Germany's representative at this year's Eurovision song contest, the annual celebration of all things musical, tacky and European, will be "Let's Get Happy" sung by Lou Hoffner.
Happy all the way to Latvia
Fourteen finalists gathered on Friday night in Kiel, Northern Germany to do battle for the distinction of representing their country at the Eurovision Song Contest but there could only be one winning song. That accolade went to singer Lou and her rendition of Ralph Siegel's number "Let's Get Happy". Voters across the country called in and sent SMS messages in the poll to choose the German representative.
"I can't believe it!" cried Lou. "It's the most wonderful day of my life!" Her winning performance was even more amazing considering she had beaten off stiff competition from bookies favorite and the song pushed for stardom by German national daily Bild Zeitung, Elmar Brandt, the Gerhard Schröder impersonator, singing "Alles wird Gut" ("Everything will be OK").
Chancellor beaten into third
Elmar Brandt and friend.
Brandt, more well known as the singing Chancellor puppet from the satirical comedy skit "The Gerd Show", was aiming to take Herr Schröder all the way to the final in Latvia on May 24 with the follow up to his German number 1 single "Der Steursong" ("The Tax Song"). Unfortunately, not even being backed by German producer and singer, Dieter Bohlen and Pop Idol wannabe, Daniel Küblböck, could force Brandt's new tune into the contest in Riga in two months time. The singing Chancellor managed only third place.
Siegel, however, now gets a second chance at Eurovision glory with Lou and "Let's Get Happy". His attempt at Euro domination faltered badly last year when German hope Corinna May failed to make an impact on the competition, coming 21st after starting as one of the favorites.
The reception to the song "I Can't Live Without Music" seemed to prove that Eurovision voters could quite happily exist without hers and the May/Siegel partnership finished third from last with just 17 points.
Songwriter gets second bite at Eurovision cherry
Siegel was upbeat despite last year's disappointment. He told the German magazine Der Spiegel, "It is unbelievably odd but also an amazing feeling to get another chance."
For those who can't wait for the tension and excitement of the Eurovision Song Contest in May, there is the small matter of resolving Germany's Search for a Superstar.
Superstar reaches climax
On Saturday evening, after months of tabloid hype and massive audience ratings, millions are likely to be glued to their sets as the final of the cult reality TV talent show gets underway.
The live "Superstar" final between 19-year-old Alexander Klaws (left) and 22- year-old Juliette Schoppmann will be broadcast on private channel, RTL2 live from Cologne. As in the British and American versions, the winner receives a recording contract and will be catapulted into the limelight.