“The main thing is not first place”: NDR’s Programming Director teases changes to Germany’s selection process for 2022

NDR’s programming director Frank Beckmann gave his opinions on Eurovision’s presence at the broadcasting company and in Germany, teasing changes to 2022’s national selection method in the process.

In an interview with German site DWDL.de, published on Friday 29th October, Beckmann, among conversation about gender equality and the future of linear TV in Germany, spoke about his involvement in the Eurovision selection process.

Some of his statements are likely to prove controversial to some fans in his home country and abroad. Perhaps in reference to Germany hosting in 2011, he said: “Since I know how much money a victory costs, I say with a view to the coming year: The main thing is not first place.” However, he did not deny it would be nice to see Germany competitive once again.

With a view to 2022’s selection process, Beckmann said:

“Of course we want to become more competitive again. This also includes simplifying the pre-selection. Recently, I had the feeling that the rules for the preliminary round were rather complex. We want to adapt them so that they can be explained in two sentences. In the future, the ESC will be seen more than ever as a task for the entire ARD.”

Beckmann also said he believed Eurovision was viewed as something of a “world championship” in Germany, when the focus should be on the “unifying, colour and celebrating together”.

NDR, or Norddeutscher Rundfunk, is the North German division of national broadcaster ARD, which has been responsible for Germany’s Eurovision selection since 1996, and for the creation of Stefan Raab-inspired Unser Star and Unser Lied national finals.

Beckmann did not give details as to whether the new selection process would take the form of a national final or an internal selection process.

Germany (or West Germany, competing under the same banner prior to German reunification in 1990) has competed at every single Eurovision Song Contest since 1956, except 1996, when they failed to qualify past the audio-only first round, and have won twice, in 1982 and 2010.

After hosting the Contest in Düsseldorf in 2011, their performances of late have left little to be desired.

In 2021, Internet star and seagull enthusiast Jendrik Sigwart brought Germany to second-to-last place in the Grand Final with the near-the-knuckle Charleston-esque I Don’t Feel Hate, picking up just 3 points from the juries and nothing from the public (“I’m sorry…”).

Would you like to see Germany resurrect Unser Lied or select their entry internally in 2022? Who would you like to see represent Germany? Let us know in the comments and on the socials.

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