In 2005, the German entertainer and Eurovision veteran Stefan Raab launched his brainchild – a version of the Eurovision Song Contest held between the 16 states or länder of Germany. And with that, the Bundesvision Song Contest was born. The 10th edition of the contest will be held in a few weeks on September 20th, and every year without fail many Eurovision fans look towards the contest and wonder… what if Germany’s Eurovision entry was chosen through the show?
Having listened to snippets of this year’s entries on Amazon and listening to my favourites on YouTube (which I will talk about later), the contest certainly has a different approach to Eurovision, despite sharing many of the same qualities and rules. A focus on established or rising artists is key – as Raab himself mentioned back when the contest was created;
“This is not going to be a talentshow. I want acts that one already has heard of”.
And looking through the participants from each contest, one might say he got his wish – familiar names to fans of European music will include Peter Fox, Cro, Frida Gold, Polarkreis 18 and Ich + Ich. Some of the participants in Bundesvision have even gone on to try for Eurovision such as Unheilig and Oceana from this year. But the music at Bundesvision seems to be an altogether different breed – and appears to have focused more on a healthy mix of alternative music and experimental pop throughout the years.
But the winners appeal to the masses, of course. Bosse’s “So oder so”, which won the contest last year, would’ve been a much more solid German entry than Elaiza, in this writer’s humble opinion. And there are some great songs in this year’s contest which would be well suited to the Viennese stage – not to mention the fact that the rules stipulating each song must have at least 50% of its lyrics in German would add some much-needed linguistic diversity to a contest becoming increasingly saturated with English.
Raab almost certainly had many of the popular aspects of Eurovision in mind when designing the format of Bundesvision – the voting system remains the same, as does the live televised aspect of the contest and the focus on performances, some of which can be as outlandish as Eurovision – and as a result Bundesvision has a healthy following in its own right in Germany, with the victors being granted with publicity and chart success following the contest.
The main question with Bundesvision arises with the timing and the rivalry between broadcasters, however – with a selection in September the song may become outdated by the time Eurovision comes around 8 months later. Plus, the concept originally placed Stefan Raab and the German broadcaster at odds, as esctoday reported back in 2004;
“After we trademarked the title ‘Bundesvision Song Contest’, instantly some of NDR’s lawyers called and said that this is not possible. We think it is – and we will simply do it now.”
Bundesvision is broadcast by ProSieben, which is not a member of the EBU and would therefore have to co-operate with one of the German broadcasters in charge of Eurovision which, as we all know, is not very likely in the world of rival television channels. Therefore, it might just be a pipe-dream to see der gewinner of Bundesvision at the contest next May, but hopefully NDR and ARD will have something special in store for us anyway. And besides, as seen from Unheilig and Oceana joining the German national final, perhaps there is hope yet for a collaboration between the channels?
My picks for Bundesvision 2014?
Who is taking part in Bundesvision 2014?
The länder and their participants are listed below.
- Baden-Württemberg – Max Mutzke – Charlotte (represented Germany at Eurovision 2004)
- Bavaria – Andreas Bourani – Auf anderen Wegen
- Berlin – Miss Platnum – Hüftgold
- Brandenburg – Kitty Kat – Hochhaus
- Bremen – Revolverheld – Lass uns gehen
- Hamburg – Nico Suave ft. Flo Mega – Gedicht
- Hesse – OK Kid – Unterwasserliebe
- Mecklenberg-Vorpommern – Marteria – Mein Rostock
- Lower Saxony – Sierra Kidd – 20,000 Rosen
- North Rhine-Westphalia – Maxim – Alles versucht
- Rhineland-Palatinate – Jupiter Jones – Plötzlich hält die Welt an
- Saarland – Inglebirds – Getti
- Saxony – Sebastian Hackel – Warum sie lacht
- Saxony-Anhalt – Teesy – Keine Rosen
- Schleswig-Holstein – Tonbandgerät – Alles geht
- Thuringia – duerer – Was gestern war
Sources: ProSieben, esctoday.com
Are you looking forward to Bundesvision? Would you like to see Germany using it for Eurovision? Let us know below or join the discussion on our forum!