A Dal: Wiwi Jury reviews Leander Kills and Benji

The Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of music unprofessionals — continues to review the semi-finalists competing in Hungary’s A Dal 2017. Next up are Leander Kills with “Élet” and Benji with “Karcok”. Should either of them follow in Freddie’s footsteps?

Leander Kills – “Élet”

“Élet” reviews

Robyn: I like a good metal ballad, but I’m not quite feeling it with “Élat”. When it lets rip, it’s mighty — full of emotion and attitude and a proper guitar solo. It’s the quiet verses that don’t work. They sound borrowed from a sweet easy listening tune and badly jar with the rest of the song. Still, a good metal effort overall.

Score: 6.5/10

Sami: I wish I understood the language so I could get more out of the song. As it is, I can feel the emotion, but I’m not sure how I should feel. While it has all the elements of a good song, it still fails to impress me. I could listen to him singing for hours, but I just wish the song was more interesting.

Score: 5/10

Luis: As safe as it may seem, “Élet” is quite an eclectic composition. Leander can throw some big metal notes, but he just drops them randomly on each chorus. On the other hand, while he oozes power and strength, the piano gives the song a delicate feel which bewilders me. It’s very pleasant to hear, but I’m not sure “pleased” is how one should feel after a metal ballad.

Score: 6/10

Antranig: The first few bars suggest ballad and the next set of bars suggest rock. What we actually get doesn’t really fit either genre. The vocals are powerful for a rock song but it feels too tame, like somebody locked the rock stars into cages. They need to unleash the animal and get a little wilder for this to be a memorable rock entry.

Score: 5.5/10

William: This is more dated than vintage and I’m bored within the first 30 seconds. The lead singer has solid vocals and seems to leverage his anger management issues well. Even so, this is an uninspiring dirge that screams karaoke night blunder. Hungary can do better.

Score: 4/10

Chris: This isn’t the kind of song I’d usually listen to, which means it has to be particularly good to get my attention. “Élat” is not that, though. I actually forgot I was listening to it the first time I heard the song, which isn’t a great sign. This will obviously have its fans, but there are many more deserving songs in this selection.

Score: 4/10

In the Hungary Wiwi Jury, we have 17 jurors but only room for six reviews. The rest of our scores can be found below:

Bernardo: 5/10

Dayana: 4.5/10

Erdi: 5/10

Forrest: 5.5/10

Jordi: 7.5/10

Jason: 3/10

Josh: 4/10

Jovana: 7/10

Mikhail: 4/10

Natalie: 6/10

Sinan: 5/10

Zakaria: 7/10








Before calculating the average score, the highest and lowest scores are dropped. This is to remove outliers and reduce potential bias. We have removed a low of 3 and a high of 7.5.

Wiwi Jury verdict: 5.25/10

Benji – “Karcok”

“Karcok” reviews

Natalie: I have absolutely no idea what this song is about but I don’t need to in order to appreciate it. The Hungarian language and Benji’s breathy voice really suits this song — it’s classy and mystical with lots of beautifully ethereal emotion. There is so much beauty and subtlety in the production as well which just adds to the level of feeling. I wasn’t necessarily hooked from first listen though, and I have to say that I doubt this song will be remembered easily amongst all the competition, but its great as always to have some quality in A Dal.

Score: 7.5/10

Zakaria: I only have one compliment to make about this song and it’s Benji’s strong vocals, but unfortunately amazing vocals cannot make up for a weak entry. The whole piece is extremely boring and the stage presentation didn’t help at all. If this makes it to Kyiv, it would undoubtedly be my toilet break.

Score: 1/10

William: The styling is unfortunate: Sweet Benji looks like a traveling salesman who decided to sing away his frustrations on the way home. Sartorial flaws aside, he has a lovely voice that brings life to an otherwise flat and uninspiring song. It creates an atmosphere for sure. It’s just not want that inspires very much.

Score: 5.5/10

Robyn: The strongest part of “Karcok” is the chorus. Benji shows off the power and expressiveness of his voice and the music gets all atmospheric in a retro ’80s way. The song’s verses, however, are weaker. Benji seems to struggle with the lower notes and musically it’s just not a compelling path to the chorus.

Score: 6/10

Chris: There’s a lot of unfulfilled potential in this song. I just keep willing it to reach another level and it never gets there. It builds, but at such a glacial pace that by the time the three minutes are over, we ultimately haven’t gone on much of a journey. Benji is clearly a good performer, but I just feel let down by what could have been here. Maybe he can add some more drama, somehow, before the next round.

Score: 5.5/10

Josh: I didn’t mind the studio version of “Karcok”, but I was hoping for dynamic staging in the national final to give the song lift, and I’m left feeling underwhelmed. There’s no doubt that Benji has a great voice, but I now understand why this only just scraped through the heats into the semi-finals.

Score: 5/10

In the Hungary Wiwi Jury, we have 17 jurors but only room for six reviews. The rest of our scores can be found below:

Antranig: 7/10

Bernardo: 5/10

Dayana: 4.5/10

Erdi: 4/10

Forrest: 4/10

Jason: 4/10

Jordi: 6.5/10

Jovana: 7/10

Luis: 4.5/10

Mikhail: 6/10

Sami: 6/10

Sinan: 6/10








Before calculating the average score, the highest and lowest scores are dropped. This is to remove outliers and reduce potential bias. We have removed a low of 1 and a high of 7.5.

Wiwi Jury verdict: 5.41/10

See our list of A Dal rankings here

Read more Hungary Eurovision news here