Like some otherworldly space ship, the cast and crew of the top-ranking German-language television show, "Wanna Bet?" has landed on the outskirts of Salzburg in Austria. The show, one of the most successful in Europe, offers an entertaining mixture of ordinary people making outlandish bets (hence the title) and celebrity interviews and performances. And today the show's hundreds of crew members and technicians are invading the city. Security staff patrol the area, would-be audience members queue at the front entrance to the venue. Backstage, some of the highest-profile members of the entertainment industry are all hands on deck.
Russian soprano Anna Netrebko, the singer behind some of the most popular operatic albums in Europe, has just finished her sound check. Oscar-winning British actress Emma Thompson is picking up her backstage pass. Pop singer Shakira, rock icon Beth Ditto of the band Gossip and composer Andrew Lloyd Webber are in hair and make-up. And Lena Meyer-Landrut is sitting on a sofa in her dressing room, awaiting her turn. In a black cocktail frock, grey knit cardigan and large, black glasses, with a somewhat wide-eyed look, Meyer-Landrut comes across more like an intern for the show than someone who is about to perform on it. Link