A Swede who lives in Finland and who is lost in Euroland - the wonderful world of Eurovision
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Thursday, November 19, 2015

ESC 2016: Xavier Naidoo for Germany

After a few years of large national finals - as well as a big fat nul pointer in Vienna - German television has announced that they are going for an internal choice for 2016.

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)

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