The UK has a birruva cheek whining about its Eurovision fortunes of late. Germany has had it far worse. After the 2010 peak of Lena’s Oslo gold, everything’s taken a mediocre shade of beige with two last places on the trot in 2015 and 2016 and very nearly the same again in Kyiv last year.
There has definitely been an effort on German telly’s part to do something about the situation but – like the BBC – it’s a campaign firmly implemented in baby steps mode.
The result is a stirring ballad with a touch more emotiveness one usually gets from the national final cookie cutter machine.
As a near lifelong resident of Merseyside and a supporter of Liverpool FC more by osmosis than serious dedication to the Anfield cause, there’s an obvious reason why You Let Me Walk Alone draws me in purely from the title. The antithesis to the sentiment behind Rodgers and Hammerstein’s anthem, this is all about your boy Michael being grateful for the way his upbringing led to him following his own path without parental reproach.
So messagey, so Eurovision. Now we get to the sing-y bit.
The Contest has never had a fantastic relationship with the acoustic guitar. For every Tom Dice getting moody there’s an Ovi and Paula thundering out a banger which scores more votes. It’s something that could affect Herr Schulte in Lisbon. This sounds impressive for the first minute but then we keep getting the same stuff coming around the belt again like the world’s least impressive sushi restaurant.
It’s a composition that needs to be more adventurous, take a few risks. If he’d thundered into a maNga style power break at that vital two-minute mark, Michael could be packing his cases for Portugal with a slightly smugger grin on his face.
As it is now, You Let Me Walk Alone won’t be coming last but a friendless night on a dusty side of the scoreboard isn’t an impossibility either. Show them what you’ve got kiddo, we need Germany back in the game. Whoops Dragovic is giving you extra marks for a video which looks like it was filmed in Paddy’s Bar from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia – so everyone’s a winner really.