Denmark in the Eurovision Song Contest

Denmark has participated in the Eurovision Song Contest 50 times, making its first appearance in 1957. Having competed in ten consecutive contests until 1966, Denmark was absent for eleven consecutive contests from 1967 to 1977. Since 1978, it has been absent from only four contests. Denmark has won the contest three times: in 1963, 2000 and 2013. The Danish national selection for the contest is the Dansk Melodi Grand Prix.

Member stationDR
National selection events
National final
Participation summary
Appearances50 (44 finals)
Host1964, 2001, 2014
First appearance1957
Highest placement1st: 1963, 2000, 2013
External links
DR page
Denmark's page at
Song contest current event.png For the most recent participation see
Denmark in the Eurovision Song Contest 2022

Denmark finished third on its debut in 1957 with Birthe Wilke and Gustav Winckler, before winning the contest for the first time in 1963 with the song "Dansevise" performed by Grethe and Jørgen Ingmann. The country returned to the top three 25 years later, with third-place finishes for Hot Eyes in 1988 and Birthe Kjær in 1989, while Denmark's only top five result of the 1990s was Aud Wilken's fifth place in 1995.

Denmark won the contest for the second time in 2000 with the Olsen Brothers and the song "Fly on the Wings of Love". Denmark then finished second as hosts in 2001 with "Never Ever Let You Go" performed by Rollo and King, before Malene Mortensen became the first Danish entry to finish last in 2002. Denmark won the contest for the third time in 2013, with "Only Teardrops" performed by Emmelie de Forest. Denmark has placed in the top five 14 times.


Denmark's debutEdit

Denmark first participated at the Eurovision Song Contest 1957, held in Frankfurt, Germany. The country had intended to compete at the first contest in 1956, but had submitted its application past the deadline and was, therefore, not allowed to compete. Denmark was the first Nordic country to take part in the contest, with Sweden, Norway and Finland following soon after. Iceland, however, did not take part until 1986.

Denmark's first participants were Birthe Wilke and Gustav Winckler, who sang the song "Skibet skal sejle i nat". Their performance was controversial as, at the end of the song, the couple performed an 11-second kiss, which caused outcry in some countries. Nevertheless, the performance achieved third place.

First victoryEdit

Denmark won the contest for the first time in 1963, when Grethe and Jørgen Ingmann sang "Dansevise". The victory, however, was controversial. When Norway announced its votes, the presenter Katie Boyle could not hear the spokesperson and said that she would call them again later. Viewers around Europe, however, did hear the Norwegian spokesperson, and when Boyle called the Norwegian spokesperson again, the votes had been changed, changing the outcome of the contest and giving the victory to Denmark at the expense of Switzerland. In fact, the reason why Norway had to announce its votes again was that the Norwegian spokesperson did not follow the right procedure the first time and, therefore, there was doubt whether he gave the correct votes on the first occasion.

The final result was valid and the victory went to Denmark. Accordingly, in 1964, the contest was held in Denmark for the first time.

Absence and returnEdit

After the 1966 contest and a record low 14th place, Denmark withdrew from the contest, as DR's new head of entertainment Niels Jørgen Kaiser did not view the contest as being quality entertainment. Dansk Melodi Grand Prix was not held from that year onwards.

However, in the 1978 contest, after 11 years' absence, and following Niels Jørgen Kaisers departure from DR, Denmark returned to the contest, represented by Mabel and the song "Boom Boom".


Denmark's most successful time at the contest came between 1984 and 1990, with the country reaching the top eight in six out of seven contests, including four top-five placings. The duo of Hot Eyes represented the nation three times during this period. In 1984, they sang the song "Det' lige det" and finished fourth. In 1985, they became the first and, as of 2020 only act to represent Denmark in two consecutive years. Singing "Sku' du spørg' fra no'en?", they could not repeat their success of the previous year and came 11th. In 1988, Hot Eyes represented Denmark again with "Ka' du se hva' jeg sa'?". The duo scored its best result to date, finishing in third place, losing only to Céline Dion and Scott Fitzgerald. Denmark's other good results during this time were sixth place for Lise Haavik in 1986, fifth for Anne-Cathrine Herdorf and Bandjo in 1987, third for Birthe Kjær in 1989 and eighth for Lonnie Devantier in 1990.

