When Hungary‘s broadcaster MTVA wasn’t on the list of confirmed acts for Eurovision 2020, many fans hoped it would be a one-off. But the broadcaster has now released the rules for the 2021 edition of its national song contest A Dal — and once more, there’s no mention of Eurovision.

MTVA has opened submissions for A Dal 2021 and has released the rules for entry. There is much in common with standard Eurovision rules — artists must be at least 16 years old, songs must be no more than three minutes long, no animals are allowed on stage.

But A Dal also varies a little from Eurovision in that up to ten performers are allowed stage. A Dal 2021 also allows pre-recorded backing vocals — something that is also new for Eurovision 2021.

The winner of A Dal 2021 will receive support to record up to ten songs as well as one music video. As well, four other finalists will receive music production support.

The champion will also receive the Petőfi Music Award. There will also be category Petőfi awards given to the Best Lyricist, and the Best Discovery for an artist making their A Dal debut.

But despite all that, one thing is missing from the A Dal 2021 rules: there is no mention of the Eurovision Song Contest.

While Hungary could still compete at Eurovision 2021 by selecting their act through another method, given Hungary’s withdrawal in 2020, it seems likely they will be taking another year off.

Montenegro’s broadcaster RTCG recently confirmed that it would not be returning to Eurovision in 2021.

Hungary’s withdrawal in 2020

Prior to 2020, the A Dal rules explicitly confirmed that the winner of A Dal would also go on to represent Hungary at Eurovision. But since 2020, this has been dropped, replaced with the Petőfi Music Award prizes and other perks.

MTVA did not give a specific reason for why they were withdrawing from Eurovision 2020 but said that instead of doing Eurovision, they “will support the valuable productions created by the talents of Hungarian pop music directly.”

However, after speculation in foreign press that Hungary had withdrawn from Eurovision over the presence of gay performers, the broadcaster issued a strongly worded statement saying this was not the case.

A Dal 2020 went ahead without the Eurovision connection. And despite it suffering from low viewership, things turned out well for the winners. Hungary’s Eurovision 1997 singer Gergo Rácz along with Reni Orsovai won A Dal 2020 with their song “Mostantól”. The song broke records, spending 19 weeks at No.1 on Hungarian radio.

Hungary’s history of Eurovision breaks

Hungary has a history of withdrawals at Eurovision. After their 1994 debut, Hungary ended up taking a break between 1999 and 2004. After their return in 2005, they took the years 2006 and 2010 off, citing financial difficulties.

Since then, they’ve had an impressive qualification streak from 2011 to 2018, including three top-ten finishes. Hungary also regularly does well with songs in the Hungarian language, though its most recent Hungarian entry — Joci Pápai’s “Az én apám” — failed to qualify.

Other countries have taken a year off from Eurovision with impressive results on their return. Ukraine didn’t compete in 2015 due to the Crimea situation and won on their 2016 return. Likewise, Portugal didn’t compete in 2016 due to financial issues and won on their 2017 return.

While it remains to be seen whether Hungary will eventually return to Eurovision, many fans eagerly await a Hungarian comeback.

Entries for A Dal 2021 are currently open and will close on November 10. The contest will run from 23 January to 13 March.

What do you think? Should Hungary return to Eurovision? Or is MTVA better to stay focused on Hungary alone? Tell us your thoughts below!

Read more Hungary news here

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1998
1998
1 month ago

That means they are out definitely. Exactly the same thing is happening and for later cancelled 2020.

Dawid
Dawid
1 month ago

It’s not a year off. They’re out, like it or not. Like Turkey.

Joe
Joe
1 month ago

On an interesting, unrelated note: apparently all the JESC performances are going to be recorded by October 30th – but Georgia aren’t picking their act until November 13th. How’s that going to work?

On an actually related note: one country you don’t have to worry about withdrawing is Portugal! They just confirmed their participation, and FdC is going to have twenty songs now!

Ashton
Ashton
1 month ago
Reply to  Joe

im so excited for FdC!!! FdC 2019 and 2020 were amazing omg, I am so ready for some amazing songs in 2021.

Jonas
Jonas
1 month ago
Reply to  Joe

I imagine Georgia have already picked their entry but just aren’t announcing it until the 13th?

Joe
Joe
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonas

But they’ve got this whole selection going and the winning song is picked with the winning artist, at least that’s what I thought they were doing.

