It’s been a decade since Germany last won the contest, and since then, their results have been very hit or miss. In this past decade, Germany has finished in last place twice, one of those times with the dreaded nul points! This year, internally selected artist Ben Dolic was selected to hopefully avoid that situation with the upbeat number, Violent Thing, but where would Germany have landed on the results table?
Anita (Eurovision Union)
Song and Vocals
I was a bit behind on the news the day that Ben Dolic was selected, and hadn’t heard his song straight away. I remember seeing a message from Dennis (whose review you can read below this one) saying ‘I think this is something you will like’ – he knows me well, because this song was an instant hit with me.
I love an upbeat number, but it’s 2020, and I want something fresh and contemporary. Violent Thing fits into those categories so well. That first verse really captures my attention, and then it seamlessly builds into the pre-chorus. The chorus is a total earworm and really seals the deal of this song. I don’t remember enjoying a German entry as much as this one, and it has been in constant rotation on my playlist.
Vocally, this is one of the most unique songs of the class of 2020. The higher pitch of Ben is something that may not appeal to everyone, but it definitely suits this song. The only issue is whether it was going to translate to a strong live performance. We have since heard this song performed live, and I will say that it was vocally underwhelming. While it wasn’t a terrible performance by any means, it just fell a bit flat.
Performance and Act
Coming back to that live performance, we got to see how the song was going to be staged at Eurovision this year. This was by far the most disappointing aspect of this entry. The music video was great, and I definitely understood the concept and how they tried to translate that to a stage performance, however I just don’t think it came across well. I didn’t love the interactions with the backing screen, and I didn’t like how the dancers played into the performance. There could have been some really strong choreography with this performance, but again it just felt flat.
Next Up: 2021
Ben is yet to be confirmed for 2021, and I don’t feel as confident as I have with other nations and their selections for 2021. Even though Ben was internally selected, I don’t know whether they will continue working with him. It would make sense to continue the partnership, and pair him up with Borislav Milanov again for another great entry. I’d personally love to see that happen, especially considering Germany could have achieved a decent result this year if the staging was fine tuned.
This was one of my top picks for this year’s contest, but unfortunately the staging and performance let me down a bit. Originally I would have placed this in the Top 10 at Eurovision, with a strong potential televote, but this may have ended up mid table instead. Despite this hypothesis, Violent Thing is still one of my favourite songs of the 2020 line-up, and that’s not something I say often about a German Eurovision entry.
Song and Vocals
Ben Dolic shows himself as a capable artist on this track. The backtrack is not so inspiring, with basic beats and drums, but it gets people moving. Personally I am not too fond of the high-pitched male vocalists, but Ben does a good job here, and there are plenty of people who like this singing style. I think Germany had something that stood out from the pack here.
Performance and Act
There is so much potential with this song for the German act. It has a risk of ‘not working’, it’s not a static ballad to stage. But if the Germans would have gotten it right, they would have had the option of a very good result possibly. I can’t tell which way it would have gone. The German rehearsal would have been an interesting one.
Next up: 2021
We know nothing yet, about the German plans for 2021. But as Ben Dolic was handpicked by the delegation without a national final, why would they change their choice? It’s not like the final product of Ben was badly received by bookmakers or fans in a way, that they should reconsider. No, without the confirmation it is pretty clear to me: Ben Dolic sings for Germany in 2021.
I also expect he will perform another danceable pop-tune in Rotterdam, since this seems to be the genre he feels most comfortable in. And usually there are not a lot of nations who pick such a song. That is because it is difficult to pull it off successfully at Eurovision. But IF a country does so, they usually have a top-10 in hands.
I like the song, I don’t like the vocal style so much, but that is personal taste. I saw the potential chance of success for Germany in 2020. Much more than they had in 2019 of course. It would make sense for Germany to keep Ben Dolic as their singer, and I expect him to come up with a pop-banger again next year.
Additional Scores from Eurovision Union and ESCDaily editors:
Average Score: 6.8/10
What do you think of Violent Thing? Follow our Eurovision 2020 reviews here.