German broadcaster NDR plans to relaunch their national preselection. Therefor, the public broadcaster plans to cooperative with private music station Viva. Dr. Jürgen Meier-Beer, director of entertainment at NDR, told German press agency dpa that he is interested in participants that are “professional and have the potential to be successful internationally”.
As newspaper FAS reported, a cooperation is planned, where music channel Viva should preselect the participants, whilst the national final itself will be broadcasted by the ARD. An NDR spokeswoman confirmed that “there is such an idea”.
“After the relaunch of 1998, this concept is spent now”, Meier-Beer explained the need for a new format. In the last five years, the appearance of controversial, but well-known stars like Guildo Horn, Stefan Raab, Zlatko or the Kelly Family secured high media interest in the national final in Germany, and subsequently high audience ratings. This year, the Countdown Grand Prix lost dramatically against the hugely successful casting show Deutschland sucht den Superstar (Idols).
“Until last year, we quasi had a monopole”, remembers Meier-Beer, who now wants to define the show sharpely against the “oodles of casting shows. If they focus on newcomers, then we should not be the stage for them any longer.” He thinks about only allowing participants in the future that had a record contract for more than a year. “But a singer like Bernhard Brink, who stands for the successful tradition of German Schlager, but not for international hit potential, also does not belong into it”, Meier-Beer says.
Meanwhile, the composer of this year's German entry Let's get happy, Ralph Siegel, has complained about the missing encouragement from his home country. “Of course we miss this – especially if you look at other countries, which are behind their artists and give them backup in the media.” Lou herself has lost over 8 kilos for her performance in Riga, which means her new, tailormade white smoking that she will sport on stage had to be costumized five times. She “would love to take victory home”.