During our recent trip to Amsterdam, the Wiwi Jury ran through the Red Light District—and avoided the pot brownies—so we could stay focused on our task: reviewing Joan Franka’s Eurovision 2012 entry “You and Me.” Wiwi and Deban came to blows, while Meows Kitty and Vebooboo kept it consistent. Here’s what we had to say….

Wiwi: I have no doubt that my fellow jury members—and, for that matter, many Eurovision fans—will mock the staging and the headress and the folksy sound of Joan Franka’s “You and Me.” But if you listen to the thoughtful lyrics of Joan’s song, you’ll realize that unlike the vast majority of Eurovision artists she is actually telling a story.

“You and Me” touches on love and loss, the innocence of childhood and the cruelty of growing up. The opening bars describe the close relationship five-year old Joan shares with a neighbor, and the wonder with which they approach the world—and each other. “You looked just like an angel/ You looked up and saw the skies/ Saw the birds and wondered why/ They can fly away so high.” In subsequent passages they “grow up all in love,” but unfortunately that love “couldn’t handle time.” By the end of the song Joan still sees her old friend walking by, and her heart yearns to understand what went wrong. She doesn’t specify how much time has passed, so she could now be looking back as a teenager—or as an elderly woman who regrets living her life without him. Regardless, the pain resonates. Joan’s voice carries it beautifully.

As for the staging, the headress isn’t meant to mock Native Americans. It’s part of a costume she wore as a child, when she was still young enough to love without reserve.

I love this song.

Score: 9/10

Vebooboo: The tone of this lady’s voice is out of this world…just like the crazy and random Native American outfit she dons. The Dutch haven’t done all too well in recent years, but with 3 million viewers helping to select this song I think they might have finally booked a ticket for an opportunity to hear their song on Saturday in Baku. It stands out from the slower ballads and crazy dance tunes out there, and the beat of the tamborine will naturally get the crowd clapping along.

Score: 7/10

The headress: A symbol of childhood?

Meows Kitty: There’s something really sweet about playing the guitar live on stage, as well as the fact she doesn’t care how weird her posse looks in their Flinstones outfits, or the fact Native American Indians do not play country music. Her ignorance is actually endearing but I don’t know whether Europe is ready for her quirk… having said though that her voice does remind me of Lena before she became a mainstream sellout so who knows, maybe Joan will get there. After reviewing a string of tragedies over the last week, I must say this has somewhat restored my faith in Eurovision 2012. But maybe I am just desperate for some Eurovision validation?

Score: 7/10

Deban: The Netherlands is listed in the ESC handbook as one of the most successful countries in the Eurovision Song Contest. The country has had four victories, since its debut in the very first Eurovision Song Contest in 1956. However, the last time the Netherlands was in the final was in the 2004 contest. The country has failed for seven years in a row to qualify from the semi-final round. As a result of this failure, The Netherlands has created another Eurovision record. Joan Franka in my opinion helps in maintaining this record of failure.

Sounding like a ménage of Delores O’Riordan and Lena to the backing track of Texas Lightning, this song is having many conversations. The added twist is the Cherokee costumes and the all-female backing troupe. All these elements are helping in one way or another to confirm their fate of failure. In a bid to appeal to everyone, this song ends up speaking to nobody.

Production aside, it is a radio friendly minor hit that grows on you with every listen. Unfortunately, it’s also highly forgettable. A bit like one of Natalie Imbruglia’s B Sides. Regrettably, this doesn’t translate into an ESC victory. My advice is that if you’re not going to progress to the finals, give me something memorable like “Ik Ben Verliefd (Sha-la-lie)“—the 2010 Netherlands entry by Sieneke.

Score: 3/10

The Wiwi Jury Verdict: 6.5/10

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Joyces
Guest
Joyces

So THE looking outside from someone is way more important then THE song itself??
I think That is so stupid..

Christian
Guest

Wiwi you forgot a category next to Top Model. That should be Toilet Breaks where people could vote for which track they would leave for to go to the toilet.

MoMo
Guest
MoMo

That headgear is soooo distracting. Wowzer.
Well I guess I get her need – as a Cher lookalike – to go all out in fancy dress.
But Joan honey, you gotta flash some flesh to seal the deal if you’re singing such a boring song.
Deban, you were spot on with your generous 3/10

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[…] many of you know, Wiwi is kind of obsessed with the Netherlands’ Joan Franka. I’ve looked past the controversy surrounding her feathered headdress and found a woman who […]

francisco
Guest
francisco

I am sorry, but when the song started I thought “is she going to sing Cher’s Half-breed?”…but no, is more like a children’s song which then, evolves into something different, with pain, and with pathos, yet extremely uplifting. I like it, i really do, it grows on you, listen to it a few times and you will see what I mean…

