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EUROVISION

Eurovision was second most expensive ever

The overspending on May's Eurovision contest has been long known, but the total bill is now calculated at a whopping 334 million kroner and the company behind the show went over its budget by a full 100 million kroner.

Eurovision was second most expensive ever
Copenhagen outspent neighbouring Malmö by over 200 million kroner. Photo: Bax Lindhardt/Scanpix
New calculations from the National Audit Office of Denmark (Rigsrevision) reveal that the total cost of May’s Eurovision contest in Copenhagen was 334 million kroner ($56.7 million). 
 
That makes the Copenhagen show the second most expensive in Eurovision history, behind the 446 million kroner spent by Azerbaijan in 2011. The extravagance dwarfs that of the Eurovision put on the year before across the bridge in Malmö, where just 125 million kroner was spent on the televised singing contest. 
 
 
According to Rigsrevision’s calculations, Projektselskabet, a temporary company created by publicly-owned tourist organisation Wonderful Copenhagen to put on the Eurovision bonanza, completely overshot its initial budget of 34.6 million and ended up spending 137 million kroner on the show – a whopping 100 million kroner more. 
 
Public broadcaster DR, which on Tuesday caved to pressure and released all of its documents related to the Eurovision show, spent 197 million kroner in production, going over its budget by seven million. 
 
 
The new figures have added to the chorus of criticism for the extravagant song contest, especially in light ofrecent revelation that elderly people in nursery homes are being served vacuum-packed sandwiches in lieu of fresh food due to budget cuts.
 
Anders Samuelsen, the leader of the libertarian party Liberal Alliance, took to Facebook to vent his frustrations, calling the spending “sick” and “embarrassing”. 
 
“For that amount, one could hire 700 cooks (seven cooks for each municipality) for one year to make better food for the elderly instead of the seven-day old sandwiches they get now,” he wrote. 
 
“Of you could pay for the highly professional DR Underholdingsorkestret for eight years including a tonne of concerts. The same orchestra that was eliminated to cover budget holes,” Samuelsen said, referring to DR’s decision to eliminate its 42-person orchestra that has existed for 75 years in a recent round of spending cuts and layoffs
 
 
The Socialist People’s Party’s Lise Müller, a council member of the Capital Region, also referenced the sandwich controversy.
 
“Nearly 350 million kroner for some glitz and glamour. It offends my sense of fairness that so much money would be used at the same time that we talk about saving a few million kroner by serving the elderly vacuum-packed sandwiches,” she told Metroxpress.

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EUROVISION

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. 
 
 

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