Yesterday the Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of music unprofessionals — travelled to Hungary where we paid a visit to the Igal Spa. While soaking in the mineral waters, we discussed Freddie‘s song “Pioneer”. Did we want to follow his bold lead? Or were we happy to go our own way? Read on to find out!

Freddie – “Pioneer”

“Pioneer” lyrics

Mike: This is one of the weirdest songs in the competition. It’s a masterpiece while you listen, but when you turn it off you instantly forget it. That could prove to be a challenge for him the first semi-final, which is the more difficult of the two, as voters need to remember. That said I am listening to the song right now and it really deserves to qualify. The song, performer and staging really connect.

Score: 8.5/10

Judit: LOVE! This is simply perfect. He has the unique voice, the look and the song. I was so proud when he won A Dal and I really hope that he will qualify and reach the good place he deserves. Finally a year, when I can fully support my country’s Eurovision act!

Score: 10/10

William: Pioneers lead the way and don’t look back. Sadly this song isn’t cutting a path of its own. It plays it safe with a small set of musical tropes we’ve all heard before. And while the whistling is nice and gives me a lovely little jolt, it isn’t enough to lift this forgettable song. Freddie has a bangin’ body and a stunning voice, but that doesn’t matter when the song is this bland.

Score: 5.5/10

Angus: Freddie’s vocal is like nails on a chalkboard. In the softer moments of “Pioneer”, I can drop into the song, but when that harsh vocal threads through the chorus it is just difficult to listen to. Freddie is talented, but his vocal needs reining in and something drastic needs doing to the song, which at the moment just feels like a generic slice of rock.

Score: 3/10

Bogdan: I don’t get the hype of this entry, other than if it is based on Freddie’s good looks. Unlike Boggie’s peace song last year, “Pioneer” sounds disingenuous and entirely made-for-Eurovision, “A Million Voices” style. Plus, I can’t make out what he is singing about without looking up the lyrics (I keep hearing “a million pimples”). And no, I am not a fan of Freddie’s voice and shouty delivery either. I wouldn’t be surprised if Hungary flopped this year.

Score: 2/10

Deban: If there’s an entry that needs a revamp, this is the one! “Pioneer” is poor on enunciation, and somewhat haphazard in direction. It’s a great marker, but sounds lazy and unpolished in its current state. Freddie’s raspy vocals bear much promise but only when he isn’t shouting. 

Score: 4/10

Denise: Hungary has done great at Eurovision in the past few years and I think it’s time for them to win it. With Freddie they might have their winner. His voice, song and of course his looks make this entry stand out. I hope their staging will be something like the staging from A Dal in the first heat.

Score: 9/10

Padraig: Throughout A Dal, I was convinced that Freddie was the only option for Hungary. But now he’s at Eurovision I’m not so sure. There’s nothing wrong with Freddie as a performer, his voice might be an acquired taste but I don’t think that should be an issue. And of course, it also helps that he’s very easy on the eye. My problem is with “Pioneer”. I enjoy it for the three minutes and then that’s it. There’s no lasting impression. No lingering emotions. All in all, it’s a little flat, at least on record. But then this is meant to be an stadium anthem, so there’s every chance that he could blow us away in Stockholm.

Score: 7/10

Robyn: For some reason, Freddie’s enunciation in the verses makes the lyrics pretty much unintelligible. He has no trouble with the chorus (and his spoken English is excellent) so I can only assume it’s a deliberate style choice — he’d rather grunt unintelligibly than sing clearly. So if Freddie can’t commit to the message of the song, it’s lost on me as a listener. There’s potential here, but he’s not realising it.

Score: 4/10

Sami: The A Dal final was very strong this year and out of the eight songs, I liked five of them. “Pioneer” was one of them and it remains strong. Freddy’s deep voice fits with the song’s melancholic and quite anthemic sound, even if I can hardly understand the lyrics with his strong accent. Hungary has a good record when it comes to qualifying and I think they won’t be in trouble this year either.

Score: 7.5/10

Patrick: Hungary has become one of the most consistent countries at the contest this year. Freddie is good looking, has a great voice and the song is modern and stays in your head. I like the rough sound of his vocals, the story of the song is strong and with good staging this could do amazingly well. Potential written all over it. Hungary, you slay!

