Rúzsa Magdi: ‘Only special songs can win Eurovision’

Hungary chooses its participant for Vienna this Super Saturday! One of the juries who will have a say in this decision will be Rúzsa Magdi, who participated for Hungary herself in 2007. ESC Daily asked her how that experience influenced her life, her career… and her decisions as a jury member.

“I mostly remember my Eurovision experience as a lot of fun. Meeting musicians from all over Europe, sometimes jamming together. It certainly is a great event in which music and cultures mix, and I really enjoyed it. But the most memorable moment for me was that I got to meet my childhood hero Dado Topic, who participated for Croatia that year!

My song was not that typical for Eurovision, I think – you do not see blues music at Eurovision very often. And then I was also going on stage barefoot and wearing jeans! But I think you need this to be successful in Eurovision – you need to be a bit different, a bit special. That is also what I try to find in the songs competing in our national selection A Dal.

I got asked to be in the jury in 2013, and that year ByeAlex won and went to Malmö. With him, I was not convinced straight away. The song was very simple, but he had something special. He was a bit weird, in a good way – the way he looked and the way he presented his song. That gave it something extra.

With András Kállay-Saunders, I saw immediately that this was something special. The song was good, the performer was good, but most importantly: he had a very strong message. The story behind this song was really powerful.

Still I would say that this year, the level of our songs is even higher than last year. We have two types of acts that I believe could both do very well at Eurovision. On the one hand, we have new bands who are breaking through with exciting songs. On the other hand, we have the singer-songwriters. This last category has a special place in my heart – the people who write their own music.

It would be amazing if Hungary could win the Eurovision Song Contest at some point. We have a great tradition of folk music, but we rarely send this to Eurovision. Maybe sometimes we should stop following the trends, and bring our own things to Eurovision. But it takes a lot of courage to do that.”