The head of Denmark’s national selection process Dansk Melodi Grand Prix, Erik Struve Hansen, has sought to defend the Nordic nation’s recent record in the contest amid domestic criticism of the Danish national selection.

Reiley was unable to bring Denmark to the grand final, marking three consecutive editions with no Danish performance at the Eurovision Song Contest’s Saturday showpiece. Erik Struve Hansen defended the process that got Reiley to Eurovision this morning; “No, we haven’t lost our grip. It is clear that we really want to break this unfortunate run that has hit Denmark in the last few years. But I personally also think that Dansk Melodi Grand Prix has recently taken some steps in some directions, which I myself find exciting, and that we have raised the musical level especially this year.”

The manager of the Danish selection show has gone on to suggest the semi-final draw and the composition of countries competing in the second semi-final may have led to Denmark’s failure to qualify; “I think we came up with one of the biggest and most modern pop songs in the evening’s field. That the countries that could vote tonight did not vote for us, there is not much to be done about that. It’s a shame, but that’s how it is in Eurovision.”

“We were in a semi-final , where there were quite a few countries from different latitudes than ours. Countries where the modern pop sound that Reiley brings may not have its main audience. It’s hard to know what people in Albania and Greece, for example, have thought about our song, but if I’m honest, I think that could be one of the reasons.”

Erik goes on to say “I have worked with music throughout my career, and I have gradually established that Eurovision is the most unpredictable phenomenon in the world. It’s not something you can “calculate”. But I think we came up with a really well-written pop song and an artist with a really unique image. Perhaps it was a little too advanced for the general population of Europe?”

Denmark has now failed to qualify for the final for three years, with their last appearance coming from Leonora’s “Love Is Forever” in 2019. Fyr og Flamme’s “Øve os på hinanden” narrowly missed out in 2021, finishing 11th in the semi-final, whereas last year’s entrants Reddi finished 13th in the Turin semi-final with “The Show”.

More generally, Denmark have had one top ten since they hosted the contest in 2014, finishing 9th in Lisbon in 2018 with Rasmussen’s “Higher Ground”.

In other news in the country, there is renewed hope for the Faroe Islands to potentially make their debut after Reiley’s performanced marked the first Faroese artist at the contest. Sirið Stenberg, Minister of Culture for the islands, believes that the performance has helped to renew calls for the Danish region to participate. According to Eurovoix, The Faroe Islands is self governing in almost all areas and is per definition eligible to become an EBU member.

Images: EBU / Sarah Louise Bennett / Chloe Hashemi

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