Germany in the Eurovision Song Contest


Member station

NDR (1996–) (ARD)

National selection events
Appearances 60
First appearance 1956
Best result 1st: 1982,[N 1] 2010
Worst result Last: 1964, 1965, 1974, 1995, 2005, 2015, 2016
Nul points: 1964, 1965, 2015
External links
NDR page
Germany's page at
For the most recent participation see
Germany in the Eurovision Song Contest 2016

Germany has officially participated in every Eurovision Song Contest since its beginning in 1956, except in 1996 when its entry did not qualify past the audio-only pre‐selection round, and consequently was not seen in the broadcast final and does not count as one of Germany's 60 appearances. No other country has been represented as often. France and the United Kingdom come in a close second, missing only two contests each. Before German reunification in 1990, it occasionally presented as West Germany, representing the Federal Republic of Germany. East Germany (the German Democratic Republic) did not compete. Germany has won two contests, in 1982 and 2010.

Germany first won the contest in 1982, at the 27th attempt in Harrogate, when Nicole won with the song "Ein bisschen Frieden" (A Little Peace). The second German victory came 28 years later at the 2010 contest in Oslo, when Lena won with "Satellite". Germany have finished second four times and third five times, for a total of eleven top three placements. Katja Ebstein, who finished third in 1970 and 1971, and then second in 1980, is the only performer to have made the top three on three occasions but never won. Germany also finished second with Lena Valaitis in 1981 and the group Wind in both 1985 and 1987. The other third places were achieved by Mary Roos in 1972, Mekado in 1994 and Surpriz in 1999. With one win and four second places, Germany is one of the most successful countries of the 1980s. Germany has finished last on seven occasions, receiving nul points in 1964, 1965 and 2015.

Germany, along with the United Kingdom, Italy, France and Spain, is one of the "Big Five" countries that are automatically qualified to the final, regardless of the placing. This is due to being the largest financial contributors to the contest and the European Broadcasting Union (EBU). Since 1996, ARD consortium member Norddeutscher Rundfunk (NDR) has been responsible for Germany's participation in the contest. The Eurovision Song Contest semi-final is broadcast on NDR Fernsehen (EinsFestival and Phoenix in recent years), and the final is broadcast on Das Erste, the flagship channel of ARD. Although German contestants have had varied levels of success, public interest remains high and the contest is one of the most watched events each year.


The German representative in the contest is usually chosen during a national selection, broadcast on public television channel Das Erste, which is organized by one of the nine regional public broadcasting organizations of the ARD; from 1956 to 1978, Hessischer Rundfunk (HR); from 1979 to 1991 Bayerischer Rundfunk (BR); from 1992 to 1995, by Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk (MDR) and since 1996, by Norddeutscher Rundfunk (NDR). Between 2010 and 2012, private broadcaster ProSieben worked in partnership with NDR.

Radio coverage has been provided, although not every year, by Deutschlandfunk (DLF) and Bayern 2 from 1970 to 1979, hr3 from 1980–85, 1991–94, 2007 and 2011 (both stations in 1983), NDR Radio 2 from 1986 to 1990, 1995 to 2006 and 2008–13, and WDR1LIVE in 2011.

Since 2010 production company Brainpool, which also co-produced the 2011 Eurovision Song Contest in Düsseldorf and the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest in Baku, have worked with NDR to co-produce the German national finals.

Germany has often changed the selection process used in order to find the country's entry for the contest, either a national final or internal selection (occasionally a combination of both formats) has been held by the broadcaster at the time.


1996 absence

ARD had selected an artist and song to represent them at the Eurovision Song Contest 1996, to be held in Oslo, Norway. Due to the large number of countries wanting to compete at Eurovision, they determined that only 23 of the 30 countries could compete. Hosts Norway qualified automatically, the other 29 songs went into an audio only pre-qualification round, with the top 22 going on to compete alongside Norway in Oslo. Unfortunately for Germany its entry, Leon with "Planet of Blue", failed to earn enough points to progress to the final, finishing 24th. ARD and the EBU were not happy with this, as Germany was the biggest financial contributor at the time. This is the only time that Germany has been absent from the contest.


