Total Eurovision bill nears 100 million kroner

The company hired to put on May's Eurovision contest overshot its budget by 70 million kroner ($13 million), leading to massive criticism and a huge bill for the public.

Total Eurovision bill nears 100 million kroner
Photo: Keld Navntoft/Scanpix
Eurovision may have paid off big for Conchita Wurst, but for Danish taxpayers it resulted in a much larger bill than expected. 
Metroxpress newspaper obtained access to the accounts of Projektselskabet, a part of the publicly-owned tourist organisation Wonderful Copenhagen, which was responsible for the Eurovision bonanza. The figures show that the company overshot its budget by a whole 70 million kroner.
According to the obtained documents, the Eurovision organisers budgeted for just 26 million kroner in public funds from the Copenhagen city council, the Capital Region (Region Hovedstaden) and the region-operated Wonderful Copenhagen. The final bill being sent on to taxpayers however is estimated to be closer to 97 million kroner. 

Financial experts who spoke with Metroxpress characterised the company’s preliminary budgets and accounts as “unprofessional”, “primitive” and a sign that the Projektselskabet “had no experience whatsoever with this kind of show”. 
The reactions of politicians weren’t much kinder.
“I’m at a total loss for words to describe the total incompetence on behalf of Wonderful Copenhagen,” the Danish People Party’s Kenneth Kristensen Berth told Metroxpress. 
Susanne Langer of the Red-Green Alliance (Enhedslisten) described it as “getting a bill with a gun to your head”. 
Projektselskabet admitted that it had gone “considerably over budget” but stressed that the final figures would not be ready until August. 

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Is Denmark’s Eurovision entry a rip-off?

Danes on Friday night voted for the song they wanted to represent them at this summer’s Eurovision contest. But before the euphoria even wore off, the winning entry was accused of being a rip-off of a smash hit German pop song.

Is Denmark's Eurovision entry a rip-off?
Lighthouse X will represent Denmark at Eurovision with the song 'Soldiers of Love'. Photo: Henning Bagger/Scanpix
The Danish trio Lighthouse X won Friday’s Melodi Grand Prix with the song ‘Soldiers of Love’. With 42 percent of viewers’ votes, the winners should have spent the next few days basking in glory before preparing to represent the nation in Stockholm this summer.
Instead, social media users began pointing out that the song performed by Johannes Nymark, Søren Bregendal and Martin Skriver sounded an awful lot like German pop superstar Helene Fischer’s ‘Atemlos durch die Nacht’ hit from 2013. 
Lighthouse X flatly denies being inspired by the German track. 
“We are not, because none of us know that song,” the group told tabloid BT. 
Two music experts came to the Danish group’s defence – sort of. 
Producer Chief 1 acknowledged that the two songs sound familiar but said it was likely “just a coincidence”. 
“We don’t have so many tones in the pop palette, so you can’t avoid touching on something else in this universe,” he told TV2. “I really don’t think the people behind this song sit around listening to bad German schlager to find inspiration.” 
The head of the official Melodi Grand Prix fan club also said the two songs are very similar but not close enough to qualify as pure plagiarism. 
“I’ll admit that when you hear Helene Fischer’s song, the chorus sounds a lot like the Danish winning song. But otherwise the songs are quite different and I have a hard time believing that EBU [the European Broadcasting Union, which produces the Eurovision Song Contest, ed.] would threaten to disqualify it based on this,” Johann Sørensen said. 
So, is the Danish song a rip-off of the German? Listen to them both below and judge for yourself.