With a decision expected later today on the three winning entries in the P4 pre-selection for Dansk Melodi Grand Prix 2020, some of our editors got together to pass judgement over the potential entries. Which did our team like the most?

Our panel for this pre-selection consists of James, Roy and Sean. Here’s what they thought…

Jamie Talbot – Bye Bye Heaven

James – 3 – “What trouble is this soppy git going to find himself in? He’s going to switch out quinoa for chick peas in his lunchtime salad bowls? This song is a stupid, simpering acoustic guitar pop take on the “taming the wild mustang” trope of relationships. I seriously hope she is like Brazilian firecracker Larissa from “90 Day Fiance” and causes Jamie’s colt (sorry, Colt-i!) all the trouble he wishes for. He’s a singer I’d like to hear move in a more funk or soul direction, though. Maybe his girl trouble will throw his acoustic guitar out the car window and we’ll get our wish.”

Roy – 5 – “Nothing much to say about this song, it is a fine song for on an album or even on the radio if it were delivered by a big name. It is a bit too slow for my liking, but I can definitely see why people would gravitate towards this song.”

Sean – 6 – “This reminds me of something I can’t quite put my finger on… perhaps there are a lot of popular of familiar tricks in this track which should make it an easy listen for many Danish viewers should it make the main selection. It’s a well-constructed guitar pop track with interesting production and a catchy hook but perhaps a little light-weight for my tastes.”

Total = 14 (avg. 4.67)

Kenny Duerlund – Forget It All

James – 3 – “The sentiment of this one is better, even if the ones expressed are very cliched and the mumblings of a very clingy “nice” guy. The vocals at the bridge are a huge misfire. Without the backing guitar and pianos his “all” sounds like “uh.” I am struggling to find the perfect “90 Day Fiance” match for Kenny. That I am thinking more about “90 Day Fiance” while listening to this song than the song itself is a clue as to how memorable it is.”

Roy – 6 – “Firstly I am not a mega fan of his voice. The song builds nicely towards the first chorus however and it also raised my excitement. The chorus itself failed to deliver a little for me. I was left wanting for more after the first chorus and that was more or less the same feeling that I had after the song was over. It is not a bad attempt at all, I actually enjoyed listening to the whole song and I feel like this could go to the final potentially.”

Sean – 6 – “Ooh, so close. Was hoping for a sweet drum and bass release at the chorus but it’s not quite there. It’s another well-produced pop song with relatable lyrics and potential to be beefed up in a revamp. The choruses feel a little feeble compared to the promising verses and it will need a solid vocal delivery live to make an impact. Not surprisingly by Danish selection standards, it’s a little too middle of the road.”

Total = 15 (avg. 5)

Nick Jones – 2AM

James – 4 – “This one is best in Group 1 because of the bass. But that’s about it. It’s a breakup song, which is a pet peeve of mine at Eurovision because it’s the very antithesis of the spirit of the contest. It’s a song by that sad bastard of an ex of yours who calls you at random times to remind you of the past, saying stuff like “putting it all behind” but really wanting to drag this all out. So like Jesse from “Before the 90 Days.” Okay, I’ll stop with the “90 Day Fiance” references when Denmark stops sending this “nice guy” acoustic pop.”

Roy – 6 – “The build towards the chorus wasn’t bad at all, I found myself enjoying it a decent amount. Once said chorus hit I was disappointed. I am not a fan of this “duh duh duh” thing that he is trying to pull off. However I feel like Nick would be a lad who could sell whatever song is given to him. It has got a bit of a swing to it and if staged right, could actually become a good likable song. Like I said, could have done without the duh’s, but not bad!”

Sean – 6 – “Nick Jones by name, Nick Jonas by nature, and it wouldn’t be out of place in the Jonas Brother’s back catalogue. Unfortunately, it’s more album track than chart smash, and while it’s a pleasant summery track with a slight hint of latino and RnB flavour (only the faintest hint), it’s not a standout. Musically, it may be aligned enough with the current trends to edge the Southern Danish competition in this selection, but not for my preference.”

