Last night the Wiwi Jury—our in-house panel of music unprofessionals—flew to Jerusalem where we spent eight hours waiting to get through immigration. But this morning we finally had the chance to review Moran Mazor’s Eurovision 2013 song “Rak bishvilo”. Did Moran wow us with her pained ballad? Or did she merely leave us in pain? Read on to find out…
Vebooboo: Harel Skaat literally scat all over the stage in 2010, so it took guts for the Israelis to send another ballad to Eurovision following that train wreck of a performance. Whereas Harel was a key contender in our race to find Eurovision’s Next Top Male Model, Moran is anything but the female equivalent. If you’ve ever seen the movie “She’s All That”, you’ll believe me when I say that Moran played the main part in the Israeli version. A haircut and removal of her glasses could go a long way. But Lord do we love Moran for spicing up what she’s got. This hips-don’t-lie woman takes deep cut dresses to a whole new level, giving her every opportunity to showcase her assets. And oh, she can also work her vocal muscles, even if the song sounds like it has stolen a large portion of its three minutes from Serbia’s ‘Molitva’ (is it just me who thinks this??!!). With a fierce field of female divas this year, Moran will not stand out. But I sincerely hope she at least makes it to Saturday’s Final.
Bogdan: I guess it’s nice to hear a tribute song to “Milim”, but so soon? And from Israel again?! Frankly, I don’t see the value of sending basically the same song twice, in the span of just a few years. Moreover, despite her interesting look and *ahem* magnificent chichis (which, let’s be real, helped her win the Israeli national final), Moran Mazor doesn’t command half of Harel Skaat’s memorable stage presence. Yeah, the power ballad is good – it’s been tested – but with so many ballads this year, I don’t expect that it’ll go very far.
Wiwi: The title of her song means “Only for Him”, but Moran Mazor was showing ALL OF US her cleavage at Kdam 2013. She’s got more going on up top than many fans fantasized Harel Skaat had going on down below. Anyway, “Rak Bishvilo” puts the power in power ballad. Moran’s voice is as big as her chest—and so is her capacity to channel torment. She carries the pain of Jewish history and bares her soul in the most beautiful, unaffected way. I think the jury will love this and I hope that fans do too. I need to see Israel in the final!
Alexander: I’m not really digging the Israeli entry this year. It’s a decent ballad sung by an excellent singer, but there’s not enough substance to the song other than the chorus. Even then, the chorus melody is not as dynamic as it could be. Harel Skaat’s “Milim” (Israel 2010) is one of my favorite Eurovision entries of all time, but in my opinion, “Rak bishvilo” is only half of what “Milim” was.
Mr Häggkvist: In terms of song I think this is quite good. Moran can sing, obviously. This wasn’t my favorite option for Israel, and to me this is too 1997, even her hair and dress look 90’s… I think is good but not wonderful.
Deban: Ballads shouldn’t just be slow songs. They should set a narrative to the music. Although I don’t speak a word of Hebrew, the emotion in this score grips me from the very first beat. Moran Mazor delivers this song in the form of poetry. The music is dreamy, yet filled with angst, a difficult feat when singing in a guttural language. Taking on a modern Nana Mouskuori persona, her referential spin updates the classic style. Mazor isn’t overbearing. She’s memorable, serene and when she belts the high notes, smouldering. Israel has had a tough few years in the contest. However they continue to participate with excellence and integrity. In the past, they’ve dispatched Eurovision royalty alluding to sexual innuendo, and quirky funkadelics expressing their fascination for clocks. The playful side didn’t serve them well. So, now they’re harking back to the fundamentals of quality music. Let’s push the button on this one, and reward quality when it hits us. Shalom.
HK Dick: After last year’s fresh and risky effort with Izabo, Israel have tried to play safe with a full on ballad. However Moran, looking like a cross between Nana Mousskouri and Debra Messing, delivers us 3 minutes of forgettable tosh. Hebrew isn’t always the easiest language for a power ballad and this doesn’t sound that pleasing on the ear at times. Unlikely to qualify but there are a few other dreadful songs around her so she has a slim chance.
Wiwi Jury Verdict: 6.14/10