Denmark in the Eurovision Song Contest

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Member station DR
National selection events
Appearances 44 (41 finals)
First appearance 1957
Best result 1st: 1963, 2000, 2013
Worst result Last: 2002
External links
DR page
Denmark's page at

Denmark has participated in the Eurovision Song Contest 44 times since its debut in 1957. Having competed in ten consecutive contests until 1966, Denmark was absent for eleven consecutive contests from 1967-1977. Since 1978, they have been absent from only four contests. Denmark has won the contest three times. The Danish qualifying competition for the contest is the Dansk Melodi Grand Prix.

Birthe Wilke and Gustav Winckler placed third at the country's first attempt in 1957. Denmark then won the contest for the first time in 1963 with the song "Dansevise" performed by Grethe & Jørgen Ingmann. The country would not return to the top five for over twenty years, until Hot Eyes finished fourth in 1984. Hot Eyes then finished third in 1988, as did Birthe Kjær in 1989. In the 1990s, due to poor performances in the previous years, the nation was eliminated from taking part in three contests (1994, 1996, 1998). They did make the top ten three times (1990, 1995, 1999), with Aud Wilken's fifth place in 1995 being Denmark's only top five result of the decade.

The second Danish victory came in 2000, with the Olsen Brothers defying the odds (they were considerably older than their competitors and only one male duo had won before) to win with "Fly on the Wings of Love". In 2001, as hosts, Denmark finished second with "Never Ever Let You Go" performed by Rollo & King. In 2002, Malene Mortensen became the first Danish entry to finish last. Denmark were absent from the 2003 contest. In 2005, Copenhagen hosted Congratulations: 50 Years of the Eurovision Song Contest, an event to commemorate the 50th anniversary.

Denmark achieved its best result for nine years at the 2010 contest, when Chanée & N'evergreen finished fourth. A Friend in London then finished fifth in 2011. Denmark won the contest for the third time in 2013, with Only Teardrops performed by Emmelie de Forest receiving Denmark's highest ever score with 281 points. Denmark has placed in the top five a total of 14 times and has an average score of 65.261 points.


Denmark's debut

Denmark first participated at the Eurovision Song Contest 1957, held in Frankfurt, Germany. The country had intended to compete at the first contest in 1956, but had submitted its application past the deadline and was, therefore, not allowed to compete. Denmark was the first Nordic country to take part in the contest, with Sweden, Norway and Finland following soon after. Iceland, however, did not take part until 1986.

Denmark's first participants were Birthe Wilke and Gustav Winckler, who sang the song "Skibet skal sejle i nat" (English: The Ship Will Be Leaving Tonight). Their performance was controversial as, at the end of the song, the couple performed an 11-second kiss, which caused outcry in some countries. Nevertheless, the performance achieved a respectable 3rd place.

First victory

Denmark won the contest for the first time in 1963, when Grethe and Jørgen Ingmann sang "Dansevise" (Dance Ballad). The victory, however, was controversial. When Norway announced its votes, the presenter Katie Boyle could not hear the spokesperson and said that she would call them again later. Viewers around Europe, however, did hear the Norwegian spokesperson, and when Boyle called the Norwegian spokesperson again, the votes had been changed, changing the outcome of the contest and giving the victory to Denmark at the expense of Switzerland. In fact, the reason why Norway had to announce its votes again was that the Norwegian spokesperson did not follow the right procedure the first time and, therefore, there was doubt whether he gave the correct votes on the first occasion.

The final result was valid and the victory went to Denmark. Accordingly, in 1964, the contest was held in Denmark for the first time.

Absence and return

After the 1966 contest and a record low 14th place, Denmark withdrew from the contest, as DR´s new head of entertainment Niels Jørgen Kaiser did not view the contest as being quality entertainment. Dansk Melodi Grand Prix was not held from that year onwards.

However, in the 1978 contest, after 11 years' absence, and following Niels Jørgen Kaisers departure from DR, Denmark returned to the contest, represented by Mabel and the song "Boom Boom".


Denmark's most successful time at the contest came between 1984 and 1990, with the country reaching the top eight in six out of seven contests, including four top-five placings. The duo of Hot Eyes represented the nation three times during this period. In 1984, they sang the song "Det' lige det" (That's Just It) and finished fourth. In 1985, they became the first and, as of 2014, only act to represent Denmark in two consecutive years. Singing "Sku' du spørg' fra no'en?" (What Business Is It Of Yours?), they could not repeat their success of the previous year and came 11th. In 1988, Hot Eyes represented Denmark again with "Ka' du se hva' jeg sa'?" (Didn't I Tell You So?). The duo scored its best result to date, finishing in third place, losing only to Celine Dion and Scott Fitzgerald. Denmark's other good results during this time were sixth place for Lise Haavik in 1986, fifth for Anne-Cathrine Herdorf & Bandjo in 1987, third for Birthe Kjaer in 1989 and eighth for Lonnie Devantier in 1990.

