Hungary kicked off its quest for Eurovision glory tonight, with the first of two semi-finals. We saw a variety of styles in a marathon show that featured many disparate performances.
And who would qualify for the 11 February final?
Hungary had a very good Eurovision year in 2011, and hopes are high for a repeat performance of making the Saturday night final in Baku.
Broadcasters MTV showed their first National semi-final of ten songs on their M1 channel, as well as TV Duna World. Four songs would qualify for the National final on 11 February. Three wuld be chosen by a prefessional jury, and the fourth by 100% televoting.
Our hosts introduced the jury, who consisted of Kati Wolf, Jenö Csiszár, Philip Rakáy and Viktor Rakonczai. They would give their votes after each song.
After a brief overview of the rules, it was onto the songs.
1. Atilla Kökény & Tamara Bencsik – Állitsd meg az idöt (Stop the time) –
Atilla opened this song, with Tamara joing in later. He sported a dark suit and quiff, while Tamara was in a long dark dress. It didn’t seem to gel as well as it could have done. Scored 24 from the jury.
2. András Kállay-Saunders – I love you – András was in a white jacket and jeans, and black T-shirt. This had an R&B vibe about it, but the song didn’t seem to suit his voice.
Scored 32 from the jury.
3. Barna Pély & Eszter Pál – Hangok a szívekért (Sounds for our heart) – This was a mix of the traditional (Eszter and a violinist) and contemporary (Barna and his guitar). Eszter warbled well, biving this song an interesting sound. Scored
29 from the jury.
4. Annamari Dancs – Feel – Annamari gave this everything. She had four very active dancers, she
turned very operatic towards the end. She was dressed in a similar style dressed to Slovakia’s Kristína Peláková from 2010. Scored 15 from the jury.
5. Gábor Heincz – Learning to let go
– This was completely different to the other songs of the night. Gábor was in a collarlss shirt and bif black-rimmed glasses. It could almost be Danish, or like a recent Olly Murs song. The audience seemed to approve. Scored 38 from the jury.
After song 5, we had a brief chat with the performers who had already been on stage.
6. Compact Disco – Sound of our hearts
– A pre-semi final favourite, this was in the style of a rock ballad that often goes down well in central Europe. The vibe was dark, with the band dressed in black leather jackets. Again he studio audience approved. Scored 39 from the jury, out of 40.
7. Rudi Krisz – Song of love
– In contrast to the previous rock, Rudi was sat at a piano. His song was a ballad that seemed wordy in a Sasha Son sort of way. Scored 18 from the jury.
8. Nikolett Gallusz & Márton Vizy – Europe, or heart is one. Márton opened, again sat at a piano. Nikolett then joined in, before they both sang the chorus and the remainder of this anthemic song.
However, due to technical probllems, they were allowed to perform again. But this time they switched from Hungarian to English. Scored 31 from the jury.
9. Gabi Tóth – Nem kell végszó (You do not need a cue) – Croped blonde-haired Gabi belted out this number in the style of a rock chick, despite being in a short red dress. Scored 34 from the jury.
10. Caramel – Vízió (Vision) – A band finished the semi-final, with a mid-tempo song with rocky overtones. The audience seemed very impressed with this song at the end. Scored 37 from the jury.
From the jury, Compact Disco, Gábor Heincz and Caramel qualified the for final in two weeks time. At this point, the televoting lines were thrown open for th public to pick the fouth qualifier.
As an interval, we were treated to Hungary’s first ever song from a Eurovision final. Friderika Bayer had aged a little, but her rendition of Kinek mondjam el vétkeimet was as good as ever.
More talk followed, before we had a duet of Nel blu dipinto di blu in English and Italian. It was a pretty good cover, in a Sinatra-brat pack sort of style.
Finally, all of the non-qualified acts were called together, before the final qualifier was announced.
So to accompany Compact Disco, Gábor Heincz and Caramel to the final would be Gábi Toth.