Eurovision 2019 previews countdown: #10 HUNGARY – Joci Pápai – “Az én apám”

We finally reach my top 10! And perhaps a surprise, even to my Hungarian friend and fellow Eurovision fan, Zoltan; a pleasant surprise I hope! Joci Pápai is a returning former contestant, having represented Hungary in 2017, when he achieved a top 10 placing with 8th in the grand final. Can he repeat his success this year and achieve another good result for Hungary?

A Dal is the well established national selection series for Hungary, consisting of heats, semi-finals and a final and for a second time in three years, it’s Joci who has triumphed through a large field. His 2017 entry, “Origo” was a ethnic/folk song with a strong Romani influence (Joci is of Romani descent) and did extremely well, especially with the public vote.

I’m a real fan of this song and in particular Joci’s haunting vocals. He seems to have gained more confidence as well since the 2017 contest which makes for even more compelling performances. The song is about his childhood memories, and the English title is “My father”. It once again uses Hungarian and Romani folk sounds and his vocals are just so haunting, it’s always a pleasure to listen to.

One issue I had with “Origo” was the rap element of it, which I could have done without. No such problem this year, so I wonder if that might give it more of a boost with the juries (who were less favourable to “Origo” than the public vote) but hopefully not at the expense of the televote. I think this has (unfairly) been going under the radar of the fandom (though I think his last entry also was underappreciated before the contest). Hungary have made the final every year since 2011 though (when they returned after a 1 year break), and combined with Joci’s previous result, I’m quite confident this will make the final.

Official music video:

National final performance:

My preview video:

Hungary in the Eurovision Song Contest

Flag of Hungary

First entered: 1994

Appearances (excluding this year): 16

Best result: 4th in 1994

Last year’s result: 21st

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