In the 2000s, Germany has been notable for their adoption of musical styles which are not typical of Eurovision, such as country and western (Texas Lightning – "No No Never" in 2006) and swing (Roger Cicero – "Frauen regier'n die Welt" in 2007 and Alex Swings Oscar Sings – "Miss Kiss Kiss Bang" in 2009). Germany tied for last at the 2008 contest for points, but was awarded 23rd of 25th place when the results were posted. In 2009, ARD held an internal selection for the first time since 1995 due to lack of interest and viewing figures of the German national finals.[1] Alex Christensen and Oscar Loya were selected to represent Germany at the 2009 contest, where they performed on stage with famous burlesque artist Dita von Teese. However they only managed to receive 35 points, placing 20th of 25 competing countries.


In 2010, ARD approached former entrant and songwriter Stefan Raab and private network ProSieben to co-operate in finding a winning entry for the country. It has been said that Raab was approached due to his good record at the contest, finishing 5th in 2000 as well as writing entries in 1998 and 2004, which finished 7th and 8th respectively. Raab agreed and conducted a TV casting show called Unser Star für Oslo (Our star for Oslo) which was broadcast on ARD and ProSieben. A winner arose in Lena Meyer-Landrut with "Satellite", who went on to win the contest. Two further collaborations with ProSieben provided the second and third top ten result in a row respectively in 2011 (Lena Meyer-Landrut with "Taken by a Stranger") and 2012 (Roman Lob with "Standing Still").

The streak of top 10 finishes was broken in the 2013 contest, when Cascada's song "Glorious" finished 21st with 18 points and has continued since. The group Elaiza in 2014, Ann Sophie in 2015 and Jamie-Lee finished in 18th, 27th (last) and 26th (last) place respectively. Ann Sophie became the country's third entry to finish with nul points, followed by Nora Nova in 1964 and Ulla Wiesner in 1965, and the first since the introduction of the current scoring system in 1975.

Germany and the "Big Five"

Since 1998, four particular countries have automatically qualified for the Eurovision final, regardless of their positions on the scoreboard in previous Contests.[2] They earned this special status by being the four biggest financial contributors to the EBU. These countries are the United Kingdom, Germany, France and Spain. Due to their untouchable status in the Contest, these countries became known as the "Big Four" In 2009, it was reported that the Big Four could lose their status and have to compete in the semi-finals.[3] However, this never progressed and the Big Four kept their status.[4] Italy returned to the contest in 2011, thus becoming part of a "Big Five".[5][6]


