In an effort to attract internationally successful names, Germany will not be holding a national final to select their 2009 representative in the Eurovision Song Contest as it was announced today by NDR. Instead, the broadcaster will be selecting their entrant internally for next year as an exception to the usual procedure followed.
An open call for songs has been launched by NDR today. A special jury comprising music professionals will decide internally who will represent the country in the Eurovision Song Contest final in Moscow. Applications can be sent until 22 January and all applicants must be GEMA members and must have achieved chart success in the past.
"We are taking a break from the usual procedure," states Thomas Schreiber, ARD coordinator Entertainement, responsible for the Eurovision Song Contest. “This year’s decision was made in the hope to attract internationally acclaimed names” he concludes.
Apart from 1956, when it is disputed whether a national final was held, only eight German entries were selected entirely internally: in 1959, 1966-1968, 1974 and 1993-1995. In 1995, Stone & Stone finished last in Dublin with only point, which was the reason why the contest was handed over to broadcaster NDR, which would organise national finals every year after.
Despite a series of commercially successful entries, Germany has not done well in the Eurovision Song Contest in recent years. Gracia finished last in Kyiv, Texas Lightning 14th/15th in Athens, Roger Cicero 19th in Helsinki and the No Angels 23rd/last in Belgrade. As a "big four" country, they are still directly nominated for the final in Moscow.
The rules of the German call for songs can be found here.
Very special thanks to Marcus Faber for his contribution to the article.