Best of the Bunch: Hungary

Hungary first made their debut at Eurovision in 1994 – well, their first entry would have been in 1993, however at the time, a special qualification round was used for the former Eastern Bloc countries and as you might guess, Hungary failed to qualify, and as such, their first actual Eurovision entry was 1994. Funnily enough, their debut entry still remains as their best placing at 4th. Over the years, they’ve had mixed results, but for the most part, we see Hungary in the final! As with all of our Best of the Bunch posts, we start in 2006, however Hungary did not participate in 2006, and so today we’ll start in 2007, and work our way through the entries until we reach 2015. After we recap the entries, it’s up to you to decide which of the acts is your Best of the Bunch!

As Hungary didn’t participate in 2006, we’re starting with 2007, where Magdi Rúzsa was selected to represent the nation. Magdi performed the song Unsubstantial Blues which was completely in English, as she felt the lyrics were a core part of the song that she wanted to be understood by all listeners. Her strategy, and her performance led her to qualify in 2nd place in the semi-final, and then in the final she finished in 9th place, the first time Hungary was in the top 10 since their debut year.

The following year, it was up to Csézy to build on the success that Madgi brought to Hungary. The song that she performed was called Candlelight, and was a mix of Hungarian and English language. Unfortunately, Hungary was the unlucky one to end up at the bottom of the table of the semi-final, finishing in 19th place with just 6 points.

In 2009, Hungary held an internal selection full of twists and turns, but long story short, the original winner was disqualified under claims of plagiarism. Then, the next performer, Kátya Tompos was selected, however with some controversy that the decision was too rushed. This didn’t last long either, with Kátya herself withdrawing in order to focus on her theatre career. Luckily, the internal selectors chose another back up song, which was Zoli Ádok with the song Dance With Me. After all that, Hungary once again failed to reach the final, with 16 points and 15th place in the semi-final.

In 2010, Hungary did not participate at Eurovision.

Hungary returned in 2011 with the hope of improving on their previous results, and it was up to Kati Wolf with her song What About My Dreams. She performed the song on stage in English and Hungarian, and there were high hopes for the song before the contest, with many saying it was a chance to win. Unfortunately the hype wasn’t realised, with Kati reaching the final, but finishing in 22nd place in the final.

The following year, the band Compact Disco was selected to represent the nation with the song Sound of Our Hearts. It was a fairly inoffensive pop entry from the group, and it showed in their results. The band just scraped through the final in 10th place, and then in the final finished in 24th place with 19 points.

In 2013, Hungary went hipster and sent ByeAlex to Eurovision with the Hungarian language song Kedvesem. It was a relaxed song performed well, and the simplicity of the performance led Hungary to the final again, qualifying in 8th place, and then overall finishing in 10th place with 84.

We’ve reached 2014, where Hungary sent what was, and still remains as one of their most successful Eurovision acts since their debut. András Kállay-Saunders was chosen as the representative with the song Running, and it ran straight through to the final in 3rd place, and then in the final it continued to impress voters, finishing in 5th place with 143 points. This makes it the second best result for Hungary, just one place behind their debut act Friderika Bayer.

This brings us to the final act we’re discussing today, which was a peaceful song called Wars for Nothing performed by Boggie. The song proved to be hit and miss with audiences, but Hungary still managed to feature in the Grand Final. Boggie qualified to the final in 8th place, and then finished in 20th place overall with a total of 19 points.

Now we’ve recapped the entries, it’s up to you to vote!