#DENMARK: A look back at the fates and fortunes of past winners of Dansk Melodi Grand Prix

As ardent fans of Danish Melodi Grand Prix will know by now , this Saturday sees the 2021 edition take place at DR Byen studio in Copenhagen, Denmark. As a person who comes from a Danish family background, I have always taken a keen interest in this national final and will have the pleasure of bringing you a live blog of the show on Saturday. DMGP has brought us some interesting acts over the years , so as a prelude to this Saturday’s contest, let’s take a trip down memory lane and look back at the fates and fortunes of past winners from the last two decades :

The Olsen Brothers “Fly on the Wings of love “

The Olsen brothers or Brødrene Olsen as they say in Denmark had been on the music scene since 1965 when they formed their first band, The Kids. They had tried both together and as soloists to represent Denmark since 1978 by participating in DMGP . They finally won the Danish ticket in 2000, to represent Denmark in Stockholm, Sweden, with their song ” Smuk som et stjerneskud” , more widely known as ” Fly on the Wings of Love ” . They triumphed in Stockholm when they won the Eurovision Song Contest after not being amongst the favourites to win. Their song remains one of the most remembered entries from past contests today. Here’s the Danish version of their song, sung at DMGP 2000

Malene Mortensen ” Tell me who you are “

Malene came onto the Danish music scene in 2001 when she participated in the Danish talent show “Stjerne for en aften” ( Star for a night ) . She entered the Dansk Melodi Grand Prix in 2002 and won the competition with her song “Vis mig hvem du er “, translated into English for ESC with the title ” Tell me who you are?”. Unfortunately , despite being one of the pre contest favourites in Tallinn , Estonia , Malene gave a dull, nervous performance, giving Denmark their worst ever result when the country came last with just 7 points .This resulted in Denmark having to miss the 2003 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest under the old relegation system in place at that time before semi-finals were introduced in 2004.

Here’s her performance from Dansk Melodi Grand Prix, would she perhaps have fared better keeping the song in Danish ?

2005 Jakob Sveistrup ” Talking to you

Jakob came from a teaching background teaching autistic children and , like Malene Mortensen before him , entered the Danish talent show “Stjerne for en aften” in 2003 . In 2005 he entered Dansk Melodi Grand Prix with his catchy little song ” Tænder på Dig”. , beating previous DMGP and ESC winners The Olsen Brothers . Jakob went on to the ESC in Kyiv , Ukraine and was able to end two years of hurt for Denmark, after they had had to miss the 2003 contest through relegation and failed to qualify from the semi final in 2004 . Jakob qualified from the semi -final in Kyiv and reached a very respectable 9th place for Denmark in the Grand Final , meaning automatic qualification into the following year’s ESC Grand Final. Jakob , gave up teaching the following year to become a professional singer.Here’s his performance from Dansk Melodi Grand Prix in 2005:

2007 DQ “Drama Queen”

Peter Andersen is a Danish drag artist , performing under the name of DQ. DQ was entered into the DMGP IN 2007 with the song “Drama Queen” as a wild card in one of the two semi finals and to the surprise of many won the competition. DQ represented Denmark at ESC in Helsinki but in a tough semi final , unfortunately it became a case of DNQ ( did not qualify ) and DQ didn’t make it through to the Grand Final .Here’s the 2007 DMGP performance:

2011 A Friend in London ” New Tomorrow “

A Friend in London was a Danish rock/pop band , formed in 2005 when the members were at boarding school together in Vostrup, Denmark . the lead singer , Tim Schou won the Danish Young Talent contest in 2005 .This led to the bands first single , ” Thoughts of a Boheme” . They had already extensively toured USA and Canada and Denmark by the time they came to enter the 2011 edition of DMGP with their anthemic song , ” New Tomorrow”. They won the competition and went onto represent Denmark at ESC in Dusseldorf. Despite allegations of plagiarism , with the song being compared to a Swedish Melodi festivalen song in 2006, A Friend in London qualified from their semi final and brought Denmark a very respectable 5th place in the Grand Final. Here’s their DMGP performance :

2013 Emmelie De Forrest ” Only Teardrops “

Emmelie de Forrest had been singing from the age of 9 by the time she came to participate in the 2013 edition of Dansk Melodi Grand Prix in 2013. In what was probably one of the most entertaining DMGP’S for some years , she won the Danish ticket to Malmø, Sweden, with her song ” Only Teardrops”. She went on to win ESC ,bringing the contest back to Danish soil once again. Emmelie continued her singing career after Eurovision and was the writer of the United Kingdom’s 2017 Eurovision entry “Never Give up on You ” sung by Lucie Jones, which unfortunately, didn’t achieve the same result as “Only Teardrops . Here’s her DMGP performance in 2013:

2015 Anti-social Media -“The way you are “

Anti Social Media were a boy Danish rock/pop band who entered DMGP in 2015 , they won the competition with their song ” The way you are” beating Anne , who had previously performed in Junior Eurovision for Denmark in 2003 and who was the favourite to win. Unfortunately , Anti Social Media failed to make it out of their semi final in Vienna, the first time that Denmark had failed to qualify for the final since 2007.

2017 Anja ” Where I am “

Anja is a Danish -Australian singer who was born to Danish parents but grew up in Australia and had already competed in The Voice Australia . She first tried to represent Denmark in 2016 with the song “Never alone ” in the 2016 edition of DMGP but lost out to Liberty X and their song ” Soldiers of Love”. Anja came back to DMGP in 2017 with her song “Where I am ” and this time won the Danish ticket to ESC in Kyiv , Ukraine . Anja was successful in ending Denmark’s non qualification of the last two years by making it out of her semi final , however in the final ,she was only able to achieve 20th place with 77 points :

2019 : Leonora ” Love is Forever “

Leonora started life as a champion figure skater as well as a singer and entered Dansk Melodi Grand Prix in 2019 . She was successful in winning the Danish ticket to Tel Aviv with the sugar sweet song ” Love is forever” with herself and her backing singers performing on a rather large chair ! Leonora managed to qualify from her semi final and at ESC in Tel Aviv .She finished a respectable 12th with 120 points .

So , that’s our little trip back down memory lane over the last two decades? Did you see any of your favourites in there? If not, who was your favourite Dansk Melodi Grand Prix winner and why ? Who do you think will succeed these acts and be crowned DMGP winners on Saturday ? Drop us a line in our comments book and let us know .

Author : Sarah Rudman

Source : YouTube, Eurovision.TV , Wikipedia, DR

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