Last night the Wiwi Jury packed all of our manga-inspired Japanese couture and headed to a capsule hotel in Stockholm. We then pulled out our notepads to review Yohio’s “Heartbreak Hotel”. Did the Melodifestivalen finalist kabuki his way into our hearts? Or did we end up ripping off his sequin eyelashes? Read on to find out…
Deban: I applaud artists that borrow elements from other cultures. Lately, Melodifestivalen artists have used Tokyo as inspiration for their art. Loreen displayed fabulous Butoh choreography in Euphoria. It worked. Sadly, Yohio is no Yamamoto, and his stage act reeks of trashy Harajuku. Heartbreak Hotel sounds like a Jon Bon Jovi B-Side. It’s good stadium rock that serves as a handy break between hits. I can’t see anybody really loving this or totally hating it. Most people would respond in a lukewarm way, and won’t mind either way. That level of emotional impact does not make a winning entry. If this was a Swiss pre-selection entry, I’d say YES. As a Swedish entry, HELL NO!
HK Dick: Living in Asia, I can see how the Japanese love Yohio. The glam is big in Japan but I’m not sure how the East Europeans will take to this. It’s a strong song but The Ark sank without a trace in Eurovision a few years ago and I fear the same for this. I hope the Swedes go bold and choose it – the world needs more make-up!
Mr Häggkvist: We have here the Swedish version of “Tokyo Hotel”… same style of music, of singer, but this is very good. I think Kevin is a great singer. I do love the way he looks. This is not my style of music, but I find it very interesting and fresh, something many other songs in this competition don’t have, that new sound, that freshness… we don’t want a thousand copies of Loreen, and YOHIO can be the opposite of the energetic Euphoria.
Vebooboo: So I will always remember when the SVT interviewer asked YOHIO casually if he was a man or woman on stage. Um, if you need to ask that, then that’s not a good sign. YOHIO has a career ahead of him as a singer, but he could totally moonlight as a women’s figure skating coach with all those artistic arm waves, hip bends, and glittery poses. YOHIO has been compared quite a bit to The Ark both for style of song and dress. May I add one more similarity? Neither will ever win ESC. I simply don’t understand the hype here. If I want to watch a drag show, I’ll turn on Rupaul’s Drag Race. If I want to watch a winning ESC song, I’ll look for a strong ballad or quality pop song. I will not check into a heartbreak hotel.
Wiwi: Young Yohio says that he “always ends up lonely”. It might be all the white denim and beads! But seriously people: if I have my way then Melodifestivalen will be a showdown between Yohio and Ralf Gyllenhammarerereerer. Both of them use flames, both of them bring originality and both of them have voices that carry the grit and soul of their various experiences. Yohio has major balls to bring his androgyny to the stage and I applaud him for that. I can’t stand glam-rock, but I absolutely love this song. He sings it with conviction and flair, and I really hope the juries put him in the top two.
Wiwi Jury Verdict: 6.6/10