The Danish broadcaster has released a statement explaining their reasoning for not re-selecting Ben & Tan as their 2021 entry, or for the 2021 edition of DMGP.
Since the release of the 8 songs selected for the 2021 edition of Dansk Melodi Grand Prix (DMGP), DR, the Danish broadcaster, has been under heavy criticism for not granting Ben & Tan a chance to compete. This increased when it was revealed that the 2020 DMGP winners had submitted a song but were turned down by DR.
In a statement released by spokesperson Gustav Lützhøft, DR have stated that they did not wish to give anyone an automatic qualification as “Dansk Melodi Grand Prix must be a fair competition on equal terms between all participants, where the Danes are presented with new Danish music” and that their submission was “judged on an equal footing with the other songs in terms of musical qualities.”
Ben & Tan’s 2020 entry Yes won the 2020 edition of DMGP with 61% of the televote and was a big success in neighbouring Sweden.
Both Ben & Tan have spoken about their annoyance about not being reselected and have found it “difficult to understand”. The rejected entry, Iron Heart will be released to the public on March 5th, the day before DMGP takes place.
To date, Ben & Tan are the only known 2020 act who attempted to participate again in 2021 but were rejected by their broadcaster. Some artists, such as THE ROOP in Lithuania were given an automatic place in the final of their National Selection, as well as Ulrikke in Norway. The former accepted this offer and promptly won, while the latter refused the offer and did not compete.
Source: DR (In Danish) // Image Source: DR
Denmark in the Eurovision Song Contest
Denmark debuted in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1957 alongside Austria and the United Kingdom. To date, Denmark has won the contest on three occasions, the first being in 1963 when Grethe & Jorgen Ingmann performed “Dansevise”. Denmark won the contest again in 2000 represented by the Olsen Brothers, their most recent victory came in 2013 when Emmelie de Forest performed “Only Teardrops”. Denmark failed to qualify for the final of the Eurovision Song Contest in 2015 and 2016.