Yesterday morning the Wiwi Jury—our in-house panel of music un-professionals—headed to Stockholm to tour the new ABBA Museum and to review Robin Stjernberg’s Eurovision 2013 song “You”. Did he light our fire? Or did he go down in flames? Read on to find out…
Wiwi: Robin Stjernberg is not a hunk. He will not win our search Eurovision’s Next Top Male Model. And the paparazzi will not stalk him in a high-speed chase as he makes his way to the Malmö Arena on May 18. Yet Robin gives me the chill bumps every time I hear him sing “You”. The 22-year-old sings with conviction and he is one of the few men in this year’s competition who can ooo and ahh and oh-yeah-yeah on par with this year’s female vocalists. I don’t mind his occasional squeaks. I do mind the sub-par choreography and his habit of shoving his right arm out like he’s trying to balance on a surfboard. I’m sure SVT has sorted this out since the national final. “You” gets better on subsequent listens, so I really hope Eurovision voters get a chance to hear it more than once before the final. Robin deserves a spot in the Top 5.
Bogdan: Robin, the ultimate underdog success story, wasn’t my first choice to win Melodifestivalen. But I, like many other Eurovision fans, have grown to appreciate his vocal abilities and the song’s potential. Robin has lungs and he’s proven this time and time again, but it’s his song that makes me press “repeat” whenever I listen to all ESC 2013 songs and I get to Sweden’s entry. Man, I love a sad dance tune! I’m going to root for this boy.
Vebooboo: I listen to this song on Spotify at least two times a day. That’s how much I love it…on Spotify! The live version, on the other hand, features a singer whose voice cracks in the opening bars about as much as the polar ice caps in May. And just as the polar bear’s cubs will starve, Robin will fail as he tries to poach points. This song has so much potential, but the staging in Stockholm was atrocious (we know it’s meant to improve, but I ain’t holding my breath). And it really needs a more powerful singer. I’d be surprised to see it finish in the Top 10, especially with better Scandinavian acts (Demark, Norway) pulling away block-voting points.
Deban: Very Yoddle-esque! “You” is packed with extended notes, and cracking key changes. It’s the ideal pop number for vocal gymnastics. Clearly his forte, Robin Stjernberg was Sweden’s Idol runner-up, and has a strong fan base. He can out-sing a lot emerging pop-stars, so, it’s a little sad that this composition grapples with content. “You” is lame. It sort of tells a story, but the chorus doesn’t bind it sensibly. Each leap into the hook presents another opportunity to wail. It’s remarkable what Stjernberg can achieve with the power of his voice. Am I impressed? No. The refrain is so infectious, it drowns out the entire composition. Also, the general feeling is that Sweden is determined to reverse its ESC fortunes. Choosing Malmö as the host city, and “You” as this year’s entry entry are testaments to this fact.
Mr Häggkvist: “You” is a wonderful song, even if Robin is just OK as a performer. He doesn’t wow me at all when he’s singing live. I keep saying the same thing: the choreography is horrible, his ouffit is horrible and I just don’t like his Jedward hair. We all know that Eurovision is really visual, and Robin falls short in this area. He needs to learn how to connect with the audience, but overall this will be in the top 10 this year. Fact.
HK Dick: As pleased as I was to see a song from Andra Chansen go on to win Melodifestivalen, I just wish it was Martin Rollinski’s “In and Out of Love”, which is so much catchier than “You”. “You” is Melodifestivalen by numbers, which is not a bad thing, but it’s just so ordinary compared to Swedish songs of a similar style. Fresh faced Robin gives it his best but after last year’s “Euphoria” I find this distinctly flat. The producers have given “You” the plum starting position of #16, but I seriously think this will struggle to dent the top 10.
Alexander: Congrats to Robin for being the first Melodifestivalen winner who came from the Second Chance round! “You” is a decent song with excellent vocals, but it’s quite generic and a big downgrade from “Euphoria” last year (that’s pretty much granted though). “You” is a safe pick for Eurovision, although something like “Bed on Fire” would have been more unique in my opinion.
Wiwi Jury Verdict: 6.92/10
Wiwi Jury Final Ranking: #9 out of 39 contestants