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Germany: Elaiza wins Unser Song für Dänemark!

13 March 2014 at 23:50 CET

@20:35 Jakov ( Let’s start! A big opening act by Emmelie de Forest and her winning song Only Teardrops and that's not all, she is going to perform her new song Rainmaker, later on in the show as well. Nevertheless, there will be more surprises during the show. But let's focus on the contestants and potential German representative at 2014 Eurovision Song Contest. We have eight acts tonight, and first of all, each of them will present just one song. Marco Brey, our editor who followed this year’s national selection in Germany from the beginning is also contributing to this Live coverage. Marco, what we should share first any new moments in comparing with the contest from the last year?

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Marco ( Well, this year, German national broadcaster NDR, decided to add one segment to the Unser Song für Dänemark and that was a club concert, where young acts were competing for so called “wild card”. It certainly gave a new dimension to this show and opportunity to young talents to participate in the national final.

@20:38 Jakov ( While we are waiting for the first finalist to perform, Thomas Schreiber an entertainment coordinator at ARD is about to join us. Thomas, how did you (NDR) come up with the concept for this year’s national selection in Germany

Thomas (NDR): We developed a concept together with the major and independent labels, also colleagues from Brainpool and ARD's young radio programs. Different programs need different approach - when you are looking for talents (and Lena was a very unique talent, a diamond, that you can find only once) so we needed a different approach again. Besides, if you offer the same content every year, without any changes, I don’t think that the audience would be interested to follow it.

Jakov ( Before we get back to the show, let’s check what’s going on our Social media platforms. What are the favourites among fans across Europe!

@20:41 Jakov ( Das Gezeichnete Ich is going to be the first among finalists who is going to perform tonight. Olena Omelyanchuk is also in our team of editors and she was following this year’s national selection in Germany too. Olena, what can you tell us about the first act?

Olena ( Das Gezeichnete Ich is actually a singer, composer and multi-instrumentalist from Berlin. He was the opening act in concerts of the Pet Shop Boys and A-ha, went on tour with famous German band Ich + Ich in 2010. Veronica Ferres, the famous German TV-star and actress plays in the video of Weil du da bist. Another interesting thing is that Das Gezeichnete Ich took part in the "Bundesvision Song Contest" where he represented his home state of Brandenburg, but has been beaten by Unheilig who won the contest. 

Jakov ( Will the history repeat again?

Olena ( Well, it’s hard to tell and it’s up to the viewers across Germany. Still, for those who are maybe interested in Das Gezeichnete Ich, his debut album placed 30th in the German charts, and his new album was released in February.

@20:45 Jakov ( Next to perform is Ocena. Olena, what should we know about this contestant?

Olena ( Oceana - actress, presenter, and singer - is known for her mix of soul, pop, hip-hop and house. Her fan circles extend from Germany as far as Russia, Romania, Hungary, Greece, Poland, France, and Spain. Her song Endless Summer was the official anthem of the UEFA Euro 2012, which earned her a Golden Record in Germany.

@20:52 Jakov ( Next song sound like it's coming from Ireland?

Olena ( Well, Santiano is a true top act in the German-language music scene. The Northern German band links traditional international folk songs, pop music, rock'n'roll and irish folk within their own style of "shanty rock." Their 2012 debut album Bis ans Ende der Welt climbed to the first place in the German album charts, it gained four times platinum status and was awarded the national "Echo" prize.

@20:56 Jakov ( Time is running, we already heard three competing songs. Fourth to perform is MarieMarie from Bayern.

Olena ( Yes, MarieMarie unites traditional instruments like harp, dulcimer and cello with electronic beats and buzzing soundscapes. That's what the red-haired punk musician calles her music. This year the artist accompanied Bryan Ferry and the Pet Shop Boys on their concerts. Her first album Dream Machine was released on February 7th, 2014.

Jakov ( Any background information we should know about her?

Olena ( MarieMarie is a songwriter, singer and harp player with a colourful and bright imagination. Her muse is music itself. 24 hours a day, her world revolves around music: on stage, at the studio in Hamburg, at home in Munich. MarieMarie sings two songs from her debut album Dream Macine. And it’s all about her surreal world where everything flows together and changes: nature, man, machine.">

@21:00 Jakov ( With the next one I will need help. Olena, "Mo Hotta Mo Betta" is a song written by The Baseballs?

