Wiwi: In the clip below we see Lozano singing on stage while Esma stands in the background preparing to caterwaul and shake her head. This is yet another reminder that the act is not actually Esma & Lozano, but rather “Lozano featuring Esma”. In any case, Lozano’s vocals were as strong as we had hoped they would be and he really filled the arena while he was belting it out. It was a smart move to change his lyrics to English so that Europeans outside of the Balkans would know what the hell is going on. I find the opening instantly captivating. Because Lozano is so strong, I don’t mind that his grandmother interrupts his R&B stylings to wail for a few seconds. The mix of modern and traditional strikes a chord with me. This may be Lozano’s act—with a questionable flourish from Esma—but in the end I’m a huge fan. She’s the best at what she does. And the woman has adopted 48 children. You cannot fault her! (Even if other members of Team Wiwi have!)
Deban: Poor Esma! She’s been turned into a laughing stock. All that wailing captured totally out of context is the perfect fodder for a million captions. This is the team that had it all in the bag, but totally jinxed their fortunes by switching songs. No LED backdrop or clever camera angles can redeem this. I was most excited about this entry and published my first article of the year on it. Now, after several song, choreography and language changes, it has assumed it’s new fate of being the joke act of 2013.
Photo Credit: Dennis Stachel (EBU)