On Saturday, it became Denmark’s song for Eurovision 2018. But now it has emerged that “Higher Ground” was originally submitted to Sweden’s Melodifestivalen — and rejected!
Rasmussen “Higher Ground”
According to a message posted on YouTube by Joakim Jarny, “Higher Ground” was submitted to Melodifestivalen 2018 with up-and-coming singer Dennis Bengtsson on vocals. However, the track was passed over by the Swedes and the team behind the song decided to try their luck elsewhere.
They turned to neighbouring Denmark, and entered the song into Dansk Melodi Grand Prix. Due to DMGP rules, the song needed to be performed by a Dane, so Dennis was dropped and replaced by Rasmussen.
Joakim doesn’t seem best pleased with the result, insisting that Dennis was a better fit for the Viking-style number. Nonetheless, he offers Rasmussen his “congratz”
The message accompanies an instrumental demo of the track. Apparently, another version was initially uploaded but was pulled due to legal issues.
Joakim concludes by saying that he hopes to see Dennis at next year’s Melfest. He says nothing on his hopes for “Higher Ground” at Eurovision.
The song was written by Niclas Arn and Karl Eurén. Joakim Jarny appears to be part of Dennis Bengtsson’s management team.
Joakim Jarny statement on “Higher Ground”
Sorry guy´s . Had to remove the song.There was some angry people who threatened me with a high level of compensation. All i wanted was show you you how great Dennis is as a singer.
I came to the producers with the arrangement with Dennis as the Viking. How we could build it around him. They started to work with the backgrund and lyrics and after 2 weeks we did put Dennis in the Studio.
He had 1 hours to learn the lyrics and melody. Then Niclas and Karl made a quick recording. Sweden probably did not like it, but Denmark did.
We got this song for the new Swedish artist Dennis Bengtsson for Melodifesivalen 2018. Since Melodifestivalen said no thanks to the song, we did send it to the Danish Grand Prix. The song was admitted but unfortunately there had to be a Danish artist who performed the song. It became the Danish artist Rasmussen who performed the song. Yesterday the 10/2 did Rasmussen won Grand Prix in Denmark.
We are happy for that but i think that the song did fit Dennis a bit better. Congratz Denmark and Rasmussen.
But here you get the song with Dennis song. Just a demo though.
Keep an eye on next year, we hope Dennis will take a spot in the Melodifestivalen 2019.
Dennis Bengtsson “Higher Ground” (Demo)
Melodifestivalen is often considered the pinnacle of national finals. However, being rejected by the show’s organisers isn’t always necessarily a bad thing.
Back in 2010, Chanée & N’Evergreen famously won DMGP with “In A Moment Like This”, another Melfest reject. The song ultimately placed fourth at Eurovision while the actual Melodifestivalen winner “This Is My Life” failed to qualify.
Dated song with an okay vocal. Juries will bury this but the people at home will help this to get through with their campy tastes.
Sweden got this right.
Why would Jarny make his own artist look like a whining bad loser and put it out there that he was rejected? You can´t even compare these two artists, the Swedish guy is a professional bodybuilder and Tvis SAS his først attempt at a professional recording, the Danish guy is a professional Singer and has ben for ten years or so. So Bengtsson did make a demo With his interpretation of the song and melfest jury didn´t like it much, with more work and practize he could be great (less autotune would help) but why tell everyone his demo (his… Read more »
Dennis Bengtsson, who dermed sympathetic enough, should her a new manager asap because after this No professional Will ever work with Joakim Jarny again. This is clearly his personal revenge on the songwriters because his singer was rejected and the writers found another artist to perform it. Karby even try to Sound like her was co-writing and co-prodiucing the song. Bad bad behaviour Jarny- godbye carriere.
Actually the Swedish version wasn’t very good: too slow, monotomous and top much auto tune. I can actually understand why it was rejected. I Think Rasmussen made it a Better song although not my favorite Nor my kind of music. I also think the guy behind the video (manager og the other singer) is just trying to harm the songwriters, it’s pretty bitchy.
The songwriter seems really rude. Now he seems to be mad that Rasmussen won and claims Daniel would be better… Just calm down and be happy that your song achieved success!
This 100% than most Melfest songs this year. Their loss.
I would love if this placed higher than sweden. Im sure it will.
This isn’t great but it’s fine- for what it’s worth in terms of a complete package it’s probably Denmark’s best entry of the last 5 years since Only Teardrops (granted it’s far short of that masterpiece), but after a mildly annoying attempt at Bruno Mars that was more of a cheap imitation, a truly grating and dated drone, a childish kids show theme and a backing track that existed purely as a showcase for vocals (granted, AMAZING vocals), I feel like it’s a good song- and hey, with RTP going full out with the sea theme, having at least one… Read more »
I understand why it was rejected, awful song and Denmark wont qualify with it
I will come back in may. To laugh at you.
