A Dal’s second semi-final came to a dramatic close on Saturday. Just before the credits rolled, host and ex-Eurovision star Freddie made a shocking statement — one of the finalists had been accused of plagiarism! Two days later, we have a name — Petruska.
In a sensational turn of events, the “Help Me Out of Here” singer has been expelled from the final. Moving swiftly, broadcaster MTVA has already replaced him with Gergő Oláh. The “Hozzád bújnék” performer had the highest combined jury/televote score among the non-qualifiers from both semis.
What song did Petruska allegedly copy?
“White Sky” by Vampire Weekend. The award-winning indie/alternative rock band from New York city, formed in 2006. Throughout their career, they’ve been nominated for several awards, actually winning one Grammy, one NME and two Q awards. “White Sky” is the fourth single from the group’s second album Contra, released in 2010. It charted in the US, UK, France, Mexico and Belgium.
What does MTVA say?
- There have been plagiarism claims in the previous years, however, none of them proved to be true.
- As a guarantee to avoid situations like this, every year, artists competing in A Dal sign a declaration which has a serious fine attached if breached.
- Gyula Fekete, deputy rector and expert of the Franz Liszt Academy of Music, has stated the following in his professional resolution: “The tonality, tempo, arrangement, harmony structure, typical bassline, and melody of the two songs are identical. The very characteristical chorus of the Vampire Weekend song also shows resemblance with Petruska’s song, which makes the mood and character of “Help Me Out Of Here” is identical with the one of “White Sky”. Knowing that many hits are made with the same limited inventory of tools and that many songs nowadays sound similar to each other, still, in our case the parameters mentioned above of Petruska’s song show too many resemblances with Vampire Weekend’s song, therefore “Help Me Out Of Here” can be classified as plagiarism.“
- Since the professional resolution was clear, the producers of the show, according to the rules, had to immediately disqualify Petruska from the competition. As it mentioned in the live show, the replacement will be the non-qualifying act with the biggest combined score of jury and televote, in this case, Gergő Oláh.
- Petruska was notified about the decision and its background in person, before the release of the press statement.
- The declaration mentioned above, signed by the acts would enable MTVA to collect the huge penalty from Petruska, however, with the disqualification alone, the board of the broadcaster considers the case closed and focuses on Saturday’s Grand Final of A Dal 2019.
Notably, the broadcaster has not disclosed the original source of the plagiarism complaints.
This afternoon, Petruska reacted to his disqualification. The singer expressed his shock in a lengthy Facebook message. Although he doesn’t intend to protest the broadcaster’s decision, he denies that he plagiarised the Vampire Weekend song.
He argues that since his entry is built on the three most-used chords in pop music and uses the shuffle rhythm, it’s easy to find similarities. He was inspired by folk and dance songs from Zimbabwe and Malawi when writing the track. In his view, any similarities are coincidental.
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What do you think? Do you hear any similarities? Are you happy with MTVA’s decision? Let us know in the comments.