ESCountdown 2019: #2 – “Az en apam” by Joci Papai, Hungary
IT’S THAT TIME OF YEAR AGAIN! Welcome to my ESCountdown 2019, presented by eCinemaOne, The Kirkham Report, and Planet BiblioMusica! Between April 7 and May 12, I will countdown my picks of the entries in the Eurovision Song Contest 2019! There are 41 countries participating this year, and we’ll bring you each and every entry from them all!
At this point in time we are now less than ONE WEEK away from the Grand Final for 2018, and only three days from the first semi final. Today, I will wrap up this year’s ESCountdown, bringing you my top five picks. As always, I know the ESC fandom community is a rabid one, and fans are all over the road with their own personal tastes and choices, so as always with my personal picks, your mileage may vary…:-)
In at #2 on my countdown this year is the official entry from Hungary, “Az en apam” by Joci Papai, written by József Pápai and Ferenc Molnár Caramel. The song is performed in Hungarian , and will be performed 7th on the first semi-final on May 14th.
This is Joci Papai‘s second trip to Eurovision; he represented Hungary in 2017 with his song “Origo“, which finished eighth overall. Like many Eurovision representatives these days, he got his big break on a talent show, in this case the Hungarian series Megasztar back in 2005; although eliminated early on, he gained a following and has been a rising star in his homeland since.
For some unknown reason, the ESC Fan community is totally ignoring this beautiful tribute song; in English, the title translates to “My Father” or “Of My Father“, depending on the source you look at, and is a clearly autobiographical song about Papai‘s childhood. It also holds the distinction of being the ONLY video from the contest this year that makes me cry. I don’t speak Papai’s native tongue, but his passion and fire about the love of his father comes through loud and clear. And if anyone can PLEASE help me find out the name of the young actor in the video I would really appreciate it – this kid has the most passive and yet expressive face I’ve ever seen, and I want to give him proper props for it. The young man who is the focal point of the video captures the mood of the song perfectly as he wants to do something to properly remember his father, who appears to no longer be in the picture, as he is carrying around a photo of him. There is a scene about two-thirds of the way through the video where the young man is sitting on top of the heavy trunk he’s been pulling around town, trying to get to a specific place; he’s resting a bit as he watches a young boy and his father across the street from him climb into their car together. The young man and the boy lock eyes for a brief second, and the looks on both their faces says everything, and the tears just start pouring down my face…just like they are doing right now just thinking about it (::sniff::) I guess it might be “daddy issues” with me – I never had a true father figure in my life – my father decided he didn’t want to be a family man anymore when I was four or five, and my stepfather, who was around for just a few years when I was under 12, was much younger than my mother, and didn’t really get being a dad either, although I know he loved me and I loved him as well while they were together. My mother, whom l lost at age 85 just a year ago last week, was both a mother and father to me and despite her beliefs excelled at doing both. She always thought I needed a man in my life, though, and she tried one last time for a few months with another man before giving it up, and I can’t fault her for giving it the effort. But that’s neither here nor there about this song, which is just beautiful, and the video completely destroys me every time I see it; Papai is so fortunate to have had a father he loves or loved that much. You have to get past one completely illogical bit in the visual – there is NO WAY IN HELL you can play guitar in thick biker gloves, although Papai manages to look convincing when he tries – but beyond that, this video rips through my heart, and so does the song. I hope he does better than I believe he’s going to, because I really really REALLY want this amazingly beautiful song to make it through to the finals…please please PLEASE….
Hungary made its EuroVision debut in 1994 and has participated 15 times thus far. They have yet to take a Grand Final – their best showing has thus far been fourth, in their debut year. They withdrew from the contest for six years, 1999-2004, and missed a couple of other years as well. Their entry last year, the incredible gut-wrenching screamcore rocker “Vislat Nyar” by AWS, also another father tribute in it’s own way, was one of my favorites in the contest, and wish it had done better, finishing 21st overall…
Please please PLEASE watch this video and get behind it- I defy ANYONE watching it not to be moved to tears…and I was completely serious above – if ANYONE knows the name of the young actor in the video, please GET IN TOUCH with me via email or instant messaging on Twitter or Facebook – I desperately want to know who he is….he is just amazing in this video…
Join eCinemaOne, The Kirkham Report, and Planet BiblioMusica each day through this year’s finals on May 18 – be sure to check each site, because some of the features will be exclusive to just one of the sites! My daily song countdown will appear on all three sites, with some additional material coming to both Planet BM and TKR in the days and weeks’ ahead. I missed a few days due to personal issues, so I’m playing catch-up now, and will have two or three entries per day with my #1 pick being revealed on Sunday May 12.
I will be LIVE BLOGGING during both semi-finals and the finals this week – coverage will start at 3 PM Eastern/12 PM Pacific in the US – I suck at time zones so you’ll have to figure that out if you’re not in the US – where I will comment on each performance, the ongoing spectacle, the hosts, the crowd, the performers, and everything else. Please check it out at http://ecinemaone.com !
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