It was a bad night for the Nordics in the first semi-final of the Eurovision Song Contest in Austria yesterday, as the Danish entry Anti Social Media was swiftly kicked out of the competition along with Finland.
Both countries have a track record of being consistent qualifiers for the final – Denmark last failed to make it in 2007. But last night, they failed to do enough to impress the voters, finishing outside the top ten in the 16-strong field.
Eastern European domination
According to Johann Sorensen, the chairman of the Danish Melodi Grand Prix, it may well be down to the fabled eastern European “Eurovision mafia”.
“Denmark’s semi-final had a prevalence of eastern European countries,” Sorensen told DR.
“I have a strong feeling that the main reason for Denmark’s Eurovision exit is that there was a dominance of eastern European countries in the first semi-final. Other voices become skewed, and it is perhaps a little unfair.”
With the exception of Belgium and Estonia, every single country that advanced from Tuesday’s semi-final came from the southern and eastern parts of Europe.
Sorensen believes the organisers should change the way the countries are selected for the semi-finals to ensure a fairer competition.
“We were already behind on points from the start because we weren’t performing in the same semi-finals as our Nordic neighbours, which traditionally gives us higher marks.”
All hope is not lost for Scandinavia
In the past, the Scandinavian countries have had great success with wins in 2009, 2012 and 2013 – and Sorensen believes that the odds are good for Denmark’s neighbours in this year’s competition.
“There is a good chance that the three other Nordic countries [Iceland, Norway and Sweden] will advance from the second semi-final on Thursday,” Sorensen predicted.
The ten countries that qualified for the final were Albania, Armenia, Russia, Romania, Hungary, Greece, Estonia, Georgia, Serbia and Belgium.
Prior to the semi-final, the bookmakers didn’t give the Danish entry much chance of advancing or doing well in the final, rating their song 150/1.