#18 – Denmark
Ben & Tan
Songwriters: Emil Rosendal Lei, Jimmy Jansson, Linnea Deb

eCinemaOne, The Kirkham Report, and Planet BiblioMusica has begun its Countdown To the now-cancelled Eurovision Song Contest 2020! Over 41 days I’m bringing you all the info on each song this year ranked in order of my personal preference from bottom to top. I’ll give the reasons for my personal rankings, and some background info on the song, artist, songwriters, and such.  Again, these are MY opinions, and I realize that the ESC fan community is a rabid one, and rarely everyone agrees with everyone else, so as they say, your mileage may vary. As of the official announcement on March 20 2020, ALL of this year’s songs are now officially “lost”; Eurovision’s executive committee has stated that all songs in the ESC 2021 contest MUST be new, so there will never be an “Official” winner of ESC 2020 thanks to the Coronavirus/COVID-19 outbreak causing the contest’s first-ever cancellation. So this is my only chance to rank them. The songs will all be spotlighted on a special called Eurovision: Europe Shine a Light, which will air LIVE on May 16, when the Grand Final should have been held, so that’s at least SOMETHING…

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In at #18 this year is the official entry from Denmark, “Yes” by Ben & Tan. It is performed in English, and would have been performed 13th at the second semifinal on May 14. The country has always selected their winners through their national contest final, Dansk Melodi Grand Prix“. No official announcement has been made as yet whether Ben & Tan will be retained to represent the country at ESC 2021.

Singers Ben Rosenbohm and Tanne Balcells met in 2019 when both were contestants on the Danish “X Factor” franchise, he as a solo performer and she as part of the group Echo. Ben eventually finished as the runner up, while Echo was eliminated just prior to the finals, finishing in fourth place overall. After the show ended, the pair, who had become friends, got together as a musical duo and began performing together.

What I’m thinking about this song…I have to admit, this song took time to grow on me. I utterly LOATHED it the first time I heard it. But then I realized I couldn’t get it out of my head, and it kept chipping away at my brain little by little until it finally broke through the curmudgeon in me, and eventually, I grew to really like it. It’s a bit TOO “happypeppybouncy” for me at times for sure, but there’s no denying that Ben and Tan have great musical chemistry together. Two questions – one, why an American-style country music entry? It hasn’t worked well for the Netherlands, which has sent several pseudo-country numbers to Eurovision over the past few years. And YES, this isn’t QUITE there, but it DOES have a country-esque feel to it, and add a twangy lead guitar and you’ve got instant adds on US country radio for sure. Second, what the hell is up with Tan’s outfit at the national final? Half jacket, half..nightgown? Not sure that look really works, so thank goodness she can sing. Also, as a side note – despite what you hear on the video, the Danish national final was one of the first this year to run with no live studio audience due to the Coronavirus outbreak, so that reaction is all coming from the crew at the show…and they sure liked it…:-)

2020 would have marked Denmark’s 49th go-round in Eurovision, having been around in since year two in 1957, missing a few years here and there. They have three Grand Final championships under their belt – 1963’s “Dancevise” by Grethe and Jorgen Ingmann;  2000’s “Fly On The Wings Of Love”  by Olsen Brothers; and 2013’s “Only Teardrops” by Emmelie de Forest.  Their 37 year span between winners is one of the longest gaps in the contest’s history. Their entry last year, the kitschy, fun, and adored “Love Is Forever” by Leonora, finished in a respectable 12th place. This year my gut tells me they might have had a top ten finisher, judging from the support of the ESC fan community…

Here’s the official music video  – check it out…

Join eCinemaOne, The Kirkham Report, and Planet BiblioMusica throughout the next 41 days as I bring you the 2020 entries, and also updates on the status of the songs and artists for this year. Hopefully the EBU will find a way to salvage this year’s contest – and if you want them to do so, use the hashtag #SaveEurovision2020 in all your social media posts!

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