Ten acts turned up to the second heat of Hungary’s s A Dal 2016, Central Europe’s premier Eurovision selection show. We saw men in top hats (Maszkura és a Tücsökraj), singers dancing in the rain (Gergo Oláh), others covered in temporary neon tats (Kallay-Saunders), male popera stars (André Vásáry) and harpists grinding to dubstep (Passed). But in the end only six could advance to the semi final. You can find out who made the cut below, followed by our instant reactions to the live performances.

A Dal 2016: Second heat qualifiers

A Dal 2016 heat two kallay saunders qualifiers

The jury’s top 5 acts advanced to the final. They were led by Hungary’s Eurovision 2014 act Kállay Saunders, who is here competing with the Kállay Saunders Band. The public were then asked to vote to save one of the five remaining acts. That honour went to A Dal 2015 breakout stars Passed.

1. Kállay Saunders Band (41 points)

2. André Vásáry (39 points)

2. Gergo Oláh (39 points)

4. Laci Gáspar (37 points)

5. Karmapolis ft. Böbe. (36 points)

6. Passed (34 points) — saved by the public

Eliminated Acts

7. Maszkura és a Tücsökraj feat. Siska Finuccsi (32 points)

8. Patai Anna (32 points)

9. Group’n’Swing (31 points)

10. C.E.T. (27 points)

passed a dal 2016
Passed almost passed out when they learned the public had saved them from elimination

Kállay-Saunders Band – Who We Are

Covered in temporary neon tats and rocking leather pants, Kallay-Saunders was clearly feeling subversive. “We are strangers in this life, we are rebels in the night…and it feels so right,” he sang. The song had grit yet it somehow felt familiar and flat. He sounds great, but the song just doesn’t live up to the highs of his Eurovision 2014 number “Running.” Not my favourite of the night — and certainly not my favourite of A Dal 2016.

Jury points: 41

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m02_Z0Q-h0w

Gergo Oláh – Gyoz a jó

If this contest were about staging, he’d be my number one. He wore a gaudy floral vest which ultimately matched the digital garden of roses that surrounded him. A garden needs water and he got it courtesy of some pipes in the ceiling. The Turkish sound was surprisingly intoxicating.

Jury points: 39

https://youtu.be/j-C2fccfsYg

André Vásáry – Why

A song in two parts, this starts off seriously sombre and I’m left reaching for the anti-depressants. The tempo picks up, but sadly the mood really doesn’t. At times I feel like he is shouting at me. Singing about how miserable the world is tends to have that effect on the listener. “I dream of a place where love can’t be erased” — spare me! Love will start when you stop shrieking. At this point popera is starting to feel a bit cliché at Eurovision. You have to do it extremely well or you’ll pale in comparison to Malena Ernman, Il Volo, etc.

Jury points: 39 points

Laci Gáspár – Love and Bass

I’m trying to look past the bedazzled shoulders on his shirt. And when I do I hear dated, cheesy funk with an awful spoken-word-bridge. Bad idea as it takes the song from bad to worse.

Jury points: 37

Karmapolis feat. Böbe Szécsi – Hold On To

This act feels like a polished version of Passed. They take a lounge-y sound and make it feel a tad more mainstream. The lead singer sizzles and her bald electro-drummer knows exactly when to do his thing. That said, Passed’s entry has more life and passion, which makes “Hold On To” seem somewhat clinical in comparison.

Jury points: 36

https://youtu.be/X2AyNajfFjY

Passed – Driftin’

No one makes the harp more sexual than Passed. Their number “Driftin’ smouldered as the lead vocalist brought emotion, drama and a smokey-as-hell voice: “If I saw you driftin’ in slow motion, I’d be lost in emotion.” Me too, babes. I was floored that the jury rated this mid-table.

Jury points: 34

Maszkura és a Tücsökraj feat. Siska Finuccsi – Kinek sírjam

The lead singer’s top hat and cane suggested something dated and weak and boy he lived up to that. This is like watered-down R&B with a splatter of spoken word. I can’t call this rap because it lacks any sort of drive. Pass the vodka — it’ll make this go by faster.

Jury points: 32

Anna Patai — Colors

When I saw her name I started craving Thai noodles. Sadly Miss Patai’s song wasn’t quite as delicious. The melody isn’t the most memorable and it hinges entirely on her energy and attitude rather than the music. That’s weird in itself as her delivery is raw and soulful while the lyrics are sickly sweet — “I can’t live without a kaleidoscope, colour in my life!” Not my cup of tea, but well done: She saves a mediocre song with her swagger. (It’s no wonder the judges kept comparing her to Christina Aguilera).

Jury points: 32

Group’n’Swing – Szeretni fáj

They went for an Old World jazz sound, combining her sultry vocals with a piano and a bit of brass. At times the male vocalist looked cray, but hey — who doesn’t like a bit of passion? Not the most current arrangement, but that’s not the point. They did their genre and they did it well, even drawing comparisons to great James Bond songs of the past. But please: ditch the electric guitar. This isn’t FiK.

