This year’s edition of the Danish Melodi Grand Prix is set to take place this Saturday, where a total of eight acts are going to compete to represent Denmark in the 2021 Eurovision Song Contest. As we reported earlier, last year’s winners Ben & Tan have submitted their brand new song – “Iron Heart” to the national selection, but they were not selected as one of the eight finalists for this year’s edition. This has sparked a lot of criticism towards the national broadcaster, and all DR as well as Ben & Tan had made their statements on the matter.
Denmark is one of the countries which traditionally organizes a national selection every year in order to find their entry for the Eurovision Song Contest, and they have never in the history of Eurovision selected an entry internally. They decided to keep this tradition, and organize a new national selection for the 2021 Eurovision Song Contest (same as various other countries, including Sweden, Lithuania, Finland, Croatia), and have selected eight songs for the competition. Last year’s winners Ben & Tan did not receive an automatic spot in the contest (like it was the case in Lithuania and Estonia), and they have submitted a song for the national selection, but the preselection jury has not selected it as one of the eight finalists.
Ben didn’t hide his disappointment over not being able to compete this year, and stated:
We will not hide that we wanted to compete again, and had hoped that we will get the chance to be on the Grand Prix stage again this year. It is a pity that we do not get the chance, but it was not our decision.
Tan also claims that it wasn’t due to the quality of the submitted song “Iron Heart” that they were not selected as one of the eight finalists of this year’s Dansk Melodi Grand Prix, but because it was them. She added:
It is a little difficult for us to understand why we are not allowed to participate. We won last year’s competition with 61% of the votes from viewers – which we are insanely happy about, and proud of – so I do not understand why will DR not give us another chance. We think in a way that both we, and those who voted for us, deserved that we were given a new opportunity to show what we can do.
DR has reacted to the criticism over not having Ben & Tan in this year’s selection. A spokesperson of the national selection, Gustav Lützhøft, stated:
As we have previously announced, our basic position is that the Dansk Melodi Grand Prix must be a fair competition on equal terms between all participants, where the Danes are presented with new Danish music. Based on that logic, we have chosen not to give an automatic participation to Ben & Tan, but that they, like everyone else, have been able to submit their song and be judged on an equal footing with the other songs in terms of musical qualities. We understand very well that it is a pity for them that they did not go to the Eurovision Song Contest last year. Many of us are really sorry about that, but it was like that because of circumstances that no one could control or predict.
We have on several occasions been in dialogue about how Ben and Tan could be included in this year’s show in a good way without being direct participants, but we have unfortunately not been able to agree on a good way to integrate them.
Ben & Tan will thus not be present in this year’s edition of Melodi Grand Prix, as DR and the duo failed to reach an agreement to have the duo perform in the show. Eight new acts are going to compete to represent Denmark in the 2021 Eurovision Song Contest. Let us know which of these eight are YOUR personal favorites, by voting in our poll right here (remember, you can vote for up to three acts):