Anja Nissen is getting prepared to do battle – for Denmark in Eurovision

Anja Nissen secured a berth in the Eurovision grand final on Friday morning [Australian time].

Representing Denmark, the former Winmalee High School student said she was hopeful the country could now take the Eurovision crown and host next year's telecast.

"I really, really hope so," she said after her semi-final performance.

Nissen said she was proud that she had been accepted by both of her homelands. "I feel like I have been accepted by my country having an Australian background and Danish heritage," she said.

Her win in the semi-final secures Denmark's position in the final; last year the country did not make it that far.

"To bring the final back to Denmark is a weight lifted off my shoulders," Nissen said. "Everybody has been, can you do this, are you going to do this? I have had a chance to prove myself today, to say, this is who I am, this is me."

During the press conference after the show, Nissen was asked if she had a message for her parents and broke down in tears.

"I want to say thank you so much to my mum and to my family," she said, crying.

As a little girl Anja, now 21, dreamed of singing in the over-the-top, pyrotechnical kitsch feast of Euro pop that has introduced the world to – among others – Celine Dion, Abba and Julio Iglesias.

Local girl in the limelight: Eurovision will see The X Factor’s Isaiah face The Voice’s Anja Nissen, an ex-Winmalee High student. Anja is performing Where I Am in the international TV singing competition representing Denmark.

Local girl in the limelight: Eurovision will see The X Factor’s Isaiah face The Voice’s Anja Nissen, an ex-Winmalee High student. Anja is performing Where I Am in the international TV singing competition representing Denmark.

Could this be The Voice winner’s breakthrough moment in front of 200 million worldwide viewers?

“It doesn't get bigger than this,” she told the Blue Mountains Gazette. “It’s the world’s biggest singing competition and I'm actually here, not just singing, but singing my own song! I can't believe it. 

“We watched Eurovision at home as a child and we always talked about how one day I would like to be in Eurovision representing [her parents homeland] of Denmark (we never dreamt that Australia would one day be invited to participate).

“I am hoping [it is my breakthrough moment], but if it's not, it's ok because I'm still young.”

More than 40 countries participate in the international TV contest competition. Nissen attempted to represent the Scandinavian country last year, placing second in their selection competition. She fronted again for their Dansk Melodi Grand Prix before winning the right to perform at this year’s Eurovision in Kiev, in the Ukraine.

Onya Anja: Anja Nissen after her win on The Voice.

Onya Anja: Anja Nissen after her win on The Voice.

Anja, who went to Winmalee High, co-wrote the song with Michael D'Arcy and Angel Tupai a few years ago “when I was in a situation where I was scared to give myself 100 per cent and fall in love and show who I really was, I suppose because I didn't really know myself, but then making the decision to let yourself go, bring your walls down and let someone in”. 

Speaking ahead of the competition, Anja said her “campaign is going really well”.

“I’ve been to London, Tel Aviv and Amsterdam to attend Eurovision parties where I have performed my song as well as many interviews. I am super busy with lots of media interviews and we have a strict rehearsal schedule. I am here with the team from Denmark so I am surrounded by support including my own hair and makeup artist and choreographer, not to mention my five backing singers”. 

Back home: Anja Nissen performs with Sam Evans at Springtopia.

Back home: Anja Nissen performs with Sam Evans at Springtopia.

Anja, will be up against Australian entry, Indigenous teenager and X Factor star Isaiah Firebrace, whose song has been a streaming hit with more than 75 million listens on Spotify alone.

She thinks he “has a really good chance … he is a really sweet boy with an amazing voice. I haven't met him yet, but I'm sure we will be friends.

“This should be seen as a bonus for Australia!  Australia's can't vote for their own artist, but they can vote for Denmark.”

Her song Where I Am was released on May 5.

“There are so many fantastic performances it would be really hard to pick a winner … I feel like I definitely have a chance, but for me it's just about the personal competition with myself and challenging myself to do the best performance I can each time I get onstage.”

Prime time evening broadcasts of the finals are from May 12-14.

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