Score: 8.5/10

In the Wiwi Jury we have 40 jurors but only have room for 11 reviews. The remaining 29 scores are below.

Anthony: 7/10

Antranig: 10/10

Bernardo: 6/10

Chris: 6.5/10

Cristian: 8/10

David: 4.5/10

Dayana: 8.5/10

Diego: 7.5/10

Edd: 5.5/10

Forrest: 6/10

George: 8/10

Gökhan: 9/10

Jason: 4.5/10

Josh: 8/10

Kristin: 8/10

Liam: 9.5/10

Luis: 8/10

Marek: 9/10

Maria: 6/10

Mario: 7/10

Max: 4/10

Mikhail: 7.5/10

Renske: 7.5/10

Rezo: 9/10

Sinan: 9/10

Steinunn: 5/10

Tobias: 5/10

William C: 8.5/10

Zakaria: 9/10

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The highest and lowest scores are dropped prior to calculating the average score. This is to remove outliers and reduce potential bias. We have removed a low of 2 and a high of 10.

WIWI JURY SCORE: 7.05/10

SEE OUR CURRENT EUROVISION 2016 REVIEWS AND RANKINGS

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Kelly
Guest

This is simply my favourite entry this year. Everything from his voice to the lyrics is incredible. I wish he finished in the top ten but the jury seems to be doing their usual ruining AGAIN.

David
Guest

I don’t not agree with this it all Freddie has an amazing song. It’s simple yet stunning, he knows how to deliver his song and let’s be honest he has an amazing voice and the backup singers really give the song life with that bit of a whistle/hymn. In my opinion freddie has a chance to end up in the top 10.

CookyMonzta
Guest

This has an excellent chance of finishing in the top 10. It is #8 on my first evaluation list.

Holden
Guest

I like his voice and he will do well in May. 7/10

ESCaddict
Guest

I love everything about Hungary’s entry this year. The singer, the music, the lyrics, the clothes and the staging (judging from the national final).
While things may change leading up to Stockholm, “Pioneer” is currently my number 1 of 43.

Christina
Guest
Skandar – I’m glad that we have the same opinion about this issue:-) According to the comments below “Pioneer” is an average song that is not memorable and it could reach goods results just because Freddie is handsome. To tell the truth, he is not my cup of tea as a man, but I really like this song. Which song is not average? Maybe the song of Ukraine is unique but it is rather a political song… But the overrated songs of Spain, Russia are really average dance songs, without any message, furthermore the Russian one is very old-fashioned. “Pioneer”… Read more »
Skandar
Guest

I am sure Christina is my female version. 🙂 🙂 🙂 She has exactly the same opinion as mine.

GermanQR
Guest

Good song! Love his raspy voice. Taiko drums? SOLD, LOVE THEM! Very good entry, although not my favorite.

Christina
Guest

Dear Editor,
“Freddie’s vocals like nails on the chalkboard”?! No other artist have received from you a post with such a “kind” title. I can accept that you don’t like this performance but there is no need to be rude. He does not deserve it. Then always referring to his performance at that spa… SHAME ON YOU DEAR EDITORS. By the way I’m convinced that you really underrate Freddie and his song.

Skandar
Guest

@Marc I am happy you are not the only jury. 🙂 I hope you will like it after rehearsals. Last year Boggie managed to qualify with a decent peace song but it would be huge surprise if Freddie does not with this one. By the way too much good entries in the first semi.

Marc
Guest

Hungary isn’t qualifying this year. Freddie is impossible to understand, and his voice ain’t that good. I want to get this song, but I’m unable to. <12th in Semi.

Robyn Gallagher
Editor

Skandar: Thanks for that! Hopefully there will be some videos from Nagyszínpad that we can post soon. 🙂

Nicky91
Guest

i agree with those saying it’s bland and boring, it hasn’t has something catchy to it

Freddie deserves better, he is talented, maybe come back for him another year with a better more catchier song 🙂

Skandar
Guest

@Robyn: I missed that article about Israel calling party. It is surprised for me that Freddie will attend. As I know pararelly the ESC he is preparing for the semi final of an other talent show called Nagyszínpad (Big Stage). I did not know he is time to travel to Tel-Aviv. About Nagyszinpad: It is a competition for talented artist who are at the beginning of their career. The winner will be opening act of Robbie Williams on ‘Sziget’ Festival Budapest. Sziget is one of the most famous CEE summer festivals.

