“It’s really easy to work with you,” the overheated Barbara Schöneberger screeched at the end of the show into the blood-reddened ear of Chris Harms, singer of Lord Of The Lost, who was a bit dismayed at the win, and that probably sums it up best. The Hanseatic crossover of Rammstein, Witt and Wagner offered just the mix that opens doors and gates and jury hearts at the ESC – if, yes, if not in 2022 Måneskin had just skimmed off the rock cream. That’s how it is, as it was often in the past: The winning model of the previous year is reproduced, according to the motto: Was good the other day, will be good again. Nothing against the Lord Of The Lost, but at the last Grand Prix it would all have been a bit fresher.

But first things first: At ARD, the former Wettsing flagship has slipped from prime time to the second or third row. Friday evening, 10:20 p.m., a broadcast time when Barbara Schöneberger has already changed her rain poncho three times during the actual competition in the Hamburg neighborhood. At least she brought one of them with her as an appetizer, “never go without an overcoat”, especially not on the Reeperbahn. Next stop: only fans. Hoax.

No kidding, however, the cast on the couch. Florian Silbereisen just came back from a long-distance trip and was suffering from jet lag. “I hope I don’t fall asleep,” his comment. This is the stuff ESC euphoria is made of. On the other hand, the chronically charming Ilse de Lange and Ricardo Simonetti, who remarked that the Germans had to learn to “celebrate their own heroes” again, were a bit brighter.

Eight instead of the original nine candidates – Frida Gold lost her voice during the rehearsals – prepared to sing and enforce this heroic status. Trong worked hard on the groove on “Dare To Be Different” but sadly left the vocal melody at home. René Miller offered a lot more with “Concrete Heart” from the latter. For Barbara Schöneberger, it was more the airy place on the artificial rock that wrested her admiration – “Stand up there and sing, great” – while Flo Silbereisen, probably unintentionally, underpinned the compliment with a few parts of caustic material: “If Ed Sheeran sings that “It’s a world hit”. Well then, if Brad Pitt steers the dream ship, then someone would watch it.

Anica Russo then sang her elegiac “Once Upon A Dream”, as if Kate Bush and Siouxsie’s cousin were trudging through the reeds together, idiosyncratic, skillful, but ultimately a bit too demanding in terms of harmony, and not only for the Ikkeholics in the red Tracksuits that crowded the front rows of the studio. Here, too, Babs had an eye for the scenery: “We can smoke the reeds later!”. The mood, however, even without herbal cigarettes: quite solid, even at such a late hour.

Lonely Spring offered punk from Passau, a mix of Green Day, Fallout Boy and Appelkorn at the prom, middle finger here, neck tattoo there, “Misfit”, the title. I hope Johnny Rotten doesn’t have cable TV. Finally, Will Church, at least a household name for “The Voice Of Germany” viewers, was subject to a similar déjà-vu as the lost Lords with “Hold On” despite all his singing ability and vertigo head voice: After Duncan Laurence’s “Arcade”, the winning song of 2019 , and Gjon’s Tears’ “Tout L’Univers” two years ago again such a Farinelli languor? Hm.

Patty Gurdy had a hurdy-gurdy with her and told of her personal fate during the flood disaster in the Ahr Valley, her “Melody Of Hope” a folky gem. I didn’t let Schöneberger take the opportunity to play the lyre, her spontaneous imitation of Karl Lauterbach a hidden highlight of the show. I would actually like to hear more about that.

This only applies to a limited extent for Ikke Hipgold, his mix of “Räuber Hotzenplotz and Rammstein”, the soundtrack for Schüpferstoerer on Ex and Schinkenstrasse-Polonaise, a sound leftover *** after which even star guest Katja Ebstein no longer gets up from the chair would like. “There are always miracles,” agreed the hall, after which the Hamburgers made blood

The rest is quickly told: One of Bosshoss looks like Ikke’s combed head. It was not entirely clear who put together the international juries for the preliminary decision, why and why. It was a charming trick to have Lord Of The Lost sing “Satellite” in the big ESC classic medley. Now if Ikke had sung “A Little Peace”… But let’s not play with our thoughts, “Dancing Lasha Tumbai” suited him much better anyway.

After the international votes were cast, Will Church was still at the top, but the public vote in the end presented a different picture. With the final award of points, Lord Of The Lost catapulted it onto the podium. How does it say so dramatically in the refrain of your winning song “Blood