Germany's Singing Nun?

Germany's Singing Nun?


norman lebrecht

May 30, 2010

Germany’s rare victory in the Eurovision Song Contest – its second in 55 years – was predicted last Monday by the UK trade magazine, Music Week. Good call. An MW feature on the reviving German music market tipped Lena Meyer-Landrut, a Universal-signed number one hit in six countries, to grab the crown. Google and Der Spiegel also claimed prescience.

Once she finishes school-leaving exams this summer, Lena, 19,  wants to act. That seems a good career move, because she cannot read music, can barely hold a vocal line and speaks in a Martian English accent. What won the public heart is her girl-next-door naivety and the lack of hardcore gimmicks in her almost embarassingly amateur act.

She is a not quite the Singing Nun, a previous Euro winner, but she makes a refreshing change from the Eurotrash standards of recent years – not to mention the tedious over-exertions of Andrew Lloyd Webber to manufacture a UK winner. Germany won by putting global marketing muscle behind a rising national icon, potentially the next Steffi Graf. It was helped by the absence of several countries that could not afford to participate.  

Britain, misjudging the recessional mood with over-choreographed 1970s style, came last.