The national final season is starting to get into full swing. Tomorrow, the first heat of A Dal 2018 is going to take place. We’ve taken a look at the entries and the procedure below, so here is the XTRA Preview & Review!
XTRA Preview: A Dal – Heat 1
A Dal is going to kick off tomorrow. The faces are all new, with 2016 Eurovision entrant Freddie being one of the new hosts. Károly Freinreisz and Miklós Both will return as jury members. They’re joined by Misi Mező and Judit Schell.
The jury will select the first five qualifiers for the semifinal, with the televoting picking a sixth one from the remaining acts. The app will be available internationally. So you can vote as well! The show will start at 20:30 CET and we will be tweeting from @ESCXTRA.
Ten acts will take part tomorrow. One of the early A Dal favourites is in the mix. Former The Voice USA participant Viktor Király is returning with his entry “Budapest Girl”. In previous years, we’ve also seen the jury being quite fond of the rockers from Leander Kills. Interestingly, seven of tomorrow’s songs will be in Hungarian.
XTRA Review: A Dal – Heat 1
Ceasefire X – “Satellites”
Nick: A case of normality, which is rare this season. A very middle of the road pop song in the best sense. Nice and chart friendly. I just wonder if this could work on a stage? Score: 7.5/10
Miki: Very radio friendly, current and in with a shot. But it might be a tad forgettable if not staged properly.
Rodrigo: Easy to listen verging on simply bland. There is nothing offensive about it but nothing that particularly stands out. Innovative is definitely not the word you would use to describe this.
Tim: The song is very current and my style of music, I would listen to it over and over again, I can’t wait to see what performance they will bring to the stage.
Fourtissimo ft. Markanera – “Kisnyuszi a kalapban”
Nick: A national final needs this song. Not because it could win, but because it brings variety. And fun. I don’t dislike it, but won’t put it on a playlist either.
Miki: I personally love swing music. “Kisnyuszi a kalapban” is a very 20’s track wrapped in modern production yet feels more like a throwback than a dated song. And if this happens to win A Dal I won’t be mad at all.
Rodrigo: There is something sure about this and it is that it will be memorable. Not sure it will be for the right reasons unless they nail the staging. The song itself is a nice throwback with a modern twist, though perhaps not something you can listen to more than a few times before it gets exhausting.
Tim: It sounds a bit like Electro Velvet meet Alexandra Stan. It’s good for maybe parties and that’s about it, maybe not for the Eurovision stage.
Viktor Király – “Budapest Girl”
Nick: Maybe the one to beat at the moment. Very solid verses and a bit of a letdown in the chorus. Nevertheless, Viktor sells this well. This is a great track!
Miki: Pleasant, radio friendly and very current sounding. This could be even more enjoyable with a good stage performance. Looking forward to seeing it live.
Rodrigo: Musically this is perhaps the best effort of the first heat. Lyrically, though, it’s… limited. Viktor’s voice is phenomenal, though, so he should be able to sell this pretty well.
Tim: It may be a good song to just relax, it’s very cohesive, and on the studio version he sells it well, it only depends if he can deliver on the live performance.
Gabi Knoll – “Nobody To Die For”
Nick: After a minute, this song is still stuck on its intro. After two minutes, it still hasn’t started. Now can it finish? For a song that doesn’t start, it sure drags on.
Miki: “Nobody to die for” is a song that starts off promising but the chorus is kind of a let down. With a bit of polishing this could be a contender. But I don’t think it stands a chance as it is.
Rodrigo: This surely felt like much more than 3 minutes. Without a doubt, nothing to die for.
Tim: It was promising in the beginning, but as the song went on, it didn’t captivate me in any way. If this gets chosen, it would need a bit of revamp for this to stand a chance.
Leander Kills – “Nem Szól Harang”
Nick: I’m quite used to seeing them in A Dal now and that’s good, otherwise I’d get shocked. But Leander Kills manage to bring quite accessible songs. For Hungarians. Perhaps not for Europe.
Miki: Hungarians are truly about celebrating diversity it seems. A few folksy and radio songs in and we get a rock/metal song. This has a very interesting chorus because I can feel a bit of an ethnic influence in the melody. I don’t see it as a potential winner but It’s a pretty perfect version of what it’s supposed to be.
Tim: It looks like Hungary is very diverse when selecting songs for A Dal. For me it sounds a bit like Identitet, and it’s very cohesive for a rock/metal song. I wouldn’t envisage seeing this in Lisbon, for rock songs there needs to be something for it to be appealing to Europeans.
Noémo – Levegőt!
