We learnt lots of fun facts about Germany's first ever Junior Eurovision contestant ahead of her performance of 'Stronger With You' on Sunday 29 November. Let's find out more about the rising star including everything from her favourite German word to her moon walking skills and more!
This 13 year old singer, dancer, and handball-playing extraordinaire from Berlin has already accomplished so much in her young life. Susan (digitally) invited us into her home where we had the pleasure of meeting her cute dog named Louis and her best friend Claudia. Let us share with you what we now know about Susan!
What is your favourite German word?
I actually like every German word, but if I had to choose one it would be something difficult to spell in English. Maybe, something like 'eichhörnchen' which means squirrel.
What makes you proud to be representing Germany in Junior Eurovision?
I am very happy to be representing Germany. It always seemed so impossible to participate in the Contest. It is such a popular competition and I always watched it when I was younger. I can't believe I will be the first person to represent my country at Junior Eurovision!
Do you have any performance rituals or routines before you perform on stage?
I warm up my voice with some vocal exercises. I also drink a lot of water and I actually have this little trick that I got from my Mum. She bought this oil that performers use to help sing more freely and it always works!
Do you have a different personality on stage versus off stage?
Yes! When I'm at school or when I'm dancing I'm actually very shy. I usually don't speak that much and I'm pretty quiet. But when I'm on the stage I just feel so free and I just do my thing.
Actually, I'm just realising now that I'm like a completely different person. At school, I don't really tell anyone that I'm competing in Junior Eurovision apart from my close friends. They're always wondering why I don’t tell my classmates. However, it's important for me to just focus on school when I'm there and not get too distracted by anything else.
Tell us more about your hip-hop background.
I started dancing when I was 5 years old but at first I didn’t really like it that much. In fact, I found it kind of boring! When I was 7 years old I started to have more fun with dancing because I figured out how to perform the choreography much better. I've participated in a lot of competitions in dance groups and have made many long-term friends along the way.
American singer Ariana Grande is a big inspiration for you. What would you do if you could spend 24 hours with her?
I think I would sing with her a lot and maybe ask her for some tips on how she gets those high whistle tones. I would probably talk to her a lot and maybe grab some food with her too.
What's happening here?
Susan picked out one of her favourite photos and revealed to us the big story behind it.
This photo was taken at the Mercedes-Benz Arena when I went to an international handball competition. You should probably know that I played handball for 5 years! We were playing in a huge stadium and the whole event was televised! We were individually announced onto the court and lined up in teams before the match started. Then, all of a sudden, someone asked me and another girl if we could sing, dance or break dance for the halftime entertainment (I think they already knew that I could do it)! The other girl was too nervous but I said: "OK, let's go!".
They played Michael Jackson music in the background and the crowd asked me to do the moon walk. So, I did and everybody started screaming! The halftime entertainment only lasted for about 30 seconds to a minute but I think everyone was really entertained. There were around 10,000 people there watching it too! We were all so happy and having fun. I had such a nice experience there.
Susan fills in the gaps!
We played a game where Susan had to 'fill the gaps' in our sentences. Let's find out what she had to say:
The 3 words that best describe my personality are:
Happy, optimistic and excitable.
You might not know that I am also really good at:
Cooking! I like to cook things like fish, Russian blini (pancakes) or Italian dishes like spaghetti with bolognese or something like carbonara.
I wish I was really good at:
Mathematics. When I understand the fundamentals I think am actually very good at it but when it's more difficult I do need more help.
The 3 words that best describe my song and performance are:
Emotional, sad and serious. I say it's a little bit sad because the lyrics talk about bad times. I describe it as serious too because of the overall message of the song.
This year has been difficult for everyone and 2020 has taught me that:
The support of your family can make you strong.
When I first found out that I would not be travelling to Poland I felt:
Very sad. I knew that the competition would still go ahead without an audience but I was more sad about the fact that I wouldn't be going to Warsaw. However, there are also many positives for me because when I perform in front of an audience I get super excited and it can effect my voice. With this new scenario I think I will sing without that nervous energy. It was also comforting to know that I would still be able to represent Germany and this made me very happy. Even with all the stuff that is happening right now in the world I know that I can still participate in Junior Eurovision, I can still keep practicing my performance and continue to aim for those Ariana Grande style whistle tones. I feel very thankful.
The Junior Eurovision Song Contest is so special to me because:
All the countries and singers get to connect with each other. We get to make new friends and do what we love to do which is to make and perform music.
I was inspired to participate in Junior Eurovision because:
Jamala who won the Eurovision Song Contest for Ukraine with her song 1944. It was very emotional for me because my Mum is also from Ukraine and it is like my second country. The words she sang really touched us and we connected a lot to the lyrics of her song.
I am most looking forward to:
Singing my song with all of my emotions and using my song to connect with the audience watching on TV.
The advice I would give to anyone wanting to participate in the next Junior Contest is:
That they have to try! It is an experience they will never forget. You get to learn so much including things like how to answer questions in an interview. how to make a music video, how to perform in the studio, and how to record songs. Participating in Junior Eurovision is an experience that you'll be able to tell your children about when you're older. It's such a great thing so go for it!
We can't wait to watch Germany's first ever act with Susan's performance of Stronger With You on Sunday 29 November. In the meantime we will keep practicing our pronunciation of the word 'eichhörnchen'...