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Just how big a deal is Eurovision in Germany?

Aaron Burnett
Aaron Burnett - [email protected] • 13 May, 2023 Updated Sat 13 May 2023 07:56 CEST
Just how big a deal is Eurovision in Germany?
Hamburg metal band Lord of the Lost is an unlikely choice for Germany's 2023 Eurovision entrant. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Axel Heimken

The annual Europe-wide festival of music and kitsch that is Eurovision has a huge German fanbase – even if the country has had a decade-long streak of mostly underwhelming, disappointing finishes.


Like cherry blossoms and resurgent Spargel (asparagus) obsessions, the arrival of Eurovision season in Germany is a sure sign that spring has arrived.

Over eight million people – or around ten percent of the country’s total population – watched Eurovision in Germany in 2022. That makes the Eurovision Song Contest – or simply “ESC” to many Germans – one of the most watched television events in Germany each year.

Radio stations are already playing this year’s song, as well as hits from years gone by. Whether it’s the main German “Grand Prix” party in Hamburg – as the Eurovision Song Contest here in Germany is sometimes known – or the many viewing parties around the country at homes and in bars, mid-May’s Eurovision season leaves open many chances to sport flags and glitter.

Does Germany do well in Eurovision?

Germany was one of the original seven countries to participate in the first Eurovision in 1956. Since then, it’s taken part in every year’s contest except for one – more than any other country at Eurovision. As one of the so-called “Big Five” countries along with Spain, France, the UK, and Italy – it is guaranteed a spot in May 13th’s grand final without having to compete in semi-finals.



The country has won twice. That puts it ahead of most participating countries – that have yet to take home the big prize, or who have won once. It also ties with the two other participating German-speaking countries, Austria and Switzerland, each of which have also won twice.


Young Schlager singer Nicole brought home the trophy for Germany first in 1982 with her song Ein bisschen Frieden or “A little bit of peace.” Singer Lena – still one of Germany’s most popular and well-known music stars – would win Eurovision again for the country in 2010, this time with the English-language song Satellite.

Germany has also placed in the top three eleven times – with singer Katja Ebstein being the only Eurovision performer to ever score three top three finishes, for her performances in 1970, 1971, and 1980.



Although a solid ESC country overall, Germany has slumped at Eurovision in recent years.

It also comes a ways behind Eurovision powerhouses like Sweden, which has won the contest six times, or Ireland – with its leading seven wins.

READ ALSO: Why are people in Germany-speaking countries so obsessed with Schlager music?


Germany at Eurovision 2023 – country’s disappointing ESC streak likely to continue

Unfortunately, Eurovision doesn’t allow people to vote for their own country, so people who are in Germany during voting unable to vote for Germany.

It’s not clear where Germany’s votes will come from – given how bookmakers are projecting this year’s act, Hamburg metal band Lord of the Lost, to come in 20th out of 26 in the grand final with their song “Blood and Glitter.”

READ ALSO: WATCH: Germany picks heartfelt ode to dead father as Eurovision song

By the standards of the last few years though, even that result wouldn’t be the worst. Germany has finished last place in the Eurovision grand final eight times since 1956 – yet three of those last place finishes have happened since 2015. Three other German performances since 2015 finished second to last.


Since that fateful year, only 2018 entrant Michael Schulte managed to interrupt Germany’s recent disappointing streak – finishing in fourth with his heartfelt song “You Let Me Walk Alone” – a tribute to his deceased father.

But as an unlikely winner of Germany’s national selection Unser Lied für Liverpool or “Our Song for Liverpool,” referring to the UK city hosting the contest this year in place of last year’s winner Ukraine, Lord of the Lost could well pull out another surprise on May 13th.


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