Hungary and the Eurovision Song Contest – The big problem

The Eurovision Song Contest is approaching and only a few days ago the Hungarian people voted for ByeAlex to represent Hungary in the Song Contest of 2013. I considered naming this article Bye Bye Alex, but the problem is much bigger than ByeAlex…

I remembered the first time I listened to the song with which ByeAlex won the hearts of the Hungarians. I thought that it fits perfectly into the Eurovision Song Contest, because it is so boring and strange. The problem is that it is nothing more than boring and strange. Last year the amazing Russian grandmothers sang about partying and it was a terrible song, but because it was cool and gave people a reason to smile, it ended up on second place. Well, ByeErik gives us a good reason to sleep, at least he gives me a reason to sleep.

The real Hungarian problem

But, the real Hungarian problem is not ByeAlex. Strange songs have won the Eurovision Song Contest before, so since miracles still do happen, ByeAlex might somehow qualify for the final, and if he first gets there, who knows. Maybe he will even get some points?!

The challenge is that it is real people voting for the winners in the Eurovision Song Contest. The voters vote for two things:

  • Great songs
  • Friends and nations they sympathize with

It is strange to notice how often a nation gets lots of points from the neighboring nations. If you start paying attention you can notice how Spain always get points from Portugal and France and there are lots of similar cases. This is where the problem starts. Hungary does not get points from their neighbors. The nations surrounding Hungary doesn’t really sympathize with the Hungarians, so when the points are given from Slovakia, Croatia, Slovenia, Romania, Ukraine, Austria and Serbia there are very few points sent in the direction of Hungary. The nearest one can come to a Hungarian neighbor when it comes to giving points is Finalnd… and that is it.

Eurovision 2011 example

In 2011 Kati Wolf performed for Hungary. I remember she was among the favorites for winning the entire competition… and yes, it was a great song that I still enjoy hearing when it is played on the radio. Hungary then received a total of 53 points (giving it an amazing 22nd place). They received points from the following nations: Finland (12 points), Sweden (5 points), France (2 points), Romania (7 points), Austria (2 points), Azerbadjan (2 points), Iceland (5 points), Spain (6 points), Ukraine (4 points) and Serbia (8 points). They received some points from their neighbors, but it could have been so many more points to gather.

Did you know that there is something called OGAE, which is the General Organisation of Eurovision Fans. Since 2007 they vote for a winner of the Eurovision Song Contest and here are the statistics.

  • OGAE winner 2007: Serbia (also won the Song Contest)
  • OGAE winner 2008: Sweden (ended up as number 18 in Song Contest)
  • OGAE winner 2009: Norway (also won the Song Contest)
  • OGAE winner 2010: Denmark (ended up 4th in the Song Contest)
  • OGAE winner 2011: Hungary (ended up as number 22 in Song Contest)
  • OGAE winner 2012: Sweden (also won the Song Contest)

There is one exception with Sweden in 2008, but normally the songs selected by OGAE does very well in the main competition. Not so for Hungary in 2011. That is why it doesn’t really matter if we send ByeAlex or Gigi Radics or anyone else to the Eurovision Song Contest, Hungary wan’t win anyway.

Back in 2007 Hungary got a ninth place in the Eurovision Song Contest when Magdolna Ruzsa performed her Unsubstantial Blues. This was the best performance in the Hungarian history of Eurovision Song Contest since 1994 when they got a fourth place as Friderika sang “Whom can I tell my sins?” That was also the first year Hungary took part in the Eurovision Song Contest.

Will Hungary ever win the Eurovision Song Contest?

If Hungary stay in the same relationship with their neighboring nations as now, they will not. They might get some points from here and there, but if a great song like the one in 2011 only grabs a few points from the neighboring nations it will never be enough to win the entire competition.

In 2013 ByeAlex will represent Hungary… if he qualifies for the final I will be very surprised. If he qualifies for the final and gets more than 50 points I will be greatly surprised. If he gets more than hundred points I will find my guitar, clear my voice and get ready for recording, because then I will publish the Budablogger version of the song of ByeAlex…

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