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Denmark: Basim – Cliché Love Song

    With little fanfare, this year's Dansk Melodi Grand Prix got underway with very little prior knowledge of the songs. However, this year's Eurovision hosts, Denmark have chosen to send Basim the huge distance to Copenhagen with the song Cliché Love Song! Viewers of the Danish final would have noticed the X-Factor staging skulduggery.  While most acts were performing to a backdrop of miserable red hues, Basim’s Cliché Love Song was delivered in front of a shimmering background of gold, when eventually a huge Danish flag was unfurled for the big confetti climax moment. I would love to see…

Review Overview

Song Appeal
Vocal Strength
Staging Potential
Likely Televote Appeal
Likely Jury Appeal
Historical Support Strength


User Rating: 2.75 ( 23 votes)


With little fanfare, this year’s Dansk Melodi Grand Prix got underway with very little prior knowledge of the songs. However, this year’s Eurovision hosts, Denmark have chosen to send Basim the huge distance to Copenhagen with the song Cliché Love Song!

Viewers of the Danish final would have noticed the X-Factor staging skulduggery.  While most acts were performing to a backdrop of miserable red hues, Basim’s Cliché Love Song was delivered in front of a shimmering background of gold, when eventually a huge Danish flag was unfurled for the big confetti climax moment. I would love to see the minutes of the production meeting!

I can admit to not liking Basim’s song in its recorded form, but having seen it live, I can now appreciate what an infectious tune it is. It’s at this point I have to put my Eurovision hat on and put my personal taste to one side.

My first impression is that Basim is this year’s Gianluca Bezzina owing to his charming, down-to-earth and smiley on-stage character.  He doesn’t appear over-choreographed or too slick either, which would make the 21 year old seem sleazy and arrogant to most viewers. Basim also reminds me of Donny Montell: a simple, likable kid having fun and giving it 100%.

While Cliché Love Song is a tad corny, it still works in today’s music market. There’s no mistaking that Basim is aiming to appeal to Europe’s Bruno Mars fans. By the way, that’s the same Bruno Mars with countless worldwide multi-platinum album sales, so Denmark’s challenger shouldn’t be underestimated!

On the flipside, given the hassles host broadcaster, Danmarks Radio, has had to endure, I doubt they will be in any rush to host the contest again this decade. Therefore, I fully expect the producers to position Basim as early in the running order as possible. That should earn him a decent score and provide Denmark – eager to pass the baton – a respectable finish as hosts.

Will that finish be as high as Robin Stjernberg’s 14th for Sweden last year?

Depending on the running order, I believe Basim is capable of a top-10 finish, but there are so many variables to consider with a song like this.

If France’s Moustache is positioned later in the running order, one should expect the latter of the two party songs to soak up much of the support (France went first last year, so they are owed a favour). Moreover, if Twin Twin has staging as impactful as Jedward’s Lipstick, I reckon Basim’s Cliché Love Song might be cancelled out.

In terms of instant appeal, Cliché Love Song is the stronger Eurovision package.  However, most of the people I have sent this song to have all reacted negatively so far.

I recommend waiting for certain variables to be cleared up before exposing yourself to a thorough kicking in the top-10 market.

What do you think of Denmark’s choice?

  • Qualification History
  • Final Performance
  • Allies
Since the introduction of the new semi-final format, Denmark have failed to qualify twice times in nine attempts. 77% qualification success.

Highest semi-final score: 185 (2005: Jakob Sveistrup – Talking to You)
Lowest semi-final score: 45(2007: DQ – Drama Queen)
Average semi-final finishing position: 6th
Average semi-final score: 103 points

Denmark has finished in the top-10 four times since 2004.

Highest score (since 2004): 281 (2013: Emmelie de Forest – Only Teardrops)
Lowest score (since 2004): 21 (2012: Soluna Samay – Should’ve Known Better)
Average final position: 11th
Average final score: 108 points

Average Points Received

Iceland – 8.5
Norway – 6.4
Sweden – 6.3
Estonia – 5.3
Ireland – 5.1
Latvia – 5.1
Slovenia – 4.5
Netherlands – 4.3
United Kingdom – 3.9

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About Gavster

ESCtips Owner   I’m a qualified designer and dedicate a lot of my free time to keeping the ESCtips show on the road. My family routes allow me to support the UK, Ireland and Italy.


  1. Such an underwhelming event 😀 Last year seemed epic and this year… you couldn’t tell they are hosts. So weird.
    Anyway… I liked the “rude” version much better.

