Budapest calling – ESC 2013 Hungary pre-selection (A Dal)

Another day, another national final to look at. Finally I’ve caught up to the extent that I’ve only got March national finals to finish off… nearly there! This time we look East, to Hungary and its impressive haul of 30 hopefuls looking for that tickets to Malmö in May.

Hungary haven’t had the best time in Eurovision – patchy attendance, an unpredictable qualification record, and only a few decent hits to their name. They debuted with a 4th place finish back in 1994, and returned to the top 10 in 2007, but have yet to have that big breakthrough. Will this year’s edition of Hungarian pre-selection show “A Dal” come up with that hit?


Three heats of 10 songs were whittled down to two semi-finals of 9 songs, with 10 songs making it to the final. A jury of six Hungarian judges picked the top 4, with a televote settling the matter.

Gergő Rácz – Csak állj mellém

Oh what a pretty young man. He absently strums a guitar until a beefy 80s pop production kicks in. His voice is quite nice, but what awful backup singers!! Seriously!

I thought they were supposed to help him? They are hogging the lower register and just sound like a drunken karaoke party in the background. What whoa-aahh refrain just sounds crap.

It wouldn’t have been the best song in the world ever, nor is he an incredible singer, but I can’t help but think it’s not his fault that this really doesn’t work.

Szilvi Agárdi and Dénes Pál – Szíveddel láss

What is it with these people and lower registers? He looks like a boxer. Is she blind? I’m not expecting some hot choreo on this one! At least the backing singers do a more competent job on this.

A bit gimmicky, how many blind people have we had at Eurovision? I can think of 2 in the last 10 years without any trouble. Her wandering eye is a bit distracting – quite easy as this is a really dull ballad. Neither are amazing singers, even if she does that Sarah McLachlan honk noise. Zzzzzz…

Laura Cserpes – Élj pont úgy

Another ballad! Lucky us! I don’t mind that they are all in Hungarian so far, it’s just that they’ve been rather uninspiring. She’s gorgeous though, and seems to have a lovely voice.

Oh I like this chorus, has a bit of life to it, it morphs into a midtempo of sorts. Some of the notes are a bit iffy, but this is miles ahead of the other two songs so far. My attention drifted a bit in the second verse, and this is no winner, but quite nice all the same.

Ildikó Keresztes – Nem akarok többé játszani

She looks like a more human version of Reba McIntyre. This has a bit more weight to it, even if the first verse is a bit of a rudderless jumble. I had hoped the chorus would pull things together, and it is better formed, but just doesn’t have the oomph…

Love the electro bleeps in the second verse. This just never quite lives up to its potential somehow. Is it a power ballad? Is it just a normal ballad? Where’s the tune? A shame because she seems like a pretty confident and watchable performer, even if his range is a bit limited.

Tamás Vastag – Holnaptól

Another fresh-faced young man, let’s hope this works better than the first song, as we move into the Jury’s top 4 that went up for the televote.

A park bench? Sure I’ve seen this before… maybe Hungary’s last top 10 hit “Insubstantial blues”. Boo, it’s a dull old midtempo. This standing around and singing would be great if he had a great voice. Admittedly he’s not in amazing company in this final so far, but it’s a little uninspiring.

He looks a bit like Finn off Glee. It’s a decent effort, I’m just not in a rush to hear it again, even if there’s a (botched) key-change giving light at the end of the tunnel.

András Kállay-Saunders – My Baby

This was the jury’s favourite, but the public didn’t quite agree, putting it 3rd out of teh 4 choices. Oh lord, who is this goon? A Hungarian Olly Murs? His voice is quite nice, even if those eyebrows could do with a pluck. Good backing singers are hard to find in Hungary I think…

Still, this it pretty listenable, even if it’s going for a well-trodden path of Motown-sounding midtempo. That chorus is quite sweet, it’s just a bit too loungey and unexciting. It’s nice of him to get the backing singers in on the choreo, but it’s not quite sold on me. One of the most professional-looking efforts though.

Gigi Radics – Úgy fáj

2nd place now, and what the hell, let’s have another ballad to get this party started, yeah!! We’ve had Finn already, let’s get Glee’s Rachel Berry out too. This isn’t bad actually! She’s got a very cartoonish set of facial expressions hasn’t she? Ooooooohh!!

That breathy bridge is a bit strange, but she’s got quite a lovely voice and the song has a good structure. It’s a shame it was down to a straight-up televote, otherwise this would have won I think; it came 2nd in the jury vote and televote.

That last chorus could’ve done with a key change, but she does a great job with the vocal gymnastics. Lovely girl, let’s hope the winner was even better.

ByeAlex – Kedvesem

Are they buskers? Have a shave, mate. Take a lozenge too, talk about croaky. Ugh … seriously, this won? The lyrics better be amazing – they’ll be sunk if they don’t sing this in English I think.

It’s got a nice chilled-out flow to it, but the chorus is over too soon. Does this guy even have a range? He sounds terrible! At least that female backing vocalist gives it a bit of depth. But that’s it! WTF??? What a rubbish winner, and almost certain doom for Hungray unless they can do SOMETHING to it. Hopeless! ByeHungary!


1 Comment

Filed under Eurovision, Malmö 2013, Music, Reviews

One response to “Budapest calling – ESC 2013 Hungary pre-selection (A Dal)

  1. Pingback: Road to Malmö: ByeAlex – “Kedvesem” (Hungary) | Verbal Diarrhoea

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