Debut – 1957
Current Broadcaster – DR
National Final – Dansk Melodi Grand Prix
Best Result – Winner (1963, 2000, 2013)
Highest Score – 281 points (2013)
Worst Result – 19th in Semi-final (2007 – 45 points)
Denmark have endured mixed success in their Eurovision history. They have won the Contest three times. They have also participated in the Eurovision Song Contest from 1957-1966, and every year since 1978 with the exception of four occasions in 1994, 1996, 1998 and 2003 (all due to relegation).
Traditionally Denmark usually send their entries in English whenever the free language rule has been in place.
1950’s and 1960’s
Denmark got off to a flying start with their debut entry in 1957, with the song “Skibet skal sejle i nat” (performed by Birthe Wilke and Gustav Winckler) finishing 3rd. They spent the late ’50s and early ’60s fluctuating between 5th and 10th.
In 1963, Denmark became the first Nordic country to win Eurovision with the song “Dansevise” performed by Grethe and Jørgen Ingmann. However, the victory proved to be controversial, with accusations that the Norwegian jury altered their votes in order to hand their neighbours the victory at the expense of Switzerland.
After a poor result in 1966, DR decided to withdraw from the Contest, as the new head of the entertainment department did not view the Contest as quality entertainment.
1970’s and 1980’s
Denmark eventually returned to Eurovision after a 12 year absence in 1978. The following year they scored their first top 10 result since their return with “Disco Tango” (performed by Tommy Seebach) finishing 6th.
The 1980’s started slowly for Denmark with middling results, until 1984 when they earned their first top 5 result since their 1963 victory, as the group Hot Eyes finished 4th with “Det’ lige det”.
The rest of the decade saw Denmark’s most successful period, with a set of consecutive top 10 results, including two consecutive 3rd place results with “Ka’ du se hva’ jeg sa’?” (performed by Hot Eyes) in 1988, and “Vi maler byen rød” (performed by Birthe Kjær) in 1989.
The 1990’s saw Denmark slump into their worst run of results, their only bright spots being two top 10 results in 1995 with “Fra Mols til Skagen” (performed by Aud Wilken) finishing 5th, and in 1999 with “This Time I Mean It” (performed by Michael Teschl and Trine Jepsen) finishing 8th.
This poor run resulted in Denmark being ‘relegated’ 3 times during the decade, meaning they couldn’t take part in the 1994, 1996 and 1998 Contests.
The very first Eurovision Song Contest to take place in the new millennium saw Denmark turn around their bad luck and score their second Eurovision victory with the song “Fly on the Wings of Love” by the Olsen Brothers. The victory was an unexpected one to say the least, having previously not been rated as a potential contender before the Contest.
The 2001 Contest was staged in the Parken Stadium in Copenhagen, and is to date the biggest crowd to have ever attended a Eurovision live show (35,000 in total). The host nation scored a 2nd place result with the song “Never Ever Let You Go” (performed by Rollo & King). Unfortunately, this run of excellent results came to a sudden halt in 2002, when they scored their one and only last place result, and consequently were relegated from taking part in the 2003 Contest.
Recently, they reached the top 5 two consecutive times: in 2010 with “In a Moment Like This” (performed by Chanée and N’evergreen) finishing 4th, and in 2011 with “New Tomorrow” (performed by the group A Friend In London) finishing 5th after coming second in their Semi-final.
In 2013, Denmark earned their third victory with Emmelie de Forest performing “Only Teardrops”, once again on Swedish soil but this time arriving as the pre-contest favourite.
Since the introduction of Semi-finals, Denmark have only failed to qualify three times in 2004, 2007 and 2015.