Eurovision 2011: Germany – Lena & “Taken By a Stranger”

It is not uncommon for the winning country to rest on their laurels in their hosting year, presenting a so-so song, as back-to-back wins happen rarely.  So it’s not like we were expecting a corker from Germany. First, they announced almost immediately that Lena would be representing them again, I suppose trying to ride on her inexplicable popularity from last year (let’s all be honest: Satellite was NOT the best song, but had one of the best personalities singing it). Germany held a televised voting show where Lena performed potential songs and viewers voted on which one she would take to Eurovision. Inexplicably, they chose this one:

That’s right: Lena is following up her hoppy-boppy Liza Doolittle number with a down-tempo (but not a ballad) jazzy lyrical story piece, Taken By a Stranger. I can’t help but be struck by how NOT a Eurovision song it is. I can see myself tapping along to the cool jazz tones as I cruise down the Autobahn… but not live in the Eurovision grand finale. It doesn’t improve live:

Surely Germany had better options? I think so:

My vote would have been for “Maybe” or “I Like You’ or “I Never Thought It’d Start Again” (are these even the titles?). Basically anything but Taken By a Stranger. The thing is, it looks like Lena’s performance of that song was simply one of the better ones, even if it’s not a “Eurovisiony” song. As a piece of pop, I like it. But not for Eurovision.

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