Hungary: Jury and televoters will bargain for a winner in A Dal final

Hungary will choose its song for Kiev this Saturday in the Grand Final of A Dal 2017. The preselection show is a never-ending battle between jury and televoters. Steef van Gorkum explains the love-hate relationship between the two.

Televoters and jury members often have different favorites in A Dal. However, in the end they want the same thing: a strong winner to represent their country. In order to win the Hungarian ticket to Eurovision on Saturday, a participant needs to get through the first round (100% jury voting) and then win the second round (100% televoting). Singers like Gigi Radics and Totova seem to have the support from both.

However, some songs are only popular with one of the two. This year, indie band Soulwave reached low jury scores in both the quarter finals and the semi finals, but won the televote on both occassions. This means that Soulwave might have a chance to win if they reach the second round, but it will be difficult for them to get there with a 100% jury vote in Round 1.

Newcomer Gina Kanizsa reached the maximum score of 40 jury points in her semi final, but received only 5 points from the people at home. She has the opposite problem: getting through Round 1 might be possible, but can she convince the televoters to change their minds about her song? The same thing goes for Olivér Berkes (photo) and his blues song “Háttérzaj”.

Jury Scores

  1. Gina Kanizsa 77pt
  2. Olivér Berkes 74pt
  3. Pápai Joci 73pt
  4. Gigi Radics 71pt
  5. Totova 71pt
  6. Leander Kills 71pt
  7. Kállay-Saunders Band 70pt
  8. Soulwave 57pt

Above you can see the jury scores of the finalists of A Dal 2017 so far. It seems like three songs are already qualified for the top 4, however, this is far from certain. The Hungarian jury often uses tactical voting.

Sometimes they deliberately try to push a televoting favorite out. This happened in last year’s final with the song “Seven Seas” and it happened last week again during the semi finals, when televoting favorite Ádám Szabó was eliminated.

However, sometimes the jury also listen to the televoters and give them what they want. This happened in 2013 to ByeAlex, who had low jury scores until the Grand Final, when the jurors surprisingly but him in their Top 4. He ended up winning the televoting afterwards, and represented Hungary in Malmö. The same thing happened to boyband Spoon in A Dal 2015. This year, Soulwave will be hoping for such a scenario.

Televoting scores

In other words, jurors sometimes are influenced by televoters. The opposite thing happens too! Take a look at the votes from the Hungarian audience in A Dal 2017 thus far:

  1. Soulwave 16pt
  2. Kállay-Saunders Band 15pt
  3. Totova 14pt
  4. Gigi Radics 14pt
  5. Pápai Joci 13pt
  6. Leander Kills 12pt
  7. Olivér Berkes 10pt
  8. Gina Kanizsa 10pt

It seems as though the earlier mentioned Gina Kanizsa would not stand a chance to win the final televoting at all. However, if she wins the jury vote by a landslide, this might change. Televoters have always voted for the song that topped the jury vote in the Grand Final, despite having had other favorites earlier in the show. ByeAlex is the only exception to this rule. It is therefore also possible that the jurors can change the mind of the televoters.

Jury and televote often disagree during this A Dal 2017 competition, but in the final they have to come to an agreement. Only by cooperating and listening to each other, they will be able to find the song that keeps the great Hungarian track record of the last five years going.

The last scenario could therefore be that the jury dismisses both Soulwave as well as their own two favorites. In that case, the winner will be a compromise between jury and televote. Three artists have so far enjoyed support from both televoters and jurors: Gigi Radics, Totova and Kállay-Saunders Band.