Olena ( Exactly, the typical sounds of The Baseballs are well-liked all over Europe - in Finland, Sweden, Norway and Switzerland they topped the national charts, and the band consisting of Sam, Digger and Basti are also stars in The Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, Spain, Italy, Poland and Russia. In their home country - Germany - their albums were awarded gold and platinum status, while also reaching the top-ten. 

@21:08 Jakov ( Another interesting female artist is about to perform or better said a trio. We are going to hear our sixt finalist for tonight.

Olena ( True, Elaiza is a female trio from Berlin, centering around the Ukrainian-German singer-songwriter Ela (21). Her fellow band member Yvonne (29) plays the accordion, and Natalie (28) the string bass. Ela and Yvonne got acquainted at a liquor tasting session, and Natalia joined them shortly afterwards. They first performed together in 2013. 

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@21:15 Jakov (  A huge star in Germany, one of the best selling last artists in the last few years is also in the race for the role of representative at 2014 Eurovision Song Contest?

Olena ( Definitely. With millions of albums sold in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, Unheilig is one of the most successful German-language bands of the past decades. With their seventh studio album Grosse Freiheit and their song Geboren um zu leben, lead singer Der Graf and his band had their breakthrough in the German market in 2010. The follow-up Lichter der Stadt also reached the top spot of the national charts in the same three countries.

Jakov ( Last to perform in the first round is 18-year-old Madeline Juno. But she is already a big star, at least on Youtube or?

Olena ( You are right, Jakov. Her first single Error became an instant hit, with the video gaining almost a million views on Youtube. The director of the German comedy Fack Ju Göthe (which went on to become the most successful German movie in 2013), Bora Dagtekin, subsequently chose it as its title song. Madeline Juno is known to a wider audience due to her numerous TV appearances.

Jakov ( Anything we should know about the song?

Olena ( Madeline’s song Like The Lovers Do is the roulette of feelings and moods, with a lot of room for her magic voice and heavy beats. You can also listen to it in the trailer of the German 3D-Drama Pompeii produced by Constantin Film.

@21:24 Jakov ( And now pay attention because it's getting a bit difficult! As we saw all the performances, it's time for viewers to chose favourite artists and song. Marco can you brief us about the rules?

Marco ( Well, the audience is being asked about their opinion now. Televoting starts! Only the four top-placed acts in the televoting will move on to the second round.

Jakov ( Thanks Marco. While we are waiting for the first results and enjoying the new song from Emmelie de Forest, Jan Feddersen, a well-know German blogger and author or many books about Europe’s most favourite TV show is with us as well. Jan, what do you think about this year’s Unser Song für Dänemark so far?

Jan ( At the moment it’s a big success. Seven representatives of the German music market – including some of the biggest starts, Unheilig, Madeleine Juno and Santiano are taking part, then a live-concert-act, one of the most popular we had in Germany  – plus one act recruited by an internet-hype followed by a Clubkonzert: This is more then the last years (and let us not discuss about the years of the Bayerischen Rundfunk till the beginning of the 90s). And, last but not least, the national final in the Lanxess-Arena of Cologne is the biggest venue for such kind of contest.

Jakov ( We have another question for Mr. Schreiber. Considering what we have heard from fans, most of them like the idea of having a bigger and more complex national selection, also because it includes bigger crowd. Could this year’s concept, especially with the “club concert” be seen as more extensive, including several semi-finals, like in some other countries maybe?

Thomas (NDR): We are considering some possibilities of doing 2-3 club shows in 2015 before the German final in cities like Berlin, Cologne and Hamburg. But we will decide that after Copenhagen.

@21:40 Jakov: And here are the first results: SANTIANO, MARIEMARIE, ELAIZA and UNHEILIG!

Jakov ( So, Marco what's going to happen next, what are the rules?

Marco ( So, now we’re left with only four acts that remain. Those four acts will each sing another song.