Table key
  Second place
  Third place
  Last place
Year Artist Language Title Final Points Semi Points
1956 Walter Andreas Schwarz German "Im Wartesaal zum großen Glück" 2 [7] N/Aa No semi-finals
1956 Freddy Quinn German "So geht das jede Nacht" 2 [7] N/Aa
1957 Margot Hielscher German "Telefon, Telefon" 4 8
1958 Margot Hielscher German "Für zwei Groschen Musik" 7 5
1959 Alice & Ellen Kessler German "Heute Abend wollen wir tanzen geh'n" 8 5
1960 Wyn Hoop German "Bonne nuit ma chérie" 4 11
1961 Lale Andersen German "Einmal sehen wir uns wieder" 13 3
1962 Conny Froboess German "Zwei kleine Italiener" 6 9
1963 Heidi Brühl German "Marcel" 9 5
1964 Nora Nova German "Man gewöhnt sich so schnell an das Schöne" 13 0
1965 Ulla Wiesner German "Paradies, wo bist du?" 15 0
1966 Margot Eskens German "Die Zeiger der Uhr" 10 7
1967 Inge Brück German "Anouschka" 8 7
1968 Wencke Myhre German "Ein Hoch der Liebe" 6 11
1969 Siw Malmkvist German "Primaballerina" 9 8
1970 Katja Ebstein German "Wunder gibt es immer wieder" 3 12
1971 Katja Ebstein German "Diese Welt" 3 100
1972 Mary Roos German "Nur die Liebe läßt uns leben" 3 107
1973 Gitte German "Junger Tag" 8 85
1974 Cindy & Bert German "Die Sommermelodie" 14 3
1975 Joy Fleming German "Ein Lied kann eine Brücke sein" 17 15
1976 Les Humphries Singers German "Sing Sang Song" 15 12
1977 Silver Convention English "Telegram" 8 55
1978 Ireen Sheer German "Feuer" 6 84
1979 Dschinghis Khan German "Dschinghis Khan" 4 86
1980 Katja Ebstein German "Theater" 2 128
1981 Lena Valaitis German "Johnny Blue" 2 132
1982 Nicole German "Ein bißchen Frieden" 1 161
1983 Hoffmann & Hoffmann German "Rücksicht" 5 94
1984 Mary Roos German "Aufrecht geh'n" 13 34
1985 Wind German "Für alle" 2 105
1986 Ingrid Peters German "Über die Brücke geh'n" 8 62
1987 Wind German "Laß die Sonne in dein Herz" 2 141
1988 Maxi Garden & Chris Garden German "Lied für einen Freund" 14 48
1989 Nino de Angelo German "Flieger" 14 46
1990 Chris Kempers & Daniel Kovac German "Frei zu leben" 9 60
1991 Atlantis 2000 German "Dieser Traum darf niemals sterben" 18 10
1992 Wind German "Träume sind für alle da" 16 27
1993 Münchener Freiheit German "Viel zu weit" 18 18 Kvalifikacija za Millstreet
1994 Mekado German "Wir geben 'ne Party" 3 128 No semi-finals
1995 Stone & Stone German "Verliebt in Dich" 23 1
1996b Leon German "Planet of Blue" Failed to qualify 24 24
1997 Bianca Shomburg German "Zeit" 18 22 No semi-finals
1998 Guildo Horn German "Guildo hat euch lieb!" 8 74
1999 Sürpriz German, Turkish, English, Hebrew "Reise nach Jerusalem – Kudüs'e seyahat" 3 140
2000 Stefan Raab German "Wadde hadde dudde da?" 5 96
2001 Michelle German, English "Wer Liebe lebt" 8 66
2002 Corinna May English "I Can't Live Without Music" 21 17
2003 Lou English "Let's Get Happy" 12 53
2004 Max English, Turkish "Can't Wait Until Tonight" 8 93 Member of the "Big 4"
2005 Gracia English "Run & Hide" 24 4
2006 Texas Lightning English "No No Never" 14 36
2007 Roger Cicero German, English "Frauen regier'n die Welt" 19 49
2008 No Angels English "Disappear" 23 14
2009 Alex Swings Oscar Sings English "Miss Kiss Kiss Bang" 20 35
2010 Lena English "Satellite" 1 246
2011 Lena English "Taken by a Stranger" 10 107 Member of the "Big 5"
2012 Roman Lob English "Standing Still" 8 110
2013 Cascada English "Glorious" 21 18
2014 Elaiza English "Is It Right" 18 39
2015 Ann Sophie English "Black Smoke" 27 0d
2016 Jamie-Lee English "Ghost" 26 11
a. ^ The full results for the first contest in 1956 are unknown, only the winner was announced. The official Eurovision site lists all the other songs as being placed second.
b. ^ In 1996 Germany failed to qualify for the contest from the pre-qualification round. The official Eurovision site does not count 1996 in Germany's total list of appearances.
c. ^ Spain originally gave its 12 points to Israel and 10 to Norway. After the broadcast it was announced that Spanish broadcaster wrongly tallied the votes and Germany should have got the top mark - 12 points - instead of being snubbed, as it happened. The mistake was corrected and so Germany was placed 7th over Norway. Israel and Norway both received 2 points less than originally and Croatia, Malta, Portugal, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Belgium, Estonia and Turkey all received one point less than indicated during the broadcast.
d. ^ While Austria and Germany both finished with no points, Austria is listed as finishing "ahead" of Germany due to the tiebreaker rule that favours the song performed earliest in the running order.[8]

Voting history

As of 2016, Germany's voting history is as follows:

Most points given in the grand finals only
Rank Country Points
1  United Kingdom 180
2  Sweden 174
3  Turkey 170
4  France 155
5  Ireland 149

Most points given in the semis and finals
Rank Country Points
1  Turkey 208
2  Sweden 207
3  United Kingdom 180
4  Israel 171
5  Ireland 155

Most points received
Rank Country Points
1  Spain 224
2  Portugal 177
3  United Kingdom 168
4  Belgium 162
5  Denmark 161


