Dansk Melodi Grand Prix 2012

Howdy Folks!  Eurovision season has once again kicked off.  This year, I’ve decided to post my thoughts on Denmark first, followed by weekly updates on the other participants (starting with a recap of those chosen prior to Dk).  As a reminded, these notes are written live as i am watching the contest for the first time.

And we’re off!

 

I like the ode to the ever-improving placements for the Danish entries over the years.  DR has said they are in it to win it this year, and that little compilation sets the scene for this goal.  I like the dancers.  I don’t care for the stage at all; it’s like we’ve fallen back into the 1980s.  Judging by the crowd reactions as the performing artists are announced, 8 and 10 are the favorites.  I know that Valen:tine was a big favorite before being disqualified, so it should be interesting to see who wins. It’s good to know that things are pushing forward with full steam even though the top favorite is out.  I just hope the too much wind hasn’t been taken out of my beloved Denmark’s sails.  Introducing the jury…some of these artists actually sound good and might be worth investigating

 

Onwards to the songs!

1 – Take Our Hearts – Jesper Nohrstedt

Oh, the piano is still playing even though he stood up!  Well, if there’s one good thing about going back to the 80s is that we’ll get a decent laser light show.  And it’s always nice to get audience participation.  So, this song has radio appeal, I could even imagine one of my favorite artists, Greyson Chance, singing this.  The problem is, Chance is 13.  This song would be great for Junior Eurovision if Dk ever decides to return to it.

 

2 – Nowhere – Valen:tine

This song was a heavy favorite, but was disqualified because it was publically available before the September 1st cutoff date.  How sad, it’s a strong song and would have had a good chance in Baku, given that it would have been paired with a strong performance, of course.

 

3 – The Best Thing That I Got – Aya

This is the entry from the songwriting duo behind Germany’s 2010 winner Satellite.  First thing I notice, that hideous dress!  That alone is enough to derail a good entry.  Combined with the singer’s unintelligible singing, this entry has about as much chance of passing through to the next round as I do, and I am not even competing!  Which is a shame, it’s a nice song.  It had zero chance of even winning DMGP, let alone ESC, but it’s a nice song.

 

My Danish is too rusty to follow why they’re having this little non sequitor concerning German music.

 

4 – Reach for the Sky – Kenneth Potempa

Another uplifting song, somewhat forgettable.  Why does the singer sound like he’s out of breath?  This song definitely gets better as it goes along; it just takes too long to get there.  As if the composers meant for it to be four minutes long instead of three.

 

5 – Overflow – Ditte Marie

If this singer looks familiar to you, it’s because she competed last year as a part of Le Freak with the song 25 Hours.  Good to know she hasn’t lost any energy; though, this sounds a lot like her previous energy.  Let’s see if this will get her past her previous finish in the second round.  I like this song!  Am I the only one who thinks she sounds like Olivia Newton John?  The lyrics are a little questionable, but it’s a good song that would get Europe dancing.

 

And now a word from our traveling journalist.  Oh look, Maroon 5 and an assortment of nice pop and dance tunes.  Oh, I see Russian songs…TaTu, one would think they would show their entry from 2003.  And Dima Bilan.

I love this tune! It’s the Second Movement from Shostakovich’s Second Jazz Suite.

 

6 – Baby Love Me – Emilia & Philip

I guess the songwriters are Danish, as both of this couple is speaking English (I can’t place their accents, though).  I liked the effect of having two new, identically dressed piano players come out to continue the illusion of the music being played live.  It’s a pleasant song, but cannot win in the energy-addicted Denmark.  A true ballad, like this one, stands zero chance of winning DMGP.  Not to mention that, while nice, it’s a fairly average song.

 

7 – Forever I B Young – Suriya

This song is awful!  How and why did DR choose to have this compete?  This song = bad.

 

8 – Universe – Karen Viuff

What is she wearing?  How sad, this song has a real fighting chance.  Aside from the horrendous outfit, you can tell that Viuff is very nervous.  Her voice is wavering and she is not singing with much confidence.  I think this is as good a time as any to point out that it sounds like the Danes have followed the Swedes in having the backing vocalists recorded and piped in with the music; that, or they backing singers are well hid.  Either way, it’s a sad development.

 

And now, our journalist is in Norway.  Yay Nocturne!  Yeah, yeah, pander to the crowd NRK.  The Danes need to remember that, despite its records for sucking, Norway has more victory than Denmark for the time being, so we must keep the trash talking to a minimum.

 

9 – Should’ve Known Better – Soluna Samay

ACK!  What is she wearing?!  It seems bad outfits is the disease of the year at DGMP.  It’s a nice song, definitely one of the stronger entries on the night.  And, so far, the only one not involving the audience or bathing the entire arena in colored light.  Oh!  A glockenspiel!  Confetti?  So, is it safe to say that this group is confident?  Am I the only one singing Seal’s Crazy after hearing this entry?  Yikes, I hope there’s not more cries of plagiarism this year.

 

10 – Venter – Christian Brøns & Patrick Isaksson

Wait, this is the only song in Danish this year, isn’t it.  I don’t know if that’s a strength or not, unfortunately.  My experience with the Danes, they generally view an entry in a niche language (of which they consider their’s to be the utmost) to be a weakness.  So, the Netherlands demonstrated last two years that Europe doesn’t like adult contemporary done by men, particularly when it’s faux-rock.  So why did DR choose this song?  Oh, I think the audience reaction just gave me my answer.

