Wiwi Jury: Israel’s Shir & Tim with “Follow My Heart”

Today the Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of music unprofessionals — travelled to Jerusalem. After our team of Hovitches tanned in the sunshine, we decided to cool off in the shade and review Israel’s entry for Junior Eurovision 2016. Do Shir & Tim Israel proud with “Follow My Heart”? Read on to find out…

Israel’s Junior Eurovision 2016 song

“Follow My Heart” reviews – Shir & Tim

Jason: “Follow My Heart” is a song of two halves sewn together beautifully by Shir and Tim. The quiet confidence of the moody first section is oddly enticing and although I don’t understand Hebrew, I feel like I get every word. Then *BAM* and everything turns 80s power ballad, but somehow it works. With some Hovi Star-esque atmospheric sparkle, this could surprise everyone.

Score: 8/10

Antranig: The Israeli entry has a mythical feel to it and I’m here for it. I feel like I’m floating on a cloud, far away from everything else — this should be on a Disney soundtrack! The song gets a much-needed boost of power as it progresses, which makes it even more theatrical. The song might be a bit too polarising to appeal to everybody, and that may hurt its chances. But I for one am thoroughly enchanted.

Score: 8/10

William: This boy-girl duet stands out for its unique instrumentation (guitar, strings and plenty of tambourine) and the dreamy quality it transmits from first note to last. The kids — who were paired together for Junior Eurovision — harmonize well and move easily from quiet verses to anthemic chorus, proving themselves adept at major and minor keys along the way. Their harmonies during the choure transform this into a torch song and make you want to wave your iPhone flashlight in the air. With the right staging it could really slay.

Score: 8/10

Chris: Sometimes, switching between Hebrew and English just doesn’t work. After all, that’s what many people assume cost Mei Finegold qualification at Eurovision 2014. Thankfully in the battle of the “hearts”, “Follow My Heart” will do much better. Shir and Tim are both powerful singers and as a duet this could really stand out. Israel should deservedly do very well with this.

Score: 8/10

Deban: Continuing the anthemic feel of “Made of Stars”, Tim and Shir throw down their best harmonies in this dreamy duet. The transition from Hebrew to English is smoother than butter. The verses set the right pace for a melodic chorus that simply warms my heart. “Follow My Heart” is uplifting. It takes me back to my childhood, and fills me with hope for a more peaceful future.

Score: 8/10

shir-and-tim-junior-eurovision-israel-2016-3Bernardo: With their old school and charming duet, Shir & Tim get harmonies and have some solid vocals to support the crescendo in the song. It starts off slowly building into a well-crafted second half, creating an amazing three-minute Israeli extravaganza. “Follow My Heart” has everything to conquer the juries – including the performers. Hopefully Israel will nail the staging to overcome the somewhat dated vibe. The rehearsals will make or break this.

Score: 7/10

Josh: This is a great effort from Israel upon their return to the competition. Shir & Tim’s voices compliment each other incredibly well for people of their age and they sound amazing. But I can’t help but feel the song is a tad dated. Taking clear inspiration from a power ballad from the 1980’s for a kids singing competition in 2016 doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me, but I’m hopeful the power of the song translates well on stage.

Score: 6.5/10

Mario: I appreciate the IBA’s efforts to return Israel to Junior Eurovision, but this is not how you make an appearance. The verses are not memorable on first listen, and while the chorus should fix things, it’s just half-baked. However, the final verses set them up well for some big and dazzling staging. Shir & Tim are a talented duo (with fantastic nicknames!) and I’m sure their live performance will be a total smash.

Score: 5.5/10

Rezo: I really like Shir & Tim’s collaboration. Their voices combine incredibly well and I have high hopes that this will transfer well on stage. The song is totally age appropriate and evokes a lot of emotion, which will hopefully sway the audience to get behind Israel at JESC this year.

Score: 7/10

Robyn: “Follow My Heart” is vaguely reminiscent of Heart’s big rock ballad “Alone”, and it wouldn’t have been out of place in the pop charts of 1987. Shir and Tim make sure the sound doesn’t sound too much like a relic of the ’80s, injecting a fresh and youthful sound. It’s a decent effort for Israel’s Junior Eurovision comeback.

Score: 5.5/10

Our jury for 2016 consists of 21 jurors, but we only have room for ten reviews. The remaining 11 scores are listed below.

shir-and-tim-junior-eurovision-israel-2016-2Andy: 6.5/10

Antony: 7/10

Dayana: 9/10

Edd: 7.5/10

Jordi: 6.5/10

Luis: 5/10

Marek: 5/10

Matt: 6/10

Renske: 7.5/10

Stanislav: 6/10

Zakaria: 4.5/10

The highest and lowest scores are dropped prior to calculating the average score. This is to remove outliers and reduce potential bias. We have removed a low of 4.5 and a high of 9.