Germany has decided: It’s Roman Lob!
In an exciting, yet unsurprising conclusion, Germany has found their Star for Baku in 21-year-old Roman Lob, beating runner-up Ornella de Santis in a close final vote. The finals of “Unser Star für Baku” weren’t just about the “who”, however; it was just as much about the “what”!
Ornella and Roman each presented a trio of songs (even though both ended up singing “Standing Still” and “Alone”, much like how Lena and Jennifer Braun both performed “Bee” and “Satellite” two years ago). The audience picked one song for each singer, who then went head-to-head against each other. Ornella’s pick, “Quietly“, was as light and as sweet as we had come to expect from her, but in the end, it was Roman’s “Standing Still” that took the night.
Roman’s stint on “USFB” wasn’t his first time in the limelight of musical competition. At the age of 16, he made it to the Top 20 in 2007’s season of “Deutschland sucht den Superstar”, but had to withdraw due to illness. Since then, he has been playing locally with his band, “Rooftop Kingdom”.
“Standing Still” has an excellent pedigree behind it: it was written by the team of Jamie Cullum, Wayne Hector, and Steve Robson. Cullum is a British jazz-pop singer and songwriter with half a dozen albums under his belt (his cover of Rihanna’s “Don’t Stop the Music” is really fabulous). Steve Robson has a number of global hits under his belt, including songwriting credits on “What Hurts the Most” by Jo O’Meara/Rascal Flatts/Cascada. Wayne Hector is another prolific songwriter, having penned tunes for such artists as Britney Spears, Enrique Iglesias, the Pussycat Dolls, and (if you’re looking for a Eurovision connection) Toše Proeski.
As for my thoughts, I think that “Standing Still” is a well-written track, and Roman’s got a great voice (not to mention a good look!). It’s not as easily-accessible as “Satellite” was for Lena, and it might have a harder time grabbing people’s attention on the first listen, which is not great for Eurovision (especially considering that Germany won’t have people listening to it during the Semifinals). It feels like a good album track, but lacks the hook or punch that the ESC needs. I’m looking forward to hearing the studio arrangement of the song, as opposed to the backing by the Heavytones that we heard on the show.
Let me know what you think in the comments!