“Believe In Me” by Bonnie Tyler is clearly ahead of the rest of the playing field in this year’s Eurovision Song Contest. The professionalism and raw talent used in the performance and the production make it a class piece of work, and one that deserves at least a top five finish in Malmö in May.
The song is brilliant. A sensible opening verse brings us to a chorus, clearly the best in the competition, with a great tagline, which then breaks in to a sort of second chorus, cutting across like, well, a second brilliant chorus. An audacious bridge, set in a low key, the type only true masters of music could construct. It ends on a nice sustain, and that’s it. Those are the elements, and they are great.
Listening to the Hump’s song “Love Will Set You Free” last year, and then “Believe In Me”, you can see some differences. The latter has a better tempo and rhythm, surely symptoms of the many superbly played instruments that surround Bonnie’s voice, as well as a much better verse structure and chorus. Last year’s number was distinctly slow. That coupled with Engelbert’s starting position—first out of the pot—meant the U.K. were simply forgotten by voters. “Believe in Me”, on the other hand, is a song that can impress the juries and some televoters, especially on the latter choruses.
Bonnie Tyler is a legend throughout the world. And this may help. I know last year many were saying, “Oooh, Englebert’s very popular in the Baltic states and ex-Yugoslav republics, we’ll get loads of votes from them!” Now, as we can all categorically state, this didn’t happen. But we must understand, Bonnie is different to Humperdinck. She is hugely more successful, attaining number ones in countries all across the world, a different level to Engelbert.
The problem is that it may fail to impact viewers on first listen. They may not see the technical beauty of the song at first, but rather an old woman singing a comparatively slow ballad. The song doesn’t deserve this and that’s why I hope to hell that we get a decent placing, near end of the show. Another inconvenient bump along the road is the ignorant crowd of voters who fail to appreciate a good song, or may damn the song and the U.K. for having an older singer. This really isn’t a fair trial for Bonnie, as it’s about the voice, the song and the performance, not the singer’s age and looks (though I’m sure Ukraine would disagree).
Support Bonnie by buying your very own “Believe in Me” Eurovision t-shirt—perfect for your Eurovision party on May 18! You can also read our latest Eurovision reviews and see the standings on the Wiwi Jury page. You can also listen to all 39 entries on our contestants page.