From central Europe, we travel once again to the north and to the land of Lego, pastries and woolly-jumper-wearing detectives. It’s Denmark!!!
Denmark first took part in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1957. This year marks their 46th appearance at the contest. They were the first Nordic to participate and their debut entry caused quite a stir, as Birthe Wilke and Gustav Winckler performed an 11-second kiss at the end of their song “Skibet skal sejle i nat”. They have won the contest on three times: in 1963 with “Dansevise” by Grethe and Jørgen Ingmann, in 2000 with “Fly On the Wings of Love” by the Olsen Brothers and 2013 with Emmelie de Forest (who wrote this year’s entry for the United Kingdom). Last year, Lighthouse X broke Denmark’s run of good luck in Sweden (their victories in 2000 and 2013 were when the contest was held in Sweden), by finishing 17th in the second semi-final with “Soldiers of Love”, leaving Denmark out of the final for the second year running.
The Danish broadcaster, Danmarks Radio (DR), organised the 47th edition of Dansk Melodi Grand Prix, which has been used to select all of Denamrk’s entries since their debut. The winner was chosen over two rounds of voting. In the first round, a five-member jury (50%) and public voting (50%) selected three songs from the ten competing entries to advance to the superfinal. In the superfinal, public voting alone decided the winner. With 64% of the vote in the superfinal, Anja Nissen won the Danish ticket to Kyiv.
Anja Nissen was born on November 6th 1995 in Winmalee, near Sydney in Australia to Danish-born parents. At the age of 12, she made to the semi-finals of the second season of Australia’s Got Talent. She appeared on several other television shows and sang the national anthem of Denmark when Crown Princess Mary of Denmark visited Australia. In 2014, she took part in third season of The Voice Australia, where she was mentored by will.i.am. She went on to win the competition. Last year, she took part in Dansk Melodi Grand Prix and just missed out on going to Eurovision, finishing second with “Never Alone”. Her entry for Kyiv, “Where I Am”, was written and composed by Michael D’Arcy, Angel Tupai and Anja herself.
Denmark, you’re doing it right! This is not easy song to sing but Anja makes it look easy. Her voice is enough to fill a stage and an entire arena. The song itself is extremely radio-friendly and appealing. It immediately stood out to me in the selection. This should definitely end Denmark’s semi-final woes. As for the final, I see this as a potential dark horse and it could upset the favourites.
What Could Have Been
Denmark definitely made the right choice with Anja. From the other finalists, I would have chosen the “Living Doll” Sada Vidoo with “Northern Lights”. Her song combines mystical feel with Sada’s fragile doll aesthetic and makes for a very atmospheric song. She was not one of the superfinalists but she definitely caught my eye.
Held og lykke Danmark!
Will Anja be on the winner’s podium or on the bottom? Leave your comments below. Stay tuned tomorrow for another Eurovision preview!
(Sources: eurovision.tv, DR, YouTube)