Familiar Hungary

Joci Pápai has established a new tradition in A Dal by winning it every time he participates. And we couldn’t be happier!  

Only two years have passed since we first made his acquaintance in Kiyv. Origo was one of our favorite entries back then and as opposed to quite a few others we were not the least surprised when it fished 8th in the Grand Final. As an artist of Romani origin in Hungary, Joci spurred quite a bit of controversy when he won A Dal the first time around, which he seemed to handle with impressive poise and strength, like when he talked about it when we interviewed him. To see him now, firmly established among the most popular and high achieving artists on the domestic music scene is both encouraging and thoroughly deserved.

As a returning artist in Eurovision he is bound to receive a little extra love and affection from the fans. He’s been inside the bubble before and sort of becomes one of us. However, the rest of Europe couldn’t care less, and the return can be a brutal crash landing for those who show up with a weaker entry. Especially previous winners can account for that, just ask Dana International, Alexander Rybak, Niamh Kavanagh and the list goes on.

That’s why it’s impossible not to measure Az én apám up against Origo, and we fear it has its shortcomings. It’s not as instantly catchy, it lacks the punch and provided the staging will be similar to A Dal it, well, basically lacks a staging at all. Still, we love the fact that Joci both wants and dares to show us a different and more sensitive side, as showing up with Origo 2.0 must have been tempting. And we hope he will be rewarded as this year’s entry most certainly holds enough quality to produce a similar result. And the biggest asset here is Joci himself, being a rock-solid performer and possessing a radiant charisma that creates magic on stage. Welcome back, Joci!

I’m telling you, the carps in Lake Balaton are this big! (photo: eurovision.tv)

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