András Kállay Saunders a national hero

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.”

kallay-saunders-hungary-press-conferenceThe press Conference in Budapest (Photo: adal2014.hu)

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!

Judit Sebok contributed this report from Hungary. You can follow her on Twitter at @sjudy03. Then like our Facebook page to keep up-to-date with all the latest news and gossip.

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Vladimir
Vladimir
6 years ago

Of course they’re proud of him. I’m happy for Austria, but Hungary was my favorite.

Darren
Darren
6 years ago

Hungary, is a country to watch..along with Italy, The Netherlands and Ireland. These countries WILL WIN before the decade is done. I am also in love with Andras, he is beautiful, kind of sad that I probably wont see him again, he is lovely! Please come back and do eurovision next years Andras you beautiful beautiful man! <3

Alex
Alex
6 years ago

Hungary is coming for that trophy soon soon! This year they had an amazing emotional performance and song. I feel that after the Netherlands, Hungary is the next country to claim the 1st place in the near future.

I’m so glad they recognize Conchita’s victory.

How many ppl watched Eurovision in Hungary??

CookyMonzta
CookyMonzta
6 years ago

@Fatima: Definitely. With Vienna not too far from the Hungarian border, Hungary will represent in large droves. And has Gábor written a song for Eurovision before? @Robyn: With Alex 10th and András 5th, the Hungarian ESC delegation will be even more determined to send a song that can win it all. Does A DAL employ a split televoter/jury system? If I were the jurors, I’d study every song offically entered in every national contest (where a winner has yet to be selected), to see what they might be up against, and pay even more attention to the songs that have… Read more »

Robyn
Robyn
6 years ago

This is great. The last two years have shown Hungary can deliver good, contemporary songs and not overly rely on gimmick to present them.

Fatima
Fatima
6 years ago

Hungary would be great winners in 2015, there will surely be loads of Hungarians in the crowd. They should get Gábor Presser to write something

CookyMonzta
CookyMonzta
6 years ago

My bad. That last sentence shouldn’t have ended with “to tell the story”; but with “to show the story in action.”

CookyMonzta
CookyMonzta
6 years ago

Nonsense. These are the days where you sell the song any way you can. I’ve seen quite a few posts, here and elsewhere, asking whether Conchita could have won without the facial hair, or better yet, with an outfit like Tijana’s (and, in a twist, whether Tijana could have qualified with an outfit similar to Conchita’s, albeit trimmed to the knees). If a stage presentation in the form of a mini-play or musical is needed to sell the song better, so be it. No doubt, there are times when such a strategy becomes detrimental to the contender, but this is… Read more »

Paul
Paul
6 years ago

He was very good but the way his performance was directed did him little favours.

CookyMonzta
CookyMonzta
6 years ago

Last year they were 10th (ByeAlex, “Kedvesem”), when many expected Alex to either miss the final or finish way down in the pack. I always knew he would finish higher, especially because of that video. This year, a nearly-flawless stage performance all around, acting and all, by András and the dancers. A well-deserved 5th, though I thought he should have finished no worse than 2nd. What now for next year? Like the Dutch (Anouk 9th last year, the Common Linnets 2nd this year), Hungary is slowly but surely coming for that title! Who will they send? Seems like soft-rock and… Read more »