Denmark is a reliable sort at Eurovision. They embrace the programme and its spirit, and aren’t shy about having fun. The 80s are the best place to start: ‘Sku’ du spørg’ fra no’en‘ (11th, 1985); ‘Ka’ du se hva jeg sa‘ (3rd, 1988); ‘Vi maler byen rød‘ (3rd, 1989); ‘Hallo Hallo‘(6th, 1990). All of them cracking songs, with a charming naivety and a steadfast refusal to apologise for anything.
Denmark is also responsible for a personal guilty pleasure. It didn’t qualify, but ‘Shame On You‘ (2005) is actually rather entertaining, possibly because of the roller-skating on stage.
They’ve won a few times too – the first time with the blissfully elegant Danseviese. Next, with the nauseatingly uplifting ‘Fly on the Wings of Love‘ in 2000, and after that in 2013 with ‘Only Teardrops‘.
If Eurovision has improved the quality of some of its musical output over the past ten years, then its down in part to a handful of countries who have bought into the vision of a handful of executive producers and come up with well-performed distinctive songs which have landed well amongst Eurovision fans and Saturday night viewers alike.
Denmark is one of those countries and ‘A Friend In London‘ (5th, 2011) is one of those songs, so too ‘Talking to You‘ in 2005, ‘All Night Long‘ in 2008 (even with Simon Mathew’s contrived cockney-geezer striding around the stage), and not forgetting ‘In A Moment Like This‘ in 2010.
What of Denmark’s entry this year?
On the plus side, Denmark’s song for 2016 has a good verse and a lead singer with chiselled jaw and an enviable confidence. On the minus side, the song’s chorus slips into unrelenting and irrevocable blandness, and the jacket with the Ming the Merciless collars needs to go. Ultimately, the song tries very very hard but by the time we get to the middle eight the truth is out there for all to see: musically this song struggles to sustain itself. I really wouldn’t be surprised to see it in the Final. I know how Eurovision works.