Denmark's fallEdit

After 1990, Denmark fell from its high positions of the 1980s and was relegated from the contest on three occasions in the 1990s. In 1993, Tommy Seebach, who had previously represented Denmark in 1979 and 1981, finished 22nd, resulting Denmark being relegated from the contest in 1994. Aud Wilken sang "Fra Mols til Skagen" for the nation at the 1995 contest and came 5th, but this high placing could not be repeated in 1996, as Denmark's entry, "Kun med dig" sung by Dorthe Andersen and Martin Loft, did not qualify from the pre-qualifying round of the contest. In 1998, Denmark was once again relegated from the contest following a poor result in 1997.

Return to success in the 2000s and 2010sEdit

In 1999, the abolition of the language rule, which had required all countries to sing in their official languages, brought a return to success for Denmark, when Michael Teschl and Trine Jepsen finished 8th with "This Time I Mean It".

A year later, in 2000, Denmark would go on to win the contest again, with brothers Jørgen and Niels Olsen defying the odds (they were considerably older than their competitors and only one male duo had won before), to win with "Fly on the Wings of Love". The song went on to enjoy huge success around Europe.

At the 2001 contest, held in Copenhagen, Rollo and King came second with the song "Never Ever Let You Go". However, in 2002, despite being a favourite to win the contest, Malene Mortensen came 24th (last) with "Tell Me Who You Are", giving Denmark its worst result ever. Therefore, Denmark was relegated from the 2003 contest.

In 2005, Copenhagen hosted Congratulations: 50 Years of the Eurovision Song Contest, an event to commemorate the 50th anniversary.

Since the introduction of semifinals in 2004, Denmark has qualified for the final on eleven out of 16 occasions. Another string of successful participations started in 2010, when Denmark reached the top five for the first time in nine years, finishing fourth with "In a Moment like This" performed by Chanée and N'evergreen. A year later, Denmark finished fifth with "New Tomorrow" performed by the band A Friend in London, and in 2013, Denmark won the contest for the third time, when Emmelie de Forest represented the country with the song "Only Teardrops", winning with Denmark's highest-ever score of 281 points.

In 2014, Denmark reached the top ten for the fourth time in five years, when Basim finished ninth. However, the success did not continue into 2015 and 2016, as Denmark failed to qualify for the final in those years. In 2017, the country returned to the final, finishing 20th with Anja Nissen. Denmark achieved its fifth top ten result of the decade in 2018, with Rasmussen and the song "Higher Ground" finishing ninth. In 2019, Leonora took Denmark to their 12th final with the song "Love Is Forever" and finished 12th in the final with 120 points. In 2021, the duo Fyr og Flamme with "Øve os på hinanden" - Denmark's first entry fully in Danish since 1997 - failed to qualify for the final, finishing 11th in the second semi-final with 89 points.

