Danish-Australian singer Anja Nissen is competing in the Danish Melodi Grand Prix for the second year in a row. Last year, Nissen narrowly missed representing Denmark in Stockholm after placing second behind Lighthouse X in DMGP.
Nissen is one of 10 competitors taking the stage tonight in the city of Herning, and will be trying her luck after a disappointing loss last year. Lighthouse X’s failure to make it to the Eurovision Song Contest final in Stockholm marked the second year in a row Denmark did not qualify with boy bands. This has prompted broadcaster DR to change the entry rules for this year, preventing bands from participating. This year Copenhagen duo Calling Mercury is the only non-solo act in the DMGP final.
The lineup for tonight is as follows (Top Three song in Italics, winner in bold):
- Ida Una – “One”
- Thomas Ring – “Vesterbro”
- Rikke Skytte – “Color My World”
- Anja – “Where I Am”
- Calling Mercury – “Big Little Lies”
- Anthony – “Smoke In My Eyes”
- René Machon – “Warriors”
- Sada Vidoo – “Northern Lights”
- Jeanette Bonde – “Hurricane”
- Johanna Beijbom – “A.S.A.P”
The final begins at 20:00 CET and can be viewed on broadcaster DR’s website HERE. ESC Daily editor Allie Lindo is reporting live from Jyske Bank Boxen in Herning where the show is being held. Follow her live updates below. The most recent updates will be at the top and all times are in CET.
22:00 – The Winner Is…
…’Where I Am’ by Anja! The third place contestant is announced as #10 A.S.A.P by Johanna Beijbom. Which means the second place song is ‘One’ by Ida Una.
Anja won with 64% of the vote. A very strong win for the girl from New South Wales.
21:57 – The Olsen Brothers
Brødrene Olsen, The Olsen Brothers in English, take the stage to perform their Eurovision winning song “Fly on the Wings of Love”. The brothers won ESC in 2000 and have remained popular for the last 17 years. They also performed in MGP in 2005. Jørgen Olsen competed as a solo artist in 2007.
21:48 – Remembering Denmark’s last win
We have a little flashback to Emmelie de Forest’s ESC win in 2013. From there we take a lookback at more classic Danish Eurovision moments. This has prompted a bit of nostalgia here in the press center, as people start singing along to some of the older songs.
21:44 – Johanna one more time
This will probably rank as the shock of the night. Johanna is in the Top Three here in Herning and there are a few people questioning how that happened. Will the Swede win it all tonight? And if she does, how will this affect the (mostly friendly) rivalry between Sweden and Denmark? Answers will be coming A.S.A.P. Pun very much intended.
21:37 – Anja onstage again
Here she is again! Anja is thismuchcloser to achieving her dream of competing at Eurovision. The question is, will Denmark vote for her over the other two women in the final tonight? I stand by my earlier assessment that Anja delivered the best vocal performance of the night. Anja seems to be acting out the lyrics of her song as she seems to be laying down her “armor” and giving it her all on the stage.
21:30 – Ida performs again
Ida Una takes the stage again as a Top Three contender. She seems to have smoothed out her rougher vocal moments from her earlier performance. This song sounds better than it did before. Perhaps Ida’s nerves were messing with her voice before.
21:25 – Top Three Announced
The first song going further tonight is Song #1 ‘One’ by Ida Una. The next song in the final is #10 ‘A.S.A.P’ by Johanna Beijbom. The third and final song through to the final is #4 ‘Where I Am’ by Anja Nissen.
When ‘A.S.A.P’ was announced as a finalist the shock was apparent in the press room with some people saying “What?!” I also admit to being a bit surprised.
21:21 – Vote For Denmark Part II
Here it is – the video asking, no begging, Europe to vote for Denmark. There is even a hashtag to go with it #VælgenVinder. Hosts Annette and Johannes do their best to get as many votes as possible, even speaking in Swedish, German, Spanish and English. Goodness someone even baked and decorated a cake for this video. I know this is comedy but perhaps this video should win an award for all the work that went into it.
