Singer Ann Sophie will be flying the flag for Germany at the Eurovision Song Contest this year in Vienna, but only because the winner of the public vote gave up his place live on air.
Andreas Kümmert had just been chosen by the public as Germany's best hope to represent the nation, but while still on stage he made a shocking announcement to the presenter Barbara Schöneberger.
“I am not in the position to accept the public vote. I give my title up to Ann Sophie”, he muttered to the presenter. He seemed to be overcome by the occasion and very emotional.
His song 'Heart of Stone' was a hit with the studio audience and the viewers at home, but instead Germany will have to get behind Ann Sophie's 'Black Smoke' in May.
The precise reasons for Kümmert's decision remain unclear, but he did also describe himself as “just a humble musician”. He added that Ann Sophie would be “much more suited” to represent the nation.
Audience members immediately reacted with a mixture of boos and whistles from the crowd and sheer shock on stage from Schöneberger and Ann Sophie.
Sophie said afterwards: “If his heart told him that he couldn't do it, then it was the right thing to do.”
But she added that she was not just surprised, but overjoyed and excited: “I can't wait to go to Vienna. It's a real dream come true.”
She describes herself as a “committed performer”, and some are drawing comparisons with Germany's 2010 entry Lena Meyer-Landrut, who went on to win the competition.
The entertainment co-ordinator for ARD Thomas Schreiber expressed his surprise at Kümmert's decision, but the offered his support and said: “It's an unusual victory, but Ann Sophie should be the point to focus on now.”