Yesterday the Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of music unprofessionals — travelled to Hungary where we paid a visit to the Igal Spa. While soaking in the mineral waters, we discussed Freddie‘s song “Pioneer”. Did we want to follow his bold lead? Or were we happy to go our own way? Read on to find out!
Freddie – “Pioneer”
Mike: This is one of the weirdest songs in the competition. It’s a masterpiece while you listen, but when you turn it off you instantly forget it. That could prove to be a challenge for him the first semi-final, which is the more difficult of the two, as voters need to remember. That said I am listening to the song right now and it really deserves to qualify. The song, performer and staging really connect.
Judit: LOVE! This is simply perfect. He has the unique voice, the look and the song. I was so proud when he won A Dal and I really hope that he will qualify and reach the good place he deserves. Finally a year, when I can fully support my country’s Eurovision act!
William: Pioneers lead the way and don’t look back. Sadly this song isn’t cutting a path of its own. It plays it safe with a small set of musical tropes we’ve all heard before. And while the whistling is nice and gives me a lovely little jolt, it isn’t enough to lift this forgettable song. Freddie has a bangin’ body and a stunning voice, but that doesn’t matter when the song is this bland.
Angus: Freddie’s vocal is like nails on a chalkboard. In the softer moments of “Pioneer”, I can drop into the song, but when that harsh vocal threads through the chorus it is just difficult to listen to. Freddie is talented, but his vocal needs reining in and something drastic needs doing to the song, which at the moment just feels like a generic slice of rock.
Bogdan: I don’t get the hype of this entry, other than if it is based on Freddie’s good looks. Unlike Boggie’s peace song last year, “Pioneer” sounds disingenuous and entirely made-for-Eurovision, “A Million Voices” style. Plus, I can’t make out what he is singing about without looking up the lyrics (I keep hearing “a million pimples”). And no, I am not a fan of Freddie’s voice and shouty delivery either. I wouldn’t be surprised if Hungary flopped this year.
Deban: If there’s an entry that needs a revamp, this is the one! “Pioneer” is poor on enunciation, and somewhat haphazard in direction. It’s a great marker, but sounds lazy and unpolished in its current state. Freddie’s raspy vocals bear much promise but only when he isn’t shouting.
Denise: Hungary has done great at Eurovision in the past few years and I think it’s time for them to win it. With Freddie they might have their winner. His voice, song and of course his looks make this entry stand out. I hope their staging will be something like the staging from A Dal in the first heat.
Padraig: Throughout A Dal, I was convinced that Freddie was the only option for Hungary. But now he’s at Eurovision I’m not so sure. There’s nothing wrong with Freddie as a performer, his voice might be an acquired taste but I don’t think that should be an issue. And of course, it also helps that he’s very easy on the eye. My problem is with “Pioneer”. I enjoy it for the three minutes and then that’s it. There’s no lasting impression. No lingering emotions. All in all, it’s a little flat, at least on record. But then this is meant to be an stadium anthem, so there’s every chance that he could blow us away in Stockholm.
Robyn: For some reason, Freddie’s enunciation in the verses makes the lyrics pretty much unintelligible. He has no trouble with the chorus (and his spoken English is excellent) so I can only assume it’s a deliberate style choice — he’d rather grunt unintelligibly than sing clearly. So if Freddie can’t commit to the message of the song, it’s lost on me as a listener. There’s potential here, but he’s not realising it.
Sami: The A Dal final was very strong this year and out of the eight songs, I liked five of them. “Pioneer” was one of them and it remains strong. Freddy’s deep voice fits with the song’s melancholic and quite anthemic sound, even if I can hardly understand the lyrics with his strong accent. Hungary has a good record when it comes to qualifying and I think they won’t be in trouble this year either.
Patrick: Hungary has become one of the most consistent countries at the contest this year. Freddie is good looking, has a great voice and the song is modern and stays in your head. I like the rough sound of his vocals, the story of the song is strong and with good staging this could do amazingly well. Potential written all over it. Hungary, you slay!
In the Wiwi Jury we have 40 jurors but only have room for 11 reviews. The remaining 29 scores are below.
William C: 8.5/10
The highest and lowest scores are dropped prior to calculating the average score. This is to remove outliers and reduce potential bias. We have removed a low of 2 and a high of 10.