Like we haven’t had these type of songs in MF. I can see both Nordman or even Roger Pontare performing this song 10-15 years ago. 😀
well, that was pretty low *rolling eyes*
Dennis version is too slow. Sounds like a gondola ride, not too viking.
Well, we also had “Miracle” (Samra) back in 2016 and we did pretty well. 😀 So it doesn’t mean that Denmark won’t do well bcuz it’s a Melfest reject. nah. It’s a good song, but I think that Dennis’ version sounds way much better and he looks better too. :$
TO be honest, I am not a big fan of this song.
SWEDEN did a good song of trashing this song.
I predict a non-qualifier for this entry. However, if this qualifies for some odd reason, it will still stay on the right side of the leaderboard.
FROM PHILIPPINES <3
Bit off topic – Rasmussen is the first redhead on ESC ’18, but hopefully not the last (*cough* Madara, Aleksander, Aaron, Madara… hmm… did I mention Madara!).
Dennis Bengtsson….is he relative of Robin Bengtsson?
Sorry Sweden and Mello, but you are going down. You reject good songs (you wouldn’t even want to vote for them), and now you are throwing shades at those who wanted the song. This is low.
Like Michelle Obama. said : ”When they go low, we go high”
And why is Mello a pinnacle of anything? They have a general/dictator/Bjorkman and a lot of money invested, but why is this relevant? If anything, the pinnacle is Sanremo, the mother and father of Eurovision.
People who don’t like this are just not viking enough.
It was not thick to throw a shade on this song. It’s actuslly good. But telling it is a Melfest reject may influence people in a negative way. Now I support the performing artist more. Look and learn from Azerbaijan. They never say they go for Sweden’s rejects and they do quite well.
Not really a major loss. Middle of the road entry. Had it been entered it would have ended up like 6th in the semifinal and no further competing.
But it won in Denmark and will now end up 22th or so in ESC.
This song is good but the main vocal is missing something in his voice to really capture the Viking spirit. It was kinda obvious that this was not a song made for this vocal but the looks of Rasmussen can help him more then his voice. As far as Sweden , last 2 years they got top 5 finish for 2 very generic pop songs with plastic manekens and a teenage boy and they had no business in top 10 let alone top 5. I’m not hating on the Swedes but this year they have the same generic pop trash… Read more »
there is a reason why melodifestivalen rejected it : it sucks
Last time I’ve checked, 2010 Melfest reject did better than 2010 Melfest winner
Sweden rejected this awesome song?! Well, their loss. Especially after what I heard so far from them. But who knows – maybe semifinals 3 and 4 will have awesome songs and maybe Higher Ground would end up only 3th or 4th like Jon Henrik Fjällgren’s song last year. Although it seems a bit unfair and insulting for the guy to be like “oh congratulations – I wish you weren’t singing it”. I get that he had his own idea of how the song should be presented, but it didn’t work out and he should be supporting it as it is… Read more »
This is off-topic, but speaking of entrants from Scandinavian countries, Siru has a new single called “The Light”!
Wasn’t “In a Moment Like This” (which represented Denmark in 2010) also a Melodifestivalen reject? And it finished 5th in the final, whilst the Melfest winner, “This Is My Life” became Sweden’s first and only non-qualification (which wasn’t deserved in my opinion).
To be honest, I wish the EBU would introduce a nationality rule when it comes to the competing songwriters (and singers too). It would be more interesting if the songs were written by people from the countries they’re representing. I guess San Marino would get to be an exception, but the only foreigners that they allow are Italians.
Just goes to show how precious and rare good, original songs have become. The fact that songs are being shipped around various Eurovision countries and singers says it all. Essentially, this is why Sobral, who I have no love for, won. He was not interchangeable, while virtually everything else was. ‘Higher Ground’ bores me to death, whether it was being sung by a Swede, or Dane, or even Anja Nissen does not matter.
Good for you Denmark. Even though I don’t like when Swedish songs are ”internally selected”, this song did it the right way.
Off topic – Rasmussen dances like Can Bonomo (Turkey 2012), and they both sing about the Sea.
Whats the joke here Denmark? This song is not at same level their former entries, this song is an ok song if sent by Czech Rep or Macedonia. Maybe Lithuania or Finland in a bad year.
So this song is no better than ”Soldiers of love” 2016?????
I’m sure 200M viewers will like it more than Soldiers of love.
That’s why I love it when singers write/compose their own songs. It doesn’t feel that fabricated. Go Italy/France/Albania!