Year Location Venue Presenters
1957 Frankfurt am Main Big studio of the Hessischer Rundfunk Anaïd Iplicjian
1983 Munich Rudi-Sedlmayer-Halle Marlene Charell
2011 Düsseldorf Esprit Arena Anke Engelke, Judith Rakers and Stefan Raab

Commentators and spokespersons

Over the years ARD commentary has been provided by several experienced radio and television presenters, including Ado Schlier, Thomas Gottschalk, Jan Hofer, Wolf Mittler, Fritz Egner and Werner Veigel. However Peter Urban provided ARD TV commentary every year since 1997,[9] however due to his health issues in 2009 he was forced to step down as role as German commentator with HR disc jockey Tim Frühling filling in to commentate at Moscow. Urban returned to commentate for Germany in 2010.

Year(s) Commentator Spokesperson
1956 Wolf Mittler No Spokesperson
1957 Joachim Fuchsberger
1958 Claudia Doren
1959 Elena Gerhard Walter Andreas Schwarz
1960 Wolf Mittler
1961 Unknown
1962 Ruth Kappelsberger
1963 Hanns-Joachim Friedrichs
1964 Hermann Rockmann Lia Wöhr
1966 Hans-Joachim Rauschenbach Werner Veigel
1967 Karin Tietze-Ludwig
1968 Hans-Otto Grünefeldt
1970 Marie-Louise Steinbauer
1971 Hanns Verres No Spokesperson
1974 Werner Veigel Unknown
1976 Max Schautzer
1978 Ute Verhoolen
1979 Ado Schlier and Gabi Schnelle Lotti Ohnesorge
1980 Ado SchlierGabi Schnelle
1983 Carolin Reiber
1984 Kerstin Schweighöfer
1985 Christoph Deumling
1987 Christoph Deumling and Lotti Ohnesorge Kerstin Schweighöfer
1988 Nicole and Claus-Erich Boetzkes Lotti Ohnesorge
1989 Thomas Gottschalk Kerstin Schweighöfer
1990 Fritz Egner
1991 Max Schautzer Christian Eckhardt
1992 Jan Hofer Carmen Nebel
1995 Horst Senker
1996 Ulf Ansorge Germany did not participate
1997 Peter Urban Christina Mänz
1998 Nena
1999 Renan Demirkan
2000 Axel Bulthaupt
2004 Thomas Anders
2005 Thomas Hermanns
2009 Tim Frühling Thomas Anders
2010 Peter Urban Hape Kerkeling
2011 Ina Müller
2012 Anke Engelke
2013 Lena Meyer-Landrut
2014 Helene Fischer
2015 Barbara Schöneberger
2017 TBA TBA

Congratulations: 50 Years of the Eurovision Song Contest

Table key
  Second place
  Third place
  Last place
Year Artist Language Title Final Points Semi Points Place (1982) Points (1982)
1982 Nicole German "Ein bißchen Frieden" Failed to qualify 7 106 1 161


See also

Notes and References


  1. As West Germany before the reunification of Germany.


  1. Floras, Stella (2008-12-16). "Germany: No national final for 2009". ESCToday. Retrieved 2009-05-26.
  2. O'Connor, John Kennedy (2005). The Eurovision Song Contest 50 Years The Official History. London: Carlton Books Limited. ISBN 1-84442-586-X.
  3. Murray, Gavin (2008-05-28). "Big 4 (France: Germany; Spain; United Kingdom): May lose automatic place in Eurovision final". ESCToday. Retrieved 2008-09-13.
  4. Viniker, Barry (2008-09-14). "Eurovision 'Big Four' final spots confirmed". 'ESCToday'. Retrieved 2008-09-14.
  6. Fulton, Rick (2007-05-14). "The East V West Song Contest". Daily Record. Retrieved 2009-05-24.
  7. 1 2 Barclay, Simon (June 17, 2010). The Complete and Independent Guide to the Eurovision Song Contest 2010. Silverthorn Press. p. 24. ISBN 978-1-4457-8415-1.
  8. "Rules for the Eurovision Song Contest 2009" (PDF). European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 18 July 2009.
Wikinews has related news: Eurovision '82 winner Nicole talks about 'Ein bißchen Frieden', her success and the Contest today
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