Eurovision 2017 Entry: Denmark— Anja Nissen — Where I Am

In a semi-final stacked with solo female vocalists, Denmark must find a way to stand out.

Anja Nissen will represent Denmark at the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest in Kyiv, Ukraine (Photo: DR) Anja Nissen will represent Denmark at the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest in Kyiv, Ukraine (Photo: DR)

Country: Denmark
Song Title: “Where I Am”
Artist: Anja Nissen
Second Semi-Final: Position #9
Last year’s entry:Soldiers of Love” — Lighthouse X (DNQ – 17th Place, SF2)

After winning the contest in 2013 with Emmelie de Forest’s “Only Teardrops,” Denmark has had a mixed few years. They remained in the top ten in 2014, finishing in 9th, then failed to qualify in the last two contests. Will moving away from the boy-band concept, and back a solo female vocalist, help the Danes return to the Grand Final in Kyiv?

Ben found this song growing on him, and I have to agree. The very beginning — tight harmonies from the backing singers — is strong and compelling, then quickly give way to a first verse and bridge that are politely described as “meh.” The first chorus is worth it, though, as Anja manages to sound both strong and vulnerable at the top of her range. The second verse gives her a little more room to be interesting, and then we skip the bridge and head directly into the chorus, which is the best part of the song. (I have complained in the past about Eurovision songs that have no verses; for this entry I’d actually be okay with that.)

As one of several solo female acts in the second semi-final, how does Anja stack up? She’ll benefit from being ninth in the performance order; Serbia, Russia, FYR Macedonia, and Malta all perform in the first five slots, and there are a few acts between to act as palate cleansers. Only Switzerland and Lithuania (the latter of whom is not really a contender) perform later, which will help her stick in viewers’ memory. She’ll also benefit from being in the slightly weaker semi-final. But even with those caveats, Denmark seems on the bubble. A strong, well-crafted performance will probably see them land in the Grand Final, but with so much direct competition there’s not much room for error.

Eurovision Song Contest Second Semi-Final
May 11, 2017

AustriaBelarusBulgariaCroatiaDenmark • Estonia
FYR Macedonia • Hungary • IrelandIsraelLithuaniaMalta • Netherlands
NorwayRomaniaRussia • San Marino •  Serbia • Switzerland

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