Culture News in Brief: Bookies dismissive of Eurovision entry’s chances in Tel Aviv
Leonora, a marginal 13/10 favourite to win the Danish Melodi Grand Prix, triumphed on Saturday with a catchy song (see video below) that at first glance would appear to have the kind of gimmicks that might wow European audiences.
But don’t hold your breath, as the bookmakers are generally dismissive of the 20-year-old singer’s chances, and her odds have drifted out to 40/1 – making her the 16th most likely winner of the final on May 18.
A verse in French
Leonora, a former junior ice skating champion, performed her song ‘Love Is Forever’ on a high platform on which she was joined by two co-performers towards the end – an ascent that had its fair share of jeopardy.
The song, which was reminiscent of a soundtrack for a Todd Solondz film, was predominantly sung in English, but also included a verse in French.
Once the field had been whittled down to three, she grabbed 42 percent of the votes, seven ahead of Danish-Greenlandic duo Julie & Nina, and 19 clear of Sigmund, a contestant in last year’s X Factor.
A breakdown of the votes later revealed that the public had preferred Julie & Nina (46 vs 36), but that the jury (48 vs 24) made the difference. Greenlandic voters later complained that they were unable to register their votes, further questioning Julie & Nina’s failure to win.
Minor protest outside venue
Meanwhile, around 30 protesters gathered outside the Jyske Bank Boxen venue in Herning to express their wish that the eventual winner should boycott the final in Israel – or at least take a Palestinian flag on stage with them.
Some 127 well-known Danes, mostly from cultural circles, backed a boycott last autumn, and there have been protests in several other European countries, including Iceland, Spain and France.
Comedian tired of defending feminism in Denmark
The popular UK-based Danish comedian Sofie Hagen has confirmed her two shows in Copenhagen and Aarhus this spring will be her last in her homeland for the time being, as she has grown tired of defending feminism in interviews with the Danish media. “I cannot sit through another interview with a journalist where I have to explain or defend feminism,” she said via Instagram. “I don’t get to talk about my stand-up … [instead] I am being asked to tell specific stories of horror about specific Danish comedians so that they can create a shitstorm.” The comments follow those of another comedian, Sanne Søndergaard, who claimed she felt bullied and harassed on the Danish comedy scene. However, another Danish comedian, Audrey Castañeda, was dismissive of Hagan’s outburst, saying that sexism was inevitable, but that conditions were steadily improving. If anything, Hagan’s post is “tarring all men with the same brush”, she said.
Louisiana issues statement in support of backer guilty of tax evasion
The Swiss bank UBS, a major sponsor of the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, has been fined 33.5 billion kroner in relation to tax evasion in France – a punishment that has compelled the museum to state it could not survive without the “dedication and generosity” of its supporters. Although Louisiana cautioned that it asks all of its sponsors to “comply with legislation”, some media observers have started to question whether its statement should have conceded that UBS has been involved in some “dubious activities”.
One of Scotland’s finest to perform at Bremen
Scottish stand-up Daniel Sloss, a former prodigy of dark humour legend Frankie Boyle, will be performing his hit show ‘X’ at Bremen Teater on October 31 – with special guest Kai Humphries in tow. With a couple of Netflix specials and four Broadway seasons already under his belt, the 28-year-old is at the top of his game. Tickets cost 170 kroner and go on sale today at 10:00 at ticketmaster.dk. Meanwhile, in other tickets news, Fat Freddy’s Drop, a Kiwi band with a huge following in Denmark, have confirmed they’ll be returning once again, this time to play at KB Hallen on November 27. Tickets cost 380 kroner and go on sale at 11:00 on March 1 at billetlugen.dk. And finally, Mark Ronson is among seven new names confirmed by the NorthSide festival (June 6-8). The DJ and producer, who picked up an Oscar on Sunday for his work on Lady GaGa’s ‘Shallow’, is joined by The Blaze, Idles, Alice Merton, Michael Kiwanuka, Barselona and Bikstok.