Jonas
Jonas
1 month ago
Reply to  Joe

Yes, but live? I doubt it.

ESCFanGA
ESCFanGA
1 month ago

I wouldn’t be surprised if Poland also withdraws from Eurovision in the future as they have a government similar to Hungary’s.

Azaad
Azaad
1 month ago
Reply to  ESCFanGA

I think Poland’s government overall is less extreme than Hungary’s, and moreover, I believe that Orban has even less respect for media freedom than the Polish government does.

Leo
Leo
1 month ago
Reply to  Azaad

Poland is more homophobic than Hungary

Whisker
Whisker
1 month ago

What a surprise. NOT!

Jofty
Jofty
1 month ago
Reply to  Whisker

Understandable when you consider some of the nonsense that qualified ahead of them in 2019.

Whisker
Whisker
1 month ago
Reply to  Jofty

Unfortunately I don’t think that’s the reason they don’t want to be in ESC. Last year I put Hungary ahead of other entries that qualified and I was quite emotional in my heart when they didn’t qualify. My opinion: broadcasters/songs qualify or don’t qualify, that’s how it is. Hungary was so brave in 2018. They offer good entries. I am upset they don’t participate anymore. They refuse to be part of this diverse and modern cultural community WHILE they have so much to offer.

Colin
Colin
1 month ago
Reply to  Jofty

By that logic, over half of countries would withdraw after not receiving a desired result, which would be petty and counterproductive.
In 2019, Hungary had a nice song, but it was in a stacked semi with many songs whom I personally find to have more immediecy. San Marino and Belarus certainly weren’t better IMHO, but I guess some people found them to be more entertaining.

Jofty
Jofty
1 month ago
Reply to  Colin

If an old man who can’t sing and is “internally selected” floats people’s boats I don’t blame the likes of Hungary (and Portugal) for feeling miffed

Una
Una
1 month ago
Reply to  Jofty

I am *gutted*, Jofty. Don’t worry, I own my feelings. San Marino had a very good song. Serhat’s voice was weak but that’s not the point. He carried that song. The three female backings were on point. It’s not that they tried to hide his weak vocal. Nor did they try to “enhance” it with backings hidden in a corner. The three ladies were there for us to see and they did great. They actually sang and were part of the performance. That song is good, it’s a crowd pleaser and stage performance was great. Qualification well deserved IMO. And… Read more »

Jofty
Jofty
1 month ago
Reply to  Una

Sorry Una! I think performing last in semi definitely helped San Marino as some of the more “experimental” stuff had gone immediately before. We need to go back to days of the draw for starting position as the current system is open to abuse/interpretation. I don’t care if I have to listen to 10 ballads in a row. Surprisingly none of the powerhouses seem to draw position # 2? I also think each country should be obliged to have a national selection if only 2/3 songs per SM this year. Internal selection is lazy and offensive to countries who have… Read more »

Una
Una
1 month ago
Reply to  Jofty

OK, OK. No hard feelings. Malta, Bulgaria, Azerbaijan please take note. And Eb0U too. New year post situation or within situation. Take note of the 1976 edition. Stripped down in that fancy staging. Focus on the song.

Colin
Colin
1 month ago
Reply to  Jofty

I don’t blame them for being dissatisfied either, but that’s not a reason to entirely quit. Most countries had a result or two less than they deserved at some point. Semi 1 of 2019 was already destined to leave a good song behind, because there was 11 songs worth qualifying. With Belarus and San Marino making it through, three good songs were sadly left in the semi – Hungary, Poland and Portugal. And out of them, Portugal honestly surprised me the most.

Jofty
Jofty
1 month ago
Reply to  Colin

Hi Colin, it just shows how much this is all a matter of tastes and views. I could not contemplate Hungary not qualifying. I did think Portugal might “divide opinion”. I did not expect Poland to qualify but acknowledge the quality of the entry.

GuitarHeart
GuitarHeart
1 month ago

Hungary is one of my favourite countries, both in ESC and their NF. Always many interesting and different songs. I hope they change their mind, and come back to ESC soon. I think they should skip A Dal if they don’t take part in ESC itself anyway

Linus
Linus
1 month ago

What is happening to Poland, Russia, Hungary? are they competing to be the most extreme? No LGBT zones, No ESC, no free press. I have had it now. I dont like it!

jason
jason
1 month ago
Reply to  Linus

Russia almost always confirm at the last minute

Whisker
Whisker
1 month ago
Reply to  jason

Didn’t Russia confirm already?

