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Thursday, 13 March 2014 18:30

Germany: Unser Song für Dänemark - LIVE

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Guten Abend! It's the final end of the national selection season, and Germany will be one (1) of the last countries to select their entry for the Eurovision Song Contest. Eight (8) acts have internally been selected by ARD / Das Erste in collaboration with major record labels, in what should prove to be a scintillating affair. You may follow all of the proceedings from Unser Song für Dänemark through the official website of the Eurovision Song Contest, set to broadcast the show LIVE.

In recent years, Germany have faced a resurgence in the competition, achieving positive results in the period between 2010 and 2012 with songs such as Satellite, Taken By a Stranger and Standing Still by Lena Meyer-Landrut and Roman Lob respectively. The voting system is set to be a tad complicated, with all of the eight (8) entrants performing their songs for the first time to see four (4) get through to round two. Those who get there will perform their second entry from which only two (2) will get through to the final round.

From here onwards, the public will decide which one deserves the ticket to Copenhagen and with which song. A number of guests will be making their way to the stage in Cologne including none other than last years' Eurovision Song Contest winner; Emmelie de Forest as well as this years' Italian representative; Emma Marrone. Keep refreshing this article throughout the evening as Peter Dunwoody will be reporting on the event LIVE.


Evening all! Peter Dunwoody here reporting live. Not long now before we go live to Cologne for the show, so I hope you've got a suitable German beverage on hand, and I hope you'll stay with us for the duration. As has already been mentioned, the voting process is slightly complex tonight (perhaps unnecessarily so), but all you need to know for now is this: 8 artists, 16 songs, and in a couple of hours, we'll be left with just one. We'll take you through the rest.

So sit back, relax, and we'll be going live very very shortly!

Here are tonight's artists and the first songs you'll be hearing, in the order you'll be hearing them:

1. Das Gezeichnete Ich – Weil Du Da Bist

2. Oceana – Thank You

3. Santiano – The Fiddler On The Deck

4. MarieMarie – Cotton Candy Hurricane

5. The Baseballs – Mo Hotta Mo Betta

6. Elaiza – Is It Right

7. Unheilig – Als Wär’s Das Erste Mal

8. Madeline Juno – Like Lovers Do


Right lads, we're off. Opening the show before we get down to business is something very familiar: Emmelie De Forest with last year's Eurovision winner, 'Only Teardrops.'

Here's our host Barbara, and just like the crowd, she's full of energy and enthusiasm. Let's hope she keeps it up throughout the show.

One thing that is immediately clear about the show is how much warmer the staging and the arena is than last year, with a much more colourful stage.

A quick explanation of the format from Mr. Voiceover, and just like that, we're off! A video introducing our first act, Das Gezeichnete Ich.

1. Das Gezeichnete Ich – Weil Du Da Bist

This is a good opener: powerful stadium orientated synth-pop. It is rather similar to British band Keane and some of their later output. It would be having more of an effect if the singer was on the note...sadly, he's WAY off.

The lighting for this is blue, with the singer starting off at a piano before getting up for the second verse. He is accomanied by a keyboard player and drummer in the background, with three backing singers. Sadly, they don't compensate for his vocals, which are borderline painful throughout. A shame, because it's a strong contemporary song.

2. Oceana - Thank You

Better vocals here from Oceana...it's perhaps the outfit choice that is called into question more here. Thank You is soulful, with slight 60s influences but very bassy and percussive, bringing the sound into the 21st Century (more specifically, 21st Century high street clothes shops).

Oceana is clearly an experienced performer, with plenty of interaction with the crowd and the cameras. Straightforward band setup onstage here. The song is modern, but perhaps not catchy enough on first listen to get enough votes. Still, a confident performance.

3. Santiano – The Fiddler On The Deck

Right this should be interesting...

Oh god they're on a boat. So Santiano are a folk-rock band, of mature years, basically singing a sea shanty. To be fair, they're committing to the theme, doing their best pirate voices, and the song has attitude. It's catchy too...

As easy it is to despair when you're a fan of pop at Eurovision when something like this comes along, it's hard not to appreciate when performers who are clearly pros are doing their thing. It was a very convincing performance. Perhaps dangerously so...

4. MarieMarie – Cotton Candy Hurricane

And now for quite the change of pace after that. MarieMarie sings the intro to the song while playing the harp (Florence and the Machine has a lot to answer for) before a fuller production kicks in in the chorus. It's mid-tempo Europop at the slightly alternative end of the spectrum.

Midway through the song she steps away from the harp (most probably saw that one coming), and whilst her vocals are strong for the most part, she struggles slightly in the last chorus. A very pleasant listen and despite its mellow tone, it is memorable on first listen.

5. The Baseballs – Mo Hotta Mo Betta

Perhaps the most internationally well-known of tonight's acts, the baseballs have a cult following around the world for their rockabilly covers of pop songs. Obviously 'Mo Hotta Mo Betta' is an original. All you need to know is that the group are a 50s rock'n'roll throwback band and you'll instantly know what the song sounds like, probably what their second song will sound like, and indeed their stage appearance. Quiffs and leather jackets all around.

"She can rock me / she can roll me." Yes, of course she can. Sadly the song isn't quite as catchy as it probably should be, and the whole thing is just a little bit cabaret. If Copycat only managed to get 1 point for Belgium in 2009, it's hard to see what this has that would entitle it to more (except perhaps for the fact that the singers are sweating a bit less).

It went down well with the crowd in the arena.

6. Elaiza – Is It Right

Now for the wildcard act; Elaiza consist of Yvonne on the accordian, Natalie on the double bass, and lead vocalist Ela. Just the three of them and a drummer on the purple stage. The song is an quirky mix of accordian-led folk and pop. It's an interesting sound and the group blend them rather seamlessly.

