Exclusive: Backstage report on chaotic German final

Germany’s national final on Thursday went by rather chaotic. Winner Andreas Kümmert gave up his victory, which led to confusion by viewers, presenters, the broadcaster ARD and of course runner-up Ann Sophie who now goes to Vienna. ESC Daily’s reporter Mihalis Vollmer was backstage at the German final and presents you an exclusive impression.

In the video below, you can see the developments in Germany from the moment Andreas was chosen as winner, to the chaos when he gave up his victory. It includes footage from the discussions on stage right after the final, and the press conference where Ann Sophie expressed her doubts but also her happiness.

Mihalis Vollmer was live at the German national final. For those of you who struggle to understand the German quotes, he explains in detail what happened. “After the show, people on the stage were confused,” Mihalis tells. “Some really had no idea what was going to happen. Ann Sophie asked people from ARD ‘Am I going to Vienna or not?'”

At a certain point, Mihalis caught up on a conversation between Thomas Schreiber and some bystanders. They proposed that Andreas Kümmert would sing a duet with Ann Sophie at the Eurovision Song Contest. Mihalis explains: “Schreiber then said: ‘If the soul does not want to go, can we force him?’ He really seemed to struggle with it. At the end of the conversation, he says: ‘People normally participate because they want to win. How could I have anticipated that the guy who wins, does this? You know what, let’s talk at the press conference.’ And then he walked away.”

The press conference was more about Andreas Kümmert than about Ann Sophie. Journalists asked if the ARD had any indication that Kümmert did not want to go to Vienna. “Schreiber said that in the negotiations, it had already become clear that Kümmert had his doubts. ‘But in the end, he wanted to go to Eurovision. He did not say this under pressure, he took the decision himself: I want to go to Eurovision. […] However, now he changed his mind, and we have to accept that. […] There is no point in forcing someone to go.'”

Ann Sophie seemed rather doubtful about the situation. She asked the audience during the show: ‘Do you even want me to go to Vienna?’ In the end, however, she stated ‘I respect Kümmerts decision, and I am thankful to him for this opportunity.’