The Wiwi Jury—our in-house panel of musical unprofessionals—spent last night steaming in the saunas of the Szechenyi Baths, one of Budapest’s most popular attractions. After sweating it out we gathered round a cabana to review Hungary’s Eurovision 2014 song from András Kállay-Saunders. Did “Running” leave us breathless and in awe of Kállay-Saunders? Or did we just want to run away? Read on to find out…
Wiwi: Not every dance song has to be about love. In “Running” Kállay-Saunders tackles the difficult issue of child abuse. The stirring number gives trauma rhythm and reminds victims of abuse that there is a way out, even when those closest to you don’t seem to care. Backed up by strong vocals and clever production, this may be the first dance number that makes me move, but is also moving.
Angus: “Running” is dark, sweeping and a truly relentless composition. It easily straddles haunting mid-tempo ballad, dancefloor thumper and song of angst without breaking a sweat. It’s truly ruthless. After a taste of the Top 10 it’s evident Budapest have their eyes on the top prize and with András leading the assault they might just scale the summit. The only thing that might derail the song is the first jarring change from intimate and elegant electropop affair to unrestrained dance mayhem. After repeated listen the transition makes sense but in a Contest based on first impressions alone most won’t have that chance.
Billy: This is my favourite this year! I love the song, the music, the rhythm, and especially these touching lyrics. Child abuse as the theme of a song is highly unusual, but this entry presents it in the best possible way. I loved the video clip. But in all honestly his live performance at the national final really lacked something. I think Hungary will live up to my expectations, though, and finish in the Top 3.
Bogdan: András has brought a serious matter to the Eurovision table. As he revealed in our interview with him, “Running” was inspired by a friend’s traumatic experience as an abused child, and it’s a message for children to ask for help. It’s definitely a startling subject, bound to make or break Hungary’s chances to win Eurovision. Luckily, the song backs the lyrics and is just as powerful and thought-provoking, and the singer is enormously talented and charismatic. My only worry is that Europeans might overlook this dark song in a show that is regarded as a mindlessly fun adventure into pop. But I hope the juries will push András to the Top 5, where he belongs.
Deban: András Kállay-Saunders deserves a composer award for capturing social concerns with music, and engaging over 120 million viewers with it. “Running” may have a light R&B sound, but its delivery is deeply emotional, and the message within it isn’t shallow. Kállay-Saunders, who happens to be the son of a famous model and an accomplished musician, is using his new found fame as a musician to entertain, as well as educate. He found success with ‘Running’ at the A Dal. Hopefully, his important message will gather momentum on the big stage.
Katie: This song was definitely one of my early favourites! András’s voice is soooo good, not too shouty but not too mellow. The first time I listened to it, I wasn’t sure about the depressing lyrics, but they don’t make much difference to the quality of the song. The bridge blends the soft verses and the exciting chorus together perfectly, and I’m sold by the mix. It deserves moshpits in Copenhagen! I wonder what the song will be like without the video and on such a huge stage, but I’m sure András’s vocal talents will carry the entire performance. This is one of the most exciting songs going to Eurovision this year!
Padraig: I’m insanely jealous of András. Tall, dark and handsome, he’s the perfect man. And not only does he have a pretty face, he’s beautiful on the inside too. Together with his co-composer, he has crafted an R&B and pop tinged lament to a childhood lost to abuse. Through menacing beats, dramatic guitar riffs, and soulful vocals, we are subtly reminded of the tragedy at the core of “Running”, yet the temptation to scaremonger or preach is skillfully avoided. Inspite of the harrowing theme, there’s a happy ending as András sings “it’ll be alright”. Some may say the electro-pop sugarcoats and belittles a sombre topic, I think it just makes it more accessible to the masses. Well done, András!
Patrick: Last year the unbelieveable happend – 12 points for Hungary. I wasn’t really happy about that but this year I really hope it happens again. András Kállay-Saunders is one of the best singers that Hungary has ever sent. Everytime I listen to “Running” I get goosebumps but not the normal ones – these goosebumps hold on to me for a long time. My “douze point” goes definitely to him. Köszi Magyarorszag!
Sami: I loved A Dal this year and the final was amazing. Even though I cheered for Viktor Kiraly with Running Out Of Time, Kallay-Saunders was my second favourite. Even his voice doesn’t sound that well live, I love his voice in the studio version. The song is build very well – the verses are very dark but the chorus brings some light and hope to the story. I think it’s one of the strongest songs this year and it has big chances to win it all – and I would love it to win. Budapest must be beautiful city.
Vebooboo: I’m usually a huge supporter of any minority on stage, and I also know I’m about to get a lot of hate for saying this…but I just don’t really think this act is all that. It ain’t bad by any means, but it is not amazles. Why? Because the song does not build. Kallay has all the right materials — sultry, seductive looks and a voice as solid as his bulging muscles — but it’s like he forgot to build the 2nd floor of his apartment and decided just to stay on the ground floor. There are a couple of times where the song almost builds to a climax, but then it just stops and goes back to the basic refrain. Now, I usually love a tease, but at some stage we need to get it over with, and Kallay just leaves me groaning for more. But boo, this is Eurovision — you’ve got to finish in 3 minutes.