Denmark's fall

After 1990, Denmark fell from its high positions of the 1980s and was relegated from the contest on three occasions in the 1990s. In 1993, Tommy Seebach, who had previously represented Denmark in 1979 and 1981, finished 22nd, resulting Denmark being relegated from the contest in 1994. Aud Wilken sang "Fra Mols til Skagen" for the nation at the 1995 contest and came 5th, but this high placing could not be repeated in 1996, as Denmark's entry, "Kun med dig" sung by Dorthe Andersen and Martin Loft, did not qualify from the pre-qualifying round of the contest. In 1998, Denmark was once again relegated from the contest following a poor result in 1997.

Return to success in the 2000s

In 1999, the abolition of the language rule, which had required all countries to sing in their official languages, brought a return to success for Denmark, when Michael Teschl and Trine Jepsen finished 8th with "This Time I Mean It".

A year later, in 2000, Denmark would go on to win the contest again, when brothers Jørgen and Niels Olsen won with "Fly on the Wings of Love". The song went on to enjoy huge success around Europe.

At the 2001 contest, held in Copenhagen, Rollo & King came second with the song "Never Ever Let You Go". However, in 2002, despite being a favourite to win the contest, Malene Mortensen came 24th (last) with "Tell Me Who You Are", giving Denmark its worst result ever. Therefore, Denmark, was relegated from the 2003 contest.

However, since the introduction of semifinals in 2004, Denmark has qualified for the final on 9 out of 12 occasions. Another string of successful participations started in 2010, when Denmark finished 4th with "In a Moment Like This" performed by Chanée and n'evergreen. A year later, Denmark finished 5th with "New Tomorrow" performed by the band A Friend In London, and in 2013, Denmark won the contest for the third time, when Emmelie de Forest represented the country with the song "Only Teardrops". In 2014, Denmark reached the top ten for the fourth time in five years, when Basim finished ninth. However, the success did not continue into 2015, as Denmark failed to qualify for the grand final that year.


Table key
  Second place
  Third place
  Last place
Year Artist Language Title Final Points Semi Points
1957 Birthe Wilke and Gustav Winckler Danish "Skibet skal sejle i nat" 3 10 No semi-finals
1958 Raquel Rastenni Danish "Jeg rev et blad ud af min dagbog" 8 3
1959 Birthe Wilke Danish "Uh, jeg ville ønske jeg var dig" 5 12
1960 Katy Bødtger Danish "Det var en yndig tid" 10 4
1961 Dario Campeotto Danish "Angelique" 5 12
1962 Ellen Winther Danish "Vuggevise" 10 2
1963 Grethe and Jørgen Ingmann Danish "Dansevise" 1 42
1964 Bjørn Tidmand Danish "Sangen om dig" 9 4
1965 Birgit Brüel Danish "For din skyld" 7 10
1966 Ulla Pia Danish "Stop - mens legen er go'" 14 4
Did not participate between 1967 and 1977
1978 Mabel Danish "Boom Boom" 16 13
1979 Tommy Seebach Danish "Disco Tango" 6 76
1980 Bamses Venner Danish "Tænker altid på dig" 14 25
1981 Tommy Seebach & Debbie Cameron Danish "Krøller eller ej" 11 41
1982 Brixx Danish "Video, Video" 17 5
1983 Gry Johansen Danish "Kloden drejer" 17 16
1984 Hot Eyes Danish "Det' lige det" 4 101
1985 Hot Eyes Danish "Sku' du spørg' fra no'en?" 11 41
1986 Lise Haavik Danish "Du er fuld af løgn" 6 77
1987 Anne-Cathrine Herdorf & Bandjo Danish "En lille melodi" 5 83
1988 Hot Eyes Danish "Ka' du se hva' jeg sa'?" 3 92
1989 Birthe Kjær Danish "Vi maler byen rød" 3 111
1990 Lonnie Devantier Danish "Hallo Hallo" 8 64
1991 Anders Frandsen Danish "Lige der hvor hjertet slår" 19 8
1992 Lotte Nilsson & Kenny Lübcke Danish "Alt det som ingen ser" 12 47
1993 Tommy Seebach Band Danish "Under stjernerne på himlen" 22 9 Kvalifikacija za Millstreet
1994 Did not participate No semi-finals
1995 Aud Wilken Danish "Fra Mols til Skagen" 5 92
1996a Martin Loft & Dorte Andersen Danish "Kun med dig" Failed to qualify 25 22
1997 Kølig Kaj Danish "Stemmen i mit liv" 16 25 No semi-finals
1998 Did not participate
1999 Michael Teschl & Trine Jepsen English "This Time I Mean It" 8 71
2000 Olsen Brothers English "Fly on the Wings of Love" 1 195
2001 Rollo & King English "Never Ever Let You Go" 2 177
2002 Malene Mortensen English "Tell Me Who You Are" 24 7
2003 Did not participate
2004 Tomas Thordarson English "Shame on You" Failed to qualify 13 56
2005 Jakob Sveistrup English "Talking to You" 9 125 3 185
2006 Sidsel Ben Semmane English "Twist of Love" 18 26 Top 11 Previous Year
2007 DQ English "Drama Queen" Failed to qualify 19 45
2008 Simon Mathew English "All Night Long" 15 60 3 112
2009 Niels Brinck English "Believe Again" 13 74 8 69
2010 Chanée & N'evergreen English "In a Moment Like This" 4 149 5 101
2011 A Friend In London English "New Tomorrow" 5 134 2 135
2012 Soluna Samay English "Should've Known Better" 23 21 9 63
2013 Emmelie de Forest English "Only Teardrops" 1 281 1 167
2014 Basim English "Cliché Love Song" 9 74 Host country
2015 Anti Social Media English "The Way You Are" Failed to qualify 13 33
a. ^ In 1996 Denmark failed to qualify for the contest. There was an audio only pre-qualification round for all countries (excluding hosts Norway). The official Eurovision site does not count 1996 in Denmark's list of appearances.
b. If a country had won the previous year, they did not have to compete in the semi-finals the following year. In addition from 2004-2007, the top ten countries who were not members of the big four did not have to compete in the semi-finals the following year. If, for example, Germany and France placed inside the top ten, the countries who placed 11th and 12th were advanced to the following year's grand final along with the rest of the top ten countries.

