Germany in the Eurovision Song Contest

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 63 appearances. No other country has been represented as many times. Along with France, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom, Germany is one of the "Big Five" countries that are automatically qualified to the final, due to being the largest financial contributors to the European Broadcasting Union. The final is broadcast in Germany on ARD flagship channel, Das Erste. Germany has won the contest twice, in 1982 and 2010.

Member stationNDR (1996–) (ARD)
National selection events
Participation summary
First appearance1956
Best result1st: 1982, 2010
Nul points1964, 1965, 2015
External links
NDR page
Germany's page at
Song contest current event.png For the most recent participation see
Germany in the Eurovision Song Contest 2020

Germany first won the contest at the 27th attempt in 1982 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". Katja Ebstein, who finished third in 1970 and 1971, then second in 1980, is the only performer to have made the top three on three occasions. Germany has a total of 11 top three placements, also finishing second with Lena Valaitis (1981) and twice with the group Wind (1985 and 1987), and finishing third with Mary Roos (1972), Mekado (1994) and Surpriz (1999). Germany has finished last on seven occasions, receiving nul points in 1964, 1965 and 2015.

Having not reached the top-ten in ten of the previous 13 contests (2005–17), Michael Schulte achieved Germany's second-best result of the 21st century, by finishing fourth at the 2018 contest. 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.


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.

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.


The Federal Republic of Germany has participated in the contest since its inception in 1956. Germany participated in the first competition in 1956, but their placement in the contest is not recorded because only the first place winner, Switzerland, was announced.[2] Prior to the German reunification, the country was occasionally presented as "West Germany". The German Democratic Republic (East Germany) did not participate in the Eurovision Song Contest but instead took part in the Intervision Song Contest.

With one win (1982) and four second-place results (1980, 1981, 1985 and 1987), Germany is the second most successful country in the contest in the 1980s, behind Ireland, who had two wins in the decade.

Germany is one of the founding countries of the Eurovision song contest.[3]

1996 absenceEdit

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 had some successes throughout the decade, Lou - "Let's Get Happy" came in 11th place out of 26 in the 2003 contest. Germany tied for last at the 2008 contest for points, but was awarded 23rd of 25 places 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.[4] Alex Christensen and Oscar Loya were selected to represent Germany at the 2009 contest, where they performed on stage with 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. The group Elaiza in 2014, Ann Sophie in 2015, Jamie-Lee and Levina finished in 18th, 27th (last), 26th (last) and 25th (second to 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's luck changed in 2018, when Michael Schulte brought them back to the top 5 for the first time since 2010 with "You Let Me Walk Alone," finishing in fourth place. This is the first time since 2012 that more than one country from the Big 5 has made the top ten (with Italy finishing fifth) and the second time (after 2002) that two Big 5 countries have made the top five since the establishment of the rule.

Germany and the "Big Five"Edit

Since 2000, four particular countries have automatically qualified for the Eurovision final, regardless of their positions on the scoreboard in previous Contests.[5] 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.[6] However, this never progressed and the Big Four kept their status.[7] Italy returned to the contest in 2011, thus becoming part of a "Big Five".[8][9]


