Live: Hungary completes the final field of A Dal

Live from Budapest: The second semi final of A Dal, the preselection that will determine Hungary’s entry to the Eurovision Song Contest 2016 in Stockholm. With top favorite Freddie on stage in tonight’s show, and eight more candidates all battling for a total of four spots in the final.

ESCDaily is live at the studio in Budapest. We will try to speak with the artists, gather opinions and talk you through the entire show with context and background info.

You can watch the show yourself through THIS link.

These are the songs for tonight (qualifiers in bold):

  • Egy Másik Zenekar – Kéne közös kép (33 points)
  • Olivér Berkes & Andi Tóth – Seven Seas (33 points, televote choice)
  • André Vásáry – Why (42 points)
  • Passed – Driftin’ (33 points)
  • Laci Gáspár – Love And Bass (35 points)
  • Nika – Emlékkép (39 points)
  • ByTheWay – Free To Fly (31 points)
  • Freddie – Pioneer (47 points)
  • Parno Graszt – Már nem szédülök (42 points)

The commentary will start around 19:30 CET with the newest update on top.


21:55 – Thanks for following!

That’s an end to this evening – thank you for following along with us, and stick around for the final next weekend!


21:50 – The full results

The show is brought to a close as Freddie wins the night, along with André Vásáry and Parno Graszt also qualifying for the final, while Oliver & Andi take the televote spot.


21:45 – The Televote

Tonight the duet Olivér Berkes & Andi Tóth indeed win the audience over for the televote.


21:40 – “Pioneer” has the best lyrics

Last week, Petruska received the price for best newcomer in A Dal and this week, winner Freddie receives the price for the best lyrics in the competition. “Pioneer” is a song in the lyrical style of “Heroes”; it is written for kids who feel like they are not good enough.


21:34 – Recap for six televote candidates

Among the six are all the three songs that qualified through televoting in the quarter finals. This televote will probably between those songs. My money is on the duet Olivér & Andi.


21:32 – Freddie wins; André Vásáry and Parno Graszt qualify too

We know the three qualifiers: Freddie is the winner of the second semi final, and he is followed by André Vásáry and Parno Graszt.

The televoting round will be between the other six songs for one spot.


21:29 – Parno Graszt pushed through by the juries

As usual in Hungary, the jury tries to push their favorites through in quite a strong fashion. Tonight, folk band Parno Graszt has received their blessing: they receive no less than 42 points! It is enough to qualify, but in the final, I do not expect the band to have a chance.


21:27 – What you have missed

Boyband ByTheWay performed a quite standard pop song – and the jury put them in last place so far. Then came top favorite Freddie to perform ‘Pioneer’, the biggest hit on Hungarian radio at the moment. His staging with the drummers looks a bit like Ryan Dolan, but the vocals are outstanding and his jury scores off the charts. Freddie is now in the lead with 47 points.


21:25 – Small technical failure

Due to a cyber attack, ESCDaily was not available for about fifteen minutes. We apologize for the inconvenience.


20:57 – Nika easily beats Laci

With a score of 39 points, she comfortably takes second place. Laci Gáspár will have to prepare for televoting, while Nika now seems to have an actual chance of qualifying.


20:51 – Nika – Emlékkép

Time for an almost Scandinavian sounding Europop song, brought to you by Nika, a woman in a black and red dress and with a voice to die for – literally, that is. Vocals are almost constantly off-key and make you want to turn down the volume of your tv. Wide shots in the camera work also do not help this performance. The composition has a strange anticlimax, and this will certainly not be the Hungarian entry for Stockholm.


20:45 – Commercial break

We will be back in a minute!


20:33 – Song 5: Laci Gáspár – Love And Bass

This retro funk song is probably a typical Hungarian thing that I do not understand. It is not bad, in fact it is even cheerful, but the composition is old-fashioned and it looks so on stage, too. The rap part after two minutes does not really add anything to the song other than being a break in a rather monotone song. Vocals are good, and you can see this is an experienced singer. If we expect André and Freddie to qualify, there is still a third spot up for grabs…

Jury score: 35 points. Laci has set the bar for ByTheWay, Nika & Parno Graszt: this will be the score to beat to reach the final. Passed will need televoting again.


20:19 – Song 4: Passed – Driftin’

Passed was my personal favorite along with Boggie in last year’s edition. Their style of music has not changed: it is a weirdly inspiring combination of lounge beats, harp notes and classical vocals. The staging looks funny with purple and blue balloons all over the stage and the same colours pumping from the backdrop.

The vocals are definitely better this year than last year, but I preferred last year’s composition to Driftin’. In the end of the song it gets a bit too monotone to be a real contender, but I am glad A Dal brought this original and fresh band to the forefront of Hungarian music industry.

Jury Score: 33 points, after 6 points from the App vote. This could become interesting as we now have three songs with the exact same score…


20:14 – High scores for André Vásáry

Ten points from Pierrot and another 26 points from the other juries, but the App vote is more critical: only 6 points there. His final score of 42 points is most likely enough to directly qualify, but it seems like Vásáry will still need to convince the Hungarian people if he wants to go all the way next week.


20:07 – Song 3: André Vásáry – Why

I have never been a big fan of the opera-pop mix that Cezar brought for Romania a few years ago. This has a similar feel to it, except that the instrumentation is not really good. Arrangements sound like an old-fashioned keyboard. The singer is a bold man wearing heavy eyeliner. He reaches the high falsetto notes but misses a few of the lower ones. The staging and backdrop is calmer than in the first round. Jury loved this in the previous round and might send it straight through to the final.


19:58 – Song 2: Olivér Berkes & Andi Tóth – Seven Seas

A crowd’s favorite. Olivér and Andi have a strong pop song that could have easily be sung by Mel C and Bryan Adams. The bass notes are heavier than before, slight changes in the composition. Vocals are alright, staging a little messy still. The dynamics between the guy and the girl are okay but the camera cannot always follow their quick movements across the stage. The crowd loves this, the jury was not so convinced in the previous round. Let’s see how the vote will turnout now.

The jury comments that the performers would need to do better to do this song justice. They give them 33 points altogether, which means a tie with the first performance. It looks like this song will need the support from televoters once again, like in the previous round.


19:53 – “Weakest lyrics in the competition”

Jury member Pierrot once again does not hold back in his comments. “This song has nothing special,” he says, “and the lyrics are the weakest in the competition.” He gives 4 points.

The other jury’s are more positive, but the total score is lower than in the quarter finals: 33 points. This will not be enough to qualify directly. App vote was 5 points.


19:49 – Song 1: Egy Másik Zenekar – Kéne közös kép

A decent, but not spectacular start to the evening. This is a classical ballad, staged well, and with good vocals and camera work. The snowflakes in the backdrop and the blue colours all over the stage – it is all spotless and good enough, but it the composition lacks a punch and the total package lacks originality.

In the previous round, Egy Másik Zenekar barely qualified through the jury vote. Let us see how she does tonight.


19:45 – Nervous artists

None of the artists really wanted to come out to the mixed zone before the show. We have seen the boys from ByTheWay, the girls from Passed and also Nika came out for a few seconds, but top favorite Freddie stayed inside. No interviews yet – but after the show we will catch up!


19:41 – Show is underway

Tune in to the livestream, because the second semi of A Dal has started right on time!