Thirty acts entered Hungary’s A Dal 20171, but only 18 will move on to the semi-finals. The last six acts to make it to the semi-finals were decided by jury and public vote on Saturday’s edition of the competition. A new frontrunner may have emerged as well as an underdog brought through by the wildcard vote.
Here are the six acts that advanced following this week’s show:
1st Place – Gigi Radics “See it Through” – 43 points
Shocking. That’s the only way to describe my reaction to how well this song did. This is by far the most Eurovision-iest song in Hungary’s competition, hitting every single power ballad cliche with gusto. I am not a fan, but apparently I’m in the minority. This song earned the highest score in all three heats, so maybe Hungary is picking up on something that I’m missing.
2nd Place (Tie) – Zävodi + Olivér Berkes “#háttérzaj” – 41 points
This song had one of the most solid male vocals I’ve heard in this year’s competition, though that high note toward the end needs a little more air if the singer wants to hit it correctly. I’m not sure the piano catching on fire is the best staging choice since the last act to do that scored nil points in Vienna. I would be interested to see #háttérzaj trending into the A Dal final.
2nd Place (Tie) – Gabi Toth “Hosszú idők” – 41 points
I enjoyed this performance quite a bit. The stage performance seems fully thought out and doesn’t rely too heavily on pyrotechnics or other foofery. The graphic in the background is a little too similar to Jamala’s tree from last year’s Eurovision final, but that is easily fixed. I would suggest keeping an eye on this one.
2nd Place (Tie) – Joci Pápai “Origo” – 41 points
This is a tricky entry. On the one hand, there are a lot of interesting and unexpected elements coming into play in this performance. However, there are also a number of elements that don’t play well on the Eurovision stage–perhaps a little to culturally specific, and the rapping at the end reminds me of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s failed entry last year. I’ll be curious to see how this does in the semi-finals.
5th Place – The Couple “Vége van” – 38 points
This piano ballad is fine, but I have to wonder if Finland’s entry may have an impact on the Couple progressing through the competition. The song style and staging of both entries are quite similar, and we don’t need 2017 to turn into another downer duet year.2
Wildcard – Soulwave “Kalandor” – 34 points
Do not doubt the power of a band of cute guys with guitars. This group finished tied for last place in the heat and got through on the viewer vote. They even beat fellow cute guy with guitar Benjámin Pál, whose song I preferred. They will be going into the semi-finals with the lowest score of all the acts, so it will be interesting to see if audience support will be able to carry the band through to the final.
Later this week we’ll find out which acts are assigned to which semi-final. Then on Friday and Saturday, the 18 acts will be cut down to 8 as Hungary gets closer to making its Eurovision selection.