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![polldaddy poll=”9281664″]
should be disqualified
“To be honest I’m not clearly sure about what “not published before 1 September” means.” It varies depending on the jurisdiction, but this link is a good overview of the legal definition. http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/publication It doesn’t really clear up the status of “Never Alone” though, since a public performance may or may not be publication, depending on which definition you go with. My opinion is that the song should be disqualified. But knowing the EBU’s cavalier attitude toward the rules, I suspect they’ll create a loophole for it to sail through. Maybe they’ll even use the exact wording “I don’t see… Read more »
To be honest I’m not clearly sure about what “not published before 1 September” means.
But I still think it’s stupid to enter with a song which has been performed plenty of times before – 2 years ago! In some countries this probably would be disqualified immediately. But well…
Okay well if people don’t like the fact that Emmelie performed this song, then let Anja compete with her song Triumph which was released only in Australia on 15th September 2015.
If Emmelie performed it 11 times, not once or twice, but eleven, and she still agreed for it to participate in MGP, then she and the other writers/composers most obviously knew that it wouldn’t get disqualified regardless of its past.
Now, what kind of stupid rule is “should generally not in any way (…)” it sounds like an oxymoron, generally and not in any way clearly contradict eachother in that sentence. If you read between the lines it basically says that if the producers like a song enough, it’s allowed to breach the rules.
It hasn’t been published before September 2015 so it’s not breaking Eurovision rules. Anja should take part in the competition.
freddy kallas in norway and now anja nissen in denmark. why can’t these kinds of things happen to bad songs? :/
It looks like Emellie is jeaulous and she dit it for hurting Anja Nissen!
She has to stay in the game!
Practically no one has heard it, it hasn’t been officially released… I don’t see the problem.
They could use the opportunity to pick a different song though, this one is stale and soulless.
well, wouldn’t the ebu take issue with it in their rules…. actually never mind, their rules are probably even more “open to interpretation”
Anja deserves better song than Rainmaker no.2
I never can seem to remember which countries the rules apply to.
Oh yeah, Denmark’s Scandinavian, isn’t it. LET HER SING IT!
Well good riddance to a boring song I say!
If DR think it’s ok, they should change or atleast adapt the rules so this doesn’t happen again. On the other hand, I believe they should let her sing another song instead for the DMGP final.
Interesting news developing in the UK: Since announcing the format for the UK NF, there are rumours of a semi-celebrity taking part, along with five upcoming artists (BBC Sound of 2016 anyone?). Also, the BBC creative tea have changed the logo slightly to make it look like more effort has gone into it. I’m predicting good things here for the UK in Stockholm…
If DR approved it in the first place, obviously they were okay with it having it been performed before. They make the rules, they decide. However, in the interest of fairness to all the performers, they should give her another song to perform. Fair is fair. Unless, they don’t believe in that!
It should be disqualified, the rules are the rules! If she can get a new song it the short time before DMGP, if not, take another contestant in. There’s a rule stating that a song can’t compete if it has been released before 1st September, am I right? So…
It’s almost like what happened to Belarus 2013’s Solayoh, except that Emmelie performed it first.
Great article William <3
I’m not big on the song at all anyway – Anja can do better. It’s possibly a win-win situation for everyone but Emmelie.
@William Adams lol I was thinking the same thing. Only 2,000 people? Honey thats tragic
Rules are rules , sorry both should go !
The song has not gained a commercial advantage, it should stay,
Disqualify the song, but give Anja a new song. Allthough it will be quite tough to find her a new song in a short time, and let’s not forget that many Danes already have their copy of the official CD.
Disqualify the song only. I’m getting really tired of all these acts who don’t get such a simple rule so I’m tempted to say disqualify both but from the sound of it, DR has to take a lot of the blame too for letting it get so far.
Forgot to say that I think Anja should remain on competition with another song, it’s not her fault to be honest …
I love the song, it’s actually my favourite, but if it has been performed since 2014 ( ! ), according to DMGP and ESC rules I think it should be disqualified