In an interview with German Eurovision site Prinz Blog, Thomas Schreiber, the Head of Entertainment for NDR, has given us an insight into the complex preparations for Germany’s 2019 national selection.
Following the application call from 2018 representative Michael Schulte, 465 acts have applied. In addition, more than 150 songs have been submitted so far. The call for submissions opened just one week after the grand final in Lisbon, where Germany achieved its best result since 2010.
Shortlisting is already underway
Schreiber also gave an insight into the delicate and time-consuming process of shortlisting over 1,000 submissions to 198. Along with his team, a panel of experts reduced the submissions to a shortlist ahead of a two-tiered jury process.
Most of our colleagues, for example our Head of Delegation Christoph Pellander, Thomas Niedermeyer and Werner Klötsch from Digame mobile and other well-informed, ESC-savvy editors have really seen every single video [submission].
This list of 198 was cut down to 50 by a 100-member Eurovision jury (selected via an online search). The 50 remaining acts then went to a 20-member international expert jury. The 20 highest-rated acts have been invited to a string of Eurovision workshops, starting at the end of August in Cologne. This workshop will be followed by six other consultations in four cities.
Next step: Song submissions
“We are currently working on the song submissions”, Schreiber explained. Though songs have already been submitted, the official writing workshops are due to take place in November. Final selection of songs for the selection should be finished and produced before Christmas.
When asked when the national final itself will take place, he said “the show will not be too early, nor too late before the Head of Delegation Meeting in Israel.” This could theoretically mean anytime between January and March.
At this stage, we know that the number of acts participating in Unser Lied will be increased from six to ‘between eight and ten’ for the 2019 edition. It is expected that the 2018 format, in which acts brought their own songs, will remain in place.