Erasmus
Erasmus
1 month ago
Reply to  Whisker

they have confirmed already.

Linus
Linus
1 month ago
Reply to  jason

i know. i meant the other 2 for russia. Russia should be out. My opinion

Grzegorz Brz?czyszczykiewicz
Grzegorz Brz?czyszczykiewicz
1 month ago
Reply to  Linus

Da heq. The only country you wrote we can accuse of not respecting the human rights is Russia. The “no lgbt” zones were made by few local govs and now they are being annonced illegal by “political” courts ;). The freedom of speech and press is more free than they have been before, ppl in Poland and Hungary can protest as much as they want, saying whatever than want and they won’t be attacked by police because of it. Now it’s impossible to think that officers would invide newspaper headquarters to steal laptops because there are some inconvenient news about… Read more »

Hrvatska
Hrvatska
1 month ago

I have little hope that Hungary will participate in the Eurovision Song Contest, as long as Orban continues to rule the country plus they have the same rhetoric as Turkey.

Roelof Meesters
Roelof Meesters
1 month ago

Let’s be honest you guys, I feel like it was kinda implied that Hungary would withdraw for more than one year… but it’s still disappointing. Now, let’s just hope that the EBU will finally invite Kazakhstan to the competition because they are eager to join.

elma
elma
1 month ago

Not this year sadly. It was said that EBU has no plans of inviting Kazakhstan yet

Linus
Linus
1 month ago

Kazakstan GRATULATED Belarus dictator to his fake election win. Not many did but Kazakstan did. Do you really want another dictator ruler country in ESC . I dont. we already have Azerbaijan, Russia, Belarus. Funny that all are ex sovjet

Erasmus
Erasmus
1 month ago
Reply to  Linus

Eurovision is about inclusion not about exclusion, It doesn’t matter if the country has a dictator.

Hector
Hector
1 month ago
Reply to  Erasmus

I agree with this tbh. If politics have no place in Eurovision, that has to apply in every single way. No matter the circumstances, it’s always a loss when a country decides not to enter the contest.

Jonas
Jonas
1 month ago
Reply to  Erasmus

It should matter, especially when they are the host country and use the contest to congratulate themselves and use it for propaganda purposes…as has happened before…

Una
Una
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonas

Agreed. But I feel sorry for the good people who may feel excluded from the competition or even vilified. No fault of their own.

Jonas
Jonas
1 month ago
Reply to  Una

I don’t disagree. All the more reason why “it doesn’t matter if a country has a dictator” is one of the most ridiculous posts I’ve ever seen on Wiwi.

Linus
Linus
1 month ago
Reply to  Erasmus

so in your world: You can shoot women and children in protests like Belarus is doing BUT still compete in JESC and ESC? I dont think so

Erasmus
Erasmus
1 month ago
Reply to  Linus

Well people representing Belarus aren’t the people who shoot women and children in Belarus, so yeah it shouldn’t matter.

Linus
Linus
1 month ago
Reply to  Erasmus

haha OMG

Linus
Linus
1 month ago
Reply to  Linus

Many downvotes = Many dictator lovers. Sad

elma
elma
1 month ago
Reply to  Linus

Unlike in those other countries, Kazakhstan’s “dictator” doesn’t out a strain on country’s musical department, so there’s that.

Una
Una
1 month ago

Still no word about the final list of confirmed countries? What’s the deadline for confirmation?

Ashton
Ashton
1 month ago
Reply to  Una

usually the list is out in early November to my knowledge

Una
Una
1 month ago

Not one but over 20 words. Well done!

1998
1998
1 month ago
Reply to  Una

Wait for early to mid November 2020.

AdD
AdD
1 month ago

Pretty certain that they’re out for good.

Micky
Micky
1 month ago
Reply to  AdD

Nah, they’ll probably come back in a year or two I mean they didn’t participate from 1999 to 2004 (6 years) yeah I think they’ll come back in a few years.

1998
1998
1 month ago
Reply to  Micky

They also missed 2006 and 2010 contests. Who knows exactly the real reason behind their withdrawal.

