The views expressed in this article are those of the editors and do not necessarily represent those of #escYOUnited as a whole, the EBU or Eurovision.

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This evening sees another national selection kick off for Eurovision 2019, as Hungary’s popular A Dal selection returns for its Tel Aviv edition. Ten acts will be taking part in the first heat as the jury and Hungarian public combine to decide which six acts advance to the semi-finals.

We’re sure #YOU have some opinions on these songs, which #YOU can share by voting in our poll HERE, but what did our team think of tonight’s songs? Let’s see what James, Jordan and Sean thought…

Barni Hamar – Wasted

James – 1 – “No, we haven’t turned the corner on bad rap at Eurovision because there’s this. Who the hell would want to sing along to a chorus with “I feel down when, looking at you, wasted with your man”? It starts indie, then introduces ear drum broddling synth, and some bad, bad rapping. Instead of watching a random girl getting it on with an American man on a dance floor, why not find yourself another girl instead of wasting our time and ruining our party? GTFO!”

Jordan – 8 – “This has brit-pop written all over it and I really love it. I can imagine someone like George Ezra singing this song. Barni himself has a brilliant voice and the chorus has a really good beat. I really enjoy this one. Some of the lyrics give me question marks but other than that this is a great entry.”

Sean – 6 – “Quite the detectable accent on Mr. Hamar but this has all the ingredients needed for a great commercial pop song in 2019. It’s a well-produced track and his vocals remind me ever so slightly of Dan Smith of Bastille, a voice that works well with upbeat dance-pop. The only major criticism is that, as a commercial pop song, it could come from any number of artists and as a result the track doesn’t have its own character.”

Total – 15

DENIZ – Ide várnak vissza

James – 7 – “Wait, what? Eastern European rap that works? It is unusual that hip hop with Hungarian flair is not awful, so even if Deniz looks like “Ladies of London” star Caroline Stanbury’s makeup artist Luke, you can’t laugh this out of the park. A curious ode to Budapest, and have we finally turned the corner on bad rap at Eurovision?”

Jordan – 6 – “The opening of the song really interested me, and I really like the chorus… However, the verses just go into generic rap mode. I don’t mind rap personally, but this guy adds nothing extra to the song to make it stand out. I like parts of this but overall, it’s just a bit middle of the road for me.”

Sean – 5 – “Well this is certainly something different! A rare blend of latino guitar vibes, raspy female vocals in a soft rock Santana-like chorus and Hungarian rap. I certainly can’t think of any other song I’ve heard like this. Despite that, it is a little bland and the three minute duration drags slightly, so while I can appreciate its differences, it doesn’t do much to excite me.”

Total – 18

Gergő Oláh – Hozzád bújnék

James – 8 – “An emotional ballad with an emotional and powerful vocal delivery. Hungary does dark and emotional very well (recall Andras Kalley-Saunders from 2014), and Gergő performs a range of them without being overwrought or hamming it up. The track is relatively simple and straight-forward, so Gergő will need to make sure he doesn’t stumble live as the song depends heavily on his lead.”

Jordan – 7 – “I love this guy’s voice! He has a really nice! I also quite like the song. It has a great melody and his amazing voice elevates it too. However, after a while it does get a little repetitive and it doesn’t take me to that final stage where I love it. This is a nice little song but shouldn’t be Hungary’s song for Eurovision for me.”

Sean – 3 – “This sounds like a B-side from a Westlife single, and my mum certainly listened to a lot of songs like this during my childhood (obviously not in Hungarian). While it gives a bit of a warm fuzzy nostalgic feel because of this, it’s nothing special for 2019 and while he has a great voice and charisma, I fear it will only fade into Eurobscurity.”

Total – 18

Gergő Szekér – Madár, repülj!

James – 5 – “This one is all over the place. You don’t expect the rapping and the bass drops and then what sounds like woodwind instruments tossed in. Gergő’s a very good singer, but this song is too unfocused to have any lasting impact. Find a lane and stay in it, Gergő.”

Jordan – 4 – “Another amazing male voice in this selection. However, the rap really puts me off the song here. The switch between vocals and rap is very jarring and throws me out of the song. There are parts I like but overall, I am not keen on this one.”

Sean – 5 – “This took a left turn! From the opening 40 seconds I was expecting some kind of intriguing a capella-gospel type song. Instead we have a shapeshifting track that crashes, echoes and wobs around for three minutes. It’s, erm… different for sure, but as much as I love the intriguing and left-field it’s just a little bit too messy for my tastes.”

Total – 14

Konyha – Százszor Visszajátszott

James – 3 – “A boring indie rock song with an annoying and clumsy riff throughout. Oh yeah, and toss in some annoying squeaky sound effects on top as well while you’re at it. The song never gets going, never goes anywhere, and the vocalist doesn’t sound too arsed to be there either.”

Jordan – 5 – “The opening of the song is really interesting, and it draws me in but as the song goes on, I do start to lose interest. I do like the electro-pop elements but other than that this is a middle of the road entry that doesn’t really stand out.”

Sean – 4 – “I hadn’t even realised the track was over when it had finished, which I know sounds a bit harsh, but this one passed me by. The whistling-like sounds are nice, the beat is nice, everything is nice. But nice isn’t always enough for a track, and it’s forgettable for sure.”