Robyn Gallagher
Editor

Skandar: We’d love to write more about Freddie, but he hasn’t been doing much lately. The appearance at the health spa seems to be the only gig he’s done since A Dal (at least that’s online). He’s due to perform at the Tel Aviv pre-party so there’s that, and we’ve heard of another upcoming event.

If you hear of anything, please let us know! Otherwise we could report on how there’s an actual Tumblr meme of Freddie/Serhat romantic fanfic…

Briekimchi
Guest
This song was extremely overhyped throughout the A Dal process and was not the correct selection. There were better songs and this was just far too simple a composition. What’s more, Freddie’s singing is really grating. Calling it singing might be pushing it actually. I have heard some of his other songs and his voice usually fits much better. For some reason, this does not work. Having said that, this year, besides the songs that are likely to fill up the top ten, there are a lot of weak songs. Freddie’s looks and style should be enough to see him… Read more »
sonic0201
Guest
I wonder what people are thinking when they call this entry overrated… It is 17th at the bookies right now (never been much higher than that), got close to zero publicity in the last 3-4 weeks, and also wiwibloggs didn’t give it an excellent review. My opinion: Pioneer will do well. Why? Because this is one of the best “powersong” in this year’s ESC, and the live version (something like the national final performance) is 10x more powerful than the studio version. As one of the juries said, Pioneer was made for huge arenas, so it will definitely hit big… Read more »
Tom
Guest

I agree about the enunciation issue, but it’s rock (or pop rock) and that genre is known for eloquence.

Banging voice, so gravelly and the song is really catchy! I love it, but then it reminds me of the script and I want to press next… In all seriousness I’d say this is a dark horse. I personally like it.

giorgio
Guest

Number 43 in my Top 43

Hastings
Guest

@Skandar Yes, I did and I agree it was an absolute trainwreck, but Kallay, usually, is a good singer. So, eventually, I still think he would have been the best choice in the national final

Juan
Guest

His voice is good but I might say this song is like the average song that is on the radio right now.

Skandar
Guest

@Rogertele The man with Big Drum is not a shaolin priest 🙂 He is a hungarian dancer, Lajos Túri, the main choreographer of A Dal NF. I hope whole staging will be revamped without glowing sticks and big drum.

Österrike
Guest

This year’s shock non-qualifier comes from Hungary. Although Israel 2014 was more shocking in that respect. The hook totally takes me back to “Meet me halfway”

Rogertele
Guest

Not a bad song but worry with the vocals, maybe he had a sore throat on this performance and will be much stronger in Stockholm.
I am sure I have seen the man with the Big Drum before some where and what is with the glow sticks for the backing vocalists!? Are they trying to navigate in some more votes!?

xxxxJosheey17xxxx
Guest

He’s my #09. Watch My Top 43: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LMFh5b7Plx0
In my Video he even has a music video 😉

Darren
Guest

Ah c’mon guys, it’s very unfair to abuse William so harshly, he is just giving his personal opinion on the different songs just like the other Wiwi jury and ourselves, everyone’s musical tastes are different and we should just respect that and enjoy the different entries. Let’s not all become bigots and attack someone for their music tastes. 🙂

Skandar
Guest

I checked the front page of 6 former reviews. (Barei, Douwe, Jüri, Jamie-Lee, Laura, Agnete) None of the quotes on the front were harsh……..except Freddie’s. Thanks again…I am sick of you, dear editors!

Olga from Latvia
Guest

His vocals is the only thing why I like this song.

“Nails on chalkboard”?? I hope you also dislike Norways’ song! Her vocals are awful, that screaming is so irritating.

Skandar
Guest

@Hastings Have you heard Kállay’s live performance in the final? Like a trainwreck. If you heard it, I do not really know what you are talking about. If not please check it. IMO Who we are is an excellent song in studio version. (‘Cool me down’ effect)

Miguel
Guest

I don’t see any reason to dislike this song. One of my favorites.

