After several qualifying rounds, the end of this year’s Hungarian national selection is getting closer. This evening the last qualifying show before the big final to be held next Saturday, took place. Nine acts performed in this second semi and only four of them managed to become finalists of A Dal 2014.
This evening, the Hungarian national selection A Dal continued with the second semi final. Nine acts took part in the show but only four of them qualified to next week’s final joining the other four finalists which were chosen at yesterday’s first semi final.
1. Muzikfabrik – This Is My Life
The show started with this electronic uplifting song that immediately slams the listener into a hard, fast, somewhat generic rhythm. The melody of the song’s chorus and the melody of the music itself did not seem to match quite perfectly enough, but it is very catchy and likely to get stuck in more than a few heads. The band was joined by a female backing singer whose voice blended very well with the great live vocals of the lead singer to the point that sometimes it gave the impression that we were listening to a duet. On stage were a drummer in the background, a DJ, a keyboard player and a bass guitar on the sides and in the centre stage was Ákos, the lead singer, and to his right was the backing singer. The lead singer was wearing a black jacket, a grey t-shirt, grey trousers and black boots. The rest of the band members including the backing singer were dressed in casual black clothing. On the screens we could see images of pink headphones on black background. Score from the jury: 34 points.
2. Lilla Polyák – Karcolás
powerful ballad the music flows nicely from beginning to end with the
addition of backing vocals. She has really good vocals and her
performance was flawless. The staging was very simple, with Lilla in the
centre stage and four backing singers (two men to her left and two women to her right). She wore a simple black outfit and the backing singers were also dressed in black, which gave a classy touch to the staging. The
backdrop was reminiscent of a starry sky and the stage was lit in dark
blue turning into yellow at the end of the performance. Score from the jury: 32 points.
3. Dénes Pál – Brave New World
This is a classic
mid-tempo emotional love song. The song itself is too simple and it does
not have anything to make it stand out if not for his very distinctive
deep voice which has nothing to do with his physical appearance. He was at centre stage flanked by five backing singers (two to his right and three to his left)
whose movements during the chorus meant what they were singing in the
sign language. He wore a black coat with a bright grey shirt and dark grey trousers. The backing singers were also dressed in black. The stage was lit in dark blue and on the screens we
could see some images from the space. Score from the jury: 38 points.
4. HoneyBeast – A Legnagyobb Hős
This is a very strong
modern song whose lyrics are telling some kind of tale. It has very
memorable verses, but boring music all through. With some melody
arrangements and a slight improvement to the live vocals, which were a
bit weak sometimes, this song may have a great potential. The lead singer
was on centre stage wearing a black dress with a hat and a black veil that made her look like an evil witch. The five
musicians of the band were located behind her. From left to right we could see a
pianist, a guitarist, two bass players and a drummer all dressed alike in white jackets and blue jeans. The backdrop
was filled with mysterious fairy tale sceneries and lyrics of the song
was shown on a sort of parchment during the choruses. Score from the jury: 37 points.
5. Marge – Morning Light
It started out as a very
promising pop song, but her vocals were so shaky that the song quickly
became flat and uninteresting. Despite her voice which was not perfect, the
song has a positive mood and conveys a nice message and maybe that’s
what made her qualified for the semi final round, but should not be
enough to reach the final. The staging was very simple. She was alone on
stage with some dry ice at the beginning of the performance and halfway
through she was joined by a female dancer whose acrobatics were in
contrast with Marge’s limited movements. She wore a white blouse with silver pieces and black trousers as well as the dancer, who was also dressed in black and white. Marge wore a black glove on her right hand which was glowing as she had a light ring which lighted up her palm. The graphics of the screens
were dark blue with gorgeous dimensional figures shining. Score from the jury: 35 points.
6. András Kállay-Saunders – Running
This song is
powerful and raw and, unlike a lot of other glossy pop ballads, it
really hits a nerve amongst listeners. It has quite unusual lyrics with a
really strong message to everyone. He is a great performer and was able
to show the emotion of the song in his voice. The stage performance was
simple but full of emotion. At the start he was sitting on the centre stage
dressed all in black and he had a young female pianist accompanying him who was the
main protagonist of the story. She wore a white dress and on top of the piano was a teddy bear. To
the right of the stage there were two female backing singers wearing red shirts and black trousers. The stage
lighting was quite dark with several white and red flash lights. Halfway the performance a couple of dancers appeared on stage wearing
white masks and at the end of the song, the young girl who was playing
piano ran to hug András. Score from the jury: 40 points (the highest possible score).
