In Norway, a national finalist copied himself and was forced to change it to still take part in the competition. In Denmark one of the favourite songs have been performed by 2013 Eurovision winner Emmelie de Forest at quite a lot of concerts back in 2014, and thus might be breaking the rules.
Denmark and Norway are neighbouring countries. Both call their national selection for Melodi Grand Prix, and both broadcasters are dealing with problems concerning of of their selected national finalists.
Norwegian song given new chorus and title
When Norwegian broadcaster, NRK, earlier this week released small clips of their national final entries, it didn’t take long before the first national final scandal this year hit them. Among the 10 songs was Happy Rush by Freddy Kalas. Eventhough only small clips had been made available, this song was soon accused of being a copy of the song Cannabus by… Freddy Kalas himself. NRK looked into it, and came to the conclusion that the similarity was indeed too big. Instead of pulling the song out of competition they gave Freddy and the other songwriters on it 24 hours to change the song.
The song has now been given a new chorus and the new title Feel Da Rush, and it is now able to compete in the 2016 national selection, Melodi Grand Prix, in Norway. NRK is satisfied with the changes and the man in charge of their national final, Jan Fredrik Karlsen afterwards spoke out saying that the song now has an even cooler chorus.
Danish song performed at concerts two years ago
In Denmark where the national final also is called Melodi Grand Prix the broadcaster, DR, is also in problems. First their 10 acts leaked weeks before they intended to present them. When that was dealt with a new scandal has hit them as it is now proved that one of the favourite songs to win the competition has been performed at a list of concerts back in 2014. The song Never Alone is set to compete in the Melodi Grand Prix 2016 sung by Anja Nissen. One of the songwriters behind the song is the 2013 Eurovision Song Contest winner Emmelie de Forest, and she is also the reason the song is now in danger of being pulled out.
Emmelie de Forest performed Never Alone at at least 10 concerts back in 2014, including in these concerts should be Nibe Festival which is visited by more than 25.000 people, and question is now, if this song can still take part in the national selection.
DR’s own rules for their selection says: “The song must not in any way have been performed, published or sold without DR’s clear permision. By performance, publishing or sell is understood that the original piece not must have been played at public places including radio, TV, concerts and online….. If the following is not lived up to, DR can at any time pull the song out of the competition if DR estimate that the song is violating EBU’s rules or has reached a competition advantage in relation to the other songs“.
It is clear that the song is breaking the Danish rules, and perhaps also the ones from EBU. It is not yet pulled out of the Danish final, but DR’s Head of Entertainment Jan Lagermand Lundme says that they are now looking into it and is in correspondance with EBU. He says that EBU told that “there is nothing that says that a song performed from stage can’t take part in Eurovision Song Contest. It is all a matter of how many heard the song, and I can’t come with a specific number. It is an evaluation from time to time“.
From EBU’s rules: “The compositions (lyrics and music) must not have been commercially released before the Release Date (see the Event Schedule). In case the composition has been made available to the public, for example, but not limited to, on online video 2 platforms, social networks or (semi-) publicly accessible databanks, the Participating Broadcaster must inform the ESC Executive Supervisor, who shall have authority to evaluate whether the composition is eligible for participation in the Event. In particular, the ESC Executive Supervisor shall assess whether such disclosure prior to the Release Date is likely to give to the composition an advantage in the Event vis-à-vis the other compositions. The ESC Executive Supervisor shall authorise or deny participation of a composition which may have been available to the public as described above, subject to the prior approval of the Reference Group“.
At the moment it is still unclear if Never Alone will compete in the Danish national final on the 13th of February. The song is breaking DR’s rules, but so far the broadcaster is in further contact with EBU to find out if it is also breaking their rules. As the song is one of the favourites to win, it will be hard to estimate in case of a win if it had any advantage.