Skandar
Guest

New chapter of a character assassination by Wiwibloggs. Thank you for this unbiased review from the main bloggers like William, Deban and Robyn. What should I have expected after Spa article? ‘Nails on a chalkboard’ on the front? Shame on you!

Österrike
Guest

This song is a bland Eurovision bubble song. And it will pop. Simple as that.

Hopp
Guest

Yeah, I’m with some comments. The way he sings it shadows other’s song qualities. Too exagerated.

But he has good presence and I’m pretty sure it will be properly staged, so I predict a close-to-top 10 position for this.

Pet
Guest

@Hastings

I have to agree. Who We Are would’ve been the best song, easily. 🙂

lily
Guest

It’s so strange that no one mentions the word charisma. I’ts a very important ingredient in a winning song!! I guess there’s not so much of it if you don’t even know If he’s awake half the time?

Fabriola
Guest

One of the most overrated entries this year. If this were sung by someone other it would be on the bottom. Freddie has an amazing voice, but it gets wasted in a song like this. He deserves better!

John Doe
Guest

I agree with the jury in almost every respect. However, I don’t understand why did you highlight on the front page “Freddie’s vocal is like nails on a chalkboard”? This is not a fair comment, an exaggeration. Do you all find his voice extremely annoying, awful, unpleasant, irritating or painful? Does his voice makes you all cringe?

Hastings
Guest

I can’t believe Who We Are didn’t win the national final. It would have been the best song of the year.
Pioneer is weak and quite forgettable.

6/10

Marc
Guest

Something is not working with this entry. Song is good but nothing special or amazing, and the staging at a dal was pretty bad. I like Hungary better when they go with something like “Kedvesem” which I loved (and still do) so much than safe choices like “Pioneer”.

Alison
Guest

Also, what’s with all the shade being thrown at William?! You people can’t handle that someone doesn’t agree with you? There are 43 songs in the competition remember!

Alison
Guest

I like a bit of grittiness in male voices but this song is too much of that, he’s more growling than singing. Really not enjoyable to listen to.

Marco
Guest

After last 3 lives I am so disappointed about Freddie. I don’ t like it anymore,sooooo much,his voice sounds more awful,maybe he doesn’t put any effort,i can’t explain.And that’s a shame,I used to like his raspy voice.

Ben Rafter
Guest

Wow, William do you have a headache?!?! You are ranking a lot of great songs lowly. This is amazing, and his voice is pretty incredible.
9/10

Nicky91
Guest

okay my favourites this year

1. Malta

2. Azerbaijan

3. Czech Republic

4. Bulgaria

5. Denmark

6. Ireland ( i’ve got some Irish friends on another forum)

7. Armenia

8. Macedonia

9. Switzerland

10. Spain

A
Guest

This is one of my favorite entries, actually! The message of the chorus hits you hard, similar to Oscar Zia’s “Human”. Yeah, the vocal is a throwback to Nickelback in some parts, but I like how genuine he sounds and the alt-rock genre deserves a place in the final!

Comi
Guest

Can’t believe that this got lower rank than ‘Icebreaker’ lol

oooops
Guest

Agree with Han, even if I am swedish, this is my 4th, and I don’t exactly why yet..

Osterreich
Guest

Who the fvck is this william giving low scores to the favorites like Latvia, Germany, Estonia, Norway and Hungary. Such an attention-whore, what a disgrace to the Wiwi Team. SMH

Skandar
Guest

7.05? Come on, the song can get lower score verdict. It is kinda overrated and overhyped like… I enjoy it but it leaves me nothing. No impressions, no effect. Yup, it is that forgettable. The only way to make it less forgettable is to have this song as the official anthem of a football club or sing it in the stadium on a sport match, not at Eurovision.

Nicky91
Guest

@Darren

i agree with you, the same feeling i had last year with Amber and Warrior, also a good song, but Freddie’s song is missing also some crowdpleasing wow factor

it are the catchy songs, which are the most crowd pleasing, the most easy listening songs i mean 🙂

and this is too difficult to understand what he’s singing about