All 19 members of our jury rate each song. However, we only have room to share 10 written reviews. Here are the remaining nine scores.
Anthony: Score: 9/10
James L: 9/10
Maxim Montana: 10/10
The highest and lowest scores are removed before calculating the final score. We have dropped a low of 6 and a high of 10.
The Wiwi Jury Verdict: 8.56/10
You can check out our latest Eurovision 2014 reviews and rankings on the Wiwi Jury page. You can keep up-to-date on the latest Eurovision news and gossip by following the team on Twitter @wiwibloggs and by liking our Facebook page.
Can’t agree with the high ratings at all.
The swedish qualifications had a better song with an even darker theme- death of a brother.
Just to address some concerns the singer is a Hungarian American recording artist 🙂 fyi 🙂
Cut from 20-1 to 12-1…Andras has MOMENTUM!!
Best song this year and now being cut from 20-1 to 12-1 with the bookies…be warned. ANDRAS HAS MOMENTUM!!!!
this song is in my top 15 in a high place. One comment however – Hungary is good by sending someone not of hungarian origins. But if it worked, why not?
I love that the song has depth and a beautiful, moving video. What I do not love is the segue into dance from ballad in the chorus. Its a huge disconnect for me. it feel like two different songs forced to exist together. A weird mash up.
I also feel that the strength of the song lies in the video so it will be interesting to see how captivating it is when performed live without all the visual aids
However, judging from all of your comments, needless to say, it’ll do well.
He is very handsome, he has a nice voice and the song is quite deep and powerful. I doubt it will win, not cheesy enough, you see?
Great song especially the lyrics. They have booked their place for the top 5. 9/10
Winner. Nuff’ said.
I really love this, it’my second favourite after Spain. I’ve listened to it many many times already and haven’t got tired of it. I loved Kati Wolf and Compact Disco, but I think this is way better, actually the best Hungarian entry ever.
I’m not sure how much the lyrics will help, maybe too serious for ESC. And it is a difficult song to sing live, but I’m sure Andras can deliver.
Of course, no doubt regarding the qualification to the final and with a good performance during the final this should definitely finish within the top 5.
Alright, so the song has a very strong message, when I actually paid attention to the lyrics I must say I found a new appreciation for the song. However talking exclusively about the musical side, it doesn’t appeal to me that much, just like with Not Alone, I don’t know why the hype about it, it’s not a song I would listen more than once if it wasn’t in ESC. But I admit that’s only because of my very personal taste, so to each their own. Also, I would’ve loved it Andras represented Hungary LAST YEAR, instead of ByeAlex, his… Read more »
I don’t like this song. very generic and bland. I have a feeling it will do well in the contest, though.
This is my absolute favorite.
I think this is the best song from contest. Not sure it will have sufficient televote support.
I think it has a big chance to win. Good story, good lyrics, good song. In my rating it’s in the top 3.
Of course you do, he’s hot… I could have predicted this without hearing his song haha!
I liked Kedvesem previous year, but I like this even more. I think it will do very well next week (sounds exciting, right?) and maybe this is THE year for Hungary; nobody really hates it, same with UK, so these two will do very well – also because of his looks and the song that´s quite catchy.
My 3rd favorite. Thanks for rating it so high.
Most overrated song, it’s decent but it’s so generic it makes Romania’s entry (the second one most generic) sound Lana del Rey-ish.
Garbage, overrated song. Wiwi Bloggs rates Netherlands (a really quality piece of music) so low, but they rate this garbage pop song so high, says it all. Music this days is all about being catchy and having a powerful chorus, such a lame mindless theory.
He pulls a few too many sex faces for my liking
One of my favourite songs this year! Thanks Wiwi and Co.!
I hope Europe will notice, how such a serious problem the child abuse is and push this song to Top 5 or even to 3!
Sadly this song won’t get what placing it deserves due to racism. Sounds harsh but it is true
The song, the video and the message being conveyed by both (in this case, child abuse), fit perfectly! As does Armenia’s (in Aram’s case, love lost and found). I could barely separate them in my second and third (my final) evaluations. I expect them to be the top 2 qualifiers from the first round.
child abuse at Eurovision ? No, thank you. Hungary usually ends up in my Top 5 but this year it’s nil points
it’s so laughable that you give this a really high score, when you only gave Slavic girls a low score. That just shows, that in your opinion it’s not allowed in Eurovision to have different entries, musically. Appearently there is not allowed cultural and national spices of music in it, it apparently everything has to sound like an american chart-topper. That is really sad
Hungary is overrated garbage. No way is it better than Ireland.