Since their win back in 2013, it seems as if Denmark has lost their way at Eurovision. A couple of non-qualifications have shook them a bit, and although they have since qualified, there have been some close calls. This year, the duo Ben & Tan won the national selection in front of no audience with the song Yes, but would they have had the tick of approval from voters as well?
Anita (Eurovision Union)
Song and Vocals
After the crowd pleasing Rasmussen, and then the cutesy song Love is Forever by Leonora, Denmark are serving up yet another nice, safe song. There’s always room for a safe song at Eurovision, but whether those safe songs qualify is often dependent on the other songs in the competition. In the contest of the second semi-final, it’s actually hard to say whether Denmark would have qualified this year.
I don’t mind this song at all, but I have no real drive to listen to it on my own accord either. If it’s on, I’ll enjoy it, but it feels overshadowed by the harder hitters of this semi-final. The studio version boasts really good harmonies, however it doesn’t have the same sort of impact live. The vocals were passable, but there was room for improvement. What this song had in its favour was the fact that the chorus is insanely catchy, and a television viewer would be able to recognise the song in the recap. I’ll occasionally catch myself singing the chorus, and I think a lot of people would have found themselves in the same boat.
I think this song is likeable, in the same type of way that Leonora was likable. It’s that cheesy type of likable, but hey, it was enough to get Denmark into 12th place in the final, although it only scraped through at 10th place in the semi. If Denmark was to qualify this year, I think it would have been a similar situation, where they would qualify in spots 7-10, then sit mid to low table in the final.
Performance and Act
It must have been an interesting experience for the duo to compete in an arena completely lacking an audience. In that sense, I think they had a disadvantage because normally the artists would have been able to feed off the energy of the audience. I don’t think their national final performance was bad, and I enjoyed some aspects a lot, including when Tanne is in the forefront but profile, while Ben is in the background. In other points of the performance, it was a bit lacklustre, but that’s of course something that can be worked on in the lead up to the contest.
Next Up: 2021
We won’t be seeing Ben & Tan return to Eurovision next year, which is a shame, as I think they had potential. With a stronger song, they could have presented themselves as stronger competitors, but nonetheless, that’s not how it has turned out. Looking towards 2021, Denmark will not stray from their usual format, and with more time to prepare, let’s hope for a stronger selection of songs.
Denmark had a chance to qualify this year just as much as they had the chance to not qualify. It seemed to have a decent fan following, but ultimately at Eurovision it needs to be able to capture the imaginations of the voters and the juries. Middle of the road from Denmark, and I hope we can see Denmark return with something stronger for 2021.
Song and Vocals
A rather uninspiring song, in my opinion. Denmark has had a history of these cosy, feel-good songs. But in this case, it just wasn’t really working for me. For starters, the song has some cliché lyrics, but the presentation is too serious. It’s repetitive in a negative sense. And, here was my biggest issue, the vocals just were not good. I would say that a jury would have punished the Danish act if this wasn’t improved.
Performance and Act
To perform such a cosy duet, the two leading stars need to have some chemistry on camera. And that wasn’t there enough. It seemed like there were two artists, both doing their best, but not being an act together. The total connecting package just wasn’t there for me.
Next up: 2021
Ben & Tan already said they would not go to Eurovision 2021. Danish broadcaster DR already started the planning of a new preselection in 2021. I think it is for the better, because Denmark was sailing towards a possible non-qualification in Rotterdam. Kudos to Ben & Tan for giving up their spot pretty soon after the cancellation was announced. And I can’t imagine DR was really sad with that decision. Who knows, maybe they also gave a hint to the duo to make this call. Either way, Denmark has a nice opportunity to come up with something better for the contest in The Netherlands next year.
I was not impressed at all with the Danish entry. On paper it should work, a duo with a charming uplifting chant. But the chemistry just wasn’t there for me and the vocal quality was of a level that gave me doubts whether they would be ready in May. I think it is good for all parties that Denmark picks something new in 2021.
Additional Scores from Eurovision Union and ESCDaily editors:
Average Score: 6.3/10
What do you think of Yes? Follow our Eurovision 2020 reviews here.