Santiano Wir werden Niemals Untergehen

MarieMarie Candy Jar

Elaiza Fight Against Myself

Unheilig Wir Sind Alle Wie Eins

@22:03 Jakov ( Time to televote again! The TV audience will decide which two acts will go to the final round of voting. While those who are in Germany now are voting, we are going to use next few minutes for chit-chat with Jan Feddersen. As an expert for Eurovision, what do you think about the quality of the entries we have heard tonight?

Jan ( Well, this year – as well as last year in Hannover – we really have high quality songs. Unheilig, Santiano, MarieMarie and Elaiza – are great acts for sure. Those are all good performers and they have good songs to perform.

Jakov ( Question for Thomas Schreiber: How come some of the finalists have to perform two entries?

Thomas (NDR): True it is something new. What certainly makes tonight's show interesting is that some artists could perform two songs - usually you can sing only one. But don't forget that we have three rounds of voting this time, because we also want the audience to consider which song is the best and to make it more dramatic through those three rounds of voting!

@22:19 Jakov ( We are about to share the result of the second round of voting: ELAIZA and UNHEILIG!

Marco ( Now for the third round of voting, and this very round will be the decisive one! Out of the two remainig acts, the public will pick the one who will be flying with German flag in Copenhagen. At the same time, they will decide which one out of their two songs is the most suitable for the Eurovision Song Contest stage.

@22:24 Jakov ( As we are going to hear competing songs again. We are asking the Eurovision fans across Europe: Is It Right or Wir Sind Alle Wie Eins?

Jakov ( Jan, I have one delicate question for you: Why are German artists more into songs in English? As someone who follows Eurovision for decades, would you prefer having more entries in German in the national selections? I mena, Eurovision is about the variety of cultures and languages after all?

Jan ( Artists believe that English is an international and more accepted language. English, nowadays, is also a normal language in Germany – not an "alien language" like it was till the 80s. There are no borders anymore, but in Deutsch (German) is, from the artist's point of view, not that popular and interesting enough for european market.

Jakov ( Thomas, any toughts about this issue?

Thomas (NDR): Well. artists are those who decide which language they are going to use. Don't forget, that last year we had song in four languages: English, German, Latin and Bavarian. This year German and English are in focus.

@22:33 Jakov ( As we are counting last minutes of the show one more question for both of our guests. Would you say that Eurovision is as much popular as before in Germany? We surely do have amazing number of Eurovision fans here, but considering all the ratings and interest for such shows, what could you tell us about the popularity of Eurovision in Germany in general?

Jan ( I would say that the general interest in Germany is high and raising again, since we had acts like Guildo Horn (1998) and Stefan Raab (2000) and he is the greatest Eurovision “anorak”, “nerd” of all. For the ARD, Eurovision is a TV show with the highest ratings in the year.

Thomas (NDR): Well, TV ratings depend on the identification of the audience with the artist who is representing our country. In Oslo with Lena, Eurovision Song Contest was watched by more than 14 million viewers in Germany and during the brodcast of the show from Belgrad we had the lowest ratings around six million viewers.

@22:42 Jakov ( Thank you Thomas. And the most important moment of the show is about to come. The host of the show Barbara Schöneberg is announcing the winner:

The winner is ELAIZA with Is It Right!

Jakov ( Jan you seem to be very satisfied with the outcome? As seven of eight contestants tonight were chosen by an expert comission, while the eight one, a newcomer band won so called wildcard in a televised club concert, following a Youtube selection in which no fewer than 2.040 acts submittet their applications and that's the winner of tonight's show - trio Elaiza.

Jan ( Yes, I think that Elaiza is like a Cinderella-story and the best German Eurovision story of all times. I am really satisfied with the results (also because MarieMarie got into the 2nd round – as she is an excellent musician). Unheilig is like the Cliff Richard of ‘68: considered as a favourite, but not the winner in the end.

@22:50 Jakov ( For now it is trully a successful story. Thank you Jan for being part our Live coverage tonight as well. NDR's Live broadcast is about to end, so our job is done. That was all for tonight, Europe! In the name of our team: Marco Brey, Olena Omelyanchuk, Thomas Hanses, Stijn Smulders and Jan Demulder, I wish you a pleasent night. And of course thanks to all you who were following us tonight!

Don't forget that you can watch the German final again - in our Web TV section!