Song Title: “Pioneer”
First Semi-Final: Position #4
Last year’s entry: “Wars for Nothing” – Boggie (20th Place)
I’m concerned about Hungary, y’all. Although the country has had quite a bit of success since returning to the Contest in 2011 after a brief hiatus, there just doesn’t seem to be much enthusiasm surrounding “Pioneer” by Freddie. There’s no official video1, so rather than link to the Hungarian final video again we should watch this live performance from a couple weeks ago:
Oh, honey. This would be like the winner of The Voice or American Idol performing at your high school’s charity car wash two weeks after the finale. Perhaps it is a prestigious spa Freddie is performing at in the video above, but it hardly screams Eurovision Promotional Tour. The lukewarm response from the crowd doesn’t bode well either. The “please clap” gesture during the chorus being met with half-hearted (and not on beat) participation is difficult to watch.
What this and other videos of Freddie’s Hungarian tour suggest is a lack of gravitas from the performer. Yes, there is “teh pretty”2, but that only goes so far when Russia is also trying to corner that market. Freddie also has the challenge of being followed by Croatia’s Nina Kraljic in the first Eurovision semi-final, whose song is borrowing just as much from Ireland’s playbook as Freddie’s stage performance did at the Hungarian final.
If we were just evaluating the song, I think “Pioneer” is a solid piece of work. However, as a Eurovision entry, Freddie is definitely on the bubble for advancing to the final.
Eurovision Song Contest First Semi-Final
May 10, 2016
Armenia • Austria • Azerbaijan • Bosnia & Herzegovina • Croatia • Cyprus • Czech Republic • Estonia • Finland • Greece • Hungary • Iceland • Malta • Moldova • Montenegro • Netherlands • Russia •