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Hungary: Joci Pápai – Origo

A Dal 2017 has drawn to a close and Hungary will be represented by Joci Pápai, with the song, Origo. The winner of A Dal comes as a surprise to many. Such is the way the voting system works, where the juries have almost full control over a) who gets to the final and b) who makes the super-final, it leaves whatever has survived the culling process to get through to a public vote. Irrespective of the result in May, the broadcaster seriously needs to look into how they go about choosing their representative. The process spanning several shows had more…
Song Appeal
Vocal Strength
Staging Potential
Likely Televote Appeal
Likely Jury Appeal
Cohesiveness of Package

Esoteric

Origo is unlikely to contend for a top placing, but due to a predominance of lady-ballads in this year’s competition, and an eastern friendly semi-final, they still stand a decent a chance of qualifying.

User Rating: 3.32 ( 31 votes)

A Dal 2017 has drawn to a close and Hungary will be represented by Joci Pápai, with the song, Origo.

The winner of A Dal comes as a surprise to many. Such is the way the voting system works, where the juries have almost full control over a) who gets to the final and b) who makes the super-final, it leaves whatever has survived the culling process to get through to a public vote. Irrespective of the result in May, the broadcaster seriously needs to look into how they go about choosing their representative. The process spanning several shows had more tragic outcomes than a Shakespearean drama, with acts such as Soulwave, Gabi Tóth and Kallay Saunders being kept out of the super-final, despite having entries that would arguably stand a better chance at the contest than Joci’s effort.

However, it does have a few positive attributes. The main one is notably the intro where close up shots of Joci along with the minimalist instrumentation help to draw the viewer in. The ethnic and contemporary sounds coupled with his deeper voice work to an extent in creating a lulling, almost hypnotic effect. These elements along with the intensity of the performance are the selling points here, which is probably why he won, but the entry is not without its faults.

Origo drops off very quickly and doesn’t develop itself into something more emphatic and memorable. The second half of the song sounds like the first half repeated again and the dancing voodoo lady along with the rap section come across more as means of filling in time, than as ways of contributing meaningfully to the performance.

The song has potential, but each time I’ve listened to it I can’t help but think that it would be greatly enhanced by being produced as a club remix. In its current form, it dies out very quickly and without English lyrics to guide viewers, there’s little to really indicate what he’s singing about, and with little emotional pull, there’s not much to motivate viewers to vote either.

As flagged up in the comments section, the Hungarian entry is a less interesting version of the similarly composed song entered by Gergő Oláh from last year’s A Dal, and within the context of Eurovision, I can envision it going the way of Bosnia & Herzegovina’s non-qualifier from last year. Hungary will showcase a distinctively eastern flavoured entry, but due to the style and the language barrier issue, it risks being too esoteric to appeal broadly enough to countries outside of the diaspora.

Origo is unlikely to contend for a top placing, but due to a predominance of lady-ballads in this year’s competition, and an eastern friendly semi-final, they still stand a decent a chance of qualifying.

Since their comeback, Hungary have shown the ambition to contend, and each year in A Dal there’s always an act or two with bucket loads of potential, but currently the selection format has a problem in championing those who are likely to do better domestically on the local charts and radio than on the biggest stage in Europe.

Can Hungary make the Grand Final in Kiev?

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About Black n Blue

I'm an Irish college student, and have been a Eurovision fan since 2010. Politics and current affairs appeal to me, and as of late I've been trying to make a bit of money off of this contest! My all time favourite entry is Calm After the Storm, and you can also call me Rob.

15 comments

  1. They could count on support from Romania, Serbia and Estonia, but my God, it’s a shocking entry from them. I can understand the first 2 minutes, the violin sound is quite nice, but the rapping part – which I think is responsible for the 1 star rating in your book, Gav – has no flow, no point and ruins the buildup of the song. It screams NQ.

  2. Crikey, was this ever a front-runner in the contest to begin with? This looks more like the result of a broken voting system than Hungary’s actual choice.

  3. I see a lot of ESC love this and could someone please show me what I’m missing? This imo is awful and should stay in the semi and probably will unless developed.

    • With a first half draw in a 19 song semi I struggle to see how this A. is going to get any support and B. if I does beat 9 entries!

    • You’re not missing anything. The fans like it because it’s giving off that ‘Hungary’ aesthetic, (and suspiciously India too,) not because it’s a good song. I totally appreciate taking that perspective by the way but it doesn’t mean it’s gonna do well.

  4. A Dal definitely needs a rethink. I can see Hungary going through a bad spell again after a consistent few years. Falling viewing figures, questionable jury choices and that sort of winner will put off established artists. This will get next to nothing from juries and will get nowhere near enough with the public to pull it through. I don’t think it’s that cohesive either, I wasn’t expecting him to start rapping and it feels somewhere in between middle eastern/Turkish and romani. Just an odd blend.
    It’s as if he wants to prove Bosnia didn’t need to send four separate artists last year as he can do it all himself.
    I also don’t think his appearance will help with viewers, he’s less mani pixie dreamgirl more manic agro jihad.

    This is the most convincing nq yet.

  5. Review written by Black n Blue.

  6. I really like this – the rap part is a little out of place and the ‘look’ of the song is too harsh at the moment, but it’s also swimming in it’s own pond and there’s more than a few demographics that will go for this. Staging will be interesting – the first ‘chorus’ reminded me of the opening of Boaz for Israel in 2008 and some similarly dark staging at that part would work well with the reverb.

    I’d be surprised if this doesn’t qualify ahead of a cluster of wishy washy ballads and uptempo hot messes.

  7. I think if Hungary get rid of the rap they will have a decent shot at qualifying, one issue Hungary have with this sort of song is they dont exactly have a obvious diaspora, Bosnia last year is a great example.

  8. Usually I dislike rap parts, but here it fits,… until now Joci Pápai´s Origo is in my top 3, hope, he´ll qualify. Joci is authentical, the combo of voice and instruments, modern and traditional,…. After had listened it first time, I had Hungary´s entry in my ear.

  9. I like this and think it will do very well.There is plenty here to work with for the staging as Beanie mentions.Its also authentic and a bit brave,unlike the sea of ballads we are getting.It could go both ways,but the producers will want this in the final i think because there are a lot of people in the east who will really enjoy this.One to keep an eye on.

  10. There are plusses and minuses. Plusses are it’s a decent song, it stands out, the staging has promise and the dancer is very good. Minuses are the lack of Western appeal, it not being in English making the story hard to follow, the rap, and the fact that Joci manages to come across as both uncharismatic and unlikable. For me it’s a borderline non qualifier like Bosnia 2016.

  11. EurovisionBettor

    You’ll all be surprised when this piece wins the whole damn thing. Eurovision is basically a virtue-signaling -contest, he’s a romani singing to all roma people all over the europe (You saw the Polish diaspora voting last year, right?), saying the biggest problem facing his people is that they don’t have their own country. THE biggest topic in Europe right now is immigration and his message fits it perfectly, he has the ethnic look of your average refugee, you can see and hear the pain in his performance, the dancing woman is representing a lost love, there’s a part in the song where he sings “Why did you lie to me, that my color does not matter, you knew that my eyes are brown, and they will never change in me”. On top of all of this, he’s handsome, an excellent vocalist, does the first believeable rap in the Eurovision history and 2017’s songs are weak compared to past years anyway. You know, if Joci didn’t win without, then the only thing we need is to Marine Le Pen to win the French presidential election, and Joci’s message is going to do the same as Jamala’s last year. It’s not like the people who voted for Ukraine last year just decided not to be political this year. Political awakening doesn’t work like that in people.

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