Culture Round-Up: Conquerors, Cancelled, Cast-aside, Cheated (?), Comeback heroes … all in the space of a year!

Also rising like a Phoenix (see what we did there?) are Odense Zoo, which is reopening despite local criticism, and the nearby town of Snave, which has had enough of its signposts getting nicked

Ben & Tan will be remembered in history alongside the horse Esha Ness, which jumped 30 fences to win the 1993 Grand National only to find out the race was null and void due to a problem with the start.

Ben & Tan, of course, are Benjamin Rosenbohm and Tanne Balcells, and 12 months ago this coming weekend they were celebrating victory in the Dansk Melodi Grand Prix (DMGP), the annual contest to determine who will represent Denmark at Eurovision.

Just days later their dreams were left in tatters by the news that the 2020 Eurovision Song Contest was cancelled, and since then Denmark has decided to go ahead and find a new song to represent the country in 2021.

New single out a day before Melodi GP
Nevertheless, Ben & Tan – who met on the 2019 version of ‘X Factor’ when Rosenbohm was a student at Copenhagen International School – have stuck to what they know, and the result is their debut single, ‘Iron Heart’, which is coming out on Friday March 5. 

According to Balcells,  the song “is about rising from the ashes and fighting back when life resists”.

And the pair submitted the song as an entry in this year’s contest on Saturday. But it was rejected by DMGP.

Not strong enough
According to DMGP, it was important to judge the song “impartially, with no special considerations for Ben & Tan as previous champions”, and it ruled that the song is “not strong enough for a place in Denmark’s Eurovision selection”.

According to its criteria, the Danish public must be presented with “new Danish music”, but then again, its ‘criteria’ did result in Denmark missing every contest between 1967 and 1977 due to DR’s belief its money was best spent on jazz.

Many other nearby countries – including Sweden, Finland, Lithuania and Estonia – have given last year’s winners the chance to compete again.

Odense Zoo attacked over plans to open its doors on Thursday
Odense Zoo, which intends to open up to the public tomorrow, was subjected to a barrage of criticism after reminding potential visitors they will need a negative corona test from the last 72 hours to be admitted. Although the requirement is in adherence with government reopening restrictions, hundreds took issue with the zoo. Among the 1,700 comments were ones accusing the zoo of discrimination and advocating dictatorship, while others were concerned by the news that many people could soon be congregating at the zoo.

Danes caught up in horse herpes virus outbreak in Spain
DR has reported how a Danish family have found themselves locked down in Spain having to deal with another kind of outbreak. The Truelsens, who compete in equestrian, have been “powerless” to deal with a violent outbreak of the herpes virus EHV-1 following an event in Valencia, Karina Truelsen revealed. At least five horses have died so far, and the International Equestrian Federation has cancelled all events in 10 countries until March 28 in an effort to contain the outbreak. “This is coronavirus for horses,” said Truelsen.

100 in two decades! Snave has had enough of its sign being pinched
The Funen town of Snave has endured two decades of having its signposts pinched, but enough is enough, Assens Municipality tells DR. In 2001, the town wrote its way into the nation’s hearts with the launch of a series of Sonofon ads featuring ‘Polle fra Snave’, and a film, ‘Polle Fiction’, duly followed in 2002. This century, around 100 have been taken. “Stolen signs is a never-ending story,” Freddy Heine Nielsen from Assens Municipality confirmed to DR. “And it is a fairly significant expense.

After five years of idleness, Amazon Prime to invest in Nordic services
The streaming service Amazon Prime Video has confirmed it intends to invest far more in supplying titles, both English language and home grown, to Nordic subscribers. “We have now reached a place where we are ready to make large investments in the Nordic countries, and that will mean even more content tailored to them,” confirmed Martin Backlund, the content director for Amazon Prime Video in the Nordic countries. Hitherto, Amazon Prime Video has not really marketed its presence in the Nordics, where it has been available since 2016. Only 2 percent of Danes use it at least once a week. 

Tivoli to host acclaimed Faroese restaurant over the summer
Tivoli has confirmed that the Faroese restaurant KOKS will be opening a pop-up version in its Japanese Tower this summer. KOKS, which has two Michelin stars, will be open from mid-July to the end of August. “The pop-up will be more simple, more humble and cheaper,” promised KOKS owner Johannes Jensen. AOC, a Michelin star restaurant located on Dronningens Tværgade in the centre of Copenhagen, has also confirmed a pop-up at Tivoli this summer. 

Grand Teatret included on list of 50 most beautiful cinemas in the world
Grand Teatret cinema has been included on a list of the 50 most beautiful cinemas in the world. Compiled by Time Out, the list celebrates the “most glamorous, architecturally eye-popping, Insta-friendly and just plain drop-dead-gorgeous cinemas on the planet”. Ranking at number 43, Grand Teatret, which is located on a side-street off Stroget close to Rådhuspladsen, is described in glowing terms. “You can still feel the history in its bones,” it purrs, applauding the cinema for servicing “hip young Danes” with “first dibs on the latest art house gems”.

‘Druk’ the favourite to win the Oscar, claims DR
Thomas Vinterberg’s film ‘Druk’ (‘Another Round’) is the favourite to win the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film in late April, claims DR. The mainly Korean language film ‘Minari’, which triumphed in the same category at the Golden Globes, is ineligible because it is US-produced. The bookmakers rated ‘Druk’ the second favourite ahead of Sunday’s ceremony and there are no other obviously strong challengers, suggest experts consulted by DR.