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Dansk Melodi Grand Prix 2019: A personal review by Niels Gronlund

Finally, I had a Saturday night with neither work to do, social events or family reunions. As a long time Eurofan, my choice for what to do was rather obvious. Watching a National Final! Tonight, one of my old favorites was on. Namely the Danish “One Night Melodifestivalen”, or Dansk Melodi Grand Prix as it is commonly known.

(If you don´t want to read the whole review, scroll down for ratings)

Opening act, stage and hosts.

The show started out with a video montage of our two male hosts getting styled by several former participants, and later greeted by last year´s winner Rasmussen, who brought Denmark their first top 10 finish since 2014, finishing 9th with the song “Higher Ground”.

After this, we got into the arena, where the show was opened with a dance act to the tunes of what appeared to be Emmelie De Forest´s 2013 winner “Only Teardrops”, along with quite a lot of fireworks and a number of other stage effects. This, although being seen before did, with the help of an enthusiastic audience, gave me a feeling that Denmark was back in the game.

After that, our hosts entered the stage. This year, the hosts were TV-Presenter Kristian Gintberg, and Actor and Singer Johannes Nymark (Yes, that guy who sang off-key as a part of Lighthouse X). And well, they did in fact do a decent job hosting. They were not, outstanding, but still enjoyable to watch, and somewhat funny. Not the worst pick DR!

And now for the stage, which as some of the readers of this review may be aware of, was the same as for the last four years. However, it provided us with a number of rather strong stagings. But, if budget permits I wouldn´t mind seeing Denmark invest in a new stage next year.

The songs:

I must be completely honest with you, neither of the songs were really memorable. All were definitely listenable, yet I was, and still am rather convinced that we won´t return to Copenhagen in 2020.

Song #1 Simone Emilie - “Anywhere” (6/10) (Official Result: NQ)

We start out with a proper show opener! “Anywhere” is a radio friendly pop song, which I do enjoy listening. However, it is easy to forget, and there is nothing new to it, hence why I did not rank it higher, and probably why it did not make it to the final.

Yet, good vocals, and an enjoyable staging makes the song a pleasant experience for the ear, as well as the eye.

Song #2 Jasmin Gabay - Kiss Like This (1/10) (Official Result: NQ)

Although this may be liked by some, it is not my cup of tea. With weird lyrics, and a rather weird staging, this was bound to fail, and for me the weakest song of the night. To top it all, the whole “Latino Vibe” seemed rather fake. However, Jasmin is a good singer, however I think she picked the right genre this time around.

Song #3 Rasmus Faartoft - Hold My Breath (6/10) (Official Result: NQ)

If this was solely about the voice of the singer, Rasmus could easily have grabbed the trophy, and flown the Danish flag in Tel Aviv. Hold my Breath was a pre-show favorite of mine, but after a few times listening to it, I started to feel that it was boring, and not very creative. And that comes from someone who is usually a fan of this kind of ballads. It would work well in a musical, but among 10 other songs, it was easily forgotten.

Song #4 Marie Isabell - Dancing with You in My Heart (4/10) (Official Result: NQ)

With cheesy lyrics and a melody that is heard before, this song takes the word average to a completely new level, and to me seemed a bit like a “fill out song”, or something that could be eliminated in the “Andra Chansen” in Melodifestivalen. But well, it is a decent song, but nothing more than that.

Song #5 Sigmund - Say My Name (3/10) (Official Result: 3rd Place)

For every national final, there must be a former talent show participant, and DMGP 2019 is no exception. This role is in this case fulfilled by the rather flamboyant Sigmund, who performs the song “Say My Name”, which at least to me seems to be inspired by his own background of being a member of the LGBT+ community.

But why this low ranking? Well, despite the verses being to a large extent good, the chorus is straight out annoying, with Sigmund just repeating the phase “Say My Name”, which does not appeal to me the slightest.

Song #6 Humørekspressen - Dronning af baren (Queen of the bar) (5/10) (Official Result: NQ)

Take this for what it is; a troll entry, which in a Danish context is really a rare thing.

Now, this does also represent something perhaps even rarer, a troll entry that is actually funny, featuring a Drag Queen, a band dressed as a bartender, various stereotypical guests on a bar and lyrics about a girl from a small town moving to the city, where she works in a bar, and immediately get attention from a male guest, who appears to be the narrator of the song.

However, I am quite happy that this did not even come close to winning, however, I would like to give “Humørekspressen” a high-five for providing me with 3 minutes of great entertainment.

Song #7 Julie & Nina - League of Light (8/10) (Official Result: 2nd place)

I and many other fans must admit it, we all did predict this being the winner.

I like the fact that they included the Greenlandic language in the song, as it fits the song very well, and so did their voices. Also, I think it is a shame that Greenlandic culture and language is not more exposed and recognized internationally, as well in the Danish union.

However, to pick this song would be a bold move for Denmark, which may be a reason for why it did not win.

Song #8 Teit Samsø - Step It Up (2/10) (Official Result: NQ)

Starting his performance surrounded by the audience, Teit Samsø wants to start a party with 11.000 people in the arena, and 1.5 million people at home joining him. But does he succeed? I think not. With poor lyrics, and a mediocre beat, his performance provides a good break for visiting the restroom or grabbing a snack or a cup of coffee.

Song #9 Leonora - Love is Forever (8/10) (Official Result: Winner)

It is strange, this song always seemed to me as a very typical runner-up song, a bit like Anna Ritsmar last year.

However, this is indeed a good song, which does appeal to many, with its cute tone and uncontroversial message of love and peace.

Worth mentioning is that one of the songwriters are Lise Cabble, who co-wrote the Danish entries in 1995, 2011 and 2013, finishing 5th and 1st respectively. Perhaps she will bring luck for her country again?

Song #10 Leeloo - That Vibe (2/10) (Official Result: NQ)

This song is not a strong one to me. To be it seems very dated, and generally not very pleasant to listen to if you are me. It is not saved by the staging, which to me seems rather weird. Especially with the “DJ Woman” in the background.

Interval acts etc.

Throughout the show, there was various humorous clips of the hosts trying to solve everyday concerns of the average Dane, by a number of more or less alternative approaches to stop climate change, easing the concerns on how taxpayers money are spend, and preventing crime.

After the last song had been performed, the hosts, accompanied by the singer Stig Rossen, as well as the Danish entrants from the 2010 contest Chanee & N´Evergreen. And well, even though medleys are often very fun, which can also be said about this one, some of the songs seemed to have been selected a bit randomly, as some of them seemed to be rather forgotten as the years has passed.

We also saw a guest appearance by last year´s winner performing some verses of his new single “Go Beyond”, as well as his winning song “Higher Ground”. In my humble opinion, it was great to see Rasmussen again, but his appearance seemed a bit rushed, and it would for me be better if he could perform the full versions of the songs, as it would literally only take a couple of minutes extra and would improve the whole impression of his songs greatly.

General comments and ratings of the show:

Despite many negative comments, Denmark did put up a good show tonight, which kept me entertained for the for its full 2-hour duration. However, it seemed a bit rushed. As if it should for almost any cost take two hours exactly.

The overall quality of production was increased from last year, adding more camera angles, better stagings and better hosts.

However, the songs was not the strongest, which drags my overall rating a bit down.

My ratings for the show are the following:

Songs: 4/10

Hosts: 6/10

Stage: 7/10

Stagings & Choreographies: 8/10

Interval acts: 3/10

Quality of production (Sound quality, camera angles etc.): 9/10

Overall rating: 6/10

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