Table key
Second place
Third place
Last place
Entry selected but did not compete
Year Artist Language Title Final Points Semi Points
Walter Andreas Schwarz German "Im Wartesaal zum großen Glück" 2[a] N/A No semi-finals
Freddy Quinn German "So geht das jede Nacht" 2[a]
Margot Hielscher German "Telefon, Telefon" 4 8
Margot Hielscher German "Für zwei Groschen Musik" 7 5
Alice & Ellen Kessler German "Heute Abend wollen wir tanzen geh'n" 8 5
Wyn Hoop German "Bonne nuit ma chérie" 4 11
Lale Andersen German "Einmal sehen wir uns wieder" 13 3
Conny Froboess German "Zwei kleine Italiener" 6 9
Heidi Brühl German "Marcel" 9 5
Nora Nova German "Man gewöhnt sich so schnell an das Schöne" 13 ◁ 0
Ulla Wiesner German "Paradies, wo bist du?" 15 ◁ 0
Margot Eskens German "Die Zeiger der Uhr" 10 7
Inge Brück German "Anouschka" 8 7
Wencke Myhre German "Ein Hoch der Liebe" 6 11
Siw Malmkvist German "Primaballerina" 9 8
Katja Ebstein German "Wunder gibt es immer wieder" 3 12
Katja Ebstein German "Diese Welt" 3 100
Mary Roos German "Nur die Liebe läßt uns leben" 3 107
Gitte German "Junger Tag" 8 85
Cindy & Bert German "Die Sommermelodie" 14 ◁ 3
Joy Fleming German, English "Ein Lied kann eine Brücke sein" 17 15
Les Humphries Singers German "Sing Sang Song" 15 12
Silver Convention English "Telegram" 8 55
Ireen Sheer German "Feuer" 6 84
Dschinghis Khan German "Dschinghis Khan" 4 86
Katja Ebstein German "Theater" 2 128
Lena Valaitis German "Johnny Blue" 2 132
Nicole German "Ein bißchen Frieden" 1 161
Hoffmann & Hoffmann German "Rücksicht" 5 94
Mary Roos German "Aufrecht geh'n" 13 34
Wind German "Für alle" 2 105
Ingrid Peters German "Über die Brücke geh'n" 8 62
Wind German "Laß die Sonne in dein Herz" 2 141
Maxi Garden & Chris Garden German "Lied für einen Freund" 14 48
Nino de Angelo German "Flieger" 14 46
Chris Kempers & Daniel Kovac German "Frei zu leben" 9 60
Atlantis 2000 German "Dieser Traum darf niemals sterben" 18 10
Wind German "Träume sind für alle da" 16 27
Münchener Freiheit German "Viel zu weit" 18 18 Kvalifikacija za Millstreet
Mekado German "Wir geben 'ne Party" 3 128 No semi-finals
Stone & Stone German "Verliebt in Dich" 23 ◁ 1
Leon German "Planet of Blue" Failed to qualify[b] 24 24
Bianca Shomburg German "Zeit" 18 22 No semi-finals
Guildo Horn German "Guildo hat euch lieb!" 7 86[c]
Sürpriz German, Turkish,
English, Hebrew
"Reise nach Jerusalem – Kudüs'e seyahat" 3 140
Stefan Raab German, English "Wadde hadde dudde da?" 5 96
Michelle German, English "Wer Liebe lebt" 8 66
Corinna May English "I Can't Live Without Music" 21 17
Lou English "Let's Get Happy" 11 53
Max English, Turkish "Can't Wait Until Tonight" 8 93 Member of the "Big 4"
Gracia English "Run & Hide" 24 ◁ 4
Texas Lightning English "No No Never" 14 36
Roger Cicero German, English "Frauen regier'n die Welt" 19 49
No Angels English "Disappear" 23 14
Alex Swings Oscar Sings English "Miss Kiss Kiss Bang" 20 35
Lena English "Satellite" 1 246
Lena English "Taken by a Stranger" 10 107 Member of the "Big 5" and host
Roman Lob English "Standing Still" 8 110 Member of the "Big 5"
Cascada English "Glorious" 21 18
Elaiza English "Is It Right" 18 39
Ann Sophie English "Black Smoke" 27 ◁ 0[d]
Jamie-Lee English "Ghost" 26 ◁ 11
Levina English "Perfect Life" 25 6
Michael Schulte English "You Let Me Walk Alone" 4 340
S!sters English "Sister" 25 24
Ben Dolic English "Violent Thing" Contest cancelled[e] X

Congratulations: 50 Years of the Eurovision Song ContestEdit

Artist Language Title At Congratulations At Eurovision
Final Points Semi Points Year Place Points
Nicole German "Ein bißchen Frieden" Failed to qualify 7 106 1982 1 161


Year Location Venue Presenter(s)
1957 Frankfurt am Main Großer Sendesaal Anaid Iplicjian
1983 Munich Rudi-Sedlmayer-Halle Marlene Charell
2011 Düsseldorf Esprit Arena Anke Engelke, Judith Rakers and Stefan Raab


Barbara Dex AwardEdit

Year Performer Host city Ref.
1998 Guildo Horn   Birmingham

Related involvementEdit

Heads of delegationEdit

Year Head of delegation Ref.
19962005 Jürgen Meier-Beer
20072008 Manfred Witt
2015 Torsten Amarell
20162017 Carola Conze
20182019 Christoph Pellander
2020 Alexandra Wolfslast

Commentators and spokespersonsEdit

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, 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.[18] In 2020, Michael Schulte was set to commentate the contest together with Urban. Both of them commentated the replacement show Eurovision: Europe Shine a Light instead, as well as the show "Eurovision Song Contest 2020 - Das deutsche Finale" from the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg.