I understand what you are saying, but unfortunately ‘Tu Cancion’ isn’t reaching me at all and I can understand Spanish. Maybe it’s just a personal thing, but it’s a totally different story with Italy’s entry for example, that gives me chills down the spine each time I listen to it. Again this is totally personal, so I understand your perspective.
lol makes sense
These things do happen when your selection process has hundreds of songs which are reportedly being sung in a row and cut within the first minute. Not really a good way to know the song. Actually, unless you’ve heard the whole song with your undivided attention at least once, if not twice, you cannot properly judge it, rate it or know it. I get why these selection processes are so frentic (simply too much songs to process), but here is the price. Higher Ground is better than anything seen on Melfest thus far. Denmark’s profit!
It’s not odd, since that Joakim dude seems to be Dennis’ MANAGER. That’s what I conclude from looking through the comments under the YouTube video.
The original was much better, but still not good enough for Melodifestivalen. The new version is just horrible in all aspects. Albin Fredy is Swedish though and was allowed to take part in DMGP, so I don’t know why they needed a Dane to sing the song though?
*pretends to be shocked*
Every time i see a G:son song in another national final, I assume it’s been rejected by Melfest. I’m always amused when certain countries announce their songs at the very last minute and are often Swedish compositions that you know had been rejected by SVT. See Azerbaijan’s Miracle.
Yeah, it’s normal. Those songs always get passed around between countries.
Well, it’s better than every melfest song so far… (To this Little annoying idiot called Mark: Don’t even dare to respond to my comment.)
you insult him, because he has an opinion, sad
Well this mark idiot never respects anyone else’s comments, and he is a very self centered donkey.
Agreed – I would place it near to Kamferdrops, but she is not even in the competition anymore sooo… I hope Dotter will be great, or anyone in the remaining 2 semis, cause if Sweden sends a horrible song again, I don’t want to see them anywhere near the final! (Not like in the past two years)
Dotter’s song is apparently Issues by Julia Michaels 2.0.
The Swedes had every right to reject this song. It’s not good.
So a Swede wrote a song for Denmark about a Norweigan martyr, as told in an Icelandic legend. This is Scandi-Orgy.
‘freeze the air or win the air’ -_-
Freeze the arrow in the air
Get your facts together first dude
To be fair, I haven’t heard nothing great from Melfest so far.
Every song in Melfest is better than this.
Dude no, every Melfest song so far has been worse than this song (I guess “worse” isn’t the word because this song is good, but Melfest so far has been way too bland and mediocre).
Truth! Melfest has been a downer this year.
And I suspected as much. That is why I have not watched any of the heats this year, as opposed to 2015-17.
Mariette’s song had better slay, though.
Kind of explains it. The song’s okay, but not much of anything – kind of like every song at Melfest this year.
Melfest said no to this but went with “Patrick Swayze”? Oh well, their loss. Sweden might end up with something weaker than “Higher Ground” as their winner at this rate, anyway.
Every song in Melfest is better than this song.
Is it you, Christer Björkman ?
Haha my laughing smiley was replaced by a questionmark
Mark, Melfest is bloody awful this year.
Why would you admit that this song was rejected from Melodifestivalen >_>
Plenty of people are salty about the selection process for MelFest.
At least it isn’t O melodie pentru Europa reject accepted into Melodifestivalen…
I always love when news leaks of songs that get rejected by Melfest. Would make a great wiwistory of famous Melfest rejects.
Since the process is so secretive and the songs are of “high caliber” by most standards, there’s always a feeling plenty of good songs fall by the waistside. I don’t think this song is all that special but the Viking element makes it unique. The jury listened to the song without the benefit of knowing the Viking theme. I’m sure Dennis not being a huge star contributed to it then not being added by the producers.
If he wasn’t pleased about Rasmussen singing the song he could’ve just not submitted it to DMGP and dedicated himself to promote Dennis through other avenues. At least pretend to be happy about the guy who gave your song the win, man.
He’s just mad because I’m sure he has the thought of “wow i cant believe the song won in denmark, imagine if dennis sang it in melodifestivalen. So much wasted potential, damn you SVT!”
It’s not his song, he is just the manager of the reject guy who auditioned for it and got rejected. Now he is trying to put the song and songwriters in a bad light. Not very cool really.
This song is better than all the songs in the first two heats. Mariette and Dotter will slay tho.
No way. This song is horrible. Every song in Melfest is better.
I guess this isn’t against the rules? I know other songs this season have been disqualified for being entered in other national finals, but this one never made it through the early stages of Melfest anyway.
Each NF has their own rules. Being submitted to more NFs before is against the rules in some of them (Moldova), but apparently not the others (DMPG).