In its quest to bring you international opinion on every ESC 2012 contestant, the Wiwi Jury grabbed its earplugs and sat down to review Slovenia’s Eva Boto this morning. Did we leave humming “Verjamem”? Or did we leave in search of painkillers? Read on to find out…
Wiwi: The first time I saw the word “verjamem” I thought that was Slovene for “vermin.” And then I watched the video and thought the crazy lady with the white headpiece was a rat catcher. But after consulting the lyrics on Wiwi’s contestants page, I realize that “verjamem” means “I believe.” Judging from said crazy lady, Eva believes that it’s OK to let a back-up singer steal the spotlight. Although Eva has a fantastic voice, the only thing I remember is the moaning back-up vocalist who eventually joins a chorus line of four howling bridesmaids. Remember what happened to Slovakia’s Kristina—the sexy wood nymph with her own operatic sidekick—back in 2009? That’s right. She crashed out in the semis. I’m afraid the same might happen here.
Vebooboo: The song isn’t anything to write home about, but we have yet another powerful singer in this year’s competition. Just wish we could fast forward to 2:00, when the song gets really good. Until that point it just sort of hums along. The entry’s stylist must have been a guest at Prince William and Kate’s wedding last year, because they sure put some crazy hats on those back-up singers. Are they wearing shower accessories?
Meows: This performance confuses me as I felt like I was watching some avant garde bridal runway show. Maybe the song was about runaway brides? The woman with the big white net on her head was way too distracting, and then there were four of them by the end of the song when one was clearly enough! The song itself was poorly arranged, slow and dull for the first minute and only really picked up pace in the last 30 seconds with some powerful vocals and emotional hand thrusting gestures from Eva Boto. Too little, too late.
Deban: On hearing “Verjamem,” my prayer was that it shouldn’t air just ahead of the Icelandic entry, or directly after it. It could end up morphing into one long song. Sounding like a Slovenian operatic mix of one of Enya’s classics, this song manages to set a familiar tone. I was humming along to it even though I’d never heard the song before. Is that a good thing? Only votes can tell.
Nonetheless, I like this song. It’s a soaring ballad that builds up to a good finish. The vocals and the instrumentation are powerful, but not overdone. Eva Boto brings youthful grace to her movements on stage. Sadly, this poise is somewhat dampened by her backing choir. They look like stranded lunching ladies who somehow found themselves on a music platform. Why those silly hats?? Totally inappropriate! Were they thinking they’d been booked as the interval act for the Royal Ascot?
It is my hope that Slovenia tidies up the production elements. The country’s best position thus far is 7th place with “Energy” by Nusa Derenda in 2001. “Verjamem” is a much stronger song individually and comparatively. Re-working the stage presentation would help in securing a well-deserved higher placement.
The Wiwi Jury Verdict: 4.75/10
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Photo courtesy of Eurovision.TV