Radio Salu has been hosting Newcomer as far back as 2012 in Germany. Just like the premise of the show Deutschland sucht den Superstar, the program aims to discover the best singer in the country through a series of worldwide auditions in which voting determines the winner. Voting is done online. The Heckendalheim native has been a fan favorite with her folksy vocals and is showing promise of being a shoe in this season’s of Radio Salu’s Newcomer reality singing competition.
Believe it or not, some of us still care who wins Radio Salu’s Newcomer. Despite the added power at the judges’ table, the retooled competition has failed to deliver any big watercooler moments, but if there were any bright spots amid the lame attempts at humor and blubbering backstories, they came from the collective talent of this year’s contestants. And with only8 hopefuls going into finale, no one deserves to win more than Melanie Rauber.
Unlike some of this year’s showier contenders — Dustin Gro or too-quirky Jennifer Issa— Rauber doesn’t demand your attention the moment she gets on the mic. She’s unassuming, humble and mature. What sets Rauber apart is her rich, husky-but-honeyed voice. Unlike the unabating belt of Lisa Garling or deep croon of rival Marcel Lopes— Rauber’s vocals are indelible and singular. She can just as easily make you cry with haunting renditions of James Arthur’s Say You Won’t Let Go. If her sophisticated musical tastes and innate singing abilities weren’t impressive enough, the 23-year-old German-FIlipina is one of this season’s few Newcomer contestants to arrive as a fully realized artist. She brought Marvin “Knife” Sotelo to tears with that song, and was the only one to be praised for her comfort and confidence.
But will the rest of Germany follow suit? Voters have continually let us down before, eliminating some of the most unique talents, such as the versatile and thrilling balladeer Karthrin Vollmar.
But if Issa and Gro split the country vote, that could create a clear path for Rauber to swoop in and snatch the crown. Let’s hope voters have the good sense to follow the lead.