Nick: Imagine a lazy Sunday afternoon on the porch of your cabin at Lake Balaton. Music is playing and it could easily be this. So calm, so relaxing, so enjoyable.
Miki: There is something very soothing about this and it completely works in Hungarian. The only thing I struggle with is that this will probably be quite a filler in the running order. Do I like it? Yes. Do I think this could win A Dal? No.
Rodrigo: Completely down my alley. Not overly complicated, its charm lies in its simplicity. Reminds me of something from (I think) UMK a few years ago. I feel relaxed again after listening to this. Thoroughly enjoyable.
Tim: It is a very nice and soothing. If they do choose this, it is something that they cannot translate from Hungarian as I do not know how it would work in English. It may stand out because of the different tempo, who knows?
Patikadomb – “Jó Szelet!”
Nick: This is like a cool boyband. But boybands in Eurovision are a bad idea. It sounds like the Jonas Brothers went to Hungary. I don’t mind it, but these days are gone.
Miki: This would be perfectly suitable for a teenage comedy. For some reason this sounds like something that could have been on top of charts in the mid 2000’s. Sadly (or luckily) those days are behind us.
Rodrigo: I was never particularly warm to Blink 182 so not sure why I would particularly enjoy their watered down version. The song is one and a half minutes too long.
Tim: It sounds like pop rock, which is something I used to like but now grown out of. This might do well for a younger generation (if they watch A Dal). It’s good for a fun filled song, but that is about it.
Zsolt Süle – “Zöld A Május”
Nick: This is old fashioned, this is classy. Very simple, with just a guitar there at the start. It’s almost like a street performance. I’d throw a penny or two in his hat.
Miki: “Zöld A Május” has a very old school , traditional feel song and it does sound like an evergreen. I enjoy the instrumental and the arrangement but I can’t see it as Hungary’s Eurovision representative in Lisbon.
Rodrigo: Unexpectedly, this is the song I enjoyed the most out of the first heat contenders. Simple, charming, memorable, classic.
Tim: This is very old fashioned for my taste, I can imagine it now, a toned down lighting and it just focus on him, if lucky there is something in the background. I don’t know if this would appeal to the masses and send it to Lisbon. Regardless of this I think it’s a great song.
Living Room – “Kirakat Élet”
Nick: Another relaxed one here. Seems Ed Sheeran has made an impact. Good that I quite like that kind of songs then. That voice is really good.
Miki: This is quite melodic. I can see people tapping their feet and having a pleasant time. I just don’t see it as a big stage type of a song, which might be a good thing (not every song has to be). The instrumental bids make it more than an average song.
Rodrigo: Fresh and instant, very today. Has a very laid-back feeling to it and I can easily see myself enjoying this for a chilled dance or a nice night in.
Tim: It sounds a bit of infusion of Ed Sheeran and Alexander Rybak and a hint of Paolo Nutini. It sounds very radio friendly and has a distinct voice, it could do well.
Tamás Vastag – “Ne Hagyj Reményt”
Nick: Hungarian is dominant this year. And I like that. This is a nice inoffensive track. Tamás delivers it well and it’s quite pleasant. I like it, but it’s not a winner.
Miki: For whatever reason this song doesn’t resonate with me despite being perfectly competent. Can I see people liking it? Yes. Would they like it enough to vote for it? Maybe.
Rodrigo: Very easy to listen but not particularly groundbreaking. Three pleasant minutes but the second the song is over it’s hard to remember it.
Tim: So many Hungarian songs in this heat!!! It is a pleasant track and Tamas shows it off really well. I am just not seeing the appeal to the song unfortunately, it would be great for Hungarian audiences, just not for Europe.
Who do we want?
The XTRA Jury, this time consisting of Nick, Miki, Rodrigo and Tim has spoken. Below you can see the average each song achieved. Their favourite for tomorrow’s show is Zsolt Süle’s “Zöld A Május”!
- Zsolt Süle – Zöld A Május: 7.5
- Living Room – Kirakat Élet: 7.3
- Viktor Király – Budapest Girl: 7.1
- Noémo – Levegőt!: 7.0
- Ceasefire X – Satellites: 7.0
- Fourtissimo ft. Markanera – Kisnyuszi a kalapban: 6.1
- Tamás Vastag – Ne Hagyj Reményt: 5.9
- Leander Kills – Nem Szól Harang: 4.8
- Patikadomb – Jó Szelet!: 3.8
- Gabi Knoll – Nobody To Die For: 2.5
Below, we’ve included a playlist for you. Which of these ten do you like best? Make sure to let us know who you like!