Ben & Tan won the right to represent Denmark at Eurovision 2020. However, today Danish broadcaster DR has confirmed that the duo will not get an automatic spot in next year’s national final, after revealing that Dansk Melodi Grand Prix will return for 2021. Tan has also stated that she and Ben will not attempt to compete in DMGP 2021.
Following the cancellation of Eurovision 2020 over coronavirus precautions, the question on many fans’ minds has been whether winners of this year’s national finals will be internally selected and have the opportunity to go to Eurovision next year.
Sadly, that won’t be the case for Danish duo Ben & Tan, who won Dansk Melodi Grand Prix 2020 earlier this year with their song “Yes”.
Dansk Melodi Grand Prix 2021 to be an open selection
Like their Nordic neighbours Sweden, Norway and Finland, Danish public broadcaster DR has confirmed today that its Eurovision national final Dansk Melodi Grand Prix will go ahead in 2021. They also noted that it would be a fresh and open selection, meaning that Ben & Tan would not be given an automatic spot in the final.
DR’s entertainment editor Jan Lagermand Lundme said that the EBU’s alternate programme Eurovision: Europe Shine A Light would be a fitting end to this year’s season and a good way to give Ben & Tan exposure across Europe:
“Only after the corona crisis is over do we start to look at what Dansk Melodi Grand Prix will look like next year. But, as mentioned, we choose to see [Europe Shine A Light] as the end of this year’s [Dansk] Melodi Grand Prix and will start on a fresh one from next year.”
“I understand well if it’s been a mixed game for Ben & Tan and the people behind “Yes”. I’m glad that with the EBU’s great Eurovision programme, we bring the song to life across Europe and get Ben & Tan out to viewers and fans across Europe.”
“It is – in the circumstances – a great way to set the musical score for this year’s [Dansk] Melodi Grand Prix.”
Earlier this week, it was revealed that the national broadcasters from 14 countries had so far agreed to show the EBU’s alternative programme Europe Shine A Light, which will replace the grand final of Eurovision 2020 on 16 May. It is now a definite that Denmark is one of those.
Ben & Tan will not compete in DMGP 2021
Despite initially confirming interest in participating in Dansk Melodi Grand Prix 2021, Ben & Tan have now revealed that they will not be putting themselves forward for the contest again next year.
Speaking to DR, Tanne ‘Tan’ Balcells said that she and Ben would rather leave on a high after winning DMGP 2020, rather than returning next year and potentially losing out:
“I feel we would take the place from some others. After all, we have tried to be part of the show. It must be someone else’s trip next year. That is most fair.”
“And you can run the risk of going again and then lose, and that’s what people remember. So we would rather leave it to victory and then otherwise focus on our music.”
Tan goes on to say that she thought Europe Shine A Light would still allow her and Ben to achieve their goal of showcasing “Yes” to the rest of Europe:
“I think the alternative show sounds like a good idea. It is a great initiative that brings us all together now that we cannot be together in a hall. That way, it doesn’t feel like the show is 100 percent cancelled anyway.”
“That was our goal when we set up for Dansk Melodi Grand Prix. Of course, there are things we would have liked to have done differently on the big Eurovision stage, but on the whole, I’m glad that the song got the accolade it deserves.”
Are you sad that Ben & Tan won’t return to Dansk Melodi Grand Prix in 2021? Do you want to see them at Eurovision at some point in the future? Sound off in the comments.