Saturday, February 02, 2013

Dansk Melodi Grand Prix 2013: only teardrops of joy!

After the disappointment of Norway, it was off to Herning in Denmark for their annual final last Saturday night.  Over recent years DMGP has become one of my favourite national finals, so I made a point this year of watching it from beginning to end on DR's faultless webstream.

Not for Denmark the week-in week-out elimination process: no, let's just have a final and get on with it.  A lot of women in catsuits last Saturday - firstly Margaret Berger and then the three pleasant and unobtrusive female presenters at DMGP: however they soon changed into some very nice lace dresses (pictured above).

Due to other commitments I missed most of the first song "Jeg har hele tiden vidst det" sung by Frederikke so I can't really comment, however it seemed to be overshadowed by some ridiculous staging - all it was missing was the Andrex puppy.

Still as they say 'you gotta have a gimmick' and the next contestant drew his inspiration from Peter Kay's "Amarillo" video.  Remember the treadmill?  Former DMGP winner Brinck - yes, 'tonight Matthew I'm going to be Ronan Keating' - was back again and dare I say he's looking a little more like Chris Martin these days.  This time round, the Ronan soundalike was hitching a ride on the Jason Mraz/Train bandwagon with "Human".  It wasn't too bad though, but not a winner.

Something for fans of more traditional uptempo schlager-pop next.  Linda Wagenmakers-style big cloak - check! Wind machine - check!  The result was "I'm Not Alone" sung by Kate Hall.  I thought this was the best of the night so far and in another year or another country it could have won the whole thing, but there were some more goodies yet to come...

...although "Rejs Dig Op" sung by Louise Dubiel wasn't really one of them.  An anthemic style of song, but it fell short and it was all about the hairdo.  Yet after the disappointment of MGP in Norway, everything in DMGP was sounding better. 

In the pre-song postcard for Daze, did anyone think that the female singer had a little of the Birgitte Nyborg about her?  However there was no sign of this when the band took to the stage with their schlager-fan-favourite "We Own The Universe" which was very catchy and turned back time with a bit of rave!

In the lead-up to the contest, "Stay Awake" by Simone was the favourite in a poll on the DR website.  There wasn't really anything original about it though, from her Charlotte Perrelli/Ani Lorak-styling to the wind machine and the dancers.  It was maybe just a little too 'obvious' and she seemed a little too over-confident for my liking.

If Simone's song was 'old Eurovision' then the next song was 'new Eurovision' in this post-Euphoria era.  I had previously written off "Invincible" by Jack Rowan featuring Sam Gray (Sam's from the UK by the way) as a "Titanium" soundalike yet on the night this made sense and I think I'll definitely still be listening to this song long after the contest is over.  Just like the next one...

In the days leading up to the DMGP final, the next song seemed to grow and grow as a fan favourite.  Emmelie de Forest did everything she needed to do to get "Only Teardrops" (co-written by DMGP legend Lise Cabble) through to the super-final.  Tweeters and messageboard posts were calling her a mix of Loreen and Ruslana, but I got more of a Shakira-vibe from this young barefoot singer.

"Beautiful to Me" sung by Albin and written by Bryan Rice was ok, some nice generic pop-rock although nothing particularly special.  Still, I stand by my view that this is probably one of the best national finals we'll see this year, if not the best.

With a name like Mohamed Ali, you’d expect ‘the greatest’ song in the contest but "Unbreakable" just fell short of that expectation.  Yes, there was more than a hint of deja vu as Danny’s "Amazing" met the complete works of Taio Cruz.  I rather liked this, and again I'll be playing it beyond the contest. 

Superfinal time, and there were no surprises with the three finalists - most of us expected to see Simone, Emmelie and Mohamed there.  Simone was getting more slappably confident by the minute, whilst Emmelie got better and better. 

Not even the appearance of last year's winner Soluna Samay with her new song could spoil the proceedings!  And just when you thought the contest couldn't get any better, there was an unforgettable line-up for the interval act, all performing their ESC winning songs: Johnny Logan, Brotherhood of Man and the Herreys. Eurovision royalty indeed. 

By the end of the voting, Emmelie and Mohamed were tied on jury votes, so that all-important public vote was even more important than ever.  

The people have spoken...and it’s Emmelie de Forest who takes the short journey over the bridge to Malmö in May. I remembered the chorus after just one hearing, and that's all-important in a contest where the majority of the viewers/voters are only hearing the song for the first time.   I think "Only Teardrops" has a very good chance of doing well and should go top 10 at least. 

Above: Emmelie celebrates.  (all photos courtesy of

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