Twelve songs made it to the national final, which was broadcast by Bayerischer Rundfunk to ARD broadcasters across West Germany. The winner was decided by a sampling of 500 random West Germans who were meant to symbolize a fair representation of the country's population. Each person gave every song a vote, from 1 (for worst) to 12 (for best). Therefore, the theoretical "worst score" a song could receive would be 500, and the "best score" would be 6000. Interestingly, three of the competitors previously represented other countries: French singer Séverine won the 1971 contest on behalf of Monaco, Paola previously represented her native Switzerland at two different contests (1969 and 1980), and Jürgen Marcus previously represented Luxembourg at the 1976 contest. Additionally, Mary Roos had represented Germany in 1972, and would return as the German representative two years later.
Nicole was the eighteenth and final performer on the night of the Contest, following Ireland. At the close of the voting the song had received 161 points, placing first in a field of 19 competing countries. A 61-point gap was recorded between Nicole and the second-place finisher, Avi Toledano from Israel, setting a then record for the largest gap between first and second place.