Participation overviewEdit

Table key
Second place
Third place
Last place
Entry selected but did not compete
Year Entrant Song Language Final Points Semi Points
Birthe Wilke and Gustav Winckler "Skibet skal sejle i nat" [da] Danish 3 10 No semi-finals
Raquel Rastenni "Jeg rev et blad ud af min dagbog" Danish 8 3
Birthe Wilke "Uh, jeg ville ønske jeg var dig" Danish 5 12
Katy Bødtger "Det var en yndig tid" Danish 10 4
Dario Campeotto "Angelique" [da] Danish 5 12
Ellen Winther "Vuggevise" Danish 10 2
Grethe and Jørgen Ingmann "Dansevise" Danish 1 42
Bjørn Tidmand "Sangen om dig" Danish 9 4
Birgit Brüel "For din skyld" Danish 7 10
Ulla Pia "Stop – mens legen er go'" Danish 14 4
Mabel "Boom Boom" Danish 16 13
Tommy Seebach "Disco Tango" [da] Danish 6 76
Bamses Venner "Tænker altid på dig" Danish 14 25
Debbie Cameron and Tommy Seebach "Krøller eller ej" [da] Danish 11 41
Brixx "Video-video" [da] Danish 17 5
Gry Johansen ""Kloden drejer" [da]" Danish 17 16
Hot Eyes "Det' lige det" Danish 4 101
Hot Eyes "Sku' du spørg' fra no'en?" Danish 11 41
Lise Haavik "Du er fuld af løgn" Danish 6 77
Anne-Cathrine Herdorf ""En lille melodi" [da]" Danish 5 83
Hot Eyes "Ka' du se hva' jeg sa'?" Danish 3 92
Birthe Kjær "Vi maler byen rød" Danish 3 111
Lonnie Devantier "Hallo Hallo" Danish 8 64
Anders Frandsen "Lige der hvor hjertet slår" Danish 19 8
Lotte Nilsson and Kenny Lübcke "Alt det som ingen ser" Danish 12 47
Tommy Seebach Band "Under stjernerne på himlen" Danish 22 9 Kvalifikacija za Millstreet
Aud Wilken "Fra Mols til Skagen" Danish 5 92 No semi-finals
Dorthe Andersen and Martin Loft "Kun med dig" Danish Failed to qualify[a] X 25 22
Kølig Kaj "Stemmen i mit liv" Danish 16 25 No semi-finals
Trine Jepsen and Michael Teschl "This Time I Mean It" English 8 71
Olsen Brothers "Fly on the Wings of Love" English 1 195
Rollo and King "Never Ever Let You Go" English 2 177
Malene Mortensen "Tell Me Who You Are" English 24 ◁ 7
Tomas Thordarson "Shame on You" English Failed to qualify 13 56
Jakob Sveistrup "Talking to You" English 9 125 3 185
Sidsel Ben Semmane "Twist of Love" English 18 26 Top 11 previous year[b]
DQ "Drama Queen" English Failed to qualify 19 45
Simon Mathew "All Night Long" English 15 60 3 112
Niels Brinck "Believe Again" English 13 74 8 69
Chanée and N'evergreen "In a Moment like This" English 4 149 5 101
A Friend in London "New Tomorrow" English 5 134 2 135
Soluna Samay "Should've Known Better" English 23 21 9 63
Emmelie de Forest "Only Teardrops" English 1 281 1 167
Basim "Cliche Love Song" English 9 74 Host country[c]
Anti Social Media "The Way You Are" English Failed to qualify 13 33
Lighthouse X "Soldiers of Love" English 17 34
Anja Nissen "Where I Am" English 20 77 10 101
Rasmussen "Higher Ground" English 9 226 5 204
Leonora "Love Is Forever" English, French, Danish, German 12 120 10 94
Ben and Tan "Yes" English Contest cancelled[d] X
Fyr og Flamme "Øve os på hinanden" Danish Failed to qualify 11 89
Reddi "The Show" English 13 55
Confirmed intention to participate [1]

Congratulations: 50 Years of the Eurovision Song ContestEdit

Entrant Language Song At Congratulations At Eurovision
Final Points Semi Points Year Place Points
Olsen Brothers English "Fly on the Wings of Love" Failed to qualify 6 111 2000 1 195


Year Location Venue Presenters Photo Ref.
1964 Copenhagen Tivolis Koncertsal Lotte Wæver
2001 Copenhagen Parken Stadium Natasja Crone Back and Søren Pilmark
2014 Copenhagen B&W Hallerne Lise Rønne, Nikolaj Koppel and Pilou Asbæk  

Congratulations: 50 Years of the Eurovision Song ContestEdit

Year Location Venue Presenters
2005 Copenhagen Forum Copenhagen Katrina Leskanich and Renārs Kaupers


Winner by OGAE membersEdit

Year Song Performer Place Points Host city Ref.
2010 "In a Moment like This" Chanée and N'evergreen 4 149   Oslo
2013 "Only Teardrops" Emmelie de Forest 1 281   Malmö

Related involvementEdit


Year Conductor[e] Musical Director Notes Ref.
1957 Kai Mortensen N/A [4]
1964 Kai Mortensen [f]
1965   Arne Lamberth N/A
1978 Helmer Olesen [5]
1979 Allan Botschinsky
1980 [6]
1984 Henrik Krogsgård
1985   Wolfgang Käfer
1986   Egil Monn-Iversen Host conductor
1987 Henrik Krogsgård
1989 Henrik Krosgård and   Benoît Kaufman[g] [h]
1990 Henrik Krogsgård
1993   George Keller [i]
1995 Frede Ewert
1997 Jan Glæsel
1999 No orchestra [j]

Additionally, a live band has performed at the Danish national final in 2020 and 2021, led by Peter Düring.[7]