Voting history

As of 2015, Denmark's voting history is as follows:


Year Location Venue Presenters
1964 Copenhagen Tivolis Koncertsal Lotte Wæver
2001 Parken Stadium Natasja Crone Back and Søren Pilmark
2014[1] B&W Hallerne[1] Lise Rønne, Nikolaj Koppel and Pilou Asbæk

Congratulations: 50 Years of the Eurovision Song Contest

Year Location Venue Presenters
2005 Copenhagen Forum Copenhagen Katrina Leskanich and Renārs Kaupers

Winner by OGAE members

Year Song Performer Final Result Points Host city
2010 "In a Moment Like This" Chanée and N'evergreen 4th 149 Oslo
2013 "Only Teardrops" Emmelie de Forest 1st 281 Malmö

Commentators and spokespersons

Year(s) Commentator Spokesperson
1956 Gunnar "Nu" Hansen Denmark did not participate
1957 Unknown
1959 Viggo Clausen
1965 Claus Toksvig
1966 Eric Danielsen
1967 No broadcast Denmark did not participate
1974 Claus Toksvig
1978 Jørgen de Mylius[2] Bent Henius
1982 Hans Otto Bisgaard
1983 Bent Henius
1991 Camilla Miehe-Renard[3]
1992 Jørgen de Mylius[2]
1994 Denmark did not participate
1995 Bent Henius
1996 Denmark did not participate
1997 Hans Otto Bisgaard Bent Henius
1998 Keld Heick[4] Denmark did not participate
1999 Kirsten Siggaard
2000 Michael Teschl
2001 Hans Otto Bisgaard[5] and Hilda Heick Gry Johansen
2002 Keld Heick[4] Signe Svendsen
2003 Jørgen de Mylius[2] Denmark did not participate
2004 Camilla Ottesen
2005 Gry Johansen
2006 Mads Vangsø and Adam Duvå Hall Jørgen de Mylius
2007 Søren Nystrøm Rasted and Adam Duvå Hall Susanne Georgi
2008 Nicolaj Molbech Maria Montell
2009 Felix Smith
2010 Bryan Rice
2011 Ole Tøpholm Lise Rønne
2012 Louise Wolff
2013 Sofie Lassen-Kahlke
2015 Basim
2016 TBA

Congratulations: 50 Years of the Eurovision Song Contest

Table key
  Second place
  Third place
  Last place
Year Artist Language Title Final Points Semi Points Place (2000) Points (2000)
2000 Olsen Brothers English "Fly on the Wings of Love" Failed to qualify 6 111 1 195


See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 Siim, Jarmo (2 September 2013): "Copenhagen announced as host city of Eurovision 2014". Retrieved 2 September 2013.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 "Jørgen de Mylius". Filmography. Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 15 July 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Eurovision Song Contest 1991. Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 27 July 2013.
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Keld Heick". Filmography. Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 15 July 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "Hans Otto Bisgaard". Filmography. Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 15 July 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links