Anja Nissen has emerged as an early front-runner to win Dansk Melodi Grand Prix 2016 — Denmark’s national selection for Eurovision. Her number “Never Alone” is infectious and uplifting, and gives us major “Rainmaker” vibes. Unfortunately it’s also giving us a bit of a scandal, as it has emerged that Emmelie de Forest, the song’s co-writer, performed the song publicly at least 11 times starting in 2014.
That’s led some to say the song should be disqualified: Eurovision rules state that a song may not have been publicly released prior to September 1 of the preceding year.
According to Ekstra Bladet, officials at Denmark’s state broadcaster DR are well aware of the song’s past and Emmelie’s many performances — but are only now coming to terms with what to do about it.
Jan Lagermand Lundme, DR’s Head of Entertainment, told the paper he will take the next few days to figure out what to do. His comments suggest he isn’t that bothered, and that Anja and her song are here to stay.
“Because there are just 2,000 people who have heard it, I do not think that it distorts the competition, and I must again say that just because a song has been sung and played before, it does not automatically mean that it is disqualified according to the rules.”
The rules for Dansk Melodi Grand Prix, which you can read below, explicitly forbid public performances ahead of the song submission. But there is wiggle room. The rules state that the songs should “generally not” have been performed, but suggests it’s OK if DR consents. That’s sufficiently loose for officials to do what they want.
The compositions chosen for the competition (music, text, demo recording) with a maximum duration of 3 minutes should generally not in any way have been performed in public, officially published on any media, or sold without explicit consent from DR. This includes but is not limited to radio, TV, the Internet (eg. YouTube etc.). DR must be informed immediately if the composition has been published earlier on eg. SoundCloud and it is up to DR to decide if the composition can join the competition.
But what do you think is fair? Should Anja be forced to withdraw her song? Vote in our poll and then let us know what you’re thinking!