Total = 14 (avg. 4.67)

SamSara – For You

James – 8 – “Now this is the sort of indie-folk I can go for. It’s a love song and sounds like it could have been written by one of the Lillith Fair artists from the ‘90s. It’s got a catchy verse, and after a simple acoustic guitar driven intro it kicks into a mid-tempo bop driven by fiddle, banjo and piano. I can’t find much about this artist online, so I hope MGP proves to be the breakout for this promising young artist. If given another shot, I think this is an entry that has potential to grow on more people. It’s my winner for the East.”

Roy – 1 – “This song unfortunately screams a lack of professionalism… It sounds very disjointed and not well composed at all. Besides that everything is very basic and boring as well. This is definitely not for me… I often give low ratings for songs that sounds dated, but this is the weakest “modern” songs of all the national selections so far…”

Sean – 8 – “She has a wonderful quality to her voice, reminding me a little of Loreen’s singing style. But the song is not comparable to the Swedish icon. “For You” is a musically interesting track compared to what has gone before. It’s a catchy upbeat number that certainly has all the hallmarks of a grower and an earworm, and I’m curious to see this one live. Impressed with this one!”

Total = 17 (avg. 5.67)

Søren Okholm – Impossible Dreamers

James – 7 – “If Mumford & Sons picked up a Tony Robbins book and had a predilection for hitting high notes every few seconds, you’d have “Impossible Dreamers.” This song is in keeping with the positive spirit of the contest, so I can’t hate it. I can’t make out what he says in the chorus, but to me it sounds like “shut up, alone!” (Or like Larissa from “90 Day Fiance,” is it “Shut up-pi!”… okay, I’ll stop.) Is he telling his loneliness and sadness to shut up as he goes about walking through the desert to find his better place? If it is (which it probably isn’t), it kind of works.”

Roy – 5 – “A cute innocent song. Unfortunately it kind of ends with that and it doesn’t really manage to pack a punch at all. I don’t mind the song, but I could do without it too. This should not win for Denmark and probably should not go to the final either.”

Sean – 4 – “Unfortunately this isn’t even the strongest song of this genre in this pre-selection. Soren has a great voice and it’s perfectly upbeat enough but it just feels too much like a writing camp staple and a British selection reject to grab my attention. The final chorus improves things slightly but I won’t remember this one much past the three minute conclusion.”

Total  = 16 (avg 5.33)

Ben & Tan – Yes

James – 7 – “No. That’s what I thought when I saw it was another Jimmy Jansson entry. But this sweet indie folk duet is his best co-composition so far out of God knows how many he’s entered at various national selections. An extra point for the strangely violent imagery for a love song in the chorus (“my heart is beating me to death, I have an arrow through my chest”). Another extra point for what sounds like a mob yelling at the duo to fall in love with “Say yes! Say yes! Say yes!” With the violent lyrics, the chanting and the indie-folk backing track, it’s like a couple falling in love at a Leeds United game.”

Roy – 7 – “Is it just me or does this sound like something Sheppard could make? “Yes” is a fun and innocent song that is just pleasant to listen to. The vocals are delivered well and the song gives a lot of room for staging too. This song definitely has potential, but I am uncertain if this would do well if it were to win for Denmark and compete in Eurovision. Lovely song to have in any selection, well done!”

Sean – 6 – “The Lumineers have definitely had an influence on Ben & Tan! This kind of folk pop was all the rage a few years ago, and I worry the duo may have just missed the peak of popularity with this one, but the important thing is that this is one of the few tracks with a memorable chorus and stage potential, and I can’t help but sway along to the beat!”

Total = 20 (avg. 6.67)

Emil – Ville ønske jeg havde kendt dig

James – 5 – ““The A Friend in London guys (Denmark’s 5th place at Eurovision 2011 with “New Tomorrow”) have crafted another boring acoustic song. Emil’s voice sounds more mature and less whiny than the three lads in the Southern Denmark group. But the track is too gentle, almost too lullaby-ish, to leave a lasting impact. And is A Friend in London’s brand of soft rock relevant in 2020? I doubt it, and at least “New Tomorrow” had a memorable chorus, of sorts.”