21:15 – Let’s review
Okay that’s it. All ten songs have now been sung and soon we will know the top three songs of the night. One of the top three will be going through to represent Denmark in Kiev. We have had a mix of sounds and styles tonight which I have enjoyed for the most part. However, I think there have only been a few solid performances out of the ten. I can’t decide on a pick for best performance, BUT I can say my pick for worst performance. Unfortunately, René Machon was lacking in vocal strength tonight and overall his performance seemed rather boring. If he makes it into the top three I will be the most shocked person in Scandinavia.
21:10 – Johanna Beijbom – A.S.A.P
Beijbom is the only competitor tonight who does not hold Danish citizenship. In fact, she is from the other side of the Öresund Bridge! The Swedish singer has actually been on the Eurovision stage four times before but as a backup singer. This time she is hoping to represent Denmark on her own. Her song A.S.A.P is a pop party song with a disco vibe. I hear elements of Kylie Minogue’s “Can’t Get You Out Of My Head” in this song. Johanna could learn a thing or two from Kylie when it comes to stage presence. She has a good voice to make up for that though. Oops I spoke too soon. Johanna struggled a bit with a high note at the end of the song. Is that a deal-breaker for Denmark?
21:05 – Jeanette Bonde – Hurricane
We are speeding through tonight’s songs. We are already at number 9. Jeanette Bonde’s song starts off with a cool split-screen effect that makes it appear that she is singing to herself. Jeanette’s live performance is an improvement from her performance during rehearsals earlier today. The stage set-up is more simplistic than the previous songs. The music is also more simple but reminds me a bit of Leona Lewis’ ‘Bleeding Love’. This has been one of tonight’s stronger performances and I am surprised by how much I like it.
21:00 – Sada Vidoo – Northern Lights
And now for something a little different. Sada Vidoo is another of tonight’s competitors who lives overseas. She lives in London and is known there for her appearance in British X Factor. She takes the stage in the most outrageous outfit of the night. Her dress resembles a giant disco ball and she wears a blue wig with doll-like makeup. In fact I am having flashbacks to Dolly style, a group that competed in Melodifestivalen last year. Aside from her appearance, Vidoo gives a strong vocal performance. With some adjustments this song could be quite good. It needs a little more action to really push it over the edge. However, it is another song I wouldn’t mind adding to my playlist.
20:50 – René Machon – Warriors
This is Machon’s second time competing in MGP. He previously competed as part of a duo in 2015. That year he and partner Tina placed seventh. Machon’s opening line is already rough as it sounds like he started off in the wrong key. I’m not sure why but parts of this song seem to be a strain for his voice. The music is something you are likely to dance to in a club. Actually I am pretty sure I danced to this exact music two weeks ago…it sounds very similar. This is my least favorite song so far. In an interview before the competition, Machon told DR that the song was inspired in part by Coldplay’s sound. I don’t think Coldplay would thank him for that comparison.
20:45 – Anthony – Smoke In My Eyes
Anthony is making his big return to the Danish music scene with this song. He first became famous after winning X Factor in 2014 alongside his partner Jasmin. They were the first group to win the competition in Denmark. However, since then he has moved to Miami where he runs a Danish cafe.
‘Smoke In My Eyes’ is musically a fun song. It reminds me a little of something Bruno Mars would have done before his Uptown Funk days. Anthony does have some rough vocal moments throughout the song. At times his voice sounds shaky. Not the strongest competitor tonight and I will be very surprised if Denmark votes for him.
20:40 – Calling Mercury – Big Little Lies
Jeppe Norup and Joel Peters are the two men that make up Calling Mercury. They are the only non-solo artists tonight. They take center stage as their support band sits behind a backlit screen. It is a nice visual effect. This song is good and radio-worthy. It speaks about little lies that are meant to protect a loved one but then turn into “big little lies”. The lyrics are something most people can connect to and I guess that is what Calling Mercury is counting on. As I said, this is a good song but I believe it is a little too tame for the Eurovision stage. This is definitely something I will add to my own playlist, however.
