OMG, we are so happy we sent our assistant to Jerusalem to stuff a note into that wall as it seems all our prayers are already heard: PAPAI JOCI is not only BACK IN EUROVISION looking as amazing as ever, but he also agreed to an EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW with us, probably because his fabulous PR agent Símon got sick of us bothering him 24-7.
Anyway, we met on a beautiful open space in Tel Aviv and had a great talk. It went like this:
– So Joci. Welcome back to Eurovision. We have been praying to the schlager God for this for a couple of years now. So glad to finally be heard and super happy to see your amazing dress rehearsal.
– Thank you. Did I manage to get through to you?
– Honey, you shouldn’t ask stupid questions when interviewing superstar journalists like us. Didn’t Símon teach you anything? What was your first experience in Kiev like? Did you fill up on Georgian melted cheese and vodka shots and absolutely no sleep like we did?
– I was really nervous and excited. It was hard to remember anything. It was all over in a blur.
– Yeah, vodka shots did that to us as well. Is it easier to relax and enjoy yourself this year?
– Yes, I definitely try to not let nervousness through to me.
– We were so happy for your 8th place in Kiev, although you deserved to win so much more than that whiny Portuguese. Did you expect to do so well?
– I always believe in my songs and I try not to care about what other people say and the odds and just care about the performance and doing my best.
– Yeah, yeah, we know you are a nice person. But clearly, you also want to win.
– It’s important to get a good position. But for a guy that writes a song back home and then gets to take it to a stage before hundreds of millions of viewers…you can’t ask for anything more.
– Ah, neither can we. Or, wait. Maybe learn from Freddie your predecessor and take your shirt off. Why did you decide to participate again?
– I thought the message of my song is something that people wanted to hear and I wanted to share it with as many people as possible so I thought I’d try participating again.
– Did you use to watch Eurovision before you participated yourself?
– Yes, but not on purpose, I never knew when it was on.
– OMG, Hungarian TV has a job to do. But did you like anything you saw before?
– Yes, I was a big fan of Kristian Kostov in 2017.
– What a beautiful mess that was. Let’s concentrate on you. In our opinion, you represent not only Hungary, but also the Roma people. Is that important to you?
– Yes. The first time in 2017 it was important for me to really show my people, both with my song and the visuals. This year the concept is a bit different. It is a more intimate performance with a different message.
– What’s that again? Our Hungarian is a little rusty.
– Right now, I think what the world really needs is love. We live in such conflicting times. You need to take a step back and just think about your loved ones and show your emotions to them before it gets to late. And I hope this song can slow down times for you.
– OMG, feel free to share your love with us anytime.
– On a less serious note: Norwegians aren’t particularly positive to Hungary at the moment, as your political situation is rather…interesting. But your message is slightly different than Viktor Orbán’s and you might be able to change the impression. Do you reflect on that?
– I know that politics are everywhere in life, but I would like to save music from politics, because for me it is the purest thing that can be and I try to keep it that way.
– All right, we’ll gladly get personal with you. You are singing about your father, which seems to be a topic this year, even though your father seems a lot nicer than Italy’s. What is the importance of the father?
– It is a very important position. Almost as important as the mother. Especially if you have a great relation to your father, like I do. Then it’s something special.
– You are also a father yourself. What is important to you as a father?
– It is important to be a solid support so that my kids can lean on me.
– Do you travel a lot away from your kids?
– Yes. It hurts to be away from them.
– Are they proud of you?
– Yes, but they don’t show it.
– Don’t we know all about THAT situation.
– Speaking of proud: You won our competition as the hottest guy in Eurovision, as we are sure you noticed by now.
– Yes, hopefully you got the money I sent you. I am happy to give something back.
– We did. See our new Chanel handbags right here? Do you also think it matters how you look?
– I don’t think I am a classical handsome guy
– Oh, come on, man
– Well, I’ve never had problems with the girls
– Well, duh.
– I think what’s inside and charisma is most important
– Yes, we noticed. You connect more with the press than most artists even though you don’t speak a word English. What’s your trick, apart from your translator here?
– It’s a blessing from God this kind of inner voice that lets people connect with me even though they don’t understand the words, so they can visit my world.
– You truly are a blessing in oh, so many ways. Is the language a problem when around fans and press?
– Yes, it’s really boring that everyone around me speaks English.
– Don’t worry, hon. We are working on our Hungarian in DuoLingo as we speak.
– I am also getting better in English. I know “beautiful girl”.
– Oh, honey. That’s just about everything you need with us. Good luck, csodálatos ember.
And with that Joci disappeared, or shall we say floated, out of sight. We had to breathe into a paper bag for a few minutes and then pulled ourselves together and started getting ready for the jury final. Not sure we can share that one with you, but get ready for a great semi final today. Go Joci! All the way to the top!