Tourist group tries to fix Eurovision mess

Wonderful Copenhagen's CEO for the past 20 years was fired as the tourist organization attempts to restore the public's confidence following its Eurovision spending scandal.

Tourist group tries to fix Eurovision mess
Wonderful Copenhagen put on the second most expensive Eurovision ever. Photo: Keld Navntoft/Scanpix
The tourist organization Wonderful Copenhagen on Tuesday fired its CEO as the fallout from the second most expensive Eurovision song contest ever continues. 
Wonderful Copenhagen announced that Lars Bernhard Jørgensen, who had sat at the head of the tourist organisation for 20 years, will be removed from his position as soon as a replacement can be found. 
The group also said that nine of its ten board members would be willing to give up their seats. 
In an official statement, Wonderful Copenhagen positioned the moves as "a generational shift".
"Lars Bernhard Jørgensen and I have decided to initiate a renewal process at Wonderful Copenhagen with the concrete objective of finding a new CEO who can form and lead Wonderful Copenhagen in its future work," the organization's chairman of the board, Peter Højland, said. 
Speaking to Ritzau, Højland said the move was necessary "in order to reestablish the reputation of Wonderful Copenhagen and restore legitimacy and trust in the organization".
Almost since the conclusion of the Eurovision Song Contest in May, both Wonderful Copenhagen and broadcaster DR have been under heavy criticism for widely overshooting their budgets to put on the singing contest in Copenhagen’s B&W Hallerne, former shipyards rebuilt explicitly for the purpose of hosting the show. 
The total cost of May’s Eurovision contest in Copenhagen was 334 million kroner ($56.7 million). That made 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. 
Projektselskabet, a temporary company created by 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. 
Wonderful Copenhagen was also accused of vastly overstating the song contest’s impact on local tourism. 
Jørgensen's was not the first head to roll in the spending scandal. Wonderful Copenhagen’s chairman of the board, Michael Metz-Mørch, stepped down in August
The 2015 Eurovision Song Contest will be held in Vienna, where demand for tickets is already through the roof

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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.