Jury points: 31

https://youtu.be/39XqOMbmp2c

C.E.T. – Free

Did he borrow Robin Stjernberg’s choreographer from Malmö? This was very avant-garde and full of falling bodies. They cranked up the LED with this one — very Matrix — but not even that could distract me from the dodgy vocals. Halfway through the song he ripped out his earpieces — and he looked distressed — suggesting he was having major technical issues.

Jury Points: 27

https://youtu.be/XWdnA9BprDM

Since their 2011 comeback, Hungary has reached the Eurovision grand final every year. Kati Wolf, Compact Disco, ByeAlex, Kállay-Saunders and Boggie all made it. This year the country wants to send a winner. Did we see one tonight?

What do you think of the result? Did your favourites qualify? Let us know below.

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Melissa J
Guest

Why does everyone go crazy for Passed? I don’t think their song is that special just because there’s a harp in it. It’s boring, and frankly their live performance was horrid. Karmapolis is much better than them. I’m also pretty disappointed in the Kallay-Saunders Band, but maybe they’ll get it together for next time?

LATVIA
Guest
LATVIA

When were Passed grinding to dubstep? Because their song is defineatly not dubstep.

Héctor
Guest
Héctor

The live of “Who we are” has dissapointed me, I expected something more, but like other said, it seems a bit flat, the studio version was better. For now, Freddie is my favourite. Also, am I the only one who thinks the sound in the stage is bad?

Robyn Gallagher
Editor

Ah! Apparently Kallay-Saunders had been sick (I assume with a cold), which explains why he sounded a little off. But it’s a credit to him that he still performed and gave a good enough performance to win the heat. I can’t wait to hear him at the semi-final.

Briekimchi
Guest
Briekimchi

I do not understand all the fuss about Freddie. This song is much better. They really need to go for it!

Tom
Guest
Tom

Whoa…im dissapointed in Kallay. Im rooting for Freddie an of course Ív!!

Robyn Gallagher
Editor

The opening of “Who We Are” was really weak. He even sounded a bit off key. Sometimes the staging felt quite chaotic, like there was too much going on. But I know that A Dal is one of the best national finals for sorting out staging, so I’m hoping for improvements.

I loved Passed’s song last year, but their entry this year just sounds like a rehash of “Mesmerize”. Maybe that’s all they can do: sultry girl singer, harp, cool beats, repeated lyrics. I was hoping for more.

Sparrow
Guest
Sparrow

Where was the heavy, aggressive attitude from the studio version of “who we are” ? Weak effort. Yet being the most overhyped song in A dal they will still no doubt make it to the top in the finals. Shame because from this performace they don’t deserve it at all.

MGR
Guest
MGR

Freddie is similar to Romanian Voltaj “De la capat”. Nothing special.

Etta
Guest
Etta

Gergo Olah was surprisingly good. He’s from a Roma background and his song is authentic gypsy music mixed with some modern elements. I loved it!

DenizNL
Guest
DenizNL

I know Freddie is not in this semi, but he has to win. I replay his song everyday 20 times.

MGR
Guest
MGR

Hungary is hopeless. Freddie is weak, Kallay Saunders also. Belarus is in much better situation. They still can win ESC 2016. They have to do only one thing. They must withdraw crap which they chose and put in this place Alexey Gross with his masterpiece “Flame”. It’s so easy. If they will not be able to do that, I will think that they are biggest idiots ever.

Ben Rafter
Guest
Ben Rafter

I love we are one!

AM Casablancas
Guest
AM Casablancas

Passed, saved by the Public.
The jury (and the live audience) should be ASHAMED the saved songs like “Why” and “Love & Bass” but not this one.
I’m so disgusted.

ESC DK
Guest
ESC DK

Kallay Saundres Band, dissapointed a bit, I still like it, but Freddie has to win, he is clearly my favourite now,

Robyn Gallagher
Editor

All Hungary needs is one good song to make it to Stockholm. There are a couple in the show this year, both of which are popular favourites. Hungary will be fine. A Dal is running exactly as it should.

Österrike
Guest
Österrike

I love András Kallay-Saunders, but I am rooting for Passed. She got me so much.
Well András got me 2 years ago with Running, but Who We Are is too Eurovision-friendly and a bit bland for me

MGR
Guest
MGR

I hate Hungary. From year to year, they were more promising. Now I know, that the stage for “A Dal” is worst crap ever. Whole their selections are big and overgrown sadism. The fact that they managed to take two consecutive top ten in 2013 and 2014 looks like a coincidence now.

Freyah
Guest
Freyah

Sigh, people only really pay attention to Kallay-Saunders because he participated in 2014. The song isn’t that great.