were considering her until she got a call that she was shortlisted for preselection process. The German broadcaster is lying and it’s obvious.

elma
elma
20 days ago
Reply to  Ron

Lying about what? What is the truth?

Joe
Joe
21 days ago
Reply to  Ron

Could’ve also been through the Voice of Germany/X Factor pipeline when you consider how many contestants from both have competed in the German selection every year

Joe
Joe
18 days ago
Reply to  Joe

Ben Dolic, Michael Schulte, Natia Todua, Jamie-Lee…

Joe
Joe
21 days ago

See that, BTRC? THAT’S how you address an artist controversy without casting blame on the artist or bringing in politics.

Azaad
Azaad
21 days ago
Reply to  Joe

Well NDR is a broadcaster for a democracy, unlike BTRC….

James
James
20 days ago
Reply to  Azaad

Yeah but it seemed like someone in charge of BTRC’s PR opted to be personal rather than stick to the “formidable image of a strong institution” role usually associated with stat-controlled media.

Neil
Neil
21 days ago

Well I am at least happy it wasn’t about the flag incident but sad that she can’t represent Germany. Oh well….

sam
sam
21 days ago
Reply to  Neil

i bet she will try to go for armenia again in 2022 because she clearly is interested in a return

Neil
Neil
21 days ago
Reply to  sam

True, I hope that happens. Do you know if Athena M. Is
confirmed for 2021 eurovision…

Alex
Alex
21 days ago
Reply to  Neil

Athena is confirmed for Armenia.

Iveta would love to return and she mentioned in the past that she’d like to do it with Panik Records (Foureira’s label)

Leo
Leo
21 days ago
Reply to  Alex

I read in June or July that that first refusal would likely be confirmed once the Kid’s contest is done (or at least out of the way), and stuff implied by the HOD when the show was cancelled, and by her in a fan Q&A on insta in June, underscore this, but it’s obviously a matter of when not if. And please can her fans be involved in some way when it is confirmed, be it Depi for her (like in 2011 or 2013), a live-streamed behind closed doors concert in Armenia, Greece or Hannover, or a poll on her… Read more »

elma
elma
20 days ago
Reply to  Leo

Because why should be there that many comparisons? 😛

Leo
Leo
20 days ago
Reply to  elma

Because it is why the song stood out so much for me and struck me. I like that type of music with multi dimensional and dynamic singing and rapping. I saw several (fair) comparisons to Beyoncé, Cardi, Ariana and Normani (and Also note that fans of these acts I have shown Chains to like it loads), but I didn’t see too many people compare it to songs from LM5 like Joan of Arc and Wasabi. Chains is perhaps even better than those 2 songs imo, and I say that as a long running mixer.