It's been a long and rocky road to identify Germany's entry for the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest (ESC).
After the disaster of 2015 – when the singer who won the public vote stepped down, leaving the runner-up to represent the Bundesrepublik (Federal Republic) in Vienna – broadcaster ARD decided to simply name a candidate without consulting the fans.
But their aim was off, as they named singer Xavier Naidoo – who has links to the conspiracy theorist “Reichsbürger” movement and has sung songs with anti-gay lyrics in the past – to take part in one of the high points of Europe's gay calendar.
After a quick and humiliating retreat from ARD bosses, the public is once again in charge, and there are ten candidates in the running for a ticket to Stockholm in May.
Avantasia's style is not so much reminiscent of modern day hard rock, but more of what member Tobias Sammet calls “rock-opera-concerts” from the 80's. The internationally renowned band will storm the stage with their piece Mystery Of A Blood Red Rose.
Ella Endlich brings new life into German beat music tradition at ESC. Following the success of her 2009 single Küss Mich, halt Mich, Lieb Mich (Kiss me, hold me, love me), she is hoping for her new piece Adrenalin to catapult her right to Stockholm.
Producer Frank Peterson's newest project is more than just intergenerational. His group Gregorian synthesis medieval choral chants and modern day pop music. Singer Ashley Turnell and her men in habits are sure to be somewhat sensational at ESC.
Hannover-born highschool student Jamie-Lee Kriewitz has picked up momentum after winning ProSiebenSat.1 casting show The Voice Of Germany. Underpinned with an Asian manga-style stage show and costume, her hit Ghost could send a chill down the audience's spines.
Sister-act from Hamburg: Joco, aka Josepha and Cosima Carl, are a fairly unknown yet promising duo. They recently received a scholarship to record their album at London's famous Abbey Road Studios. Their indie-pop song Full Moon might cause an upset for more established acts on the night.
Quirky Australian singer Kat Frankie meets Cologne rock musician Chris Klopfer. The result is their song Protected, elegiac indie-rock tunes interwoven with melancholy. After having recently recorded their album, Keøma are eager to get back onto the stage in front of a noisy crowd.
Laura Pinski is a versatile young woman. After singing her way to the finals of RTL's casting show Das Supertalent she started studying law but never lost sight of her dream of a career as a peformance artist. The man behind her song Under The Sun We Are One is Ralph Siegel, one of Germany's best-known composers for ESC contestants.
At Germany's national Bundesvision Song Contest by renowned host Stefan Raab Luxuslärm was only able to take 4th place. This time they are hungry for more. Let's hope that their song Solange Liebe In Mir Wohnt (As long as love is within in me) will be able to win over the hearts of the viewers.
Woods of Birnam unites performers that have been in business for a while and are looking for a new challenge. Christian Friedel (star of 2009 movie The White Ribbon) got together members of former German band Polarkreis 18 – and their entry harks back to the good old days of the group.