  2. Sorry for spamming, but I should note that I CAN’T STAND Bruno Mars, so this song does nothing for me.

  3. Damn, I was right the first time. Shouldn’t have overthought it. Oh well, still a small profit.

  4. Notes for next year – for the lack of anything with anthemic qualities, even if subtle, go for the song with the most personality (usually happy go lucky.)

  5. I called this final about as badly as is possible.Got it 100% wrong.Not 90% but 100% wrong.
    I banked on the cheapest songs wouldnt all make the super final and the jury would deliver on something decent.The cheapest songs all made the super final and scuppered that.

    • The Danes didn’t really go to form. Rebekka made it, which was about the only form-finalist. The juries were clearly briefed who to make their favourite.

      Dreadfully low quality from Denmark and Lovely Horse reference is entirely justified.

  6. They were probably told to make sure Denmark doesn’t produce anything good this year! 😀

  7. I’m not surprised the fans hate this, but rule this out at your peril! It’s the most instantly catchy entry I’ve heard so far. Well performed. Bruno Mars-style very popular. It’s got mass appeal. Could be two in a row for Denmark.

  8. One of the best songs ive heard for this contest. I only like the UK, Swedish and Danish entries

  9. godawful rubbish… top 5 deffo imho…

  10. Typical of Denmark’s tendency to pick very happy-go-lucky, cheeky-chappy, “Olly Murs”-y songs. Basim’s live vocal appears sound, but it will be interesting to see how he sounds without any pre-recorded assistance. It’s a fun entry with lots of current, commercial appeal and personality, (but zero originality when compared to Bruno Mars, how about when not?) It will be interesting to see if the huge Danish flag is used again in B&W. That was serious overkill from DR to make sure he won MGP. His position will depend on running order and the songs book-ending him, but generally I think this is a likely top 10, but no lower than 15th.

  11. I agree with your review Gav, when I put the clumsy lyrics aside I can see a very likable guy singing an extremely catchy and current tune. This song is probably the most instant of them all so far. A matchbet between Denmark and Sweden should be really interesting.

    • I’d be inclined to try to find spots to take the side of Denmark in such an H2H (obviously looking to find above even odds, as that’s very likely to be available).

      Now if it only wasn’t for the skibbiddibibaba part of the lyrics…

  12. don’t know if anyone is keeping an eye on this but denmark drawn at 23 in the final. ew has got to be value now – i’ve lumped on @17s at Lads

  13. I consider this a top 3 lock now. I just think juries won’t have it #1 and this style of music will be going over the heads of Armenian, Ukrainian, Albanian and Israeli audiences (among others.)

    • I think if this will be in top 3 in juries it will win. The musicians I have asked to rate the songs have this quite steadily at the very top, not too much to read from it though since they are all Icelandic but both Sweden and Norway are low. I really think Denmark will win the televote, and I also firmly believe Azerbaijan could win the jury vote.

      I personally think this is a 3 horse’s raise at the moment.

  14. In past contests I have made most of my winnings by laying songs that went:
    – boom boom chaka chaka
    – haba haba
    – ding dong
    – da da dam dam
    – la la la boom boom boom
    and of course
    – la la la la la la la love

    I wonder if this is the year where I can finally add scooba dooby dap dap doo to the list. #excitement

  15. Repeat winner? I’ll say it again without the question mark….repeat winner. I’ve got this top of the tree at the moment. The lyrics are absolute trash, the song goes nowhere and it won’t do well in certain regions but I don’t really think it matters. It’s one of the most instant Eurovision entries of the last 10 years sung by an unthreatening, engaging young guy who the tweens, mums and grannies will like and thats a Eurovision package that it takes some balls to lay.

    Malta last year showed how far a young guy singing an upbeat song and smiling straight down the camera can get you, and this has a lot more going for it. It’s infinitely more suited to a Saturday night entertainment show and the loud cheers for the home nation will complement it well.

    The jury point is valid, but perhaps overstated. I don’t know how many of them actually critique songs properly but it’s far fewer than was imagined when they first came back in 2009 and if they like the hook or engage with the performer then they’ll reward it just as any typical ADHD voter would.

    It’s not without it’s drawbacks but so far it’s got more going for it overall than any other entry so I’m a heavy backer at 17-18s.

    • Good to have you back Beanie, and good to be in the same camp as you on this one 😉 although I try to avoid the confirmation bias, it of course feels good seeing good punters agree with me here.

      I’m not overly concerned about the juries, to be honest. With songs like Satellite, they’ve proved to be able to reward a good pop package, overlooking lyrical flaws (although this song does take crappy lyrics to the next level). I’m more concerned with the other point you mention: will it be completely shut out of certain regions, due to a american-ish sound?

