I fell in love, went to the Danish final full of hopes for a sweet future, but instead had my heart crushed. I experienced the hard way how tough love can be, even what I considered true love.
Back in September 2012 I heard Brinck‘s Human for the first time and I instantly fell in love with it. There was an honesty about the song, which went straight to my heart and Brinck himself believed 110% in the song. He was committed to it – and so did I become. Together with two friends who also heard it. We immediately knew that what we had just heard could very well be Denmark’s entry to the Eurovision Song Contest in Malmö. Things didn’t exactly go like that, but what went wrong?
Friday evening, the day before the final, I saw the performances for the first time. I didn’t like Brinck’s performance – or rather I hated the staging of the song. Brinck still performed well from what I could see through my camera lense, but I knew that with that presentation of the song we saw on stage, it was unfortunately not a winner. I was still hoping for it to reach the super final and end up with a respectable third position. The song deserved that.
It didn’t get through and unfortunately I think it wasn’t even close. In Denmark we don’t get the full result. We don’t know if Brinck came 4th and was maybe only one point away from top 3 or if he scored at the bottom. I have a feeling though it is the latter. I think that because unfortunately the performance appeared worse in the actual final. The staging still didn’t work and though I was placed on the press balcony this time and therefore wasn’t close to the stage, I noticed how Brinck himself appeared unconcentrated, like he actually didn’t care. It was quite sad to witness because I loved the song – and I knew that he could do so much better. At the afterparty I told him quite straightforward how I experienced it. He appeared quite shocked to hear such things from me, maybe he was expecting me to now act as one of those fans who just love everything and was now ready to tell him how fantastic it was and how it so should have won. Sorry, but can’t do. That is not me.
Despite everything I had seen with my own eyes in Boxen (the arena) I was still hoping for it not to have come across that bad on the TV screens. After a few days at home settling down I watched the TV edition of the show and unfortunately what I saw there was even worse. My little hope that the staging would turn out to look good on TV was crushed and so was my hope for Brinck himself. I saw a very insecure man on stage, one who looked like he actually didn’t want to be there and one who surely did not believe in his song. It made it even worse that the camera work was absolutely horrible. Throughout the show I realised that unfortunately several of the songs suffered from bad camera work, mainly the ones in the first half. From song nr. 5 it slowly got better and by the time Mohamed performed as number 10 only few mistakes were made camera wise.
It is fine to use a treadmill if you want it to look like you are walking and walking and walking…. and the stage isn’t that large, but normally you have a wide one laying on the floor with dry ice to cover it, that is if you can’t build it in to the stage. Such things are quite commonly done in modern TV. What is not common is to use one of those narrow treadmills as they have at the gym and you can buy yourself at a larger supermarket. They are designed for exercise purpose, not for walking normally. If you do that you have got to know that the camera crew can work around it and hide that it for the singer is awkward and more difficult to walk normally. You do NOT make the cuts so that they clearly show the treadmill and you do not focus so much on the unnatural walking. You want to hide that you are using such tricks – unless you want to show that you are standing in the gym, but who on earth is wearing jeans and a leather jacket when working out? No, Brinck was supposed to be walking through big parts of the song, not doing fitness. He is smart and experienced enough to know that this wasn’t working and despite how it came across on TV he really did believe in the song, he really did want to sing it and he is probably just as disappointed and sad about this as I am. After the dress rehearsal he must have seen that it wouldn’t look good on TV – and unfortunately that probably took away his concentration for Saturday.
We got a winner, just as we were supposed to. Brinck didn’t get the chance to improve his 13th placed Believe Again from 2009, instead Denmark got a new princess in 19 year old Emmelie Charlotte Victoria de Forest.
I heard Only Teardrops for the first time in its full version when DR released the songs a few days before the final. I liked the song, but it didn’t stand out as a winner like Brinck’s song still did to me. If Emmelie would win I was fearing for another Should Have Known Better placement to Denmark. Despite everything I ended up cheering for the song, humming Only Teardrops and now that it won, I am all prepared for another top 5 position to Denmark and maybe even an international victory. So how could that song suddenly win me over?
Where Brinck failed performance wise Emmelie did the opposite. The staging of the song was near perfect, the camera work had improved since the first songs in the line up and Emmelie herself was just charming. With that performance the song really grew on me. I felt quite sure it would make it to top3, but I still wasn’t sure about the winner until the actual final. When she made it to the super-final together with Simone and Mohamed, I was screaming and cheering for Emmelie like never before. I am sorry to those two, but you guys just weren’t the right ones to represent Denmark at the Eurovision Song Contest this time. Simone came with a nice latin/greek inspired pop song and she performed it quite well as such. Many grandparents must have gotten the shock of their life when they saw sweet, little innocent Simone turned into a babe in a short dress showing off and playing on her sexuality. It looked exactly as we have seen from many Greek and Cypriot participants before and it wouldn’t make Denmark stand out in any way. Nor would Mohamed. He had the best starting position knowing that 11 out of 12 times song nr. 10 reaches top 3 and 6 out of 12 times it wins the Danish final. I also knew that he had a lot of fans supporting him, but again, he didn’t come with anything that would make us stand out. Instead he reminded us of Norway’s Tooji, both in performance and song. We all know that this recipe failed for Norway last year, so why should it work for Denmark this year? No, Simone and Mohamed were not the right ones to send to Malmö. It had to be Emmelie – and thank God, she delivered her best performance in the super final. Of course things can be different for Family Denmark watching it in front of their TV’s, but after seeing how the audience in the hall reacted to it and to her, I knew we had something special here.
When I went to Baku last year I was worried. I didn’t feel sure that Soluna Samay would reach the final. During my two weeks stay there following the rehearsals and press conferences, taking the temperature on the other songs, I started believing that we might just make it, but certainly not with any top placement. It went exactly like that. Only a few of the songs Emmelie will be competing against in Malmö are known at this point, but I am calm and relaxed knowing that we come with a song that will stand out and should be a sure qualifier. From there anything can happen, but I believe this will be yet another top position for songwriter Lise Cabble, who has twice before finished 5th at the Eurovision Song Contest.
I think it is quite normal to want to take a distance to something that has crushed your heart, but at the same time I am still in love with Human. I can’t stop playing it just because of this, but it will probably take some time before I am ready to watch this year’s Dansk Melodi Grand Prix again, unless I can programme my DVD player to know always to skip song nr. 2. I am sorry, Brinck. I like you a lot and I love the song, but this was just more than my heart could cope with.