Ela has an appealing tone to her voice, and she's just about holding it together although there are nerves there. It's competant, but the song doesn't really go anywhere in its allotted three minutes. VERY positive response from the crowd though.

7. Unheilig – Als Wär’s Das Erste Mal

Now for the favourites...

Unheilig have been active as a group for 15 years, although nowadays it's pretty much just lead singer Der Graf and session musicians. The stage is set up, once again, in a typical "band" formation, with a lot of smoke and candles. It does give it a bit of gravitas.

The song is more mellow than a lot of the band's earlier material. Whilst there are some rock influences here, it's mainly piano-led, with hints of Coldplay in there, and a melody that fans of schlager will be able to feel very comfortable with. A very assured performance there.

8. Madeline Juno – Like Lovers Do

The last song (for now), and it's 18 year-old Madeline Juno. Madeline is a singer-songwriter who found fame through Youtube. Her debut single 'Echo' was released at the end of 2013, and will actually be her second song tonight.

'Like Lovers Do' is a percussive ballad, with very polished production - and of course as we all know, nothing quite lifts a song like an "oh, oh, oh" chorus. Her voice is ever so slightly cutting live, but she's pretty much in tune, so it shouldn't be much of a problem. The song is definitely more accomplished as a production than it is as a composition. There isn't a huge amount of a melody, but it's easy to see this being popular.


Alright children, listen carefully. The voting will now open for a short period, and the German public will vote for their favourites out of that first eight. The four artists that finish at the top of this vote will then sing their second song of the night (although their first songs will still be in contention).

We're now getting a recap of the songs.

They're certainly getting value for money with Emmelie De Forest tonight; here she is again performing the Eurovision 2014 anthem 'Rainmaker.' Hopefully we won't all be sick of it come May.

No sign of 21st placed Natalie von Cascada tonight incidentally. That was glossed over quickly by everybody wasn't it.

And now, our presenter Barbara makes use of the traditional Eurovision method of filling time, by engaging the crowd in a singalong of Nicole's winning song, 'Ein Bisschen Frieden.' Sadly, there wasn't any time to do 'Let's Get Happy' by Lou, as the lines are now closed. We go to the green room for some interviews. 

And the four finalists are...

SANTIANO

MARIEMARIE

ELAIZA

and

UNHEILIG

Did you guess correctly?

They'll now sing their second songs.


Santiano - Wir Werden Niemals Untergehen

Santiano get the boat prop out again, for a song in German this time. The beginning sounds like something from a Pirates of the Carribean soundtrack; quite epic, big orchestration.

This isn't as catchy or as fun as their first song, 'Fiddler On The Deck' but it's certainly a lot bigger, with a key-change thrown in for good measure.

MarieMarie - Candy Jar

MarieMarie, and her harp, are back. The fact that both her songs mention candy does not go unmissed by the host. She's quicker to step away from the harp this time, which is just as well, since it's inaudible on this one anyway.

Throbbing bassy production here, but like her previous song, it's firmly in midtempo territory. It isn't quite as instant as 'Cotton Candy Hurricane' though. Quick harp interlude in the middle...have we ever had that at Eurovision before? We probably still won't.

Elaiza - Fight Against Myself

So the voters who won Elaiza the wildcard round have clearly stuck with the group to get them into the top four. Can they go all the way? 'Fight Against Myself' has a lot of German traditional influences, even with the presence of a horn this time.

The song is slightly more fun than their first song, but again it's not particularly catchy and not a huge amount happens. The package is all there, but sadly the songs themselves have been less than the sum of their parts for Elaiza. 

Ela, by the way, is much more confident in her performance this time around. Perhaps she has been given a boost by making the top four, or maybe she prefers this song.

Unheilig - Wir Sind Alle Wie Eins

Time for Unheilig's second song, and the final song in the running to represent Germany at Eurovision. The stage setup is exactly the same as their first song, and the tone of the song is very similar too. 

Very mainstream rock, designed for the stadiums. The melody just is not as strong as Unheilig's first song though, which is a characteristic of all four of the second songs, it has to be said.


It's time for more voting! Once again, it's up to the German public to decide on the final two. They can vote for either song from any of the acts (so eight songs in total are in the running here), and we will be left with just two songs after this round of voting.

Nicola Campogrande from RAI, Mr Eurovision Jon Ola Sand and Mr Melodifestivalen Christer Bjorkman are here to give their opinions.

That's it, the lines are closed again! The final two will be announced shortly...

Here we go! The final two songs are...

Elaiza - Is It Right

and

Unheilig - Wir Sind Alle Wie Eins

We're nearly done folks, don't worry. Just ONE more round of voting to go. The televoting lines are open once more for the public to decide between these two, and this time a jury will have a say in the final result too. If it were up to the arena audience however, there would already be a clear winner. Elaiza getting as good a reception as they have all night, with a few boo's for Unheilig this time!

The two finalists perform their songs again. Elaiza very emotional at the reception they are getting...what with the audience response and the streamers, one could be forgiven for thinking they've won already. Is the writing on the wall already?

A bit disheartening to hear all the boos for Unheilig. And slightly frightening...would you want to get on the lead singer's bad side?

Time for a performance from Emma, the Italian representative this year, with her Eurovision entry, 'La Mia Città.'


This is it then...

The winner is...

ELAIZA!!

Elaiza will represent Germany in Eurovision 2014 with 'Is It Right?' 

Congratulations to them.

Last modified on Thursday, 13 March 2014 21:41