Eurovision Throwback: Joci Pápai – Origo

Hungary is yet to win the Eurovision Song Contest, but their results at the contest paint the nation as successful. More often than not, we would see Hungary in the final, with the occasional Top 10 finish under their belts. The nation withdrew from Eurovision in 2020, and we are yet to welcome their return, but for the sake of their music masterpieces, we hope they return soon.

One of the true highlights of Hungary’s history at the contest is the focus of today’s Eurovision Throwback, and that’s Origo by Joci Pápai. He achieved the nation’s third best result at the contest, finishing 8th in the final.

If I turn to my hypothetical checklist of what makes my ‘ideal’ Eurovision entry, Origo manages to tick all of those boxes. I am a huge fan of ethnic style songs at Eurovision, as I believe that the contest is such a positive platform to showcase different cultures. Another tick goes to the language choice, with the song completely performed in Hungarian. Hungary was never scared to use Hungarian at Eurovision, and some of their best results were in the national language.

The opening of the song sets the tone for the song, and we see Joci backed by minimal backing music. His vocals become stronger as the song progresses, but the imperfection showed emotion in this performance. The choruses were memorable, and the instrumental parts added more depth to the song. As a rap fan, that was also a bonus addition to the song, and certainly didn’t feel out of place. On paper you wouldn’t think it would suit a song such as this, but it gave Joci another opportunity to tell his story.

The other big factor in Hungary’s success in 2017 comes down to Joci. Through the three-minute performance, we see him ooze emotion. We see the vulnerability. We see the strength and we see that he truly believes in his words and this song. This performance was totally genuine, and it’s very charming. Hungary was the middle of the pack in the jury voting, but excelled in the televote, showing that he really managed to connect with the viewers at home.

Looking back at Hungary’s history at Eurovision, there’s few, if any songs that are as compelling as Origo. Az én apám was another stellar song by Joci, and still remains high on my list of ‘most robbed’ Eurovision songs – but that’s a whole other story! This should come as no surprise, but this gets a 10/10 from me!


Year: 2017

Country: Hungary

Artist: Joci Pápai

Song: Origo

Final Ranking:  8th in the final