Hungary could be a contender to win the Eurovision Song Contest with “Running” by András Kállay Saunders. Might the subject matter of the song prove to be too heavy for voters?
Song Title: “Running”
Artist: András Kállay Saunders
Semi-Final: First, Position 16
Last year’s entry: “Kedvesem (Zoohacker Remix)” – ByeAlex (10th Place)1
Hungary is a country that I do not think gets talked about enough at the Eurovision Song Contest. Since returning to the competition in 2011, Hungary has qualified for the final with songs that do a fantastic job of tapping into what’s current without being disposable. Their last three entries still hold up today, and I fully expect “Running” by András Kállay Saunders to hold up three years from now. Take a listen:
According to current odds, Hungary is in the top five of favorites to win the Contest. I think that may be a conservative estimate. Hungary will be closing out the first semi-final, which may provide enough of a boost to allow it to overtake Armenia in that round’s scoring. If the performance from A Dal (Hungary’s selection show) is any indication, András Kállay Saunders already knows how to give a top-notch presentation. The only note I have for that is to make sure the staging works for the arena audience as well as the TV audience.
The challenge facing this particular entry is the content of the song. Every year the hosts of the Eurovision Song Contest harp on the idea that Europe is voting for their favorite song. It seems odd to say “In 2014, Europe’s favorite song was about child abuse.” I agree with Ben that ISSUES tend to be a tougher sell. However, this year’s field has a lot of ISSUES type songs including Iceland and Norway. I’m happy to see that the Contest isn’t trying to sugarcoat with rainbows and unicorns, with songs like “Running” standing a strong chance of succeeding.
I fully expect to see András Kállay Saunders in the final.2 The mixed genre/style of the track should allow it to flow with whatever it gets positioned next to in the Final. If Hungary can get a spot deep in the second half of the show, they may top their previous best of 4th place.