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.