      • Good to see u too squall. It’s a valid question and luckily I think we have some time to figure out the answer as it’s tricky to imagine Denmark entering finals weekend above current odds given their starting slot (and the undecided starting slots of the heavy favourites.)

        Usually I would say that the eastern element would kill this one’s winning chances, but the lack of depth in this years contest leaves a lot of cheap points up for grabs from good vocals or slick pop packages or maybe even novelty acts.

        I’ll be interested to see his rehearsals – the run throughs I’ve seen so far look like he really can’t be bothered with the song, but the MGP performance was very slick in terms of interaction with the camera so I’m not too concerned yet.

      • I do believe that the Motown-sound will go over the heads of some countries, but not to the extent that they would not give it any points at all. I just think that they might still associate the genre with the 50s, 60s and 70s with the international fame of acts like Stevie Wonder, Ray Charles and Michael Jackson – and acts such as Bruno Mars and Pharrell Williams, the revivors of the genre, so to speak, haven’t quite made it into the pop world over there.

        Serbia’s entry in 2011 kinda backs me up, because that was very nostalgia-based. Having said that, the very first camera shot of Basim’s performance is fantastic and instantly made me think of Hairspray, so it should register a clear theme across the continent. It’s just the difference between seeing Basim as a nostalgia act in the east, and something very current in the west. Weird, isn’t it? 😛

        • I wouldn’t lump this in with Serbia 2011 which was own language and in a genre which hasn’t had any kind of chart revival (and therefore can only count as nostalgia) but I understand your point.

          Western chart music does register in the east to some degree (songs like happy/blurred lines have had solid success – while not of identical genre they are distinctly American) – but recent eurovision pop packages have been hit or miss. Even Satellite scored a big fat zero in Moldova, Belarus, Georgia, Armenia etc.

          There should be some hints in terms of how this is being received in the immediate build up and if it can make a little dent in the ex Soviet bloc it will prove very hard to beat.

          • Well DR have spent an awful lot of money this year, so they might try to put the brakes on when they stage it, the song with a performer like Basim is good enough to get top 5 all on its own, so we’ll see.

  16. I think beanie makes a good point over Satellites zero points from many of the eastern block.It was ultra contemporary and that didnt register in the more conservative emerging east.
    The problem i have with Denmark winning is it simply isnt good enough.
    I cant see any reason why anyone in the eastern or balkan/slavic countries would vote for this.Add in under the new system i cant see this topping any jury votes it shouldnt have any chance of winning.The western juries id expect will have several higher than this including the UK.
    What is interesting though is how the producers can kill its chances.With its draw it wont be easy to nul its catchy hooks.They dont have many up tempo songs high quality enough to follow it.It might need a France or a Poland.
    If last year is anything to go by the last two places will be for songs with no chance of winning.Could they place the winner of the semis if they draw 2nd half 22nd and 24th?.I think they just might.
    Last year showed the producers had the running order to suit the viewer but also not to hurt the songs in with a chance.I expect similar this year.Denmark should be between two challengers.

    • I’d say a few things in response to that DB. Firstly that there is a demographic in the east that will vote for this, albeit much smaller than in the western nations. Usually that would be sufficiently small to ensure few points in the east which would lead me to agree with you that it’s not good enough, but for that to be true there need to be songs that are. As with all years Eurovision is all relative and this year I see very few other contenders – the UK (my next biggest green incidentally) may beat the Danes in the jury vote, but probably not to the extent that the reverse will be true in the televote.

      Also I’ve always thought that the assumption that the host country doesn’t want to win is a very dangerous one, and as far as I can see that’s the only reason Denmark was 17/1. What if they want to win it again? What if the Danish Government like the tourism aspect it can offer? All I’m saying is that they might not want it again due to budget concerns, but that’s just a theory and I haven’t seen any evidence of it yet (£100k prize for MGP, no obvious pushing of a weak act).

      • I think whats interesting this year is that value has proved to be king so far.Due to the false flag favourite and Sweden leading the OGAE polls many challengers were crazy prices.Iv never seen such big prices for so many decent entries.Even Denmark is now into 13.0s so a lovely free run could be had for the longs.Money has been coming the last two days for several acts and prices are coming in sharply Spain,Italy,Estonia,Romania have come in between 25% and 50% in the last day alone.
        The book is starting to settle into fair prices now though and big swings are unlikely from the top of the market.Lower down though there are still several entries that could see their prices crash during rehearsals and/or if they qualify.
        Its a fascinating year and so far its a case of holding ones nerve and wait for the prices to move in your favour.

