Why We’re Covering This: We recently referred to Eurovision as the world’s gayest singing competition — and the idea of potentially sending a homophobe, from a country that’s normally decent about gay issues — at least recently — has us scratching our heads.
This year, Germany is sending Jamie-Lee, winner of The Voice Of Germany (an American Idol-like program), to Eurovision with her song “Ghost”:
However, this was not the original choice — at the end of last year, NDR, Germany’s national broadcaster, announced Xavier Naidoo was Germany’s pick for the song contest. Unfortunately for Naidoo, there was a such an outcry that two days later, NDR rescinded their pick; it would take until the end of February this year for Jamie-Lee to get the nod.
While Naidoo is a popular artist, starting his solo career in 1998, and collaborating with stars like RZA from the Wu-Tang Clan in 2003, his songs have often featured a political bent. Not just political — but right-wing.
That’s not necessarily a deal-breaker — Ted Nugent’s politics are awful, but damned if “Journey To The Center of the Mind” isn’t catchy as hell. Unfortunately, just like Ted Nugent lets his awful beliefs into his music, so does Naidoo.
Here’s his 2012 song “Wo sind sie jetzt”, or “Where Are You Now”:
If you don’t know German, the song embraces the myth of the Satanic cult, comparing abortion to human sacrifice and — oh yeah! — implies gay people are pedophiles. In another song, he slings anti-Semetic slurs against the Rothschild family in “Raus Aus Dem Reichstag” (or “Get Out Of The Reichstag”; the Reichstag was the legislative body of the Second and Third Reichs).
If that weren’t enough — he’s very outspoken about the issues he cares about. Issues like denying the legal existence of the Federal Republic of Germany (a/k/a, you know, Germany), saying the country is occupied by enemy forces. Or that the events of September 11, 2001 didn’t happen.
In 2011, Naidoo even filed suit in court against Christian Wulff, then President of Germany, and other high-ranking officials, accusing them of treason over the 2008 financial crisis. Acts like this are why he won an “award” last year — the Golden Tin-Foil Hat for conspiracy theorists.
With a background like that, it’s not surprising that even German parliament members spoke out against the choice — the openly gay Johannes Kahrs, who has served in the Bundestag (the current German parliament) since 1998, referred to the choice of Naidoo as “unspeakable and embarrassing.”
Germany is one of the seven countries that automatically makes it into the Eurovision finals — due to being one of the countries that contributes the most money to the European Broadcasting Union who puts on Eurovision. Unfortunately for Germany, not having to go through the semi-finals can lead to embarrassment: Last year’s contestant, Ann Sophie, came in last with zero points.
Thankfully, Jamie-Lee isn’t likely to embarrass Germany — odds makers are putting her in the middle of the pack, and unlike Naidoo, the most controversial group she’s aligned with is PETA — who might not be perfect, but are a far sight better than Naidoo’s beloved Reichsbürgerbewegung, with their links to neo-Nazi groups.