Yet another product of the talent-scouting behemoth Popstars, the Preluders were an all-female pop group who rose to stardom on the third season of the German version of the show, 2003's Popstars: Das Duell. A pool of 12,000 applicants applied to compete on the show, out of which only 27 were invited to Orlando, FL, to receive vocal and fitness training. Four women, Anh-Thu Doan, Miriam Cani, Rebecca Miro, and Tertia Botha, were eventually picked to form the Preluders, and the quartet went on to duke it out in the studio with their male counterparts, Overground. The two groups failed to produce adequate studio recordings, so each group was allotted one extra member in order to round things out. Anne Ross was brought into the Preluders on the basis of her vocal strength, and the group went back into the studio to record their first single, a cover of R.E.M.'s "Losing My Religion." The single, offered on a promotional basis at McDonalds restaurants throughout Germany, sold over 600,000 copies in its first week. It was arguably the most successful single the group would ever have. In spite of the popularity of "Losing My Religion," the Preluders were narrowly beaten by Overground in the finals, winning only 48 percent of the telephone vote.
Though they lost the popular vote, the Preluders did well on the German charts in the first few months following their stint on the show. The first single from the group's debut album, "Everyday Girl," hit stores within a month after the show's finale and held the number one spot on the German charts in its first week. Everyday Girl came out soon after that; it debuted at an admirable number two in Germany, but failed to surpass the platinum sales of Overground's debut album, It's Done. The album's second single, 2004's "Bal Prive," peaked at number 28 on the German charts and signaled the end of the Preluders' time in the Top 20. Their sophomore album, Prelude to History, hit stores that summer, yielding a couple singles that charted outside of the Top 20 in Germany. Botha left the group in June 2005 after she was injured in a car crash, only to be followed by Miro several months later. The remaining three Preluders didn't give up, however; they recorded a new single, "Never Before," and got ready to release it on Edsel. The single never hit stores; Ross left the group soon after it was recorded (eventually going on to team up with Manel Filali in Milk & Honey), and the release was put on hold indefinitely. But even this didn't signal the end for the Preluders. Cani and Doan teamed up with Patricia "Trish" Sadowski for a new Preluders release early in 2006. The group produced one single, "I Want Your T.I.M.E.," which went on to peak at number 92 on the German charts. Disappointed by the single's weak showing, the trio quietly called it quits in the fall of that year. ~ Margaret Reges