A Swede who lives in Finland and who is lost in Euroland - the wonderful world of Eurovision
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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Hungary: where did the sparkle go?

In only a couple of years, A Dal has really imposed itself as one of the more functioning national finals. It is popular among the audience as well as the participants, and last year the quality was so high almost anyone of the eight finalists could have worked in Copenhagen.

I think I wrote a number of times last year that Hungary feels like one of those countries capable of victory at any given moment now - all they need is a bull's eye and the perfect entry.

Unfortunately, 2015 won't be the big year. Instead A Dal goes out to prove what a thin line there is between good and excellent. And in a contest with 40 songs, good will never be good enough.

There is nothing wrong with the line-up for Saturday's final. All songs are more than acceptable, all of them are well sung. But none of them have "winner" written all over it. Next year, I am hoping for sharper songwriting and better choruses again. More sparkle.

Anyway, I singled out my four favourites that could do reasonably well in Vienna:

Ádám Szabó / Give Me Your Love
Given the amount of female ballads or semi-ballads in the running so far, it could be a good idea to send a man with good vocal chords into the mix. The song in itself is okay but relies very heavily on the vocal delivery.

Zoltán Mujahid / Beside You
More of the same - a male ballad supported by a strong voice - but with more of a pop beat. Would perhaps live up more to Hungary's recent reputation of being contemporary and relevant.

Spoon / Keep Marching On
Take an updated version of V.I.P and send them off to the Gianluca Bezzina School of Performing Arts and this is what you would get. Possibly not the ultimate pop hit but still charming and summery and attractive. And who doesn't like a bit of whistling?

Kati Wolf / Ne engedj el!
Perhaps the most suitable entry of them all - not least because it fits Kati's voice a lot better than her 2011 entry. Not top five material in Vienna, but a solid little song that would at least make it into the final and probably even better Kati's last showing.

The beauty of the A Dal-format is that the final is very open to surprises. Any of the songs could be a real televote favourite while passing under the radar of the jury. My guess is that Spoon could be that one - making it all the way into the final eight without really getting showered with jury points - but I'm still hoping for Kati Wolf to get a second chance to impress Europe.

Kati Wolf - Ne engedj el! (Hungary NF 2015)

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