• Germany's news in English

Sound problems plague Eurovision semi-final

The Local · 11 May 2011, 14:59

Published: 11 May 2011 14:59 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Although the impressive stage show went off without a hitch in front of 16,000 screaming fans, millions of viewers at home had to do without sound from commentators, as Serbia, Lithuania, Greece, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Switzerland, Hungary, Finland, Russia and Iceland booked spots in Saturday's final.

Broadcaster ProSieben blamed the commentary blackout on “international problems” that would hopefully be ironed out before the second semi-final on Thursday.

Germany automatically qualifies for the final each year due to the amount of money it contributes to the kitschy song contest, but cash would not seem to confer technical prowess.


Along with several other foreign commentators, Germany’s legendary Eurovision reporter Peter Urban was forced to use a telephone after the sound was cut from the arena. Urban even reportedly complained over the air that it felt like the show was being broadcast from Kazakhstan rather than Düsseldorf.

Of the three hosts on stage, the German media generally agreed on Wednesday that the semi-final was saved by the trilingual comedienne Anke Engelke.

Story continues below…

The normally boisterous Stefan Raab, the mentor of Germany’s Eurovision contestant Lena, was compelled to remain in the background due to his poor foreign language skills. English? Zero points.

DPA/The Local/mry

Related links:

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

18:32 May 11, 2011 by William Thirteen
no, no. the music actually does suck!
18:51 May 11, 2011 by Englishted
What ! you have heard them?

William I believed you were a man of taste.
23:55 May 11, 2011 by dcgi
In hindsight I would preferred no sound for a few of those songs... Greece's for one.
09:32 May 12, 2011 by Angry Ami
Like always, I'm going to get out my bowl of chips and my bottle of beer,

and LMFAO!!!
Today's headlines
Germany stalls Chinese takeover of tech firm Aixtron
Aixtron headquarters in Herzogenrath. Photo: DPA

The German government on Monday said it had withdrawn approval for a Chinese firm to acquire Aixtron, a supplier to the semiconductor industry, amid growing unease over Chinese investment in German companies.

Politicians call for tough sentences for 'killer clowns'
File photo: DPA.

Now that the so-called 'killer clown' craze has spread from the US to Germany, elected officials are drawing a hard line against such "pranks", with some threatening offenders with jail time of up to a year.

Nearly one in ten Germans are severely disabled
Photo: DPA

New figures reveal that 9.3 percent of the German population last year were considered severely disabled.

The Local List
Germany's top 10 most surreal sites to visit
The Upside-Down House, in Mecklenburg–Western Pomerania. Photo: Olaf Meister / Wikimedia Commons

From upside-down houses on Baltic islands to a fairy-tale castle near the Austrian border, Germany is a treasure trove of the extraordinary.

Bavarian critics back Merkel for Chancellor again
Photo: DPA

The Christian Social Union (CSU) have long delayed backing Angela Merkel as their candidate for Chancellor in next year's general election. But now key leaders are supporting her publicly.

Four taken to hospital after hotel toilet bursts into flames
File photo: DPA.

Four guests at a Nuremberg hotel were taken to hospital due to smoke inhalation early Monday morning after a toilet there burst into flames.

Creepy clown scare spreads to Germany
Two of the clowns were apparently equipped with chainsaws. Photo: Pedro Pardo / AFP file picture

Police said Friday five incidents involving so-called scary clowns had occurred in two north German towns, including one assailant who hit a man with a baseball bat, amid fears that Halloween could spark a rash of similar attacks.

Student fined for spying on women via their webcams
Photo: DPA

Student from Munich fined €1,000 for spying on 32 different computers, using their webcams to take photographs, or record their keyboard history.

This is how much startup geeks earn in Germany
Photo: DPA

A comprehensive new survey of 143 startup founders shows how much you are likely to be earning at a German startup, from entry level all the way up to sitting on the board.

Man dies after beating for peeing near Freiburg church
The Johannes Church in Freiburg. Photo Jörgens Mi/Wikipedia

A middle-aged man from southern Germany has died after being attacked by a group of men who took umbrage with the fact he was urinating in the vicinity of a church.

10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd