It’s the national final with an enviable 100% qualification rate. Now Hungary‘s broadcaster Duna Media Service Provider has opened applications for A Dal 2019 — and has confirmed that the contest will be used to select Hungary’s act for Eurovision 2019.
The broadcaster broke the news via the publication of the A Dal 2019 entry rules. The document outlines the conditions of entering A Dal, and also confirms that the winner of A Dal will represent Hungary at Eurovision 2019.
The standard Eurovision entry rules apply, but — as in previous years — A Dal has strict conditions of their own.
The contest is only open to artists who have previously released an album, been playlisted on national radio or had television appearances, and who have a record deal or professional music management. The focus is on quality — something that has paid off for Hungary in previous years.
Singers must also be Hungarian citizens or speak Hungarian as a native language, though songwriters from other countries can enter if their song is performed by a Hungarian singer.
As in previous years, the emphasis is on songs written in Hungarian. Songs can still be submitted in English or in any of Hungary’s minority languages, but a translation of the lyrics in Hungarian must be included with the entry. Three A Dal winners have been sung in Hungarian, and two of those earned top-ten Eurovision finishes.
The rules also state that — like Melodifestivalen — A Dal is a competition of songs, not performers. The broadcaster reserves the right to decide who will perform the winning song Eurovision 2019. But given the distinct characters of Hungary’s A Dal winners, it’s hard to imagine songs like “Viszlát nyár”, “Origo” or “Kedvesem” being performed by anyone else.
The format of the A Dal television shows is still to be confirmed by the broadcaster. However, it is expected that A Dal 2019 will follow the same format as recent years, with three heats, two semi-finals, and one grand final including a superfinal vote.
Applications for A Dal 2019 are now open and will close on November 8.
The success of A Dal
Since the launch of A Dal in 2012, the show’s winners have consistently qualified for the Eurovision grand final. The most successful entries have been ByeAlex, whose sweet hipster ballad “Kedvesem (Zoohacker Remix)” placed 10th in 2013, András Kállay-Saunders, whose edgy dubstep exploration of domestic violence “Running” placed fifth in 2014, and Joci Pápai, who last year placed eighth with the mysterious “Origo”.
In other years, Hungary hasn’t earned such strong results. Boggie — to date the sole female winner of A Dal — had the subdued peace song “Wars for Nothing” which managed only 20th place in 2015. A year later, Freddie’s “Pioneer” — which was criticised for cheesy staging — did marginally better in 19th place. In Lisbon, AWS stayed true to their metal roots but only placed 21st with “Viszlát nyár”.
But as “Kedvesem” and “Origo” have shown, Hungary is one of the few countries who consistently does well with lyrics performed in their native language. The rhythmic and melodious qualities of Hungarian lend themselves well to song lyrics.
As Hungary embarks on the eighth edition of A Dal, the fans are wondering if 2019 will be the year that A Dal can finally select a Eurovision winner.
What do you think? Who would you like to see enter A Dal 2019? What sort of song should Hungary send to Tel Aviv? Share your thoughts below!