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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6 things about Denmark’s Eurovision entry

Anti Social Media's quest to bring the Eurovision crown back to Denmark begins in Vienna on Tuesday – here's what you need to know about the Danish entry in the song contest.

6 things about Denmark's Eurovision entry
Anti Social Media at their Eurovision rehearsal. Photo: Thomas Hanses (EBU)

The four-piece band Anti Social Media is representing Denmark at the Eurovision Song Contest 2015 in Vienna and will perform in Tuesday's initial semi-final round. 

Here is what you need to know about them:

1. The basics
Anti Social Media is made up of vocalist Philip Thornhill, guitarist Nikolaj Tøth Andersen, bassist David Rønne Vang and drummer Emil Vissing Christensen.

2. They actually play their own instruments
Eurovision is best known for cheesy pop and over-the-top ballads so the fact that Denmark's entry actually plays their own instruments sets them apart from most of the other entries. 

To see them in action, here is the performance at the national contest that sent Anti Social Media to Vienna:

3. They're very young (both as individuals and as a band)
Two of the youngest members of Anti Social Media are just 19 and the oldest is only 25. In addition to their young age, they've only been playing together as a band for mere months. Despite that short history, the band has already released a six-song EP, 'The Way You Are'. 

4. Their name may be a bit hypocritical
You’d think that the name Anti Social Media was a wry commentary on the sad state of our modern technology-obsessed world. You know, that we’re supposed to be more connected than ever before but are actually more alienated and alone? You’ve heard it before. But the band doesn’t really stick to that message with its active Facebook and Instagram accounts. 
5. Their song was written by ringers
'The Way You Are' was penned by Remee, a producer and songwriter best known for his role as a judge on the Danish version of X Factor. Remee has written songs for international acts like Robyn and Jamelia and domestic performers including Outlandish and Jokeren. 'The Way You Are' was co-written by producer and songwriter Chief 1, a member of the late 1980s rap group Rockers By Choice. 

Remee. Photo: Lars E Andreasen

Remee. Photo: Lars E Andreasen

6. Danish public broadcaster DR probably hopes they don't win
If Anti Social Media repeats Emmelie de Forest's 2013 success and win Eurovision, it's unlikely that the bigwigs at DR – or the Danish tourism industry – will jump for joy. De Forest's win brought the 2014 contest to Copenhagen and DR and Wonderful Copenhagen managed to massively overshoot their budgets and falsely inflate tourism figures as they put on the second most expensive Eurovision ever. So while Anti Social Media will have Denmark's support in Vienna, there may also be a big collective sigh of relief if they come up short. 

Anti Social Media with last year's winner, Conchita Wurst: