Germany in the Eurovision Song Contest

Member station NDR (1996–) (ARD)
Former members
  • ARD consortium members
  • 1956–1978: HR
  • 1979–1991: BR
  • 1992–1995: MDR
National selection events
National final
  • 1956–1958
  • 1960–1965
  • 1969–1973
  • 1975–1976
  • 1978–1992
  • 1996–2008
  • 2010
  • 2011 (song)
  • 2012–2019
Internal selection
  • 1959
  • 1966–1968
  • 1974
  • 1977
  • 1993–1995
  • 2009
  • 2011 (artist)
  • 2020–2021[1]
Participation summary
Appearances 63
First appearance 1956
Nul points 1964, 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 2021

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.

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 (One 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 to 1985, 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 absence

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. The year after, the duo S!sters with the song "Sister" was not able to replicate the same success, receiving nul points from the televote to finish in 25th place overall with 24 points.

Germany and the "Big Five"

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

Congratulations: 50 Years of the Eurovision Song Contest

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



Barbara Dex Award

Year Performer Host city Ref.
1998 Guildo Horn United Kingdom Birmingham

Related involvement


Year Conductor[g] Musical Director Notes Ref.
1956 Switzerland Fernando Paggi N/A Host conductor [12]
1957 Willy Berking [h]
1958 Netherlands Dolf van der Linden N/A Host conductor
1959 France Franck Pourcel
1960 Franz Josef Breuer
1961 France Franck Pourcel Host conductor
1962 Rolf-Hans Müller
1963 Willy Berking
1965 Alfred Hause
1966 Willy Berking
1967 Hans Blum
1968 Horst Jankowski
1969 Hans Blum
1970 Christian Bruhn [13]
1971 Dieter Zimmermann
1972 Paul Kuhn
1973 Günther-Eric Thöner
1974 Werner Scharfenberger
1975 Rainer Pietsch
1976 United Kingdom Les Humphries
1977 United Kingdom Ronnie Hazlehurst Host conductor
1978 Jean Frankfurter
1979 Austria Norbert Daum
1980 Wolfgang Rödelberger [14]
1982 Austria Norbert Daum
1983 Dieter Reith
1984 Luxembourg Pierre Cao N/A Host conductor
1985 Rainer Pietsch
1986 Hans Blum
1987 László Bencker
1988 United States Michael Thatcher
1989 No conductor
1990 Rainer Pietsch
1991 Hermann Weindorf
1992 Austria Norbert Daum
1995 Hermann Weindorf
1997 No conductor
1998 Stefan Raab [i]

Additionally, several German conductors have conducted for other countries (not counting instances where a German musical director had to step in for another country that didn't bring their own conductor), including:

Conductor Country Year(s) Notes
Henry Mayer   Switzerland 1969
Klaus Munro  Luxembourg 1972 Winning conductor
Pepe Ederer   Switzerland 1974
Jo Plée  Luxembourg 1976
Thilo Krasmann  Portugal 1976, 1978, 1979, 1994, 1995, 1997
Rolf Soja  Luxembourg 1978, 1986
Rolf Zuckowski   Switzerland 1979, 1981
Wolfgang Käfer  Denmark 1985
Hermann Weindorf  Austria 1994

Heads of delegation

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 spokespersons

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.[21] 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
2020 Peter Urban, Michael Schulte Not announced before cancellation [22][23]
Show Commentator Channel Ref.
Eurovision: Europe Shine a Light[j] Peter Urban, Michael Schulte Das Erste


See also