Denmark in the Eurovision Song Contest

Denmark has participated in the Eurovision Song Contest 48 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
Participation summary
Appearances48 (44 finals)
First appearance1957
Best result1st: 1963, 2000, 2013
Worst result25th SF: 1996
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 2020

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 & 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 & 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" (English: The Ship Will Be Leaving Tonight). 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" (Dance Ballad). 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" (That's Just It) and finished fourth. In 1985, they became the first and, as of 2018 only act to represent Denmark in two consecutive years. Singing "Sku' du spørg' fra no'en?" (What Business Is It Of Yours?), 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'?" (Didn't I Tell You So?). The duo scored its best result to date, finishing in third place, losing only to Celine 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 & Bandjo in 1987, third for Birthe Kjaer 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 2000sEdit

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 & 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 15 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 grand finals 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. A year later Leonora took Denmark to their 12th final again with the song Love Is Forever and finished 12th in the final with 120 points, after finishing only 1 point away from a non- qualification in the second semi- final.


Table key
Second place
Third place
Last place
Year Artist Language Title Final Points Semi Points
1957 Birthe Wilke and Gustav Winckler Danish "Skibet skal sejle i nat" 3 10 No semi-finals
1958 Raquel Rastenni Danish "Jeg rev et blad ud af min dagbog" 8 3
1959 Birthe Wilke Danish "Uh, jeg ville ønske jeg var dig" 5 12
1960 Katy Bødtger Danish "Det var en yndig tid" 10 4
1961 Dario Campeotto Danish "Angelique" 5 12
1962 Ellen Winther Danish "Vuggevise" 10 2
1963 Grethe and Jørgen Ingmann Danish "Dansevise" 1 42
1964 Bjørn Tidmand Danish "Sangen om dig" 9 4
1965 Birgit Brüel Danish "For din skyld" 7 10
1966 Ulla Pia Danish "Stop - mens legen er go'" 14 4
Did not participate between 1967 and 1977
1978 Mabel Danish "Boom Boom" 16 13 No semi-finals
1979 Tommy Seebach Danish "Disco Tango" 6 76
1980 Bamses Venner Danish "Tænker altid på dig" 14 25
1981 Tommy Seebach and Debbie Cameron Danish "Krøller eller ej" 11 41
1982 Brixx Danish "Video, Video" 17 5
1983 Gry Johansen Danish "Kloden drejer" 17 16
1984 Hot Eyes Danish "Det' lige det" 4 101
1985 Hot Eyes Danish "Sku' du spørg' fra no'en?" 11 41
1986 Lise Haavik Danish "Du er fuld af løgn" 6 77
1987 Anne-Cathrine Herdorf Danish "En lille melodi" 5 83
1988 Hot Eyes Danish "Ka' du se hva' jeg sa'?" 3 92
1989 Birthe Kjær Danish "Vi maler byen rød" 3 111
1990 Lonnie Devantier Danish "Hallo Hallo" 8 64
1991 Anders Frandsen Danish "Lige der hvor hjertet slår" 19 8
1992 Lotte Feder and Kenny Lübcke Danish "Alt det som ingen ser" 12 47
1993 Tommy Seebach Band Danish "Under stjernerne på himlen" 22 9 Kvalifikacija za Millstreet
1994 Did not participate
1995 Aud Wilken Danish "Fra Mols til Skagen" 5 92 No semi-finals
1996a Dorthe Andersen and Martin Loft Danish "Kun med dig" Did not qualify 25 22
1997 Kølig Kaj Danish "Stemmen i mit liv" 16 25 No semi-finals
1998 Did not participate
1999 Michael Teschl & Trine Jepsen English "This Time I Mean It" 8 71 No semi-finals
2000 Olsen Brothers English "Fly on the Wings of Love" 1 195
2001 Rollo & King English "Never Ever Let You Go" 2 177
2002 Malene Mortensen English "Tell Me Who You Are" 24 ◁ 7
2003 Did not participate
2004 Tomas Thordarson English "Shame on You" Failed to qualify 13 56
2005 Jakob Sveistrup English "Talking to You" 9 125 3 185
2006 Sidsel Ben Semmane English "Twist of Love" 18 26 Top 11 Previous Year[a]
2007 DQ English "Drama Queen" Failed to qualify 19 45
2008 Simon Mathew English "All Night Long" 15 60 3 112
2009 Niels Brinck English "Believe Again" 13 74 8 69
2010 Chanée & N'evergreen English "In a Moment Like This" 4 149 5 101
2011 A Friend in London English "New Tomorrow" 5 134 2 135
2012 Soluna Samay English "Should've Known Better" 23 21 9 63
2013 Emmelie de Forest English "Only Teardrops" 1 281 1 167
2014 Basim English "Cliché Love Song" 9 74 Host country[b]
2015 Anti Social Media English "The Way You Are" Failed to qualify 13 33
2016 Lighthouse X English "Soldiers of Love" 17 34
2017 Anja Nissen English "Where I Am" 20 77 10 101
2018 Rasmussen English "Higher Ground" 9 226 5 204
2019 Leonora English, French[c] "Love Is Forever" 12 120 10 94
a. ^ 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.
b. If a country had won the previous year, they did not have to compete in the semi-finals the following year. In addition from 2004-2007, the top ten countries who were not members of the big four did not have to compete in the semi-finals the following year. If, for example, Germany and France placed inside the top ten, the countries who placed 11th and 12th were advanced to the following year's grand final along with the rest of the top ten countries.

Congratulations: 50 Years of the Eurovision Song ContestEdit

Artist Language Title 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

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 TBC
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 Nicolaj 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


All conductors are Danish except those marked with a flag.[8]

Henrik Krogsgård had conducted half of the 1989 entry before he joined Birthe Kjær on the stage. Benoît Kaufman came and conducted the song until the end.


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ 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.
  2. ^ If a country had won the previous year, they did not have to compete in the semi-finals the following year.
  3. ^ Also contains phrases in German and Danish.


  1. ^ Siim, Jarmo (2 September 2013): "Copenhagen announced as host city of Eurovision 2014". Retrieved 2 September 2013.
  2. ^ 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.
  3. ^ "THE VOTING RESULTS OF THE 2ND SEASON OF DEPI EVRATESIL". 26 February 2018. Retrieved 11 December 2019.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x "Jørgen de Mylius". Filmography. Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 15 July 2013.
  5. ^ Eurovision Song Contest 1991. Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 27 July 2013.
  6. ^ a b c "Keld Heick". Filmography. Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 15 July 2013.
  7. ^ "Hans Otto Bisgaard". Filmography. Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 15 July 2013.
  8. ^ "And the conductor is..." Retrieved 5 January 2020.