Danish broadcaster DR is allowing Anja Nissen‘s song “Never Alone” to remain in Dansk Melodi Grand Prix, after earlier suggestions that it may be ineligible due to a previous live performance by co-writer Emmelie De Forest. DR consulted with the European Broadcasting Union, who confirmed that there would be no problem with the song competing at Eurovision if it were to win the Danish national final.
This news will come as a huge relief for fans. Emerging as an early favourite, “Never Alone” — performed by Anja Nissen and co-written by Eurovision 2013 winner Emmelie De Forest — faced some scrutiny after it was realised that Emmelie had performed “Never Alone” in live shows dating back to 2014. However Emmelie had never physically recorded it or released it as a single herself.
According to DR’s entertainment manager Jan Lagermand Lundme, the broadcaster had always known that “Never Alone” had previously been performed by Emmelie De Forest, but they never considered it an issue until the media raised the issue. He also added that, “Because there are just 2000 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 broadcaster wasn’t taking any chances, and consulted with the EBU to make sure that if “Never Alone” wins DMGP, it would also be accepted as an entry for Stockholm. The EBU gave the go-ahead, so The Voice Australia winner will be free to perform her entry at DMGP.
Rules are 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.
This situation has a precedent in 2013, when it was discovered that Anouk had played a portion of her song “Birds” on a Dutch radio station, 10 months before the deadline. However, the Eurovision rules are similar to DR’s, requiring the broadcaster refer the situation to the EBU who will make a decision. In Anouk’s case, her song was approved for Malmö.
Poll results: What should DR do with Anja Nissen?
We asked you what DR should do with Anja. The majority said that “Never Alone” should be disqualified and Anja given a new song, but almost a third thought both Anja and the song should be allowed to stay.
- Disqualify her song, but let her perform another one 54.17% (520 votes)
- Do nothing — the song should stay and so should she 31.98% (307 votes)
- Disqualify her and her song 13.85% (133 votes)
Anja Nissen is currently placed a close second in our Dansk Melodi Grand Prix 2016 poll – which is still open for you to vote!
What do you think? Is DR right to let “Never Alone” stay in the competition? Has your opinion of the song changed? Let us know in the comments below!