Willkommen nach Düsseldorf!
Fifty-four years after Germany played host to the second ever Eurovision Song Contest, the musical jamboree comes to Düsseldorf this May. It’s a very different world since ARD staged the show in 1957 with just 10 nations in a small TV studio in Frankfurt.
This year, a record 43 countries will take part in the three shows, with a potential audience of 35,000 live in the Esprit Arena. All 10 nations from 1957 will be on show in Germany, but only two of their languages survive. The creaky phone lines that provided the results from the 100 judges have been superseded by state of the art, pan-continental technology that involves all the 125 million viewers watching at home. It’s a very different show indeed.
Back in 1957, Lys Assia attempted to defend her Eurovision crown and this year Germany’s Lena will become the third artist taking a crack at the same challenge. Potentially, Lena may find herself up against another former Eurovision winner, Dana International; whilst former contestants Dino Merlin, Zdob Şi Zdub & Gunnar Ólafsson are also back for a further stab at Euro glory. Another artist who’s competed in the past, Stefan Raab, will co-present the show alongside Anke Engelke and Judith Rakers.
With no withdrawals, Italy, Austria, Hungary and San Marino re-join the contest this year, the Italians becoming the fifth member of the elite group of ‘Big 5’ nations with direct entry to the final.
With no clear favourite yet emerged from the field, it will all make for a very exciting contest. The ESCInsight team will be bringing you all the exciting stories from the rehearsals and the shows themselves in preparation for the biggest musical TV show in the world.
Hier ist zu einem großen Wettbewerb!
John Kennedy O’Connor
The Eurovision Song Contest: The Official History