With just over 4 weeks left before the contest, it’s time to talk about the song to beat. The bookies have long listed this as the favourite to win the contest, since Dansk Melodi Grand Prix (see my review) took place way back in January. The Danes had made it clear that uptempo dance was the way forward, after their 2012 entry qualified but crashed in the grand final. That’s not quite what they ended up sending to Malmö, but whatever the case, it’s still a strong contender.
Denmark have a long history at Eurovision, debuting in the second contest in 1957 before even stalwarts Sweden and Norway entered. Despite a 12 year hiatus after a poor result in 1966, they have still sent 41 entries to the contest. They have never been quite the force that Sweden has been, but over the years have picked up a few top 3 placings, including two victories in 1963 and 2000 when Sweden last hosted.
They very nearly won their own 2001 contest too, coming second behind Estonia. Since then they’ve yet to trouble the top 3, though for the last five years they have qualified for the grand final. Unless the bookies are way off (which certainly can happen, see 2011), they should be a dead cert for a sixth qualification this year.
Emmelie is a hitherto unknown performer, who was an unsigned artist when she won DMGP early this year. She channels Loreen’s mournful breathy singing style, twinned with a charming folksy tinge to her delivery and appearance: bare feet, emotional arm-waving etc. The song manages to combine a contemporary and fresh sound with more traditional instruments like the drums and that little penny whistle thing.
I’m still not convinced by its status as a dead cert to win, and I’d prefer not to think it’s true particularly, as I think it takes the fun out of the competition. Not to mention it puts a lot of pressure on the poor girl. That’s not saying I wouldn’t be happy for it to win, sure there are songs I like more, but I think it would be a worthy winner and one that again doesn’t confirm to common ideas of what a Eurovision song sounds like.
I said before that I thought one of the previous 21st century winning countries would win this year, and this is one of the reasons I thought that. Best of luck to her.
To read more of my reviews of Eurovision 2013 entries and other news, please visit my Malmö 2013 hub.