András Kállay-Saunders, the Hungarian-American singer who placed fifth at Eurovision 2014 with his sensitive song about child abuse, is gushing about the experience. “It’s an everlasting memory,” he said after returning to Budapest. “As an old man looking back, I’m going to remember that Hungary was represented by me in the Eurovision Song Contest.”
His result is the second best for Hungary since the country joined the competition, and his 143 points represent the highest score any Hungarian contestant has ever received. His fifth place finish comes amid more difficult conditions for Hungary than in years past. Twenty years ago, when Friderika Bayer placed 4th with “Kinek Mondjam El Vétkeimet”, the songs were only judged by professional juries.
At his press conference on Monday, András was asked whether he would represent the country again. “Maybe I will compete again,” he said. He was impressed by the huge stage in Copenhagen, especially its ultra-modern light and sound system. He also praised Eurovision 2014 winner Conchita Wurst.
“I knew that she was going to win!” he said. “She can sing fantastically, although the song is not to my taste. She won because people like when someone is unique and not afraid to give themselves, both in public and in music.”
Krisztián Szakos, the co-author of “Running”, said that her song was strong, but added that it would not have worked the way it did without András’ personality. The singer-songwriter duo will release a new track next week, and an album will follow.
Zsolt Laszlo Szabo, acting CEO of MTVA, stressed that Hungarian viewers have good taste. He also said that, since Kállay-Saunders was one of the favorites in Denmark, there was a lot of interest about whether Hungary was ready to organize Eurovision. “Yes,” he said. “We are capable of organizing such a big event.”
Hungarians are extremely proud of their 2014 representative. His result gives us hope that one day Hungary will claim their Eurovision victory. Until then we can all keep enjoying our artists as they try to bring the trophy back to Budapest. It’s a win-win situation!