Home / Song Reviews / Eurovision 2018 / Germany: Michael Schulte – You Let Me Walk Alone

Germany: Michael Schulte – You Let Me Walk Alone

In what was a very efficient German national final this year, Michael Schulte won the ticket to Lisbon with his emotional song, You Let Me Walk Alone, I was sent the German songs the other day and quickly skimmed through them without giving them much attention. This is Germany, right?! However, on the day of rehearsals I gave them a proper listen to check if it was worthwhile watching the live show. Michael's song was the only track I played more than once. In fact the official video had me thinking Germany could surprise this year given Roman Lob finished…
Song Appeal
Vocal Strength
Staging Potential
Likely Televote Appeal
Likely Jury Appeal

Lob II

It's difficult to predict Germany's finishing position without first seeing how the staging concept is developed.

User Rating: 3.22 ( 23 votes)

In what was a very efficient German national final this year, Michael Schulte won the ticket to Lisbon with his emotional song, You Let Me Walk Alone,

I was sent the German songs the other day and quickly skimmed through them without giving them much attention. This is Germany, right?! However, on the day of rehearsals I gave them a proper listen to check if it was worthwhile watching the live show. Michael’s song was the only track I played more than once. In fact the official video had me thinking Germany could surprise this year given Roman Lob finished eighth in an extremely strong year. Admittedly, Roman had a harder hitting hook, but in terms of quality, You Let Me Walk Alone is far superior with its delicate, orchestral build. The comparisons to Ed Sheeran are justified.

The live show somewhat cooled my early enthusiasm. The staging was flat and the camerawork was bland. According to a friend of the site who watched rehearsals, the new production company tasked with Unser Song specialises in talkshows and gameshows, so staging a 3-minute musical performance and capturing mood is miles away from their normal routine. Even so, Michael top-scored with both the international juries and televote, which counts for something.

Where to go from here? Well Germany has to recapture the intensity and intimacy of the video with the steady-cam circling Micheal. The video captures the sort of warmth that served The Common Linnets and Salvador well in their respective years. It’s that sort of evocative presentation that could suddenly propel Germany to their best finish in years provided they get the mood right. There is potential.

My own idea at this early stage would be to have an empty piano and drum kit behind him to emphasise his isolation. Lots of low-level filament bulbs to add atmosphere. Then just as the middle-eight ends and the drums kick in, suddenly people appear playing the piano and drums as if to complete the story that he isn’t actually alone.

It’s difficult to predict Germany’s finishing position without first seeing how the staging concept is developed. At the time of writing, there are still songs to come from the likes of Australia, Belgium, Azerbaijan and the Netherlands, to name just a few. But based on the songs we know of, this is a competent entry that could do well if the standard of songs selected remain underwhelming or lack a discernible wow-factor. In such years, one looks for a widely accessible song that could engage TV viewers, or a diaspora vote magnet.

For now, though, this is a welcome improvement.

  • Relevant song
  • Has strong staging potential – has potential to wow visually
  • Accessible and engaging
  • Staging needs concept rethink
  • Might not travel well in eastern Europe
  • Competing against other serious songs

Are Germany finding their way again?

About Gavster

Owner & Chief Editor   I’m a qualified designer and the official geek in the crew, dedicating most of my free time to keeping the ESCtips show on the road. My family routes allow me to support the UK, Ireland and Italy.

18 comments

  1. Very good choice Germany. It’s not a winner (how many times are we going to say that this year?) but they can get left hand side with this, as long as the staging is improved.

  2. A really good choice. Apart from UK (obviously), the big 5 is strong this year.

  3. Correct choice from Germany and a strong entry. Top big 5 is looking very likely and by current standards can get a top 10. That said, I don’t think this has that something special to break into the top 5 or go for the win but a solid effort here.

  4. Not for me this.The staging was poor.The background seemed like it was forcing the song on people.I could see why it might do quite well with the televote,but im not sure the jury would go for this.I guess the question is top 10,top big 5 and any match betting.Il likely take it on in the top big 5 if it keeps the price of Italy up.

  5. Apparently, Michael asked his fans to send pictures with their dads in order to let them be a part of the performance. They never learn…

  6. I’m just delighted they picked the right song, was worried they would pick that Bavarian band… after 3 years of pain German fans deserve a good song and they finally have it! Like said abobve this isn’t going to win but it’s s very efficient song that will appeal to juries and televoter’s, running order & staging will decide weather this is a dark horse for top 5 or just simply a top 15, at this moment in time this should hit top 15 at a minimum but should aim higher!

  7. The biggest plus of this entry is how charismatic and likeable Michael is.
    The lyrics are a bit cringy and cliche but its forgivable as they are about his father who died.
    I think Germany is returning to the top 10 this year

  8. Meh. It’s boring and does not have the magic of Salvador even close.

    And this could be compared with Lukas Graham.

  9. And I really do not understand why this should appeal to viewers? Thus, “My turn” last year should have liked the audience, but this did not happen …

  10. I think if Germany don’t come top 10 this year in what looks to be a poor year than Germany have really messed up here, for me it’s completely in Germany’s hands they just need to play their cards right. At this moment in time I think top 10 is minimum Germany should be aiming for with this.

  11. Dont know if Baltic countries count as Eastern Europe but this is a type of song that will do well over here. Roman Lob got 10 points from Estonia and 7 from Latvia, and The Common Linnets got 12 from all three Baltic countries. This is somewhere in the middle of both and should do pretty good. My personal favourite so far this year. Good job, Germany. P.S. I have to admit that his voice is not 4 stars worthy 🙁

  12. Sharper staging and production needed to make this a definite top five. Best of the bunch so far. Could be really slick and tug the heartstrings in a non cheesy way.

  13. Ok, I know I was told in non ambiguous tearms not to distract you with silly iTunes Charts statistics, but at least this is some sort of factual data to operate with. Michael is only charting in Germany on position 90, this is ca 20 places worse than yesterday and 15 places worse than voxxclub. He is simply… nonchartable I suppose. Some folks would call it bland, I would call it sterile. Michael has this favorite teachers’ pupil appeal. He is very… clean and ‘richtig’ and has that good boy cut. Jurors should reward somewhat but I doubt significant televote appeal.

  14. Am I the only one who hears Adele’s ‘Someone Like You?’

    • In answer to my own question, apparently yes. Trying to put that to one side I personally don’t quite get the fan enthusiasm for this song, nor is it making an emotional connection with me. I also find Michael’s vocal a little annoying.

      All that said, it’s a competent modern pop ballad with a decent chorus and I can imagine juries liking it. It’s almost certain to yield Germany’s best result since 2012. I’ve provisionally got it down in the 8th -16th bracket.

    • You’re not the only one. This got stuck in my head after the final on Saturday, and I just realised why it feels so familiar – Someone Like You has a really similar start to the chorus. They’re actually really different if you try and sing one over the top of the other. Or at least they are when I try it.

      Interestingly, they might both fit the Pachabel progression (see: pachabel rant), which might also explain things somewhat. Not quite sure, but it’s easier to match the cello part of that to each song’s chorus versus trying to match the two songs.

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