Hosting Duties: Denmark in Eurovision

Denmark's Eurovision fortunes have been up and down over the years.
Denmark’s Eurovision fortunes have been up and down over the years.

In three weeks time the stage will be set for Eurovision in Denmark. Rehearsals will have taken place, semi-finals will have been seen and voted on and the 26 acts for the Grand Final of this year’s Eurovision Song Contest will be looking for their three minutes of fame. But what about Denmark in Eurovision? This year’s contest is in Copenhagen for the third time, having previously been held in the city in 1964 and 2001. Whilst Denmark’s victories are very much something to sing and dance about – what of Denmark’s other Eurovision fortunes? They have come 2nd once in 2001, 3rd three times, and occupied positions within the top 10 on twenty-two occasions. However with highs also come lows – Denmark didn’t enter between 1967 and 1977, they failed to qualify for the 1996 contest and haven’t made it past the semi-finals on two occasions (2004 and 2007). They also came last in 2002 when Marlene could only manage 7 points. So what are Denmark’s notable entries – here are some stand out ones for you to listen to…

1 – This Time (Michael Teschl & Trine Jespen) – 1999, 8th

One of my favourite entries, this signalled that Denmark were starting to become a force to be reckoned with after a dismal 16th in Dublin (1997) and relegation the following year. A lovely ballad – the performance is very simple though I admit Trine’s hand gestures might get on your nerves…

2. New Tomorrow (A Friend in London) – 2011, 5th

The lyrics to this are so simple, the tune was so contemporary – I have a real soft spot for this song. It’s not just because the group are called ‘A Friend in London’ either. It has a gentle rock beat, an upbeat tone and whilst it wasn’t my favourite entry in 2011 I’d take it over the eventual winner (Running Scared, Azerbaijan) any day!

3 – Stemmen i mit liv (Kolig Kaj) – 1997, 16th

This is a song about a girl from directory enquiries. As one book once told me, some rap is good and some rap is bad. This is particularly bad which in typical British humour means let’s all listen and cringe!

4 – Drama Queen (DQ) – 2007, 19th in semi final

A drag act pure and simple. A very cheesy tune that wouldn’t sound out of place in a gay club – brash, unapologetic and probably a few years too late for Eurovision.¬†That and DQ was outshone by another funnier act, that of Verska who provided an extremely funny cross dressing act with Dancing Lasha Tumbai which eventually came 2nd for Ukraine.

5 – In a Moment Like This (Chanee & N’evergreen) – 2010, 4th

My final selection is the song I saw performed live when I went to Oslo four years ago. It was a fantastic song, and at one point in the voting I even thought it was going to win. Denmark seems to work best when it has more than one main singer (Emmelie excepted) – they do male/female duets very well and this is another one of them.

And not forgetting…

As someone who only started watching Eurovision in the mid-1990s I didn’t feel I could really include any entries before 1992 as I’ve gone with entries that really stand out in my time from watching Eurovision. That said there are some entries that nearly made the cut notably 2006’s ‘Twist of Love’ and 2000’s ‘Fly on the wings of love’ which whilst being a Eurovision winner (and one I certainly didn’t see coming at the time) I just think is slightly underrated these days when placed against the Scandinavian runaway tunes of ‘Fairytale’, ‘Euphoria’ and ‘Only Teardrops’. The Danish entry this year is Clich√© Love Song and is highly rated – you can read about my opinions on that when I publish my reviews in a week or so… wouldn’t want to give you all too much Eurovision related things to read in one go now!