DR releases Eurovision docs after pressure

Public broadcaster DR bowed to increasing political and media pressure and release a trove of documents related to the spending scandal-plagued Eurovision contest.

DR releases Eurovision docs after pressure
Nearly five months after the conclusion of Eurovision, its spending mess remains. Photo: Jonathan Nackstrand/Scanpix
Update, 2.46pm:
After significant political pressure and negative press, public broadcaster DR reversed course on Tuesday and released several documents related to May's Eurovision song contest in Copenhagen.
"We have reconsidered the situation in light of the enormous political and media interest and after consultation with our board have decided to release contractual documents, as the question about disclosing the material came to overshadow the case's actual focus," DR's general director, Maria Rørbye Rønn, said in a statement.
Rønn added that in addition to making the material available online, it has also been handed over to the National Audit Office.
Original, 9.44am:
The total bill for May's Eurovision extravaganza in B&W Hallerne, converted former ship-building halls in an industrial area on Copenhagen’s Refshaleøen, came to 112 million kroner ($20.2 million), well over the initial 34.6 million kroner ($6.2 million). 
On top of that, the publicly-funded DR spent 190 million kroner ($32.3 million) on production. 
The overspending has had consequences at the tourist organisation Wonderful Copenhagen, which fired ten percent of its staff and will see a reduction in future financial support from the Capital Region (Region Hovedstaden). 
The National Audit Office of Denmark (Rigsrevision) wants to see the whole mess thoroughly investigated, but DR is doing everything it can to block access to key documents, Politiken reports.
Citing the nation’s radio and television laws, DR’s general director Maria Rørbye Rønn has resisted political calls from both sides of the aisle to release key Eurovision documents. 
Capital Region chairwoman Sophie Hæstorp Andersen told Politiken that she wants the public to get full insight into the Eurovision spending, but has been consistently blocked by DR.
“Every time we have been asked to share these documents with the public, we’ve been told by DR that the radio and television laws won’t allow it,” Andersen said.
According to Politiken, DR has repeatedly rejected requests to see key documents, defending its decision by referring to a part of the law that reads “cases and documents relating to DR’s programme service and business related conditions … are exempt from the law on public administration”.
Representatives from numerous political parties plan to take the case to the culture minister, Marriane Jelved, in the hopes that she can pressure DR to release the documents. 
But the fallout from the Eurovision scandal doesn’t stop with DR. The state administration (Statsforvaltningen) has also initiated an investigation into allegations that Copenhagen Mayor Frank Jensen was aware of the massive overspending months before the song contest began, but did not pass that information on to other key officials.

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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.