 

My picks to move through to the final round:

4 – Reach for the Sky – Kenneth Potempa

9 – Should’ve Known Better – Soluna Samay

10 – Venter – Christian Brøns & Patrick Isaksson

 

Talking to the judges.  Lots of love for song three (The Best Thing That I Got).  Now we have out annual children’s contribution to DMGP, I believe these are all the competitors for the DMGPjunior.  Why are there always kids who try to rap?  Though, I always love these sort of things when they have competitors all sing together, particularly when those performers are children.  I am assuming that army of folks behind them that never seemed to get any close-ups were the back-up singers for all the entries.

 

Oh, and now is the moment!  The three finalists!  Oh, he played Dansevise!  One of my favorite winners, and by far, the best Danish entry to date, including whichever one of these nine win.  Oh, a note for those who may not know, in lieu of the two semi-final battles and a final (the format of the previous three DMGPs), there will be just a final of three songs.

 

And the final will be…

1. Take Our Hearts (I predicted this song originally, then thought better of it and put down #4 instead, grrr!  This is why one should go with one’s instincts)

vs.

10. Venter (the crowd seemed to love it)

vs.

9. Should’ve Known Better

 

Now an introduction of the international jury: Rybak, Alex Sparrow, Ell & Nikki, AySel, and a slew of pop artists with whom I am unfamiliar.

 

Pictures of the hosts doing things that could never be shown on American television, particularly family shows like this one.

 

1. Take Our Hearts

The weakest of the three, in my opinion.  So Nohrstedt better step up his game.  Aside from being a bit too excited, he seems to be doing better.  And then he botches a big note.  Actually, that wasn’t too bad.  He definitely sung his little heart out.  But will it be enough?  I’m not sure.

 

And now the host is playing Ding Dong on the marimba.

And now we’re in Azerbaijan, presumably to answer the question of whether all Azerbaijan is American in sound as their ESC entries.  Let’s see…Running Scared, Lady Gaga, an Azerbaijania Lady Gaga, something that actually sounds ethnic, and now some Azerbaijani dancing (which looks a lot like the oro dances from the Balkans).

 

9. Should’ve Known Better

I think it was better than the first time, but I still wouldn’t call that a winning performance.  And that outfit!  If I had to judge against the prior song, I would say it was a draw. This one might get an edge because I think it had a better performance and is different enough from the previous three entries to sound as if it were different.

 

So, we went from hearing some of the better winners (Dansevise, Nocturne, Fairytale) and must suffer through a rendition of one of the worst winners – Diggiloo Diggiley.

 

10. Venter

They need a good performance to pull off a win.  It’s only so much populist support will do.  Some of the harmonies that they missed the first time around are better this time and the one did not try to hit the big note he botched the first time, but playing it safe won’t get you victory.  I think that this song appeals to older Danes (as evidenced by the dancing ladies) and may get their support, and the win if the young people are split over the first two.  Not that I think it should win, I would now rank it third among these three.

 

Hmm…who to pick, who to pick?  Despite my comments, I think Venter is out of the running, so it comes down to the song 1 and song 9.  The former of the two, I think, pumped up the crowd more, but the latter had a longer lasting impression and was better sung.  The recap is important – for song #1, they showed him botching two huge notes.  For song #9, they showed a truly exceptional clip from the performance.  Hmm…I’m split.  I’m going to flip a coin….I’m going to guess song #9 – Should’ve Known Better.

 

And now the host is screeching through Fairytale.  Save us Alexander Rybak!  Oh look an, electronic violin!  No broken strings here!  Aww, how sweet, he’s singing Fly on the Wings of LoveHold Me Now!  I wonder if he’s hinting that he will come back and try to win again.  Satellite!  hmmm…I can’t place that one, but it’s awesome.  Did we really need this adaptation of Hard Rock Hallelujah?  And now we’re back to Fairytale!

 

And now the results:  First the international juries

Norway:

song 10, 8 points

song 9, 10 points

song 1, 12 points

hmm…no nul points this year.

 

Russia: proving again that English language education in Russia is not that great

10 – 8pts

9 – 10pts

1 – 12pts

 

Germany:

10 – 8pts

9 – 10pts

1 – 12pts

 

I’m noticing a pattern.

 

Azerbaijan:

10 – 8pts

1 – 10pts

9 – 12pts

We should’ve known that the Azerbaijani’s were going to vote unpredictably.

 

Now, song #1, Take Our Hearts, has a four point advantage over song #9.

 

The Danish jury:

10 – 8pts

1 – 10pts

9 – 12pts

Looks like the Azerbaijanis and the Danes were on the same wavelength.

 

So, that’s:

1. Take Our Hearts – 56 points

9. Should’ve Known Better – 54 points

10. Venter – 40 points

 

 

Yay!  More Dansevise!  I think choir-arranged ESC songs are good things.  And now we have A Friend in London.  What!  The Backstreet Boys?  No, no, just one of them, Howie I think his name is.

 

The juries account for 50% of the voting, the Danish public account for the other 50%.  So, we are about to learn who the winner is!

 

10 – 48pts

and they get third place.

 

And the winner is…

#9 – Should’ve Known Better!  Hey, I do believe I predicted that one to win.

With a total score of 110 points, Should’ve Known Better takes the DMGP2012 crown by a margin of eight points.  How exciting.  These two songs were so close in quality to one another; it was quite an evenly matched battle.

 

Unfortunately, a hotly contested battle does not necessarily mean that the winner is amazing, for even two mediocre competitors will battle each other closely.  Not that these songs are mediocre, but neither one has what it takes, at least not in their current forms, to win the ESC.  I think Should’ve Known Better will qualify for the final, but it will fall short of DR’s goal of winning the Contest.  Even with a new costume, a more confident performance, and some fine tuning of the arrangement, I don’t if this song has what it takes to overcome the competition in Baku.  We will see.

 

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One response

  1. Pingback: Because it’s getting close… « Eurovision Obsession

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