      • I’ve been meaning to make this point re repeat winner also. I feel the argument comes up every year (Azer, Sweden, now Denmark), but there’s no indication it’s true. I can assure everyone that Sweden sent the very best we had, and that Björkman (pulling ALL the strings) would have happily died right there for a repeat win. I’m also convinced Azer (being completely and utterly Eurovision crazy, and not minding spending huge piles of cash on international propaganda) would have loved a repeat.

        This isn’t to say Denmark wants it. But is there any evidence at all they don’t?

    • I very much respect your opinion db, but I’d also say that simply “not good enough” is highly subjective and also hard to discuss around. For example I’d argue that Denmark has both a much superior structure and plenty better hooks than e.g. Ukraine, and that the Eurojury poll (small as it is) hints that juries won’t necessarily shun it (although I do agree UK will top it with juries).

      • I dont think the juries will definately shun it either it could very well be this years contemporary chart hit that does well, think lena or ace wilder.
        Damn it squall i think uk is sooooo overrated and everytime i hear another compliment or person saying its going to do well makes me feel all the more sick 🙁

        • 😀

          “Do well” is relative of course, but I do think it will be loved by a lot of juries (if staged well that is), pushing it over the top10 edge.

      • In all fairness to Ukrainian entry, I think the eurojury results are based on the first version of the song, which should explain their surprisingly low ranking. I am not sure, but I would be very surprised if their new version would be ranked that low.

        • Hi sir mills didnt you say you wrote asking some professionals there opinion? How did the results compare with the eurojury site if you dont mind me asking?

          • Yes I did P4R but the results are not quite as good indicator as the Eurojury is as I only asked them to rate the market’s top 10 at the time. In right order it was Denmark, Ukraine, UK, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belgium, Hungary, Russia, Norway, Sweden. Not too much to learn from this when you look at the eurojury result. Except the fact that Belgium was either first or last out of the 4 voters, I assume the controversial nature of their song will be a problem in a field bigger than 10.

        • Eurojury used this video:

          I’d argue this indicates even the noir theme isn’t enough to save Ukraine from the juries marking them down.

          • Very interesting squall. Despite this song being one of my personal favorite I am started to think there might be a lay value on the top 10 market at the moment. I don’t like betting against song’s that I like but @4 seems too good value, when you look at those results. BTW, where do you see the exact video clips the eurojury is using? Fx Norway, are they getting the studio version or the live version?

      • Yes its so tight this year squall a lot of views are and will be subjective with a fine line between doing well and failure.The main problem is the televote friendly strong block vote entries all have problems.I tend to understand contemporary female artists the best and understand artists like Basim the least.So personal taste does come in.It quite interesting though how Maria and Basim are probably the most likely televote magnets from their blocks and two of the most hooky this year.How the juries will score them could come down to vocals and staging.Im spending most of this year so far trying to get as much of the book running for me as possible.Great year for trading but very difficult to call the likely results.

  17. Beanie can i ask for your thoughts on sanna nielsen ?

    • I’ve got a few issues with Undo pimp. First off its template, cookie cutter Eurovision and looks dated these days, and I think juries and televoters recognise that. Also, there’s very little that they can do with the staging other than have her standing there like a singing candle. Finally, I’m not the biggest fan of her performances as she comes across as wanting votes a little too much.

      It’s ironic that you should ask me on this this thread, because for me Sweden is the true bland, inoffensive cliche love song 🙂 I actually quite like it, but question who will remember it after 25 others perform aswell.

      • Cheers for the feedback beanie, i havent backed her yet but to me she ticking pretty much every box.will the cookie cutter thing be a problem or is this song exactly the kind of thing esc fans love? Personaly i really like the way she comes across on stage and think she appeals to males and females alike,her vocals are good probably better then this song allows her to show off actually, and i actually think this can score points in the east as well theres something a bit russian ballad esque about it.its also a song i guess that suits the new scoring system really well as its hard to dislike.
        On the downside she wasnt very impressive in winning mf and probably only won because shes sanna nielsen,and the fact that the other scandy acts are so strong it could really split the votes and one of the 3 big ones will probably suffer

  18. Denmark vs Norway 2.0 on Denmark available at the sportsbook on betfair, if you guys are interested. I took a lot, think it’s a rock solid bet.

    • Great spot SirMills. I’m on that too.

    • Thanks, SirMills! Had completely missed their separate sportsbook, isn’t there usually a link from the corresponding exchange market (I know there has been for the outright)?

      What was your max limit, btw? Mine was just under 300€, just curious to hear whether it’s a global one.