Total – 12

László Váray – Someone Who Lives Like This

James – 1 – ” Is Váray László a pseudonym for Richard Fairbrass, the singer from Right Said Fred, who decided to enter Eurovision with an improvised acoustic ditty? This is shockingly bad. He can’t sing and this salad of chords has no business calling itself a song.”

Jordan – 2 – “I like the acoustic guitar and his voice is unique, but otherwise this song is a non-starter for me. It just doesn’t work for me personally. Even though it’s in English I have no idea what he is saying. This song just doesn’t make sense. I’m sorry.”

Sean – 6 – “This is the dictionary definition of ‘stripped back’. The haunting, raspy tones of László’s voice and the sparse plucks of the guitar create an effective atmosphere but it sounds too much like a demo and as a native English speaker I wish this would’ve been in Hungarian as the lyrics don’t really make much sense. I ended up enjoying it a lot more than I thought I would however!”

Total – 9

Nomad – A remény hídjai

James – 7 – “Is it me or does it have a bit of a Midnight Oil vibe? Either way, this folk rock number has a lot going for it, including a positive message with some uplifting music to back it.”

Jordan – 6 – “This is a good little band. Their harmonies work well together, and the song does have a great rhythm in the chorus. I like the up-beat nature of the song too. However, the versus do let me down slightly, they don’t really have the impact needed to make a massive impression on me. It’s pretty good though.”

Sean – 7 – “Skirting on the thin lines between indie and full-on rock, and with ballad elements thrown in for good measure, this is one of the better tracks in this heat. I like the way that this track is composed; the high squawks of the guitar and snares in the chorus are a hallmark of a lot of indie songs I enjoy outside of the contest. Not bad!”

Total – 20

Olivér Berkes – Világítótorony

James – 7 – “A very simple piano and acoustic guitar ballad. The lighthouse graphics in the video give you a good idea where they’ll go with staging, but this tune is tender and slight. A little too slight, perhaps, as it fades from memory as quick as a passing storm.”

Jordan – 10 – “This has to win for me. This has the potential to be my favourite for the whole year if this is picked. I love this so much. Oliver has a stunning voice and he conveys emotion in the song so well. Even when listening to the Hungarian version I can feel the emotion. I feel after AWS last year this would be a really good choice for Hungary. This song is just perfection for me.”

Sean – 6 – “A nice little piano ballad about love that will tug at the heartstrings of Hungarians everywhere, I’m sure. I haven’t seen him perform live yet so not sure how much of this message will come across but if he can portray it emotionally enough for international audiences to understand this could be a dark horse to do well if it makes it all the way.”

Total – 23

Rozina Pátkai – Frida

James – 3 – “Sounds like a Los Angeles art-synth band from 2008. The use of autotune is a problem here as it’s painful, and it distracts from what little else is there. These deadpan singers telling you about their pain is old hat.”

Jordan – 3 – “Well, this is the first female vocalist of the semi final, so she stands out immediately. But the song really isn’t that good. There is nothing here that screams winner at all. This is just one that fades into the background for me.”

Sean – 8 – “Probably one of the more intriguingly good tracks in this selection that I’ve come across so far. The synths that emerge and disappear into the track really act as a driving force for this song, and the tug of war between the quiet and loud moments in this song release into a wonderful sonic release in the last thirty seconds. I’m not sure how much the average Eurofan would appreciate this but personally this is a fantastic entry!”

Total – 14

Tímea Antal ft. Demko Gergő – Kedves Világ!

James – 7 – “With heavy emphasis on violin and acoustic guitar, it is a catchy folk number, very similar to the non-metal albums of Switzerland’s Eluveitie. It’s lacking a certain punch, but with creative staging this could be an effective piece.”

Jordan – 2 – “Nah… This song isn’t really for me. She has a nice voice, but I just find this entry a little too out there for my taste. There is just nothing about this entry that seems to connect with me I’m afraid. Sorry.”

Sean – 7 – “Now this is how to get the blend between the modern and traditional right! Great track this. The violin is only used in the right moments and neither side of the coin is overuse or has too much emphasis placed on it, and the song flits between the normal pop and traditional folk sounds quite well.”

Total – 16


Now that our team have had their say, let’s see what our standings would be for the first heat…

  1. Olivér Berkes – Világítótorony – 23
  2. Nomad – A remény hídjai – 20
  3. DENIZ – Ide várnak vissza – 18
  4. Gergő Oláh – Hozzád bújnék – 18
  5. Tímea Antal ft. Demko Gergő – Kedves Világ! – 16
  6. Barni Hamar – Wasted – 15
  7. Gergő Szekér – Madár, repülj! – 14
  8. Rozina Pátkai – Frida – 14
  9. Konyha – Százszor Visszajátszott – 12
  10. László Váray – Someone Who Lives Like This – 9

Based on the fact six songs will qualify this evening, our ideal line-up to go through to the next round would be Olivér Berkes, Nomad, DENIZ, Gergő Oláh, Tímea Antal ft. Demko Gergő and Barni Hamar, with Berkes achieving a comfortable victory in our mini-table.

But do #YOU agree on our thoughts? Vote in our poll as mentioned above and we will reveal later what #YOU thought of this heat!

What do #YOU think of this year’s Hungarian selection? Share your thoughts with us on our forum HERE or join the discussion below and on social media @ESCunited!

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