The grand final of Hungary’s A Dal 2018 will take place tonight. Eight all-male acts will battle it out to follow Joci Papai and represent Hungary at Eurovision 2018. The Wiwi Jury has been reviewing and ranking the acts and we have our favourites.
Top of our list is metal band AWS and their song “Viszlát nyár” (Goodbye summer). This is the first time that a metal song has topped a Wiwi Jury poll, a testament to the power and impact of AWS’s entry.
Tamás Horváth rhythmic “Meggyfa” came second, while electronic duo yesyes were third with “I Let You Run Away”.
The best: This. Is. What. Hungary. Needs. For. Eurovision. And let’s get it straight: while some acts manage to set the stage on fire, these guys NUKED it! The elemental force in their music, the story behind the lyrics (the song was inspired by the death of the lead vocalist’s father), the anthemic choruses, the authenticity of the act, the honesty in the growls, EVERYTHING screams “Winner”! And finally, post-hardcore and metalcore deserve a shot at Eurovision. This is that shot. (Barnabas, 10/10)
The worst: The opening bars remind me of Mor ve Ötesi’s “Deli” and while this may be a quality song, it doesn’t quite reach the same heights. The rock scene is certainly well represented on A Dal this year and while AWS are great, it is difficult to get behind them when Leander Kills is competing with a better rock song. This would be a quality rock entry for Hungary but they have better options. (Antranig, 6.5/10)
The best: I love a nice bassline, and this song has a veeeery nice one. Tamas’ voice is so sweet to listen to, he effortlessly adds in emotion and soul, it sucks you in and makes you believe everything he says. Add that ethnic instrumentation around those guitar chords and everything, and I was sold. This is a very strong and sincere song, very hard to fault. All the elements stand on their own yet come together so well, and in such a likeable way. Surely that’s the best guitar playing in Hungary too. (Natalie, 9/10)
The worst: The most energetic “bop dee dee dee” ever done. “Meggyfa” has a weird appeal. It’s enjoyable and you almost want to get off your seat to dance… but there’s never a moment to do it. It’s not exactly languid, but it’s neither totally upbeat. Then please, Hungarians, can you explain the dancers? Their look is as if Zara had a Mariachi collection. Tamás, you’ve bewildered me. I’m not sure if positively or negatively, but you did it. (Luis, 6.5/10)
The best: This is, by far the standout act for A Dal 2018. It does channel an Alan Walker sound that is perhaps a couple of years old, but “I Let You Run Away” is delivered so flawlessly with a perfect combination of staging, vocals and attitude. The electric accordion gives it that memorability that just heightens the epicness of this entry? Yesyes for Lisbon? YESYESYES! (Sebastian, 9.5/10)
The worst: Well, this entry is a boxful of surprises. Within the first 30 seconds, right where you were waiting for another man sobbing over lost love, yesyes hits you with the most powerful chorus in A Dal. Then he keeps on nailing the high notes over a dubsteppy base and he plays the accordion. This is what I call keeping the interest. But below the surprises, the song is actually a decent ballad which should only go to Eurovision in case there was nothing better. It’s not the case. To go to Eurovision, he needs a song that transforms him into YASYAS. (Luis, 6.5/10)
The best: If I learned one thing from Leander Kills is that Hungarian rock is amazing. This reminds me of Finland’s Teräsbetoni which is one of my favourite Eurovision entries ever. This is not a genre that typically does well at Eurovision but it could be a risk worth taking for Hungary because “Nem szól harang” is a high-quality Hungarian rock song. (Antranig, 9/10)
The worst: Lordi unmasked, and taken up to 11. “Nem szól harang” goes totally against the Eurovision grain, which rarely sees anything this heavy make it anywhere near the stage. It’s bold, brash and unfazed. But it’s ultimately difficult to review such a song when it goes so against the repertoire of typical Eurovision songs. While I can’t bring myself to give it the devil horns, I can at least give it a warm thumbs up. (Sebastian, 5/10)
The best: This is literally the most Salvador-esque song in this year’s national final season, and actually there are many common points in the two performances: the simplicity of the performances, the theme of the lyrics, the stage presence — it’s a really touching experience to witness. However, I don’t see this winning the whole thing. Hungary never excelled at following trends. (Barnabas, 8.5/10)
The worst: “Azt mondtad” turned into background music before a very compelling final minute brought it back to the foreground of my consciousness. It’s cute, it’s well crafted and it’s interesting but ultimately it’s also quite boring. The violin adds a lot of depth to the song but it doesn’t make it interesting enough. There is potential here but it feels unfulfilled. (Antranig, 5/10)
The best: That’s what I call diversity, folks! Just relax in the hot bathtub, think about the memories left behind, while the violin keeps spreading emotions throughout the whole song. The lyrics are poetry (for those who know the language) and the whole package together with the very simple staging, reminds me a bit of… Salvador! Coincidence? We’ll see, but even though it’s not a typical Eurovision-like song, it is a quality one. (Barnabas, 8/10)
The worst: I would have liked this song much more if there hadn’t been for Joci Pápai. This way “Zöld a május” sounds like a more downbeat sequel to “Origo”. I am aware that that style of music, csárdás, is very typical of Hungary, but this year I want to hear something different. (Jovana, 6/10)
The best: There’s a chance that Viktor could do a Freddie and win A Dal based on his popularity, which would be a shame. He’s a great singer and performer, but “Budapest Girl” isn’t a great song. There’s some cuteness in it, but musically it feels too light, and the line “I think about her body all the time” comes across as creepy. Viktor should write better songs for himself. (Robyn, 6.5/10)
The worst: Victor oozes charisma and is a charmer – which almost makes up for the appallingly cheesy opening lines. Proceeding rhyming couplets fail to improve, with pop-cultural references to Jolie and Rih-Rih, of which I disapprove. Ultimately, these leaves the song sounding generic and surprisingly uncultured – and it is here, primarily, where the song has faltered. (Sebastian, 4/10)
The best: Minus points for adding a ‘z’ where an ‘s’ would suffice. Apart from that cringe detail, “Good Vibez” is actually a pretty, easy-listening song that does engage well. Perhaps it is a little dated – but the lead singer is no spring-chicken, so perhaps he is channelling music from his time. That gives it an air of authenticity, which makes the song that little bit more enjoyable. (Sebastian, 7/10)
The worst: Despite having the title written in front of me, I was merrily listening along, thinking he was singing about “riding the pipes”. Knowing the correct lyric does not improve the listening experience. “Good Vibez” is a dated ditty, the sort of thing that maybe worked at Eurovision a decade ago. But it will offer some welcome light relief amid all the rock. (Robyn, 5/10)
What do you think? Who should win A Dal 2018? What sort of act should HUngary end to Eurovision? Share your thoughts below!