Nicky
Nicky
1 month ago
Reply to  AdD

good that they hungarian homophobes, sexists are gone

elma
elma
1 month ago
Reply to  Nicky

Nicky! Didn’t I tell you to chill out before commenting?

Nicky
Nicky
1 month ago
Reply to  elma

yes, but i just do not want hungary back given they add nothing to the contest either

USA debut pls

Joe
Joe
1 month ago
Reply to  Nicky

They gotta block your IP man

Ashton
Ashton
1 month ago

Hungary please don’t do this to me again. just say you are doing Eurovision or you are not, as soon as possible.

elma
elma
1 month ago
Reply to  Ashton

Well considering their only source of Eurovision has changed up its rules…

Aitor Robles Morillas
Aitor Robles Morillas
1 month ago

PLEASE HUNGARY and MTV comeback!!! I couldn’t take another year without the Hungarian Scene Music on Eurovision Stage!!! I need themmm!!!!!

Kung Frederik 90
Kung Frederik 90
1 month ago

My dreams to see more than 43 countries in this competition is over. I can only understand the break of Bosnia and Herzegovina but all the other countries have no excuses to quit. Shame on Andorra, Moncaco, Slovakia, Montenegro, Hungary, Turkey, Luxembourg. I am really pissed off.

Nicky
Nicky
1 month ago

we will never have a contest again with 43 countries

Iván el Conquistador
Iván el Conquistador
1 month ago

Participating in ESC is funded by taxpayer’s money, not all countries can afford it (and don’t expect a lot given the economical crisis caused by the virus).

Heyey
Heyey
1 month ago

We COULD still have 44 countries if Belarus, Portugal and UK confirm participation, and if Hungary, Morocco and Turkey return, which is very unlikely. But one likes to dream 😀

Last edited 1 month ago by Heyey
Azaad
Azaad
1 month ago
Reply to  Heyey

Turkey could return with a different government- since Erdogan is such a hardliner, a moderate Muslim government (doesn’t even need to be that secular) would be enough of a shift. I’d imagine that they wouldn’t go to an ESC hosted in Israel in the short term if they do return though. However, Turkey also withdrew because they didn’t like that the jury system came into place, which is on the broadcaster and not the government…

I think BRTC and Belarus want to participate but they need to find an artist willing to represent them.

1998
1998
1 month ago
Reply to  Azaad

I don’t know why, but I see Belarus withdrawing at the end. I mean, they almost missed Junior Eurovision 2020.

Azaad
Azaad
1 month ago
Reply to  1998

That could well be a possibility, but a Belarus withdrawal would be for a year max. They’ve participated for many years with poor results and there is reasonable enthusiasm for the contest in the country.

MRK345YIJ
MRK345YIJ
1 month ago
Reply to  Heyey

Portugal has confirmed 🙂

1998
1998
1 month ago

Andorra, Luxembourg and Monaco don’t want to participate because they know that whatever they send they will always be eliminated in the semi final (i know there is San Marino still but…). For Morocco don’t ever expect to see them participating because of Israel. Hungary and Turkey are boycotting so don’t expect them as well for a while. B&H wants to return but they are banned. While Montenegro… Their opinion is just childish: 4 years of failure and they want to withdraw.

Red X
Red X
1 month ago
Reply to  1998

Andorra is already interested in returning in 2022.

1998
1998
1 month ago
Reply to  Red X

Surprising. But personally I don’t see that coming.

sam
sam
1 month ago

hungary is one of the best countries at esc 🙁 every year they send something different and equally as amazing. hope their government and broadcaster get out of their ultra conservative ways

Indiana07
Indiana07
1 month ago
Reply to  sam

One of the best countries? I like only their 2014 song.

Neil
Neil
1 month ago

I love Mostantol but it wouldn’t have gone to Eurovision
anyways so…. but I still hope Hungary participates!

Joe
Joe
1 month ago

Fans are pessimistic about Hungary coming back, but I dunno. Hope springs eternal.

Ashton
Ashton
1 month ago
Reply to  Joe

I just feel like we were all holding on to Montenegro coming back, and if they did then its likely Hungary would too. And now Montenegro has withdrawn, so its really really unlikely that Hungary will come back.

Nicky
Nicky
1 month ago
Reply to  Ashton

Montenegro love eurovision more, than hungary