Germany have won Eurovision on two occasions, both times with teenage female vocalists. Hanover-born Lena Meyer-Landrut had just turned 19 when she triumphed at Eurovision in 2010, she was 18 months older than Nicole had been in 1982 when A Little Peace gave the Germans their first win after 26 fruitless years.
Lena’s paternal grandparents were Andreas Meyer-Landrut, the Estonian-born West German ambassador to the Soviet Union in the 1980s, and Hanna Karatsony von Hodos, a Hungarian aristocrat. Estonia were one of nine nations to award Satellite top marks; had Hungary not skipped the 2010 contest the song’s winning margin of 76 points might have been even greater.
The song’s provenance is entirely Anglophone: it was co-written by American Julie Frost (who has since gone on to pen hits for Black Eyed Peas, Beyoncé and Madonna) and is performed in a style that owes much to British singer Lily Allen. Though to native English speakers Lena’s vocal sounds distinctly odd. Replicating Allen’s cockney-cum-estuary accent is notoriously difficult (just ask Dick van Dyke) and Lena doesn’t quite manage it.
Perhaps that is why Satellite received just 4 points from the United Kingdom and it stalled at No. 30 in the UK charts. In the last seven years the only winning song to have charted lower was Eli and Nikki’s Running Scared in 2011. It was, however, a huge success elsewhere in Europe, topping the charts in Denmark, Finland, Luxembourg, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland as well as Germany.