With his song, 'Violent Thing', Ben Dolic was chosen to represent Germany in 2020. In light of the unfortunate cancellation of the 65th Eurovision Song Contest, we wish to highlight the impressive acts that were set to appear. This is 'In the spotlight', our feature honouring the artists that would have made up this year's edition of the world's largest live music event.
After a disappointing result at the Eurovision Song Contest 2019 in Tel Aviv, where the country finished in 2nd-to-last place, Germany drastically changed its national selection method in hopes of a better result. Previously, Germany has selected it’s representative with a combined audience and jury vote.
In 2020, 2 independent juries were selected by the German public broadcaster, NDR. The first was a Eurovision Jury composed of 100 people from all over the country. The other was an international expert panel of 20 music professionals, who have all - at one point- been part of their home country’s national juries. Christian Blenker, Head of ARDs Team for the Eurovision Song Contest, stated: "Our 2 juries possess great musical expertise and a unique Eurovision instinct".
The multi-stage process eventually saw Ben Dolic named as the Eurovision 2020 representative for Germany, with the song Violent Thing.
Ben said of his selection: “When I got the news that I had been accepted by the juries, I was totally overwhelmed. Taking part in the Eurovision Song Contest for Germany was a dream come true for me. This is where I made my breakthrough as a professional singer. I think we have the perfect song for the Eurovision Song Contest, and I will give everything I have for Germany.”
Who is Ben?
Ben Dolic’s voice has been described as unique, euphoric, and semi-androgynous - it’s no wonder he has been compared with pop giants like Justin Timberlake and Michael Jackson.
Ben, who was born in the capital of Slovenia, Ljubljana, and lived in Switzerland for years, is a Berliner-by-choice. He began making music at the age of 12 and auditioned for Slovenia’s Got Talent by covering Michael Jackson’s Man in the Mirror, where he made it all the way to the semi-finals.
Ben first learned the German language at the age of 18, when he moved to Switzerland with his family. There, he continued to progress in his career and in 2017, he released his first solo single. The following year, having already settled in Berlin, he made it all the way to the final of The Voice of Germany where he finished in second place. He then went on tour in Germany and Austria.
Thomas Schreiber, Head of Entertainment at ARD, labelled Ben as an "exceptional talent” who has “worked hard at his craft for years and has high artistic standards”.
READ MORE: Ben's participant profile
Ben's song, Violent Thing, was written by Austrian-Bulgarian producer and songwriter - and Eurovision veteran - Boris Milanov and his team. His compositions have been in the top 7 in the Eurovision Song Contest for the past 4 years: Kristian Kostov was second for Bulgaria in 2017 with Beautiful Mess, Cesár Sampson was third for Austria in 2018 for Nobody But You and Poli Genova was fourth for Bulgaria in 2016 with If Love Was a Crime.
Boris had only compliments for Ben and his talent: "We had a fantastic time in the studio. He sings with an amazing degree of confidence and at the same time effortlessness.”
Ben’s staging was being prepared by MTV Video Music Award-winning choreographer and artistic director Marty Kudelka. He choreographed 3 of Justin Timberlake’s world tours and his halftime show at the Super Bowl in 2018.
Recently, Ben showed off his strong pipes on Instagram by singing the song that got him on Slovenia’s Got Talent semi-finals: Man in the Mirror. Ben posted: “A song that stuck with me for a long time. I still believe the message of it, is one of the most beautiful in modern music. If you wanna change the world, first change yourself!”
You can follow Ben on the following social media platforms:
Germany in the Eurovision Song Contest
As one of the founding countries of the Eurovision Song Contest, Germany has participated every year since 1956 - except in 1996, when its entry failed to qualify from a pre-selection round.
Germany wasn't particularly off to a good start and unfortunately finished with zero points in 1964 and 1965. However, by 1970, Katja Epstein took Germany all the way to the top 3 for the first time ever with the song, Wunder Gibt Es Immer Wieder.
READ MORE: Germany's country page
S!sters duo, Carlotta Truman and Laurita Kästel, performed with the song Sister at the Eurovision Song Contest 2019 Tel Aviv. They finished in 25th place in the Grand Final with a total of 24 points.