Germany: ARD-coordinator optimistic about Eurovision 2016

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German broadcaster ARD’s entertainment coordinator Thomas Schreiber is optimistic about Germany’s approach to the Eurovision Song Contest 2016 in Stockholm, Sweden.

In 2015, Germany’s road to the Eurovision Song Contest started off rocky: initial winner of the national selection 2015, Andreas Kümmert, decided to forfeit his victory in the live show, giving his ticket to Austria to the runner-up, Ann Sophie. In Vienna, Ann Sophie and her entry Black smoke ended up with the dreaded 0 points during the grand final.

This year, things seemed to go down the same chaotic road for Germany, as the internally chosen 2016 representative Xavier Naidoo was eventually withdrawn because of negative reactions. However, Germany managed to gather a fruitful line-up for the 2016 German national selection. Entertainment coordinator of German broadcaster ARD Thomas Schreiber is confident and optimistic about Germany’s chances at Eurovision 2016, as he stated in an interview with Focus Online magazine.

Regarding Ann Sophie and the lesson learned from that experience, Thomas Schreiber said:

Ann Sophie stepped in as runner-up, when Andreas Kümmert announced that he could not accept the choice. This story was incidentally told by all commentators to the viewers at home during the ESC in Vienna – that did not help our participant. This year, Italy experienced such a surprise when the winner of San Remo announced not to go to the ESC. I am confident that we will have a participant who will travel to Stockholm full of anticipation and fun, and will achieve a good result there.

The ARD also took precautions to avoid situations such as Andreas Kümmert’s withdrawal:

We have had very detailed and intensive discussions with the artists, managements and record companies, which have led to various arrangements. After our decision on December 22 for the ten participants, we took the time to prepare for three weeks – the binding press release on who would participate in the national selection, we then issued on 12 January.

Thomas Schreiber is also very positive about this years’ potential participants:

We have a compelling musical range of artists that bring warmth, empathy and persuasiveness on the TV-screen.

Looking towards the future of the national German selection, the entertainment coordinator states:

We will consider each year, how we will continue to develop the German national final. The musical range of the competitors in 2016 makes me feel optimistic for 2017.

Thomas Schreiber (56), born in Cologne, studied literature, English and history, and volunteered for the NDR in 1988. For the broadcaster he was, among other activities, radio correspondent in London. In 2007 he became head of the fiction and entertainment department. Schreiber is also entertainment coordinator within the ARD.

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