From 30 acts at the beginning of this process, we are down to 18 competing in the semi-finals of Hungary’s A Dal 2017. Each semi-final has nine acts performing their entries for the panel of judges and viewer votes. This time around, the three acts with the most points automatically move on to the finals and the remaining six are subjected to another round of audience voting for a wildcard slot. In the end, four acts from each semi-final will advance to this Saturday’s final.
Here are the eight acts that will compete for Hungary’s ticket to Kyiv.
1st Place (Tie) – Gina Kanizsa “Fall Like Rain” – 45 points
This song will be going into Saturday’s final as the judges’ favorite, earning a perfect score of 40 from the panel. The song will not be going into Saturday’s final as the audience favorite, as Friday’s performance earned only 5 points from the televote. I LOL’d at that reveal.
1st Place (Tie) – Joci Pápai “Origo” – 45 points
Friday’s performance of this track landed better for me than in its debut in heat 3. I still have my concerns about it being successful as a Eurovision entry, as well as it standing out in the rest of this finalist field. If it can pull a late draw (as it did in heat 3 and the semi-final), a trip to Kyiv could be in Joci Pápai’s future.
3rd Place – Gigi Radics “See it Through” – 42 points
Although she had the highest score of all 30 acts in the preliminary rounds, this is the only song of the eight finalists to have a lower score after the semi-final. Yes, it’s only a drop of one point, but could that be an indication that this song may not have the staying power of a viable Eurovision contender?
Wildcard – Soulwave “Kalandor” – 37 points
DO NOT DOUBT THE POWER OF CUTE GUYS WITH GUITARS. This could be one of the biggest upsets in the entirety of this year’s Eurovision selection season. The judges gave this song middling scores, but the audience vote once again came through to send Soulwave to the next round. The jury may be too much of a roadblock in the final, as they will determine which four acts will advance to the superfinal. If Soulwave manages to squeak through to the superfinal, will the audience send the band to Ukraine?
1st Place – Gabi Toth “Hosszú idők” – 44 points
What a pleasant surprise: a song and performance I really enjoy not only made it to the final, but it won the second semi-final. The home audience seems to dig this song too, as it received 7 points from the televote.1 I’m hoping this will pull a late draw in the final for the jury portion so that it can breeze through to the superfinal.
2nd Place (Tie) – Leander Kills “Élet” – 43 points
As a song, this is executed well and is a perfectly pleasant performance. Unfortunately, there is nothing particularly remarkable about this track or performance. It’s a shame that checking so many boxes won’t be rewarded, but I fear that this will end up forgotten among the showier, more bombastic entries in the rest of the field.
2nd Place (Tie) – Zavodi + Olivér Berkes “#Hatterzaj” – 43 points
The score increase from heat 3 to the semi-final was all thanks to the judges. The audience gave this song 5 points in both rounds, which is not all that surprising. The song is good, but the theatrics of a piano bursting into flames may be a bad omen for Eurovision. I can see the judges moving this along to the superfinal, but the audience is clearly indifferent about this entry.
Wildcard – Kállay Saunders Band “17” – 42 points
This song had no change in score between the preliminary heat and the semi-final. If this means the judges haven’t seen improvement, that could prove to be an obstacle when it comes to the jury vote at the final. I would also be curious to see the vote breakdown between this entry and Adam Szabo’s song in the second round of voting, as I imagine “Together” was close to snatching this wildcard spot.
Since the jury will select which four entries will move on to the superfinal, let’s look at the total points each act received from the judges.
|Song||Artist||Heat Scores||Semi-Final Scores||Total|
|Fall Like Rain||Gina Kanizsa||37||40||77|
|#Hatterzaj||Zavodi + Olivér Berkes||36||38||74|
|Hosszú idők||Gabi Toth||34||37||71|
|See It Through||Gigi Radics||36||35||71|
|17||Kállay Saunders Band||35||35||70|
Based on this table, it looks like “Fall Like Rain”, “#Hatterzaj”, and “Origo” will probably move on to the superfinal. That leaves one spot up for grabs. Since “Elet” and “Hosszú idők” both showed improved scores from heat to semi, I would suspect one of these will take the fourth spot. Given that “Hosszú idők” is more of a performance, I will give the edge to that song.
Assuming these four entries move forward, my guess would be that the real competition will be between “Hosszú idők” and “Origo” since both have resonated with the audience. Although I would prefer “Hosszú idők” to go Eurovision, my gut is telling me Joci Pápai should block off the first two weeks of May for some travel to Kyiv.
The final of A Dal 2017 airs Saturday at 19.30 CET / 1:30pm Eastern on Duna World.
- Except for Adam Szabo’s 8 points in the preliminary rounds, 7 has been the high water mark for the audience vote. ↵