She’s the Danish bombshell who moved effortlessly on the Eurovision 2017 stage, looking stunning in her red dress as she hit note-after-note of her power ballad “Where I Am”.
But it turns out that not everything went according to plan for 21-year-old singer Anja Nissen during her semi-final performance.
As DR’s Eurovision web site revealed after the semi-final, Anja found herself in nothing short of a sticky mess when her hair got stuck in her lip gloss after the first chorus.
It wasn’t obvious to most of us at the time, but re-watching the video of her May 11 performance the mishap is very evident around 1:15.
Staying cool and moving naturally, she quickly removes the hair from her sticky lips, and then discretely places her hand on her left cheek as if it that was the intension all along. Douze points for that manoeuvre!
Anja removes hair from lip gloss
Unfortunately Anja’s sticky troubles were quickly replaced by even trickier ones.
According to the Australian-born singer, she kept stepping on the hem of her airy red dress with her high heels. That may have caused a less experienced performance to lose her balance and fall backwards on stage. But once again Anja handled it like a pro.
Girl on fire?
Anja’s on-stage hiccups weren’t the only issues she faced. Before she even arrived in Kyiv there were problems with the proposed staging that DR submitted to the Ukrainians.
The DR blog reports that the Ukrainian broadcaster turned down the Danes’ request to have a record-breaking 50 seconds of pyro AND a wind machine on at the same time. The broadcaster feared that the combination of prolonged sparks and a wind machine would set the back of the stage on fire. They didn’t want to take the “Danish Dynamite” comparisons too literally.
In the end they compromised: producers cranked up the wind machine during Anja’s first chorus, and she had a golden pyro waterfall in the last 50 seconds of “Where I Am”.
Where do we go from here?
Despite all the effort, Anja didn’t finish in Top 5 — a pre-contest goal set by Danish Eurovision boss Jan Lagermand Lundme.
“I accept defeat,” he said afterwards. “But I think it is important to remember that Anja has been fantastic.”
Following the semi-final, Lundme said that he and his team had “been tactical in relation to all our choices” and had “analyzed everything and looked at what it is that creates a Eurovision winner.”
Now they’ll likely re-think their thinking. He’s not yet decided whether or not Anja’s placing will affect next year’s selection of songs for Dansk Melodi Grand Prix.
It will be interesting to see if Portugal’s win will trigger a different kind of song selection or if Denmark will once again go down the same familiar path. But given three years of sub-par results, the time seems ripe to shake things up a bit and select a more diverse range of songs.
Ironically DR — the broadcaster that wanted the longest pyro display ever — seems to have come around to Salvador Sobral’s thinking on stripping things back.
“Portugal won with a number that is so simple and so beautiful,” Lundme said. “It’s true. Music is music — it’s not confetti and glitter.”
In any case, what do YOU think? Did Anja deserve a higher ranking in the final and should Denmark try to shake things up at Dansk Melodi Grand Prix 2018? Let us know in the comments box below.