The members of Wiwi’s Jury put on their tightest pants and headed to Kiev over the weekend to review Gaitana’s Eurovision 2012 song “Be My Guest.” The power ballad split the jury down the middle, resulting in a series of b*tch slaps, slurs and threats to post those nasty photos from last year’s Eurovision trip (never carry Vaseline while drinking). Anyway, we are still recovering from it all. Here are the opinions that tore the jury apart…
Wiwi: The world may have lost Whitney Houston, but thanks to voters in Ukraine, it gained Gaitana. Her vocals flourishes could blow Jennifer Hudson away, and when she belts out “Be My Guest” folks down in Australia can hear. This is my jam, y’all! I also love that the opening bars of “Be My Guest” nod to traditional Ukrainian horn music (à la the opening bars of Ruslana’s Eurovision winner “Wild Dances“). It also has elements of that song “Proud” from the U.S. TV series “Queer as Folk,” which is all about loving others—and loving yourself. I have no doubt the jury will respect Gaitana’s voice, even if the song itself isn’t that sophisticated (hello, Lithuania 2011). I don’t think Gaitana will win Eurovision, but in my book she has booked a spot in the Top 10.
Vebooboo: Talk about a feel good song! Norway’s Stella Mwangi and her African roots may have been rejected by voters last year, but how can anyone resist this ebony diva with her powerhouse voice? (Stella couldn’t sing, folks…) OK, the lyrics are simple, and it isn’t going to win the whole competition, but Eurovision is about being happy, and this song accomplishes just that. Plus, Gaitana has got her some stage presence, yes she does!
Meows Kitty: Gaitana’s got a great voice, but this song does not do it justice as it sounds like a cheap rip off of Kelly Rowland’s ‘when love takes over’, and although known for her seductive outfits, Gaitana comes across looking like badly dressed transvestite, someone needs to teach her the difference between looking sexy and looking trashy!
Deban: I’m a Eurovision addict of African descent, so it should come as no surprise that I’m totally in favour of Ukraine’s choice in putting Gaitana forward. It’s an affirmation that national pre-selections are embracing equality, diversity and inclusion. Sadly, on this occasion, Ukraine’s “Be My Guest” could end up being another “Haba Haba” on the big stage, and fail to qualify beyond the semi-finals. If that’s the case, it marks history as Ukraine’s first non-qualifying entry. On hearing this track, my prediction is that Gaitana is destined not to get Ukraine in the final.
A quick glance at the Afro-Ukrainian’s stunning portfolio of images showcases a star with a serious identity crisis. She is a pastiche of Whitney, Mariah, Beyoncé, Amerie, Janet, J-Lo or any of The Braxtons. In some images, she’s a hybrid of two or more of those women. Even tribute acts don’t compare! She also manages to look much older than 29, despite her beauty.
“Be My Guest” starts off with the chorus, and then, jets off into a repeat of the chorus we just heard seconds ago. When it filters into the bridge, it’s just another lever to jump back into the chorus. It bears striking resemblance to David Guetta’s first draft of “When Love Takes Over.” However, don’t be fooled. This is bargain bin material. A truly sad fate for a singer who sings well, but tries to be an American R&B star with bad euro-dance material.
Overall, it’s almost unlistenable. However, let’s not forget the ‘vision’ in the Euro song contest. This song could be saved by some ingenious staging. Remember last years’ dreary and lyrically heavy Ukrainian entry, ‘Angel’ by Mika. Fortunately, the song was saved by Ukraine’s Best Talent (literally the winner of the local version of the TV Show) Kseniya Simonova, a sand animator who brought the song to life, and helped in securing it a Top 5 finish.
Such miracles will be required for Ukraine this year. If I’m to be Gaitana’s guest, may I be bold enough to ask for a pair of earplugs?
The Wiwi Jury Verdict: 4.75 / 10