Roy – 6 – “I can see this song on a stage already. Opening with Emil just sitting on a stool playing his guitar. Then the more the song opens up, the more people and show join in. This is not a bad song at all. The Danish language is cool, but in this case it may make it a tad difficult to fully connect with the song. Another song with potential, a low 6 for me.”

Sean – 5 – “The only Danish song in this pre-selection means this already earns respect points from me! It has a similar vibe to “Tomorrow” (Malta 2013) but I can’t imagine it will strike the same chord as that when performed live. It’s a shame but a lot of these songs seem to be cut from similar cloth, and I wonder if the Danish writing camps may have an influence on this pre-selection. It’s a pleasant listen but too middle of the road for me.”

Total = 16 (avg 5.33)

Sander Sanchez – Screens

James – 3 – “Oh God, that nasally warble with forced accentuations of random syllables. I presume “staring at the screens” is a reference to people letting life go by while they stare at their phones. I say presume because his warbling hides most of his lyrics (in English). And I have a question, hot shot: how are people going to research who you are, listen to your song, and vote for you if they’re not staring at the screens? And the “staring at the screens” trope is lazy and makes Emil sound out of touch (auld fossils rambled on about radio addition in the ‘30s, TV addiction in the ‘70s, video games since the ‘80s, cellphones since the ‘00s, etc.)”

Roy – 3 – ““Staring at the screens” is such an odd sentence to use as your main selling point. The song isn’t necessarily bad, but I feel like this did not fully achieve what it was going for. It is a bit like competing was an afterthought and he quickly grabbed a decent beat and scribbled some words together and just managed to submit it all 1 minute before the deadline ended”

Sean – 7 – “Now, this could be an interesting prospect. This song has a little mystique and Sander Sanchez’s voice suggests to me there could be a little swagger to this song on stage, if it reaches the selection. I think the beats could be boosted a little to make this stand out as a soulful RnB banger, but this is a good starting point!”

Total = 13 (avg. 4.33)

Mielou- We Could Be So Beautiful

James – 6 – “To quote Green Day, “wish in one hand, s%$# in the other, see which one gets filled first.” This piano driven ballad mines that binary knife-edge between disaster and bliss for a young couple. There are quite a few clichés here (“dive into the unknown”) but compared to the other two in the Northern Denmark, it’s at least somewhat memorable for its gentleness. And it’s a song with lyrics full of hope and possibility despite the danger of failure, so a good fit for the spirit of the contest.”

Roy – 4 – “This song screams: “Hi, I got to the final of (insert talent show), but I got last since my song was plain and boring”. This to me sounds like such a song and I have to admit that Mielou has a good voice, but the song is just so lacklustre. I definitely feel like she should return another year with a song that is more interesting than this.”

Sean – 6 – “Here’s another Eurovision trope, the string-backed love ballad with the subtle vocal gymnastics thrown in for good measure. This is by no means a bad song, in fact the emotion and feeling of the song feels very genuine, and the final third of the track does make it stand out, but I fear there will be a myriad of similar songs once we get to Rotterdam. Would this be the smartest choice Denmark has to offer?”

Total = 16 (avg. 5.33)

So what does this mean for our overall ranking, and who wins in each section for us? Let’s find out…

  1. Ben & Tan – Yes – 20
  2. SamSara – For You – 17
  3. Emil – Ville ønske jeg havde kendt dig – 16
  4. Mielou – We Could Be So Beautiful – 16
  5. Søren Okholm – Impossible Dreamers – 16
  6. Kenny Duerlund – Forget It All – 15
  7. Nick Jones – 2AM – 14
  8. Jamie Talbot – Bye Bye Heaven – 14
  9. Sander Sanchez – Screens – 13

So our overall favourite by quite a way is Ben & Tan’s “Yes”, who would win their section and reach Dansk Melodi Grand Prix alongside Emil and Kenny Duerlund if we were to decide the result. But will this be accurate? We will find out later today!

What do #YOU think of the pre-selection songs? Share your thoughts with us on our forum HERE or join the discussion below and on social media!

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