The Wiwi Jury Reviews Estonia’s Ott Lepland with “Kuula”

This morning the Wiwi Jury headed to Tallinn to review Estonia’s ESC 2012 entry “Kuula.” Did Ott Lepland keep our attention with his dark and mysterious voice? Or did we get bored and go eat some potato dumplings halfway through his song? Read on to find out.

Wiwi: “Kuula” means “listen” in Estonian. Unfortunately, that is not something I can do after the first minute of this song. It’s monotonous and repetitive and lacks trajectory. Rather than playing hard to get and building to a grand climax, “Kuula” crescendos to several  climaxes—all of which leave me wanting. When there are so many peaks, it’s difficult to tell them apart or to see the valleys. The composer is to be blamed, not sweet Ott. (Oh wait. He wrote the song, too.) To his credit, his voice is lovely. From a fashion perspective, I hope he ditches the iridescent suit before Baku. No matter how cute you are, those just look cheap.

Score: 2.5/10

Vebooboo: Wow, what is up with all these ballads this year?! But seriously, so refreshing to see a grown man sing with such class. Reminds me of Israel’s Milim, but without the stress-induced pitch problems that Harel Skaat experienced, perhaps because he was still in the closet. Wish the guy was a bit more attractive, but eh, what can you do? And I wish he didn’t have such strong ballad competition this year.

Score: 5/10

Meows Kitty: I feel like copying and pasting the comments I just did for Bosnia. In fact, let me do that: “Boring boring boring, a dull ballad without any catchy melodies or climatic moments. This has got to be the least memorable song I’ve heard so far in the competition.” Seriously, what is with all these boring ballads? Where is the crazy wacky shit that we used to see at Eurovision? It’s no fun when the countries take themselves too seriously.

Score: 5/10

Deban: “Kuula” is a song that commands you to listen. Written, sung and performed by Ott Lepland, this is a masterful pop-ballad that really captures your attention. A stark contrast to the musical styles of Estonian entries in recent years, this song is high in quality and sophistication.

Sadly, this may also end up being the entry that gets overlooked. Estonia hasn’t promoted internationally this year, and this could affect votes. Entries that do well in ESC sometimes place high because of familiarity with the voting public. “Kuula” hasn’t been heard much outside Estonia. Not much good can come out of that, because Estonians can’t vote for themselves! Furthermore, ESC radio stations tend to spin more upbeat numbers for obvious reasons, leaving Estonia with reduced airplay. However, don’t let that dissuade you. “Kuula” rightly deserves your attention.

Score: 6.5/10

The Wiwi Jury Verdict: 4.63/10

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