Now that the National Finals season is finished and all songs for Eurovision 2016 have been selected we now have a period of around 5 weeks where we wait for the rehearsals to begin in Stockholm. What better way to fill the time than to look back over the 60 years of Eurovision at some of the best and worst entries that countries have sent to the Eurovision stage. There are 43 countries going to Stockholm to take part in the 2016 edition of our favourite musical extravaganza and we continue our journey with Hungary who have never won the contest but have reached the top 10 on four occasions with 4th place being the best finish. They have also finished last once in a Semi Final. This has been achieved in only 13 participations. You can check out the previous articles in the best and worst series for Ireland HERE ,Spain HERE, Austria HERE, Bosnia & Herzegovina HERE, Iceland HERE,Belarus HERE, Denmark HERE, Georgia HERE, Germany HERE, Cyprus HERE, Finland HERE and Belgium HERE.
So this year Hungary are represented by Freddie with the song ‘Pioneer’. We will have to wait and see if it turns out to be more of a best or worst song for Hungary but the overall reaction is fairly positive so far. You can catch up on our recent article about little known facts about Freddie HERE.
So my selections for best and worst entries are based on a combination of actual results and personal taste. Now Hungary have only thirteen entries to choose from making the task of choice easier. As I tend to choose 3 in each category it will only leave 7 Hungarian entries out of the selection.
We do not have to go very far back in time to find our first song that is one of the worst for Hungary. The year was 2009 and we were in Moscow to see Zoli Ádok singing the song ‘Dance With Me’.
With a song that was catchy and very danceable this should have worked for me. The performance was energetic and sexy. Zoli was wearing the tightest outfit since goodness knows when. The song was actually only third choice in an internal selection for Hungary as the first was disqualified and the second withdrawn. The song is a eurodance song, which is about a man who wants to invite a girl to dance with him. He was accompanied on stage by 3 seductively clad female dancers. So why is it the worst you ask? Well in such a small field of Hungarian entries it failed to set the voters hearts a pumping and finished in 15th place in the Semi Final and failed to qualify for the Final with only 16 points.
Moving along we look at one of the best entries for Hungary. We were in Dublin in 1994 to see the debut entry for Hungary performed by Friderika Bayer with the song ‘Kinek mondjam el vétkeimet?’.
Now Friderika performed the debut entry for Hungary but in fact Hungary had an entry the previous year but it failed to pre qualify for the Final. Her musical style has now moved onto gospel music. But her song was a ballad, with Friderika wondering who she can confess her sins to. She was accompanied on the stage by the composer of the song playing acoustic guitar. In the initial voting the song received three consecutive 12-point scores to lead the field and earn Hungary the distinction of being the only débuting entrant to date to lead the voting at the start. However by the end it had faded a little but still finished in an impressive 4th place with 122 points.
So now we move back to look at another of the worst entries for Hungary. The year was 1998 and we were in Birmingham to see Charlie perform the song ‘A holnap már nem lesz szomorú’.
Now this the first contest that I attended live and was like a dream come true for me. So much so I became hooked and have only missed 2 since then. There were many good songs that year and this one was actually ok but without being spectacular. Now Charlie was an established Hungarian rock and soul singer and you could certainly feel that experience in his performance. The song was a soulful ballad, with Charlie singing to an ill lover that she will recover and telling her about the things they will do together when she does. It failed to impress the juries that much and finished in 23rd place with only 4 points.
Our next song that has to be considered one of the best for Hungary came from the year 2013 and we were in Malmo to witness ByeAlex singing ‘Kedvesem’.
There is no doubt that the gentle and laid back simplicity of this song was what appealed to me and many others it would seem. ByeAlex is a stage name for the indie pop singer and writer Alex Márta. He released a 3 track CD of the song and among them was the Zoohacker Remix which was chosen as the performance entry for Eurovision. As I said it was simple but had an extra bite and hook that grabbed you. It qualified for the Final in 8th place in the Semi Final and then went on to finish 10th in the Final with 84 points.
So onto our last song that was one of Hungary’s worst. It was in 1995 and Dublin was the venue to see Csaba Szigeti compete with the song ‘Új név a régi ház falán’.
Now the song was simply staged with Csaba siting at a piano in a very dark staging of the song. The song is a ballad with Szigeti singing about his attempt to meet with an old friend but having no luck. He didn’t have any luck in the voting either as his dark moody song only received 3 points and finished in 22nd place.
We now arrive at the last song Hungary and it is another of its finest. In 2014 we were in Copenhagen to see András Kállay-Saunders with the song ‘Running’.
Now András was born in New York to a Hungarian/American combination of parents. He went to Hungary to visit his Grandmother and entered a singing competition in 2010 and his career took off from there. The song had a very dark subject matter and the artist himself said it was inspired by one of his friends that was an abuse victim. He also said that he wanted to bring awareness to this topic through his voice and he would like for abuse victims to know that they don’t have to be afraid to speak up and ask for help. It was well received by the voters and finished 3rd in the Semi Final then went on to finish in 5th place with 143 points.
So there we have it folks, my little delve into Hungarian Eurovision history and some of the best and worst moments over the years. Do you agree with all or even any of my choices? Feel free to comment below.
This series will continue with another look at songs over the years for each and every country competing in Eurovision 2016 so keep coming back for more reflections of the best and worst that Eurovision has had to offer us.
Author: Andrew Main
Source: Eurovision Ireland