This time it will be loud and a bit dark: Germany is sending the rock band Lord Of The Lost to the Eurovision Song Contest (ESC) 2023.

The Hamburg group, which appeared in blood-red outfits, lots of make-up and even more decibels, won the German ESC preliminary round in Cologne on Saturday night. Singer Chris Harms was first pinched by presenter Barbara Schöneberger in order to be able to process the triumph. “I’m really speechless,” said the musician. “I’m usually relatively eloquent.”

The band owed their ticket to the ESC final, which will be held in Great Britain on May 13, primarily to the audience. At the end of the ARD show “Unser Lied für Liverpool”, it catapulted the rockers past all other applicants to first place. After the initial jury vote, which experts from eight countries had given, it didn’t look like the combo would win at all. Lord Of The Lost only landed in fifth place. Audience and jury votes each accounted for 50 percent.

With blood and glitter to ESC success?

The band performs with the song “Blood

For Germany – the country that once sent Mary Roos or Katja Ebstein and often an idea from Ralph Siegel – it’s an unusual choice. In recent years, the Federal Republic has mostly sent smooth pop numbers to the ESC. However, with devastating consequences: Since 2015, last or penultimate places have rained down. The only exception in 2018 was the musician Michael Schulte, who took fourth place. For the first time since 2008 (then No Angels) Germany is now sending a band and not a solo artist.

Singer Chris Harms wants to “take it one step further”

Lord Of The Lost singer Chris Harms announced that the stage show will now “of course be upped the ante”. “Our designer is very pregnant right now. I don’t know if she can still sew for us. But I would like to make it even bigger, even more glamorous,” he said. Nevertheless: It will remain a “rock show” – without dancers or elaborate choreography. A red pyro rain, for example, would be great, said Harms.

Next weekend, however, the band first wants to go to the Baltic Sea to relax and celebrate in a relaxed manner. “We go to a wellness hotel, go to the sauna, go swimming and eat well,” announced Harms. “And don’t count the calories this weekend.”

The band still has some time until the ESC finale. Venue this year is Liverpool. Great Britain will step in as ESC host country in 2023 for Russia-attacked Ukraine, which won the competition in Turin in 2022.

Just failed: Will Church and Ikke Hipgold

The singer-songwriter Will Church and the party singer Ikke Hipgold could be regarded as narrowly unsuccessful in the German preliminary round. Church was still way ahead in the jury’s vote, but then couldn’t get enough votes from the audience.

It was completely the opposite with Hipgold, whose attempt to sing the German Ballermann sound to Europe was observed with a mixture of excitement and astonishment. The singer, who is called Matthias Distel in real life and was also responsible as a producer for the controversial summer hit “Layla” (“She is more beautiful, younger, horny”), was mercilessly accepted by the jury for his song “Lied mitgutes Text”. penalized for last place. The crowd, on the other hand, promoted him to second position in the end, only beaten by Lord Of The Lost.

Hip gold then showed himself to be quite combative, even if he couldn’t quite understand the bad jury ratings from Austria (“Austria? I do après-ski performances there, 100 pieces a year!”). “I’ll write the next song again next week. You don’t think you’ll get rid of me here,” he told the German Press Agency. “But I’m thinking about doing it with Ralph Siegel next time.”