An Icelandic Eurovision hopeful has raised eyebrows with his contender song, due to its striking similarities to a well-known hit from the singer Rihanna.
Friðrik Ómar Hjörleifsson made it through last Saturday’s elimination rounds to represent Iceland in Eurovision in Tel Aviv this May. While the Icelandic finals are not until March 2, Friðrik Ómar’s song, Hvað ef ég get ekki elskað? (lit. “What if I can’t love?”), is already catching a lot of attention—though likely not for the reasons that the artist would prefer.
As DV reports, a number of people commenting on RÚV’s YouTube upload of the song have pointed out striking similarities between his song and Rihanna’s Love On The Brain. For example, in response to a comment that Hvað ef ég get ekki elskað should assure Iceland a place in the finals, one Ólafur Arons replies, “It would, if it weren’t plagiarism. If this song moves forward, then it’s because of corruption. Covers aren’t allowed in the Eurovision Song Contest as far as i know.”
Friðrik has denied these accusations, telling DV that the inspiration for his song was actually the Righteous Brothers’ Unchained Melody. Numerous Icelanders on Twitter, as DV shows, still think the song sounds very much like Rihanna, whether they loved Friðrik Ómars song or not.
For the purposes of fairness, we invite you to listen to both songs and decide for yourself: