Due to the criticism that Danish broadcaster DR have been receiving recently about not automatically allowing Ben and Tan the chance to compete this years Melodi Grand Prix, DR have released a statement defending their decision. On top of this, it was revealed back in February that Ben and Tan had submitted a song to the broadcaster for this years show, but it was rejected, which is something the broadcaster has also come under fire for recently.
Gustav Lützhøft, spokesperson for Dansk Melodi Grand Prix, has spoken out about the matter and has revealed why the broadcaster did not want to give any act automatic qualification:
“As we have previously announced, our basic position is that the Dansk Melodi Grand Prix must be a fair competition on equal terms between all participants, where the Danes are presented with new Danish music. Based on that logic, we have chosen not to give an automatic participation to Ben & Tan, but that they, like everyone else, have been able to submit their song and be judged on an equal footing with the other songs in terms of musical qualities.
We understand very well that it is a pity for them that they did not go to the Eurovision Song Contest last year. Many of us are really sorry about that, but it was like that because of circumstances that no one could control or predict. We have on several occasions been in dialogue about how Ben and Tan could be included in this year’s show in a good way without being direct participants, but we have unfortunately not been able to agree on a good way to integrate them.”
Ben and Tan have also spoken out about this, and they don’t hide their disappointment that they were not chosen for this years show, nor were they granted an automatic place in the final:
“We will not hide that we wanted to compete again, and had hoped that we will get the chance to be on the Grand Prix stage again this year. It is a pity that we do not get the chance, but it was not our decision.” – Ben
“It is a little difficult for us to understand why we are not allowed to participate. We won last year’s competition with 61% of the votes from viewers – which we are insanely happy about, and proud of – so I do not understand why will DR not give us another chance. We think in a way that both we, and those who voted for us, deserved that we were given a new opportunity to show what we can do.” – Tan
So Dansk Melodi Grand Prix 2021 will go ahead without Ben and Tan, as they fail to reach an agreement with the broadcaster. The final takes place on Saturday March 6th, with a total of eight acts battling it out to become Denmark’s newest Eurovision representative.
What do you make of this news? Do you think Ben and Tan should have been granted an automatic spot in the show? Let us know what you think in the comments below!