Eurovision - Centre Stage

Danes invade Sweden for Eurovision final

Danes invade Sweden for Eurovision final
With Denmark tipped to win this year's Eurovision final, The Local's Patrick Reilly caught up with a few Danes who'd crossed the divide to be in Malmö for Saturday night's final.

Denmark is the hot favourite to claim this year’s Eurovision title, leading to a mass exodus of patriotic fans across the Öresund Bridge to cheer on Emmelie de Forest.

Malmö locals have been waiting for this Danish invasion pretty much ever since 1658 when Sweden captured Skåne from their close neighbours. Yes, the Danes are back and making their voices heard.

Confidence among the Danish delegation is high with the bookmakers making them odds-on to win the contest for the first time since 2000. Last year, Sweden romped home after a similar forecast from the experts. Let’s face it, you don’t see William Hill walking round with holes in his trousers.

“There seems to be a lot of enthusiasm for our song Only Teardrops in a way that there was for Loreen 12 months ago,” Danish fan club blogger Liza Petersen tells The Local.

“Emmelie won the Dansk Melodi Grand Prix in a landslide so we all hoped that she was coming here with a decent chance.”

Having the contest in Malmö has its perks for the travelling Danes who can sleep in their own beds instead of shelling out for a hotel.

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“I live close to Copenhagen airport so I can stay in my own apartment. It’s nice but also a bit weird as usually for Eurovision you have to travel a long way,” says the blogger.

While Sweden and Denmark may only be separated by a short train ride there is a notable difference in their approach to Eurovision.

“The Swedes are definitely more crazy about the Melodifestival than we are about our own. In Denmark there is a bit of an attitude of ‘we don’t want to be seen with this’ and it can be hard to get some of the more established artists to participate,” adds Petersen.

You know that Sweden’s attempts to win back-to-back Eurovisions aren’t great when they start to claim some association with the anticipated winners. Danish entrant de Forest has a Swedish father and appeared on SVT speaking decent enough svenska before the first semi-final.

Expectations on the 20-year-old to add to Denmark’s two Eurovision victories are immense. Her supporters hope it doesn’t come at a cost concludes Petersen.

“She’s a very down-to-earth girl so I hope all this chaos doesn’t affect her. I know that she has been quite tired as being the favourite brings its own pressure.”

If you are looking for an omen for a Danish victory then just remember where the contest was when they last won it in 2000 – Sweden. And if they do win don’t expect the travelling contingent to stick around and celebrate in Malmö.

Among the more peculiar Eurovision sights has been the amount of Danish fans taking pictures of the Systembolaget. The state controlled liquor store doesn’t exist across the water prompting Danes to poke fun at their Swedish hosts.

“You mean I can’t buy a proper Tuborg after 6pm? Right, let’s get the next train to Copenhagen,” quipped one enthusiastic supporter draped in a Danish flag.

Remember chaps it’s only, erm, beerdrops.

Patrick Reilly is The Local’s Eurovision correspondent in Malmö. Tweet him questions if you like.

Follow Patrick on Twitter here

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