Disappointment following Eurovision Song Contest
TWIG - The news of Germany’s poor showing at the tacky but beloved Eurovision song contest in Kiev last weekend hit hard for a country that sees its performance in the annual singing competition as a point of national pride.
Represented by leather-clad veteran reality show star Gracia Burr singing her song "Run and Hide," Germany placed dead last at the contest, in which representatives from 24 nations croon sometimes catchy but often mediocre original tunes in front of a pan-European audience of 100 million. Greece’s Helena Paparizou won the contest with her song "My Number One," which blew away the competition with 230 total points.
"I’m not happy, I really didn’t expect this and neither did the band," Gracia told German television. "But I’d rather be last than second-to-last. At least you remember the last one the next year," she said.
To tabulate the results, each country has a jury that allots 12 points to its favorite performance, ten points to its second favorite, eight to its third, and then a corresponding number of points down to their tenth favorite. Germany won only two points from all of two countries, Moldova and Monaco, earning a grand total of just four points. It was the fifth time in the history of the contest that Germany took last place.
In 2003, Gracia, now 22, was the third-runner up on the very first "Deutschland sucht den Superstar," Germany’s version of "American Idol." Although she didn’t win the contest, she acquired a sizable fan base and her first album enjoyed moderate success.
Gracia won the right to represent Germany with 52.8% of the vote at the national final in March. However, her participation at the contest was briefly cast into doubt amid reports that her manager had bought thousands of copies of her CD in an ill-advised bid to manipulate Germany’s pop charts.
Since 1956, the Eurovision Song Contest, also called the
"Grand Prix der Lieder" in Germany, has launched major stars including the
Swedish pop band ABBA (Waterloo, 1974), Udo Juergens (Mercie Cherié, 1966),
and Céline Dion, (Ne partez pas sans moi, 1988.) Germany hasn’t won the
contest since 1982, when the pop singer Nicole won hearts Europe-wide with
her "Ein bisschen Frieden," an appeal for world peace.
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