Germany has participated at Eurovision the most times out of any of the competing countries, missing only one year of participation due to not qualifying in the pre-selection round back in 1996. In their history, the nation has only won the contest twice, and hoping to make that three is Jendrik with his song, I Don’t Feel Hate.
Anita (Eurovision Union)
Song and Vocals
After last year’s entry from Ben Dolic, which we unfortunately didn’t get to see at Eurovision, it seemed that Germany was really trying to achieve another success at the contest. Sticking with another internal selection, the juries landed on Jendrik. I Don’t Feel Hate is unlike any of its competitors this year, but is that a good or bad thing?
There’s so much to unpack with this song, so let’s start on the positives. The song is totally unique in the field, and brings such positivity to the contest. While there are plenty of upbeat songs this year, none bring joy quite like this one. The message of the song is great, and it’s clearly a message that Jendrik really believes in, but yet it’s not pretentious at all. The lyrics are fast paced, but once you catch on to what he is saying, you can’t help but to laugh but more importantly, sing along. On the flip side, however, this is the type of entry that can easily be seen as a joke entry. There’s a fine line with laughing at, and laughing with, and with most of the audience seeing this for the first time, how will they react?
To set the record straight, I love this song. It took maybe two or three listens to really start to catch on, but damn, this song is an earworm. I love the energy that Jendrik gives off, and everytime I see him, whether on social media, or in video clips, he just makes me smile. Not everyone has that type of charisma, and that could be the factor that wins people over.
Performance and Act
Extending off my previous point, Jendrik easily has the most charisma out of all the participants this year. He is an absolute joy to watch, and watching his journey to Eurovision on social media has easily been one of the biggest highlights for me this season. While not everyone will see what happens in the lead up to the contest, that charisma will certainly come out on stage. Jendrik will perform with his friends, who were also in the music video. The whole act feels very genuine for that reason. We have seen a sneak peak of the performance through the documentary released back in March, and it really seems that they put a lot of hard work into the choreography and costumes, and I think it might just pay off.
It’s genuinely hard to say how this entry will be received. There is the potential for people to mock the song, or overlook it, but it could also be a televote hit. It’s a fun song, and the staging from what we have seen looks great. It’s not a winner, that’s for certain, but it might just do alright.
Song and Vocals
No pun intended, but ‘I don’t feel hate’ is what you call a classic love or hate song. It’s uplifting and light, but can also be interpreted as too cheesy and just too… cheerful. The lyrics are funny, but may not come across at first listen for the millions of viewers in May, because of Jendrik’s speedy way of pronouncing the English words. And if the meaning of the song gets lot, people may just see it as a mockery entry.
Performance and Act
Jendrik has made amazing clips on his social media accounts and is a true, charismatic guy. I expect him to come up with a great show, but based on the video clip I would advice him: Less is more. If the act gets too crazy and overwhelming, people might have the feeling of one of the guys in the video clip: What the F- am I watching?
Personally I think Jendrik and the German song are great fun and we need some light-footed songs in this dark year. If he will get a good result, I am very unsure. I see too many people that don’t get the joke and irony behind the entry, and if that is the case, you are left with a weak and messy song and act.
Additional Scores from Eurovision Union and ESCDaily editors:
Average Score: 5.9/10