All opinions expressed in this article are those of the person quoted and do not necessarily represent the opinions of the other team members or ESC United as a whole.

It’s 6 days to go until Junior Eurovision 2023, and we are counting down the 16 nations who are participating in Nice, France on Sunday, November 26, 2023.

Every day we will do an overview of a participating nation in alphabetical order, recapping how they got to Junior Eurovision, a brief history of the nation’s participation, a brief biography of the artist, and finally, our “expert” panel of editors give the entries a score out of 10 and a brief review.

Next up, we look at Germany, the last of the adult contest’s Big Five to make a debut at Junior Eurovision.

Germany’s history at Junior Eurovision:

It’s been a bit of a rough start for Germany at Junior Eurovision.

Germany’s Susan Oseloff came in 12th and last with “Stronger with you” in their debut appearance at Junior Eurovision 2020.

Pauline Steinmüller represented Germany at Junior Eurovision 2021 with “Imagine Us,” but ended up in 17th out 19 countries at the contest.

Germany skipped out on Junior Eurovision 2022, but they elected to return in 2023, the very first year that all five of the Big Five nations have shown up at the Junior version of the Contest.

Now, despite their two appearances thus far not having gone too well, Germany should not lose hope: their neighbors Poland debuted in 2003 and came in last then and in 2004, but after a lengthy absence returned to win a double in 2018 and 2019.

Before Junior Eurovision 2023:

Germany had initially announced they were going to participate at Junior Eurovision 2023 with an internally selected artist, but instead opted for a mini-selection.

Five entries submitted to the national selection were instead given the chance to upload one minute demo versions to broadcaster NDR’s website and a week for an online vote (50%) and an international jury (50%) to decide.

The international jury included European artists such as Kelvin Jones, Tom Gregory, and Chistopher Lund Nissen.

On September 18, 2023, it was announced that Fia’s “Ohne Worte” would represent Germany at Junior Eurovision 2023. Fia came in first in both online and international jury votes. Rahel’s “Believe” came in 2nd, Toby’s “Stand Up” in 3rd, Adriano’s “Be My Girl” in 4th, and Lenny’s “Lieben lernen” came in 5th.

The Artist:

Chinese-German artist Fia has lived in Shanghai, China, but the family returned to Germany shortly after the birth of her sister, who is featured in the video for “One World” and is the inspiration for Fia learning sign language.

Junior Eurovision is not the first time she used sign language: Fia signed the lyrics for all her entries during her recent run on Germany’s The Voice Kids.

The Song:

“Ohne Worte” (“Without Words”) is inspired by Fia’s sister but contains a message that could be applied to the world at large, the lyrics about two people making meaningful connections in today’s world without words.

“Ohne Worte” was composed by Martin Fliegeschmidt, who also co-wrote “I Care For You,” a song performed by Jennifer Braun during Unser Star fur Oslo, Germany’s national selection for Eurovision 2010. Fliegeschmidt also co-wrote “Hurt Lovers,” the first post-Eurovision 2011 comeback single for Blue in 2013.

Co-Writer Sascha Seelemann is a composer, pianist and performing artist who has, since 2013, been a DJ on German station Bayern 3. Seelemann is also the lead artist in the group Lupin, releasing an album in 2011 for the jazz, hip hop and dub influenced project.

And finally, co-writer and producer David Jürgens is based in Berlin and has written and produced for the likes of Max Giesenger, Mark Forster, Vincent Weiss, and Til Schweiger.

With the background out of the way, here is what we at ESC United think of Germany’s entry for Junior Eurovision 2023.

Providing their thoughts for Junior Eurovision this season: Alexandros (Greece), Yehonatan Cohen (Israel), Boris Meersman (Belgium), James Maude (Los Angeles, California), and William Carter (Dallas, Texas).

The Verdict:

Alexandros – 6.5 – “Germany’s entry this year has proven to be a delightful surprise, surpassing expectations with its impressive quality. The song’s merit lies in its ability to convey a compelling and powerful message through a simplistic yet impactful musical composition, all delivered in the German language. This unexpected gem suggests that Germany could benefit from sending more entries of a similar nature to the Eurovision Song Contest, as they adeptly capture the essence of simplicity while effectively communicating a resonant and meaningful narrative. This noteworthy performance underscores the potential of such compositions to resonate with a broad audience, both domestically and internationally.”

Boris – 7.5 – “Sign language always asks a question of whether it’s pandering or not, but Fia’s plea appears genuine enough. It is easier to accept if you’re known to have a deaf sister, you know? The question *I* would pose however is, does the personal message come across well enough? I’m not quite sure. As a song “Ohne Worte” follows a typical yet accessible pop song structure that makes it pleasant to listen to, but also anchors it down as “Good but Not Great”, a bit generic for its genre. The message behind the song has potential to leave a powerful impression though, and how to do so is a puzzle Germany will need to have solved before rehearsals kick off.”

James – 5.5 – “Sweet, sincere, but ultimately a little bland. The core sentiment and the inspirational relationship between sisters should garner some votes, but outside that the song itself is forgotten as soon as it’s over.”

William – 7 – “Germany’s problem at JESC was never with the singers themselves. It sent really talented, charismatic performers in both 2020 and 2021. (I’m still waiting for Pauline to get her own Disney channel sitcom.) But the songs Germany saddled those kids with were generic, forgettable, and obvious. I’m thrilled to see a pivot toward something more personal and heartfelt. FIA has real star quality, and the song itself is an earworm. Can’t wait to see this staging come to life.”

Yehonatan – 4 – “There’s nothing particularly bad about this song, I just find it a bit too vanilla for my taste. I wish it took a stand more and developed in an unexpected way. I do hope Germany will come back and keep trying because I’m confident they have what it takes to do good and just haven’t figured it out yet.”

Total: 30.5 points (Average = 6.100)

We have 10 more entries to go, and France remains in 1st place with 8.5 points average. Though Germany is currently in sixth and last, their average of 6.1 is relatively high historically for Germany and not the average of a country that ESC United believes is going to do poorly.

Six countries in, here are our current rankings in editor scores:

1.) France – 42.5 points (Average = 8.500)

2.) Armenia – 38.0 points (Average = 7.600)

3.) Georgia – 35.0 (Average = 7.000)

4.) Albania – 33.5 points (Average = 6.700)

5.) Estonia – 32.5 points (Average = 6.500)

6.) GERMANY – 30.5 points (Average = 6.100)

What do #YOU think of Germany’s entry for Junior Eurovision? Do #YOU think Germany will be third time lucky and get a good result in Nice? Let us know in the comments below, on our social media, or in our forum.

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