      • I did’nt test the max limit Squall. I put around 200 without having any problems. It’s not same as last year when you could switch to the sportsbook with one click, as they have changed the system a bit, maybe there are shortcuts which I’m not aware of.

        This sportsbook on bf can be quite useful sometimes, I remember taking armenia @ 2.1 at the same time as I laid the same amount @1.8 on the exhange market, and taking Ukraine @21 same time I laid it @17 on the other side.

    • Damn, I also forgot they have a fixed-odds sportsbook, at this moment I can see only OR market, am I missing something?

      • No, I think they simply got a bit scared by the hammering and took down the three H2Hs they had there in addition to the OR. Don’t know what they were thinking when they put Norway as fave over Denmark, considering the outright odds.

  19. Btw, while I can understand Basim shortening, who and why is pushing Carl’s price down again?

  20. Interesting comment just passed on to me from a Serbian friend who says that regardless of the popularity of this kind of music, it’s not at all emotional, and some regions of Europe will be more likely to vote for something with more soul and emotion. That sounds really valid to me. What do you guys think?

    • I guess that makes sense… but if Lena could overcome that, surely so could Basim.

      Not saying that Cliche Love Song “ticks all the boxes” (it really doesn’t), but in a year as weak as this it might not have to, either.

      • Yeah, I suppose you’re right. Well, Turkey and Romania were Germany’s main competition. Drip Drop was a favourite to win for a while, but on the night, I think the vocals and choreography were not very good. The song was too big for Safura. Plus it opened the show. 5th place is still very good for a first song of the evening, but then it is Azerbaijan. 😛

        We could definitely say that 2010 was a year which didn’t really have a very uplifting, soulful alternative that was well performed, so do we have something like that this year?

  21. Belgium, norway,sweden,azer all offer a fair bit of emotion id say

    • Austria offers emotion as well. I feel like Conchita is undervalued right now (I’m also putting my money where my mouth is). I remember people saying “A good enough song can win no matter the country” and I believe it was Gav who said “If this was azerbaijan it would be a market leader” so the song and performance is excellent. Thus the odds of 80 for outright feel rather high. Is it just me, or can she really deliver a performance with real emotion that touces people? If a song/performance can touch people it’s way more likely to get people to vote than something that seemingly “ticks all the boxes”.

  22. I strongly disagree that Rise Like A Phoenix would win if it was an Azeri entry or even sung by somebody else. Who is going to vote for a song that is basically saying “Look at me! Here I am! Me, me, me!” ?

    • As far as I’m concerned it’s a drag version of I Love Belarus, as in, having that same weird arrogance about it.

      • I must admit to me its a song Shirley Bassey would of turned down.I thought the vocals were good, but im not even sure about those now.
        Its bordering on the novelty area.
        I probably wont have an interest in it long or short.

        • If Conchita makes the final I’ll more likely than not be a Top 10 layer. Should’ve done a back-to-lay really but I missed the boat with the higher odds.

        • I put a small bet @3.8 so you are not alone Archi. I think it will be difficult for juries that dislike this song to rank this too low as their name will be published afterwards and I doubt they want a homo phobic label. My guess is that the political correctness will work in Austria’s favor from the jury side and I am almost confident this will be in jury’s top 10. In televote I think most people won’t be hearing the song sadly, as they will be laughing, crying or smiling over the beard issue. The question is how many support votes will this get from the gay community? I struggle to figure that out but I think 3.8 is a decent value to give it a try.

          • The things is that I’m afraid of the opposite: some jurors wouldn’t want a homo lover label afterwards, many in the east actually.

    • @Ben, I give you: Russia 2008 🙂

      • Oh come on. 😀 They’re totally different.

        • Agree they’re quite different, but don’t you think it also says “Look at me! Here I am! Me, me, me”? If that was the assumed off-putting factor, I mean.

          • I think the message of self-belief and achievement is different and much more relatable to that of presenting oneself to the world in a controversial form for people to like or loathe.

          • Yeah, I get where you’re coming from here (and obviously it won’t do nearly as well as Russia 2008) – I was only thinking of the lyrics here, which I don’t think are that much more off-putting for Austria than Russia 2008 (although also here I agree that the message isn’t entirely the same, of course).

  23. Im with you on conchita top ten archi,think conchita comes across fantastic.fans love it,you tube views and all other stats looking pretty strong,i think she can do this

  24. For the Denmark lovers Unibet have a head to head with Sweden @ 2.5,

  25. What on earth was up with the volume being cut on every chorus? Hardly did the entry any favors to kill off the party feel so abruptly.

    Also, I think we can now officially kill off die-hard rules like “not three nordics in the top10”, given that we this year were extremely close to getting four of them.

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