20:36 – Anja Nissen takes the stage
“Djingis Khan” was playing in Anja’s intro video. It’s safe to say that song will be in my head tonight. Anja takes the stage in a long red dress. She sings with a lot of power which was missing a bit from other performances. The stage behind changes from a flame motif to one that reminds me of water. But as she sings the chorus, it changes back to orange flames. No one can accuse Anja of holding back in this performance. In my opinion, this is the best vocal performance of the night so far. Perhaps it is enough for her to make it to Kiev? We shall have to wait and see.
20:30 – Vote For Denmark
After the first three songs of the evening, we take a little break to watch a video. Host Annette stops people on the streets of Denmark to get them to beg other countries for their vote in ESC. First she trains them in how to get the most amount of sympathy from the European audience. Everything from how to cry on cue, to a couple kissing, and even adorable dogs. With Annette’s training complete we go back to the show.
20:26 – Rikke Skytte – Color My World
Rikke Skytte goes for a different approach to staging than Thomas Ring. The lights and stage are very colorful which goes well with the lyrics of her song. She takes the stage wearing a knee-length flowy white dress paired with thigh-high bright yellow boots. Rikke seems to be struggling with a few of the notes in her song. It appears that she is out of breathe a bit as she dances and sings.
At the end of her song, her backup dancers glow little puffs of colored powder into the air. Confetti falls from the ceiling as Rikke sings the final words. This was a nice song but nothing I would consider too special. But that is up to the Danish public to decide.
20:20 – Thomas Ring – Vesterbro
Next up is the only Danish-language entry of the evening. The title of the song refers to a neighborhood in Copenhagen. Singer Thomas Ring is known by the Danish audience for winning the third season of X Factor Denmark in 2010. He also wrote this song by himself.
Ring also starts his song by sitting on the floor in darkness but as he songs the stage bursts into light. Based on the rehearsals earlier today, Ring has one of the more tame stage set ups. His backdrop is black and white for most of the song. Color is introduced during the chorus. I like this song. It is a little different than some of the others tonight. I am sure the people who live in Vesterbro will like it too. Ring delivers a solid vocal performance although at times there doesn’t seem to be much vocal power behind his words. Still a good performance overall. Not much to find fault with.
20:15 – Song Number One – Ida Una
The first song tonight is appropriately titled ‘One’. Ida Una comes into this contest as a favorite of the Danish public. She begins the song sitting cross-legged on the stage holding a lighted globe. She stands as the globe is lifted up and out of view. This song is an anthem for peace and coexistence. Ida sings “Where is the love? Where is the trust?” She also asks us to break our silence to save the world from silence. The title of the song refers to the world joining together to live as one.
Beautiful lyrics with a great message. Ida has a few rough vocal moments in the middle of the song, but overall it is a good start to the evening.
20:10 – A look at our hosts
I think I like Johannes Nymark better as a host than a contestant. He has pretty good stage presence and he and Annette play off of each other quite well. This isn’t Annette’s first time as host, she had this job last year as well. Johannes heads backstage to talk to five former members of the MGP jury. The general conversation is about what it takes to make it to Eurovision.
20:04 – Beginning with a flashback and a song
We kick off the show with a lookback at the most memorable moments for Denmark in both Melodi Grand Prix and ESC. Tonight’s hosts and artists start the show off with a sweet opening song. Two by two they come through a door on stage singing their lines.
20:00 – We are on our way
The assembled crowd has counted down and now Dansk Melodi Grand Prix 2017 has officially begun! Tonight ten songs will be performed but only one can go on to Kiev. Denmark is trying to break a two year streak of bad luck so the pressure is on to select a great song that can make it to the ESC final this year. Just before the cameras started to roll, tonight’s hosts took the stage to a huge round of applause from the audience.
19:45 – Countdown to showstart
Tonight’s hosts are Johannes Nymark and Annette Heick. Both are familiar with the Grand Prix stage as they each have competed before. Nymark is one of the three men that comprised the group Lighthouse X last year. Heick has competed twice and hosted the competition last year. Based on the rehearsals earlier, we have a very interesting show ahead filled with a lot of color. Australia’s Anja Nissen put on a strong performance in the rehearsals and once again shows enough potential to be tonight’s winner.