Today German public broadcaster NDR has announced the revised plans about how to choose the entry for the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest. Ten acts will fight to represent their country in Unser Lied für Stockholm, a live show on February 25th, and two rounds of televoting will decide the winner. The line up includes some of the currently most popular acts in Germany, like Gregorian, Alex Diehl, and Jamie-Lee Kriewitz (pictured).
The following acts will compete in the German national final:
- Avantasia - Mystery Of A Blood Red Rose
- Alex Diehl - Nur ein Lied
- Ella Endlich - Adrenalin
- Gregorian - Masters Of Chant
- Jamie-Lee Kriewitz - Ghost
- Joco - Full Moon
- Keøma - Protected
- Laura Pinski - Under The Sun We Are One
- Luxuslärm - Solange Liebe in mir wohnt
- Woods of Birnam - Lift Me Up (From The Underground)
Unser Lied für Stockholm will be broadcast live on February 25th at 20:15 CET, both online and on public TV channel Das Erste. The TV public will solely decide on the winner by means of televoting, SMS voting and the Eurovision app, and the voting will be organised in two rounds. The presenter of the show will again be Barbara Schöneberger.
The ten candidates have been jointly selected by representatives of NDR, the young public radio channels of ARD, record companies and independent labels, and the production company Brainpool. Criteria have been the proposed song and its international success chances, and a broad selection of styles in the show. About 150 candidates have been in selection.
Get to know the ten acts
Avantasia is a project founded by singer-songwriter Tobias Sammet, who describes their style as "bombastrock". The band's last album Mystery Of Time climbed the charts in many countries and reached the 2nd position in Germany, and their new album, the rock opera Ghostlights, is due later in January. After the release the band is set to go on a world tour.
Alex Diehl has written his song Nur ein Lied as a spontaneous reaction to the tragic events in Paris. He recorded a simple performance with his mobile phone and uploaded it to Facebook - and just hours later it already had millions of views. It means a lot to him to participate in the national final, and he would love to send the message: "We are Europeans, part of this world, and we are against hatred and war."
Ella Endlich is famous for her songs that are a blend of German Schlager and pop. She studied acting, vocals and musical and performed in several theatre pieces and musicals. She sang the title song for the movie Drei Haselnüsse für Aschenbrödel, which remained in the German charts for over one year and reached gold. "I am really speechless and infinitely excited to be part of this event - pure Adrenaline", she says.
The choir Gregorian was founded based on the idea of music producer Frank Peterson to mix gregorian chants with modern pop music. The group has released no fewer than 15 CDs and 6 DVDs as of now, and in February they will go on a four-months world tour. Their spectacular and opulent live performances have inspired more than two million spectators, from Europe all the way to Japan.
Jamie-Lee Kriewitz won the talent show The Voice of Germany 2015 and subsequently reached number one in the iTunes download charts. She is currently touring Germany together with her fellow finalists. "It would be an awesome experience for me, I wouldn't have dreamed of that one year. A manga voice from Germany - that would be the hit for me!"
Joco consists of two sisters from Hamburg, Cosima and Josepha. The indie-pop duo studied in The Netherlands and in their music they mix piano, guitars, drums and vocals. Their debut record Horizon was recorded in the Abbey Road Studios, mixed by Grammy winner Steve Orchard. "We can hardly wait to perform in front of this huge public," they comment their participation in Unser Lied für Stockholm.
Keøma was founded during one night in Cologne as the joint band of Kat Frankie, a folk singer from Sydney, and Chris Klopfer, a German rock musician. Their debut record is due in January, based on guitars, bass, synth sounds and vocals. "We create the sound of a cosmopolitan and modern Germany", they describe their style.
Laura Pinski plays guitar and piano, and in 2012 she reached the finals of the talent show Das Supertalent. Her song Under The Sun We Are One was written by "Eurovision legends" Ralph Siegel and John O'Flynn. "Maybe, with a little luck, my dream to represent Germany in the Eurovision Song Contest will come true", she says.
Pop-rock band Luxuslärm has already been nominated for the ECHO awards, won the radio prize 1LIVE Krone, and came fourth in Stefan Raab's Bundesvision Song Contest. The band consists of lead vocalist Janine "Jini" Meyer, David Müller (bass), Christian Besch (keys), Freddy Hau (guitar), and Jan Zimmer (drums). "It's crazy to be part of this national final. Pure Anticipation!"
Woods of Birnam is the pop band of singer and actor Christian Friedel and the group Polarkreis 18. From 2012 the band has accompanied William Shakespeare's Hamlet at the Dresden State Playhouse, in which Christian Friedel played the main role. Their song I’ll Call Thee Hamlet was the title song of the famed German movie Honig im Kopf.
What happened before
Initially Xavier Naidoo had been internally selected to represent Germany in Stockholm. However, his nomination was withdrawn by public broadcaster NDR, following a wave of critical remarks and questions, both about the singer's personal background and the way he was chosen.