Germany are ploughing the same furrow as last year, choosing seven record company backed acts of varying repute, and leaving the eighth place in the final up for grabs in a wildcard round open to all comers. This of course is both a good or a bad thing. Good, in that it gives the whole nation a chance to have a go in the contest, however unknown they may be. Bad, because a good three quarters of the entries make the Swiss open-access masses look half decent.
A massive 1213 songs were entered into the process, and the majority of them are near unwatchable. I'm not sure what the exact remit for application was, but at least one in every ten are cover versions - usually of Whitney or Adele. Then there's a huge swathe of instrumentals - again not exactly Eurovisionable - while another big chunk have dates like 2012 and 2009 emblazoned all over them. I thought the Germans were supposed to be good at following orders.
Once you've swept these unmentionables out of the way, there are massed ranks of girls warbling in their bedrooms, or blokes howling at electric pianos, all tinnily recorded on their iPhones in portrait rather than landscape, looking all tall and narrow. Then there are hundreds and hundreds of pub bands looking all serious in the studio like they're the first one to ever think of doing a video that way. It can be so stultifyingly bland that you start dancing on the table with abandoned delight every time a oompah schlager comes along.
But it's worth ploughing through the dregs for the occasional moment of delight. Take young Cärolein here. She comes from about as far south in Bavaria as you can possibly get. I've heard it's strange down there. That probably explains a lot about the video you're about to watch...
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