Free European Song Contest: Rea Garvey wins the crown for Ireland

Free European Song Contest
Rea Garvey takes the crown for Ireland

Steven Gätjen and Conchita Wurst once again led through the funky music evening

© (c) ProSieben / Markus Morianz / Benedikt Müller

The second edition of “Free ESC” may not have surprised with the winner, but with the German interpreter: Helge Lindenberg!

For the second time, Stefan Raab (54) invited live from Cologne to the “Free European Song Contest” on Saturday evening (May 15th), but once again shone with absence. Right at the beginning, last year’s winner Nico Santos (28) was not allowed to sing, instead Helge Schneider (65) trilled his song “Forever At Home” from 2020. A song that still has sad relevance a year later.

In addition, it was Helge’s last appearance on television, as Conchita Wurst (32) announced on the side of presenter colleague Steven Gätjen (48). A supposedly melancholy beginning of an otherwise very cheerful show – with an expected winner by the name of Rea Garvey (48) and a surprising participant for Germany.

As weird as the original?

A total of 16 countries took part in the unofficial ESC. With the exception of the German contribution, the interpreters of which have been kept a secret for a long time, as in issue one, all other participants had already been determined in advance. The show started with Milow (39) for Belgium, followed by Mandy Capristo (31) for Italy and Ben Dolic (24) for Slovenia. How big the musical range of the evening would be became abundantly clear afterwards at the latest. Elif (28) for Turkey was immediately followed by the hit duo Fantasy for Poland. Lo and behold: With such abrupt style changes, something like a classic “ESC” mood actually emerged.

Then there was Juan Daniél for Spain, the Mighty Oaks for England, Jasmin Wagner (41) for Croatia and Danny Vera (43) for the Netherlands. The latter not only wrapped sausage around his finger with his soulful country song. At this point in time he was already believed to be the winner of hearts on the Internet. The subsequent appearances of Sotiria (34) for Greece, Mathea (22) for Austria and even that of Rea Garvey for Ireland almost went under – almost.

A star for Germany

The internationally most famous star started after Hugel (33) from France. Amy Macdonald (33) did the honors for her home country Scotland and even accepted ten days of quarantine for her appearance in Cologne. Gätjen and Wurst took their time until the very end to reveal the German interpreter. Only after Switzerland was also represented by Seven (42) did the exciting unveiling take place.

“TV total” fans will have hoped for Stefan Raab to return to the show until the very last second. The actual representative for Germany was an even bigger surprise. Nobody less than Udo Lindenberg will compete with the song “Supergeiler Helge Schneider”, according to Wurst and Gätjen. And then he was back on stage, Mister Helge Schneider himself – what about last TV appearance … With the best Lindenberg imitation he praised himself and was thus allowed to represent his country for the second time in a row. Nobody really expected that.

Joy and sorrow are so close

Even at a fun event like the “Free ESC” there are clear winners and losers in the end. It became clear early on that Jasmin Wagner, Fantasy or Ben Dolic, for example, would have nothing to do with the victory. In fact, it was Wagner for Croatia who had to be content with last place. And finally he was certain, the great winner of the evening. With 116 points, Rea Garvey prevailed for Ireland in the end, the winner of hearts alias Danny Vera from the Netherlands actually landed in second place, while Milow took bronze for Belgium.