Dieter Bohlen is back at “DSDS” – but that won’t save the show either. A comment on the new TV hit.

For 19 years, 18 seasons, Dieter Bohlen was the driving force of “DSDS”, the show pony in the front row: the pop titan shaped the RTL casting show like no other. After almost two decades, he had to leave the show last year. Schlager star Florian Silbereisen was hired as his successor, having previously done a good job as a guest on the jury panel. But now Bohlen should surprisingly return to his house and court show, as reported by So far, the broadcaster has been silent, as have those involved. Does Silbereisen have to give way to the new old one? Not clear.

With Silbereisen, the “dream ship” mentality returned to “DSDS”. Cozy warmth, uplifting judges, a reality show softened like a yoga camp. A nice approach to handing out positivity to the candidates instead of (verbal) beatings. Unfortunately, the viewers didn’t want to see that, at least not on RTL. This year’s season finale was the worst in the history of the show – Bohlen was even switched on via video message. Silbereisen, popular with ARD and ZDF audiences, mutated into a nice uncle on RTL, who pours himself a lukewarm chamomile tea in the evening.

Speaking of lukewarm, do you remember the last “superstar”? The penultimate maybe? No? You know what: it doesn’t matter at all.

“DSDS” has been flickering across the screens since 2002. The show, an absolute sensation at the time, brought RTL top ratings. For the first time, the TV viewers had it in their hands to create their very own superstar and ultimately choose it. Around 9.48 million people tuned in every week, and 12.8 million cheered on the finale. A peak value that should never be reached again.

Alexander Klaws still lives on his “superstar” fame today, Beatrice Egli did the same, Pietro Lombardi launched a whole music and reality TV empire with his victory in 2011, later becoming a juror. The other winners and candidates either reappeared in the jungle camp or disappeared into insignificance. The casting show has long ceased to be about finding a superstar, but about what the show title promises – about searching. Whether the winner would be successful was less than secondary, a nice side effect yes – but not really relevant. Only one was unsinkable – and untouchable for the show producers: Dieter Bohlen. Show dinosaur, pop titan, DSDS father.

Anyone who watched Dieter Bohlen during the live broadcasts in the “DSDS” studio on site experienced a full-blooded TV professional. When the cameras were running, he put on his 1000-watt grin, reeled off his jokes, teased a bit here, joked about old men a bit there, screened, sent on mini-skirted, thinly determined candidates. The rest of the jury, who is now as interchangeable as the candidates themselves, made diligent males when pack leader Dieter gave his verdict. Objections were admitted, but they were not readily heard.

Silbereisen approached his job with significantly more respect for the participants. Candidates received constructive criticism, he found talent “super good” and not “great as hell”. The skirt length of the female candidates also seemed to be irrelevant. He asked his co-jurors for feedback and decided together. A modern, more human orientation. An orientation that just didn’t appeal to the hardliner “DSDS” fans.

This positive polish brought RTL no gain, on the contrary. The quota dropped. “Never change a winning system” is a well-known saying. And so it seems only logical to want to unpack the riot club again, to let bashing planks climb into the ring again. What worked then can’t have gone bad. But with this act of desperation, the broadcaster will not be doing itself any favors. A jokey Dieter Bohlen once worked like Mario Barth’s jokes did. In 2022, grumbling older white men have a hard time, all eyes of the critical audience are on them at prime time. The concept of “DSDS” in all its negativity, the display of its protagonists seems to have fallen out of time. You look for newcomers on TikTok today, the content stars build up their fan base on their own. You can also become a Spotify star without a record deal. And you don’t even have to be insulted by Dieter Bohlen on live TV – if you, as a 20-year-old TikTok star, still know who Dieter Bohlen actually is.

Rest in peace, “DSDS”. We don’t need a phoenix from the ashes.

The original of this post “Sorry, Dieter Bohlen, but “DSDS” can no longer be saved” comes from