Hungary’s Eurovision 2011 Entry

Like Austria, Hungary has decided to ante up for this year’s Eurovision Song Contest. Their record in the past has been mixed. They achieved 4th place in 1994, and the best entry in recent memory was 9th place in 2007 with Magdi Ruzsa’s impressive “Unsubstantial Blues,” which we highlighted in our Biggest Diva Performances. Since then, however, Hungary has languished in the semi-finals, and sat it out last year.

For this year’s return, Hungarian organizers selected Kati Wolf, former contestant on Hungarian X Factor. Wolf will sing “What About My Dreams” partly in English, partly in Hungarian:

I like this song. I don’t think it’s your next winner, but it’s upbeat and appropriately big. The songwriters say the song “brings back the atmosphere of the disco music of the 80s,” and I suppose there is a little Whitney in there, but the arrangement sounds pretty contemporary to me. Wolf has a nice voice, and on this recorded track I was impressed with her musical phrasing, especially through the octave leaps and resolution. The English lyric, brought in after the announcement, is excellent.

However, something about the song’s structure, tempo, and chords in the chorus reminds me of Croatia’s current entry “Celebrate.” That’s not good, because both countries are slated to be in the back half of the first semi-final. At minimum Hungary has to think carefully about how to showcase Wolf’s singing abilities and make the song stand out. But Hungary and Croatia had both better hope for a draw that separates them, or else they could wind up killing each other off. I sure hope it doesn’t go down that way, because Hungary appears to be returning to the contest on a good note.