Back in February, it was announced that Jendrik Sigwart had been internally-selected to represent Germany in Rotterdam. His entry “I Don’t Feel Hate” was chosen by NDR after receiving maximum points from their internal jury system. However, after a disappointing 25th place last month, the Head of Delegation is currently reevaluating their selection method going forward.
Speaking to ESC Kompakt, Head of Delegation Alexandra Wolfslast has shared her response to Germany’s result in Rotterdam and her reflection on NDR’s current selection method.
As 2021 was her first year as HoD, she discussed the experience of being on the ground in this role for the first time.
For me personally, this event was an unforgettable experience. It was an outstanding ESC with an incredibly strong line up, a huge musical range – and it was a fantastic show. The quality and variety of the contributions shows that the ESC is also constantly changing musically. I think that’s great.Alexandra Wolfslast, HoD for Germany
In light of Jendrik’s result, she expressed that she knew the song would be divisive, but that it’s a catchy track and has resonated with her personally:
Jendrik made a great performance. Unfortunately, his song was not as well received in Europe as the songs of other acts. “I Don’t Feel Hate” is definitely a catchy tune, but also a title that polarizes and has a hard time in the mainstream. In any case, I have integrated the phrase “I Don’t Feel Hate” into my lexicon.Alexandra Wolfslast, HoD for Germany
Reviewing selection method
For the past two editions, NDR have used a dual jury system to select their entry. This system is also used by Switzerland’s SRG SSR. The format is designed to simulate a cross-section of viewers’ tastes. When asked why this format hadn’t worked for Germany in 2021, she said the following:
Any explanation would be pure speculation. The fact is that the same procedure obviously works extremely well in Switzerland, but has not earned us a good ranking.Alexandra Wolfslast, HoD for Germany
She added that the team are constantly reviewing the format, and that the team will be meeting “very soon” to discuss their strategy for Eurovision 2022.
I think it is easy to understand why we are now critically reviewing the current selection process and considering what we can do differently in the future.Alexandra Wolfslast, HoD for Germany
Germany’s recent Eurovision history
As one of the largest financial contributors to the EBU, Germany is one of the “Big 5”, guaranteeing them a place in the Grand Final each year. Germany’s recent results have been mixed. Despite winning the contest just over a decade ago with Lena’s “Satellite”, they have been in the bottom two of the scoreboard every year since 2015, with one exception. This sole exception was Michael Schulte’s “You Let Me Walk Alone”, finishing 4th in Lisbon with 340 points.
In 2020, 23-year-old singer-songwriter Ben Dolic was selected by NDR to represent Germany with “Violent Thing”. The track was well received both domestically and internationally, but following the cancellation of the contest, Dolic opted to not go ahead for the 2021 contest.
The same format used in 2020 was then used to select Jendrik’s “I Don’t Feel Hate” in Rotterdam this year. The entry placed 25th with 3 points, notably being one of four entries to receive zero points from the televote. However, as our Voting Quirks feature revealed, they averaged a 17.2 ranking across the televoting public.
What could NDR do differently for Eurovision 2022? Let us know! Be sure to stay updated by following @ESCXTRA on Twitter, @escxtra on Instagram and liking our Facebook page for the latest updates! Also, be sure to follow us on Spotify and YouTube to see our reactions to the news in the run up to the 2022 national final season!