Vietnamese-German singer finishes third at Eurovision Germany

By Tan Cao   March 6, 2023 | 02:01 am PT
Vietnamese-German singer finishes third at Eurovision Germany
Trong Hieu performs at Eurovision Germany on March 4, 2023. Photo courtesy of Trong Hieu
German-born Vietnamese singer Trong Hieu wore an ao dai and a conical hat as he performed his song “Dare To Be Different” to finish third in the German version of the Eurovision Song Contest.

Hieu competed with seven other contestants at the final on Saturday night (local time) in Germany. He and a dance crew performed "Dare To Be Different," a song with an uplifting melody. Hieu impressed the audience with his vocal performance and ao dai and conical hat.

Overall, Hieu finished third with 71 points. The winner was the band Lord of the Lost, which sang "Blood and Glitter"to earn 189 points. The band will represent Germany in the continental event of the Eurovision Song Contest, which will take place in the United Kingdom in May.

Famous German TV host Barbara Schoneberger, one of the judges, said: "Only a real pop star can bring a performance like this. Everything from the stage, vocals, choreography, ideas and message stunned me."

Hieu received maximum points from Dutch singer Marijke Amado, which is also his idol. She said: "I hope you’re happy with the score I gave you. You have done a great job and please continue to thrive. I want to send my love to your country and your fans."

To reach this stage, Hieu had to go through a challenging journey. He participated in the contest six times, but failed to make it past the qualifying round in the previous five attempts.

"I’m satisfied with third place. I’m a rookie, but I have a desire to make something different. My performance incorporated both singing and dancing, which is not a familiar thing for German audiences. I also fulfilled my dream, which is to bring the culture of Vietnam to the international stage through traditional music," Hieu said.

Hieu was the only Asian artist in the contest. When the top eight contestants were revealed, he attracted attention from the media and audience, appearing on Vogue Germany.

His performance benefited from the work of choreographer Kiel Tutin, who has worked with international stars like Jennifer Lopez, BigBang, BLACKPINK and PSY.

"Dare To Be Different" is a nu-disco song that is infused with Vietnamese folk elements using traditional instrumentals.

Hieu, 30, was born in Germany to Vietnamese parents. In 2015, while on vacation in Vietnam, he decided to audition for singing contest Vietnam Idol and became the winner. That event was a stepping stone for Hieu’s career as he went on to release a series of Vietnamese hits.

The continental version of the Eurovision Song Contest is an international singing competition organized annually by the European Broadcasting Union, featuring participants from European countries. Eurovision has been held since 1956, making it the longest-running annual music contest. As of 2022, 52 countries have participated in Eurovision at least once.

Trong Hieu's performance. Video courtesy of Trong Hieu

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