The Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of music unprofessionals — recently traveled to Budapest where we overdosed on Liszt and reviewed the acts which qualified from last week’s second heat of A Dal 2015. Surely New Level Empire, Gyula Éliás and Pankastic! feel better now that they’ve advanced. But how are we feeling? Read on to find out…
New Level Empire – Homelights
Robyn: This is a really catchy song with a rousing anthemic feeling, but visually it loses momentum when it hits the instrumental bits. As slick as the A Dal production is, seeing two band members jigging about behind their tables isn’t especially entertaining. That is the big hurdle this song will have to overcome.
Patrick: It’s a total mess full of screaming and noisy music with too much instrumentals and rock-techno-noises… His voice is good but it’s not only about the voice! Sorry but NO!
Sami: It’s my favourite song from all the A Dal entries this year. It’s not the best on the stage, though, as there’s lots of instrumental parts, but I still think it’s by far the best from this semifinal. His voice is just perfect and the song makes me dance. If they get something to fill in those instrumental parts on the live performance, I think this would be my favourite.
Sopon: To think this was the last qualifier in this heat is a joke. NLE has proven that they can bring Hungary and the rest of Europe some very high-quality modern music, and “Homelights” only proves the case more. This isn’t the best for Eurovision, so to say, but it’s certainly better than many of the other qualifiers to A Dal’s final so far.
Renske: It’s more a radio song than a stage song. This song could be on an album from the Killers or Coldplay…it’s not very original. Do you remember what happened to Greece last year?
Judit: Oh My God! I was soo happy when they qualified. It wasn’t a surprise when the jury gave them low points (as I mentioned earlier, I don’t like this jury), but I was glad when the audience gave them a chance. Somehow it sounds better on the stage, Zola is a really good leader and has a good voice. The only thing that I don’t like is the ice background — they need something different and more colourful and maybe a few dancer who can make the show come alive during the instrumental parts.
Wiwi Jury Average: 7.16/10
Éliás Gyula Jr. feat. Fourtissimo – Run to You
Robyn: Gyula has a rich soul voice, but the song is a bit dull. It’s a case where the song feels a lot longer than three minutes and there’s little more going on than a declaration that he will “run to you”. I’d like to see Gyula matched with a song that works better with his impressive vocal talents.
Patrick: Put some dated melodies from the 90s and a bad singer together with techno and a tight leather jacket and you get this…It’s just a mess which I cannot describe. The only question is.. Why Hungary? Why?
Sami: I really dislike his voice and the performance is boring. The song is also quite bland. I’m sure there were better songs than this.
Sopon: Super Hot Cosmos Blue Band, that really boring band from Eesti Laul last year, should be suing for copyright infringement. Gyula’s song is awful and boring and just plain bleh. How this qualified, who knows?
Renske: In my province we have a very similar singer to Éliás Gyula, but if he did Eurovision I would be crying all night. Some songs and ways of singing are just not for Eurovision, even if Eurovision is so varied.
Judit: Very repetitive and after the first two lines I would turn it off. But the jury gave him a chance. Why? Because they didn’t want to hurt his feelings, since he’s a a music teacher and has worked in the music industry for ages. I get it, he wants to RUN to her (his wife) but please run away and not in the direction of Austria.
Wiwi Jury Average: 1.83/10
Pankastic! – Kicsi a világ, de nagy világ
Robyn: Yet another group with a good song and a good performance, but just not good for Eurovision. I’d happily see this band performing at a summer jazz festival, but this style of music is just not compelling enough to work as stadium entertainment – as The Shin and Mariko learned last year.
Patrick: It starts horribly, but it’s lovely and so traditional – The Hungarian language is beautiful and this shows it off. It’s a bit boring but it’s nice to listen to it and it would be something different at ESC. Flashbacks to Hungary 2005 without the dancers – lovely!
Sami: I think this is way too boring to do well in Eurovision. It’s not even interesting enough to keep me listening for the full three minutes.
Sopon: Folk doesn’t go well if it has no hook. Cleo and Donatan brought hip-hop into the mix, Firelight had some killer vocals. Hell, even that old lady from Latvia’s selection last year had some Avicii mixed in. But this is just strict folk music that you would hear at a traditional Hungarian festival. No way would this work in Eurovision.
Renske: That Hungarian folk music is so lovely, I could listen to it all day. But during Eurovision this song will be swept away by all the other contestants. It is strong, but not strong enough to stand on its own. I feel sorry for them, but this will defenitly not work.
Judit: Folk music which can work at a festival but not on the Eurovision stage. And again, no one understands the jury. The audience won’t send them to Vienna.
Wiwi Jury Average: 3.91/10