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Germany's Levina takes her Perfect Life to Kyiv

10 February 2017 at 00:18 CET
Isabella "Levina" Lueen
Isabella "Levina" Lueen, more commonly known as Levina, has won the German national selection Eurovision Song Contest - Unser Song 2017 with the song Perfect Life. The live show saw five acts perform songs that were commissioned from globally successful producers in a bid to represent Germany in Kyiv. For the first time ever, international viewers were able to have their say in who should represent Germany in 2017, using a feature on the official Eurovision Song Contest app, Eurovision Vibes.

The three-hour show, which was broadcast live from Cologne, was watched by 3.14 million people equating to more than 10% of the market share. The show featured a jury panel comprising three of Germany's most popular musicians: Tim Bendzko, Florian Silbereisen, and Lena, Germany's most recent Eurovision Song Contest winner. Each judge gave an opinion during the live show but the winner was chosen solely by the TV viewers through televoting and the official Eurovision app. 

An emotional Levina, delivered a powerful winning reprise of her entry for Kyiv; Perfect Life. The song, which comes from the American songwriters Lindy Robbins, Dave Bassett and Lindsey Ray won with 69% of the vote.

Thomas Schreiber, ARD's Head of Entertainment, said: "During our national selection, we presented five exciting candidates and for the first time ever we enlisted the help of the international audience through the official app. Our team is delighted with the selection of Levina as Germany’s representative this year and we look forward to the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest in Kyiv”

Levina is 25 and lives in Berlin. She is currently studying Music Management at the London College of Music. She writes soul and pop songs, she received singing and piano lessons at the age of nine, and played in children's musicals until her 16th birthday. She regularly plays in bars with her band.

Gallery: In pictures: Levina wins German selection for Eurovision 2017

From zero to hero

Applications to take part in the German selection opened in autumn last year and casting sessions were held at the end of 2016. Five acts were then chosen out of more than 2000 applicants. The five finalists were:

  • Axel Maximilian Feige
  • Felicia Lu Kürbiß
  • Helene Nissen
  • Isabella "Levina" Lueen
  • Yosefin Buohler

Germany's Eurovision vibes 

To select the Germany entry for the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest, broadcaster NDR launched an ambitious national selection featuring promising young acts performing songs specifically written for the Eurovision Song Contest. This year, for the first time ever, the international audience could have a say using Eurovision Vibes, a feature in the official Eurovision Song Contest app.    

Fans from around the world were able to watch the rehearsals of the German national selection performances, as well as the live show in the app and were then able to cast their vote. The host of the show, Barbara Schöneberger, shared the international vibes with the German viewers throughout the evening meaning that voters had an insight into which act appealed most to the international audience. Check out how the format worked in the video below:

The format

In the first round the five competing artists performed a cover version of their choice:

  • Axel - You Know My Name (Chris Cornell)
  • Felicia - Dancing On My Own (Robyn)
  • Helene - Folsom Prison Blues (Johnny Cash)
  • Isabella - When We Were Young (Adele)
  • Yosefin - Love On Top (Beyoncé)

The results

The three acts that advanced to the second round were: 

  • Axel Maximilian Feige
  • Helene Nissen
  • Isabella "Levina" Lueen

Each artist performed their version of Wildfire, the first of two songs bidding for Eurovision glory. The top two, proceeding to the next round, were:

  • Axel Maximilian Feige
  • Isabella "Levina" Lueen

The remaining two acts then performed the second entry commissioned for the Eurovision Song Contest, Perfect Life as well as Wildfire. Axel and Isabella topped the international vote, Eurovision Vibes, on the official app; Axel was the most popular act in the first round followed by Isabella in the next.

As the lines opened for the final time both acts were neck and neck with exactly 50% the international audience supporting each act. The audience then voted for their favourite combination of artist and song. Isabella Levina won both and so went on to perform Perfect Life as well as Wildfire againAfter the final round of voting Perfect Life was selected as the German song for 2017 with 69% of the popular vote.

Gallery: Hello Germany: The dress rehearsal of Unser Song 2017

Perfect Life - the German song for Kyiv

Perfect Life comes from the American songwriters Lindy Robbins, Dave Bassett and Lindsey Ray. Robbins has produced hits for David Guetta, Demi Lovato and Jason Derulo, to name just a few artists. Bassett won a Grammy with a song for the band Halestorm. Ray worked for Mariah Carey, Demi Lovato and Deana Carter, and has released several albums as a solo artist and with her band Farmdale.

Lindy Robbins said; "The song Perfect Life is particularly important to me, because it is about taking risks and going after your dreams - life is an adventure, and the journey is about!" Dave Bassett added that it was a fantastic honour. Lindsey Ray said; "I like the message of this song very much, namely, that one should get involved in the adventure of the unknown and that in the end the ups and downs, that is, both the good and the bad, make a perfect life".

In the presence of Eurovision royalty

Previous Eurovision Song Contest winners Nicole (Germany 1982), Ruslana (Ukraine 2004) and Conchita (Austria 2014) all performed a medley of winning songs during the live show from Cologne:

  • Ruslana performed Euphoria (Sweden 2012)
  • Nicole performed Merci Cherie (Austria 1966)
  • Conchita performed Satellite (Germany 2010)

Towards the end of Conchita's performance Ruslana and Nicole joined her on-stage before all three were greeted by Lena. Four winners on one stage for one night only. See picture from the dress rehearsal below:

The spectacular selection also featured performances from Matthias Schweighöfer and Tim Bendzko. Conchita called on the international audience to play their role in helping Germany choose for Kyiv and delivered a special message to fans: 

To read the full story about Germany's national selection for 2017, read the rolling blog which has been on-going since September.