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[…] a frown. But I’m still not sure you can work a smile. Joan: You are so daring. When I saw you rocking Native American clothing I thought, “She’s timeless! Her style transcends borders!” But then I saw you at […]

Zolan
Guest
Zolan

I’m easily bored by country music, but this is quite charming. The story and sentiments are interesting, and I find her voice and accent endearing in a way that reinforces the intended mood. I wouldn’t choose to play it normally, but I can appreciate its appeal in this context. Although I understand the original staging, it was just terrible. It looked shabby and didn’t really communicate what it was meant to. However, I think she had the right idea in trying to evoke the experience of childhood visually and draw us into that frame of mind. This kind of nostalgia… Read more »

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[…] the official music video for her song “You and I.” Although people criticized her for dressing up like a native American at her national final, she is sticking to her guns. That’s right. The video shows two […]

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[…] it actually makes good sense in the context of Joan’s song. As the Wiwi Jury pointed out on March 1, the song is an ode to childhood and the childhood games Joan shared with an early […]

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[…] The Wiwi Jury reviews “You and Me” […]

kim
Guest
kim

I really like this song and I believe this will do very well.

Remi
Guest
Remi

Deban, I think your scoring is rather harsh (again), entertainment comes in different forms and facets as you should know. I enjoyed it and feel the song sounds peculiar whilst the delivery of her performance did the lyrics needed justice…..and there’s certainly nothing wrong in having an all-female band either.

That said, my only critique would be to polish up the entire wardrobe, but hey this is Eurovision where anything and everything goes. Best of luck to her, she sure would be remembered for her quirks and vocal abilities if not for anything else.

Nicole
Guest
Nicole

Would people be so apologetic about Ms. Franka’s choice of costume if she’d come on in blackface? How about if she’d done herself up to look stereotypically Jewish, or Roma?

BTW, plenty of American Indians play country music. Some of us also play Jazz, and some of us even play rock and roll. But even if we were to dress up as fancy cancers to do it, we wouldn’t put a woman in a feathered bonnet, any more than you’d put a man in a tierra or a ball gown.

Neil
Guest
Neil

If you close your eyes and listen carefully, it’s not a bad song, full of depth and meaning. The visuals may put many off, however, the headgear and accompanying regalia are relevant and makes the whole package interesting. Will it be a winner, maybe not.

stephen
Guest
stephen

First of al I will bin the native american outfit, However it a very lovely song I think holland we do well this year. 8/10

MIKE in London
Guest
MIKE in London

I closed my eyes and listened. It’s really, really beautiful. Made me think about my own past loves. Good job, Holland. I’d give that an 8+!!

Liam
Guest
Liam

Very cute, honest song, I agree with Wiwi totally here, and glad that someone was able to see the pictures in the background and realise what the costume meant. I think this could be my favourite so far…

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[…] with the Native Americans who Holland’s eurovision contestant supposedly mocks with her feathered headdress this […]

Christian
Guest

Ohhh Deban. You are being too cruel to this track. I bet this will end up as being a track you will LOOOOVE and it will grow on you too. Come on give it a fair chance – will you?
Richard i so agree with what you wrote. Absolutely right! I must admit liking “Shine” too!!

Nathan
Guest
Nathan

Sha La Lie Sha La La – this is so deep ! The lyrics, but I am not lying here. I get personal emails by a certain jury 😉 to comment here, and when I saw the head-dress, I was sipping my cammomile tea, and I spat it out and almost dropped it on my lap top. What the Sha La Lie LA LA!!!!!! Anyway, it never ceases to admit me how Deban educates us with so much useful information. I cant WAIT to sit in Euroclub and use the knowledge that has been imparted unto us in casual smalltalk.… Read more »

H.K. Dick
Guest

I’m one of the few people that loved 3JS, Sha-La-Lie had a certain charm and I still remember dancing around the streets of Moscow to Shine. So it shouldn’t be a surprise that the Netherlands has come up with something slightly different again. When I first saw it I was ready to dismiss it. Then I just listened (no visuals) and it’s a really nice song. If this were from Iceland you’d all be raving over it. Give the Dutch a break – they deserve it (and Deban – just one more point than The Jocker…are you serious? You sure… Read more »

Polly
Guest
Polly

Wow. I love this. It sounds like something from the Juno soundtrack.

Anna
Guest
Anna

I give this song a 9! Of course, I’m Dutch, so I would. But that aside, it’s a sweet, sweet song. Our best entry for years.

Jana
Guest
Jana

I think that Deban’s score is harsh. You gave Malta’s Kurt Calleja a 4, and then you give this a 3?? WTF? This song, as Wiwi says, has a lot of depth to it — if you’ll only listen….

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[…] Cyprus: Ivi with “La La Love” (7.13) 3. Norway: Tooji with “Stay” (6.9) 4. The Netherlands: Joan Franka with “You and Me” (6.38) 5. Ukraine: Gaitana with “Be My Guest” […]