Joci Pápai has booked a surprise victory in Hungary. In the grand final of A Dal 2017, he beat established artists such as Gigi Radics, Totova and Kállay-Saunders Band. His song “Origo” is inspired by traditional gypsy music.
Before the show, Hungarian media had framed the final into a Diva Battle between Totova and Gigi Radics, but from the start of the show, jury members made it clear that they might not send the former one through. Joci Pápai on the other hand received amazing comments, as did Olivér Berkes for his blues song “Háttérzaj”.
The jury vote after the last performance saw András Kállay-Saunders eliminated with 0 (!) points. Totova did not reach the superfinal as well:
- Joci Pápai – Origo 34pt
- Olivér Berkes & Zavodi – Háttérzaj 30pt
- Gigi Radics – See it through 14pt
- Gina Kanizsa – Fall like rain 14pt
Totova – Hosszú idök 12pt Leander Kills – Élet 8pt Kállay-Saunders Band – Seventeen 0pt Soulwave – Kalandor 0pt
Pápai Joci beats Gigi Radics in televoting
The top-4 songs then had to battle it out in televoting. Olivér Berkes and Gina Kanizsa had so far not been very popular with the people at home, leaving the field open for Hungary’s superstar Gigi Radics to take victory. She was surprisingly beaten, however, by Joci Pápai and his gypsy folk song “Origo”.
In his liveblog, ESC Daily’s Hungary-expert Steef van Gorkum described Joci Pápai’s performance with the following comment:
“In this oriental and authentic Roma song, lead singer Joci Pápai impresses with the diversity of his skills – he does not only sing, but also plays drums, raps, and dances a traditional dance together with a woman dressed in white. And he manages to do all these things remaining believable. His voice slightly cracks in the rapping part, and yes, this might be too eccentric for some people, but it might also be Hungary’s best chance at a high position in Kiev. Camera shots of Joci & the woman are very professional looking.”
Hungary will participate in the second semi final of the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest in Kiev. Joci Pápai will perform in the first half of that show.