Year Commentator Spokesperson Ref.
1956 Wolf Mittler No spokesperson
1957 Joachim Fuchsberger
1958 Claudia Doren
1959 Elena Gerhard Hans-Joachim Rauschenbach
1960 Wolf Mittler
1961 Heinz Schenk
1962 Ruth Kappelsberger Klaus Havenstein
1963 Hanns-Joachim Friedrichs Werner Veigel
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 Hanns-Joachim Friedrichs
1975 TBC
1976 Wilhelm Stöck
1978 Ute Verhoolen
1979 Ado Schlier, Gabi Schnelle Lotti Ohnesorge
1980 Ado Schlier TBC
1983 Carolin Reiber
1984 Ruth Kappelsberger
1985 Christoph Deumling
1987 Christoph Deumling, Lotti Ohnesorge Gabi Schnelle
1988 Nicole, Claus-Erich Boetzkes Lotti Ohnesorge
1989 Thomas Gottschalk Gabi Schnelle
1990 Fritz Egner
1991 Max Schautzer Christian Eckhardt
1992 Jan Hofer Carmen Nebel
1995 Horst Senker
1996 Ulf Ansorge 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

Other showsEdit

Show Commentator Channel Ref.
Eurovision: Europe Shine a Light[f] Peter Urban, Michael Schulte Das Erste


See alsoEdit

Notes and referencesEdit


  1. ^ a b The full results for the first contest in 1956 are unknown, as only the winner was announced. The official Eurovision site lists all the other songs as being placed second.
  2. ^ 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.
  3. ^ 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.
  4. ^ 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.[10]
  5. ^ The 2020 contest was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  6. ^ Broadcast on a one-hour delay.


  1. ^ "So wird der deutsche Act für den ESC 2021 gesucht". (in German). 7 July 2020. Retrieved 8 July 2020.
  2. ^ "Eurovision 1956 Results: Voting & Points". Eurovisionworld. Retrieved 2020-03-04.
  3. ^ "Eurovision - Country: Germany". Eurovision Live. Retrieved March 3, 2020.
  4. ^ Floras, Stella (2008-12-16). "Germany: No national final for 2009". ESCToday. Retrieved 2009-05-26.
  5. ^ O'Connor, John Kennedy (2005). The Eurovision Song Contest 50 Years The Official History. London: Carlton Books Limited. ISBN 1-84442-586-X.
  6. ^ Murray, Gavin (2008-05-28). "Big 4 (France: Germany; Spain; United Kingdom): May lose automatic place in Eurovision final". ESCToday. Retrieved 2008-09-13.
  7. ^ Viniker, Barry (2008-09-14). "Eurovision 'Big Four' final spots confirmed". 'ESCToday'. Retrieved 2008-09-14.
  8. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-02-12. Retrieved 2009-05-24.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  9. ^ Fulton, Rick (2007-05-14). "The East V West Song Contest". Daily Record. Retrieved 2009-05-24.
  10. ^ "Rules for the Eurovision Song Contest 2009" (PDF). European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 18 July 2009.
  11. ^ Adams, William Lee (9 July 2015). "Poll: Who was the worst dressed Barbara Dex Award winner?". Wiwibloggs. Retrieved 8 December 2019.
  12. ^ Rau, Oliver (23 May 2005). "Jürgen Meier-Beer withdraws". Retrieved 18 December 2019.
  13. ^ "Eurovision Rewrites the Rule Book". 7 October 2007. Retrieved 18 December 2019.
  14. ^ Granger, Anthony (6 September 2015). "Germany: Carola Conze New Head of Delegation". Retrieved 5 December 2019.
  15. ^ Granger, Anthony (1 November 2017). "Germany: Carola Conze Steps Down as Head of Delegation". Retrieved 5 December 2019.
  16. ^ Granger, Anthony (2 March 2019). "Germany: Christoph Pellander To Step Down as Head of Delegation in July". Retrieved 5 December 2019.
  17. ^ Kourouvanis, Fotis (5 December 2019). "Germany: New Head of Delegation". Retrieved 11 December 2019.
  18. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p "Dr. Peter Urban kommentiert". (in German). 17 December 2010. Archived from the original on 24 March 2012. Retrieved 5 July 2011.
  19. ^ Granger, Anthony (26 April 2020). "Germany: Organises Two Shows To Determine The Nations Eurovision 2020 Winner". Eurovoix. Retrieved 9 July 2020.

External linksEdit