Last night the Wiwi Jury—our in-house panel of music un-professionals—packed our pajamas and headed to Baku to review Rustam Karimov’s Junior Eurovision 2013 song. Did “Me and My Guitar” have us bobbing our heads and strumming along? Or did we rush back to our hotel to watch the Tele Tubbies? Read on to find out…
Angus: This really begs the question of why Baku never sends songs to Eurovision in Azeri! The language sounds beautiful and Rustam is so cute. As for the song beyond the use of language, it’s bouncy, fun and ultimately entertaining, which is what will matter most on that stage. It may be a little light weight to threaten for the win overall, but I wouldn’t rule it out as a dark horse, especially considering how catchy the hook is.
Deban: Azerbaijan showcases its national talent with a ballerina choirboy singing half of his song in Azeri. The vignettes of his facial expressions in the music video, the upbeat, radio-friendly vibe of the song, as well as the playfulness of the guitar riff, all make ‘Me and My Guitar’ a serious contender for the JESC crown. Rustam Karimov maintains a childlike innocence. Very refreshing.
James: I am disappointed – no Tom Dice?! This entry is a typical Junior Eurovision entry – simple and happy with beautiful backing vocals and a catchy bass line (or something like that). He looks like a fine performer and the transition to the English bridge is so well done. As long as the performance isn’t staged and robotic, I would be happy to vote for it…and you don’t hear me say things so positive about Azerbaijani entries, now, do you?
Richard: Sweet Rustam, with lips redder than Conchita Wurst could ever dream, takes us on a tour around Baku for his song “Me and My Guitar”. There’s not really a lot to say about this apart from it is pretty catchy and could do rather well at the competition. It is infinitely more enjoyable and uplifting than when Tom Dice crooned about his guitar a few years ago.
William Cahill: I was expecting this to be like Belgium 2010 given then name. I like this song, and I love his voice, which is incredibly strong for a 10-year-old. The song is catchy and memorable, and I expect it to be in the top 3 this year. I also love that drum bit, and the switch between Azerbaijani and English. It doesn’t work for most songs, but it does for this one! Good work. Much better than their entry from last year. I’ve not heard the song live, but I hope he can pull it off.
Wiwi: In his official video young Rustem continuously motions for us to join him, and I suspect all the kiddies in Europe will want to. His youthful exuberance is contagious, and the tap-tap-tap build up to the chorus gets me every time. The transition to English works very well. When he says, “On the dawn of the day from Baku to LA/ We are the new generation/ We can show who we are/ You will love my guitar” I can’t help but think of that J.Lo song “On the Floor” (“It’s a new generation of party people…London to Ibiza, straight to L.A….” This is excellent. Azerbaijan finished near the bottom last year, but I suspect it will finish near the top in 2013. I hope so, anyway.
Zach: Azerbaijan brings to the table a cute, more upbeat song that certainly makes me smile. Rustam has that cute child face that endears everyone, he can sing in Azeri very well, and the Azeri really sounds good with the melody. The guitar in the song also adds to the overall “feel good” vibe. However, when thinking about winning at the Junior contest, most winners think outside the box, Ukraine last year being a good example. This one is still inside unfortunately, safe but not really spectacular.
Wiwi Jury Verdict: 7.57/10
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