Thursday, November 19, 2015
ESC 2016: Xavier Naidoo for Germany
The singer they appointed is Xavier Naidoo, arguably one of the biggest names on the German market and a highly successful performer with a string of big hits - solo as well as in group projects.
His song for Stockholm will be selected in a special show where the tv audience will get to choose their favourite out of six potential entries.
I'm not surprised that ARD went for a change in their selection modus. Their national finals in 2014 and 2015 didn't quite work and the entries selected failed to enthuse an international audience.
If I was in charge of shaking up a national final, I would do the same. I would convince one strong candidate with experience and a large following and let this singer perform all songs in a national final. That plan is a good one.
But as I read up on Xavier Naidoo himself, my enthusiasm fades. His political activities has lead to him being labeled as a "Christian fundamentalist" one day, as an antisemite the next. He believes today's Federal Republic to be illegitimate, he advocated conspiracy theories surrounding the 9/11 attacks and was widely accused of spreading homophobia with a hidden track on one of his albums.
Why would you want to provide an international platform for anyone with this track record? If ARD wanted a performer with personality, integrity and a large following there are plenty to choose from. Why him?
If they want controversy as a part of their publicity plan, I think they are about to have a lot of it.
Xavier Naidoo (Germany 2016)