Wiwibloggs continues our series looking at the current competing countries in the Eurovision Song Contest and why we love them. Are you hungry for some unconventional acts, and epic — or sometimes not so epic — stage concepts? Then don’t hesitate! Let’s continue our continental journey in the stunning city of Budapest, as we take a look at Hungary.
Hungary is among the big bunch of countries that debuted in 1994, and although they have never won, they’re doing particularly well at Eurovision and have missed out the final on only two occasions (in 2008 and 2009). There are a lot of reasons to love Magyarország at the Eurovision Song Contest. And here are 10 of them.
1. Their debut warmed European hearts
In 1994, Friderika Bayer made history as the first ever Hungarian contestant at Eurovision. Her touching acoustic ballad “Kinek Mondjam El Vétkeimet” melted the jury’s hearts in Dublin and scored 122 points, placing fourth. For some reason, this is still Hungary’s best-ever result in the contest.
2. They can make any genre work at Eurovision
Hungary has made several unconventional choices throughout their history at the contest, and most of the time this had paid off. It includes genres as diverse as acoustic (ByeAlex), drum n’ bass (András Kállay-Saunders), gypsy music and rap (both with Joci Pápai), and last but not least, metalcore/screamo (AWS). Celebrating diversity? A big yes!
3. The Hungarian language
Hungarian may be one of the hardest languages in the world, but it’s also a very melodic one, and the Central European nation has treated us with songs in their mother tongue several times. And they do well — since the introduction of the semi-finals, all Hungarian entries have qualified for the grand final. Here’s ByeAlex‘s 2013 entry “Kedvesem”, which became an unexpected dark horse, finishing tenth.
4. They’re no strangers to the Barbara Dex Award
2009 was a year to remember, not just because of the iconic winner Alexander Rybak, but also because of Zoli Ádok‘s infamous “dick pants”. They didn’t help him reach the final, but they were the key in winning the award.
5. They know how to open a show
At the 2005 contest in Kyiv, Hungary returned to the contest after a six-year absence. Since they were drawn to open the grand final, the group NOX lit up the stage with their performance of ethno-bop “Forogj Világ”, and it resulted in a respectable 12th place.
6. That stellar vocal performance from 2007
In 2007, Hungary internally selected Megasztár winner Magdi Rúzsa to represent them in Helsinki, and she gave an outstanding performance of her blues ballad “Unsubstantial Blues” on the big night, resulting in a well-deserved top 10 finish. The performance combined her natural sensuality with the feeling of a woman who has lived, and survived, matters of the heart and more.
7. Those funny backing vocalists
The most remarkable thing in the performance of Freddie‘s “Pioneer” in 2016 was — apart from Freddie himself or the Shaolin drummer — the trio of backing vocalists (who also are members of a cappella group Fool Moon). You have only to watch the performance, and you’ll understand why.
8. Trolling the grand final opening this year
AWS may have not won the contest, but they certainly were one of the most lovable contestants this year. You don’t believe me? Then check out their sequence in this year’s grand final opening, which ended up on the meme site 9GAG:
That’s how Dragonball meets Eurovision, y’all!
9. An unpredictable national final that comes with a qualification streak
It all began in 2012 when broadcaster MTVA decided to make an open call for entries and organized a national final show named A Dal, a show that held its seventh edition this year. It may not be the most popular selection show in the Eurovision fandom, but one thing is for sure: to date the winner of A Dal has always made it to the Eurovision grand final. Along with Kati Wolf’s 2011 qualification, this takes Hungary’s qualification streak to eight consecutive years.
10. That epic crowdsurfing moment
AWS’ performance, with all the pyrotechnics and special effects, made us feel like we were at a proper metal gig. But it would not have been complete without guitarist Dániel Kökényes crowdsurfing during the breakdown of their entry “Viszlát Nyár”.
Bonus! The best Eurovision mash-up of the decade
Have you ever wondered what Netta’s “Toy” would sound like rearranged with distorted guitars and aggressive metal drumming? Well AWS themselves clearly did, and the result is mindblowing!
Why do you love Hungary at Eurovision? Let us know in the comments below!