7. Ibolya Oláh – Egy Percig Sztár
This is a mid-tempo
song whose fast paced melody gets stuck in your head. It has a unique
sound and shows the different ranges of Ibolya’s raspy voice. It seemed that black was the colour of the night as Ibolya was also dressed all in black. She kept
the same position on centre stage and sometimes it felt like she was
stuck to the floor, but she really seemed to be enjoying her performance. Two female backing singers were behind her dressed alike wearing black jackets, white t-shirts and blue jeans. At the end of the performance they took off their jackets and on the back of their t-shirts had a picture of Ibolya’s face. The
stage was very dark at first with yellow stars falling in the backdrop
and during the chorus one could see yellow numbers moving very fast like
a countdown. Score from the jury: 33 points.
8. Fool Moon – It Can’t Be Over
We continued with some
acapella pop and one of the most memorable performances of the evening.
It is a good song and the guys have good vocals and nice charisma so
this might be a strong contender for the Hungarian ticket to Copenhagen.
The harmonies were very well constructed and their live performance was
faultless showcasing the impressive vocal talents of the sextet. Their
staging was simple but effective and despite being rather static, it was
not boring at all so it could have lasted three more minutes and surely
they would not have lost the attention of the viewers. They started their
performance sitting on stools and performing perfectly synchronized hand
movements which were reflected on the screens at the same time. They were dressed all in black and the
stage was illuminated in dark blue colour but towards the end of the
performance, when they started to stand up one by one, the stage
lighting turned red and in the screens one could see a kind of mountain
landscape with a big full moon. During the last verses of the song they
were walking towards the front of the stage with movements that seemed
to be in slow motion. Score from the jury: 38 points.
9. Heni Dér – Ég Veled
Heni is undeniably talented and also she is blessed with a powerful yet stunning voice that made this upbeat song sound perfectly. She had a perfect control of her voice and her breathing during the whole performance. She was flanked by three female backing singers located on the right side of the stage and by two hip-hop male dancers behind her whose choreography was subtly synchronized with some of Heni’s movements specially at the end of the song. Heni wore a short black dress with lace on the shoulders and gold trim. The stage lighting was blue and purple as well as the images on the screens. Score from the jury: 35 points.
The two-hour show started at 20:25 CET with a summary of what happened last evening and then the hosts, Éva Novodomszky and Gábor Gundel, welcomed us to the second semi final of A Dal 2014. Tonight’s participants were introduced as well as the jury members among which were Magdi Rúzsa, who represented Hungary at the 2007 Eurovision Song Contest. Beside her, the other jurors were Jenő Csizsár, Kati Kovács and Philip Rákay.
Nothing has changed about the set we know from the previous heats. We had the same multilevel stage surrounded by several huge screens which gave it a stunning three-dimensional appearance. The judges were sat right in front of the stage with some people in front and behind them.
Throughout the show we were able to see the participants in the green room where they were interviewed by Krisztina Rátonyi and Levente Harsányi. ByeAlex, last year’s Hungarian Eurovision representative, was also in the backstage commenting on the impact each performance had on the social media.
Each performance was preceded by a video of each of the participants talking about their experience in A Dal from a place that looked like an airport with luggage and screens all around. Right after each performance the jurors gave their feedback to the artists and then awarded their points.
Fenyő Miklós and Tamás Szabó Kimmel made a special guest performance during the interval act singing
Fenyő’s hit Made In Hungária.
Two finalists were selected by the jury members according to the sum of the points awarded to them right after each performance. The first qualifier was undoubtedly András Kállay-Saunders but it was a tie between Dénes Pál and Fool Moon which had 38 points each. After deliberation the judges decided that Fool Moon should qualify for the final
Among the other candidates, the audience was able to vote for their favourites via televoting and the two of them who got the most votes from the audience would join the jury’s favourites. The televoting was open for twenty-five minutes and those who received the most votes from the public were Dénes Pál and HoneyBeast.
Thus the line up for the final of A Dal 2014 is now complete and these are the hopefuls who will fight for the Hungarian ticket to Copenhagen: Viktor Király, Bogi, New Level Empire, Depresszió, András Kállay-Saunders, Fool Moon, Dénes Pál and HoneyBeast.
The final will be held next Saturday, the 22nd of February.
Hungary at the Eurovision Song Contest:
Hungary has participated at the Eurovision Song Contest eleven times with Friderika Bayer as their first entrant in 1994. It left the competition after the 1998 contest, coming back in 2005 and reaching the 12th place with NOX. In 2006 the country announced it would not participate, although it returned in 2007 with Magdi Rúzsa. In 2010 it withdrew due to financial reasons being back in 2011 with Kati Wolf. Last year, ByeAlex made it to the final where he was ranked tenth with his song Kedvesem.