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After the brash pop of Wulf Kati’s What About My Dreams and the rousing chant of Compact Disco’s Sound Of Our Hearts Hungary has wound the pace back a heck of a lot this year with this understated song by a hipster called Bye Alex, also known as Alex Marta, a journalist by day with a Masters in philosophy. His song Kedvesem, or She’s The One For Me (all that in one word, really the Magyar grammar structures must be so unforgiving) is a gently lilting song of satisfaction that was quite a surprise winner from a 30-strong field and three national semi-finals. Somehow this seemed to find momentum and strike a chord with the voting public, perhaps because of its sweet lyrics, which feature prominently in the animated video. This may be its undoing though as Alex is sticking to Magyar, a language with only around 15 million native speakers, mostly in the one country that won’t be able to vote for him. (Originally it was reported he’d sing part of the song in Swedish in a nod to the host nation, but that’s now been ditched, possibly after calculating there are even fewer native Swedish speakers than there are Magyar.) It’s a brave move, and will delight the purists who bemoan the dominance of often badly-intoned English, but you can’t help feel it will scupper what little chance he has. I like this, now I’ve warmed to it, but it’s got no real instant appeal other than being “nice”, and amid the power ballads, the rock, and the downright bizarre in his semi final he’ll struggle to be appreciated. As they’re opening up the qualifiers’ envelopes his stage name will never have seemed so apt.
My score: 7 points