Heads of delegationEdit

Year Head of delegation Ref.
2018 Molly Plank

Commentators and spokespersonsEdit

Year Commentator Spokesperson Ref.
1956 Gunnar "Nu" Hansen Did not participate
1957 Svend Pedersen
1959 Sejr Volmer-Sørensen
1961 Ole Mortensen
1962 Skat Nørrevig
1963 Ole Mortensen Unknown
1964 No Commentator Pedro Biker
1965 Skat Nørrevig Claus Toksvig
19671973 No broadcast Did not participate
1974 Claus Toksvig
1978 Jørgen de Mylius Jens Dreyer
1979 Bent Henius
1982 Hans Otto Bisgaard
1983 Bent Henius
1991 Camilla Miehe-Renard
1992 Jørgen de Mylius
1994 Did not participate
1995 Bent Henius
1996 Did not participate
1997 Bent Henius
1998 Did not participate
1999 Keld Heick Kirsten Siggaard
2000 Michael Teschl
2001 Hans Otto Bisgaard and Hilda Heick Gry Johansen
2002 Keld Heick Signe Svendsen
2003 Jørgen de Mylius Did not participate
2004 Camilla Ottesen
2005 Gry Johansen
2006 Mads Vangsø and Adam Duvå Hall Jørgen de Mylius
2007 Søren Nystrøm Rasted and Adam Duvå Hall Susanne Georgi
2008 Nicolai Molbech Maria Montell
2009 Felix Smith
2010 Bryan Rice
2011 Ole Tøpholm Lise Rønne
2012 Louise Wolff
2013 Sofie Lassen-Kahlke
2015 Basim
2016 Ulla Essendrop
2019 Rasmussen
2021 Henrik Milling and Nicolai Molbech Tina Müller


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ In 1996 Denmark failed to qualify for the contest. There was an audio only pre-qualification round for all countries (excluding hosts Norway). The official Eurovision site does not count 1996 in Denmark's list of appearances.
  2. ^ According to the then-Eurovision rules, the top ten non-Big Four countries from the previous year along with the Big Four automatically qualified for the grand final without having to compete in semi-finals. For example, if Germany and France placed inside the top ten, the 11th and 12th spots were advanced to next year's grand final along with all countries ranked in the top ten.
  3. ^ If a country had won the previous year, they did not have to compete in the semi-finals the following year.
  4. ^ The 2020 contest was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  5. ^ All conductors are of Danish nationality unless otherwise noted.
  6. ^ Also conducted the Portuguese entry.
  7. ^ Host conductor
  8. ^ Krogsgård conducted the first half of the Danish entry. Part of the way through, as part of the staging, he was beckoned by Birthe Kjær to join her on stage, at which point he left the podium to sing with her backing group while Kaufman conducted the rest of the song.
  9. ^ Conducted by Henrik Krogsgård at the national final.
  10. ^ Although there was no orchestra at the international final, there was one present for the Danish selection show, conducted by Ken Børjesen.


  1. ^ Ellegaard, Christian (11 May 2022). "DR's Grand Prix-chef svarer på kritik efter dansk nederlag: 'Det er da skide ærgerligt, at vi ikke er med på lørdag'". Danmarks Radio (in Danish). Retrieved 23 May 2022.
  2. ^ Siim, Jarmo (2 September 2013): "Copenhagen announced as host city of Eurovision 2014". Retrieved 2 September 2013.
  3. ^ a b Cobb, Ryan (21 April 2017). "Analysing ten years of OGAE voting: "Underneath the fan favourite bias is a worthwhile indicator"". Retrieved 8 December 2019.
  4. ^ Roxburgh, Gordon (2012). Songs for Europe: The United Kingdom at the Eurovision Song Contest. Vol. One: The 1950s and 1960s. Prestatyn: Telos Publishing. pp. 93–101. ISBN 978-1-84583-065-6.
  5. ^ Roxburgh, Gordon (2014). Songs for Europe: The United Kingdom at the Eurovision Song Contest. Vol. Two: The 1970s. Prestatyn: Telos Publishing. pp. 142–168. ISBN 978-1-84583-093-9.
  6. ^ Roxburgh, Gordon (2016). Songs for Europe: The United Kingdom at the Eurovision Song Contest. Vol. Three: The 1980s. Prestatyn: Telos Publishing. ISBN 978-1-84583-118-9.
  7. ^ DR's Grand Prix Orkester - Dansk Melodi Grand Prix 2021, archived from the original on 2021-12-22, retrieved 2021-04-06
  8. ^ "THE VOTING RESULTS OF THE 2ND SEASON OF DEPI EVRATESIL". 26 February 2018. Retrieved 11 December 2019.
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v "Jørgen de Mylius". Filmography. Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 15 July 2013.
  10. ^ Eurovision Song Contest 1991. Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 27 July 2013.
  11. ^ a b "Hans Otto Bisgaard". Filmography. Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 15 July 2013.
  12. ^ a b c d "Keld Heick". Filmography. Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 15 July 2013.