Last night the Wiwi Jury—our in-house panel of musical unprofessionals—stopped by IKEA and purchased a lot of minimalist furniture. Then we headed to Stockholm to review Ellen Benediktson’s Melodifestivalen song. Did her “Songbird” soar? Or did it make us want to set fire to her nest? Read on to find out…

“Songbird” Reviews

Angus: I don’t think I’ve ever more immediately wanted to shoot myself since I first heard Rona Nishliu’s ‘Suus’ in 2012. This is just god awful. Annoyingly sung and painfully slow I don’t find anything redeemable in this. It’s so vacuous. People might point to emotion but I point to the lack of anything in the song. I am all for stripped back performances but Ellen has stripped everything back so much there isn’t actually a song left for us to listen to. Appalling. 

Score: 0/10

Deban: This is poetry. It appeals to my senses, and I enjoy the waves of emotions it creates. However, this would start to annoy me on repeat listens. Unlike Anouk who soared with Birds, “Songbird” quickly becomes boring. Appropriate for the elevator, but perhaps not suitable for Europe’s biggest song contest. When you’ve only got three minutes to court millions of viewers, this entry won’t survive the cut.

Score: 3/10

http://youtu.be/nSCpzaKwP60

Padraig: Will people quit comparing this to Anna Bergendahl? “This is My Life” had charm and, dare I say it, a little dash of kookiness. “Songbird” on the other hand is a completely sanitised portion of middle of the road dreariness. The vocals are sweet and I’m sure Ellen is lovely, but honestly, this effort makes Katie Melua seem cutting edge.

Score: 5/10

Anthony: After Anouk performed an entry with ‘bird’ in the song title at last year’s Eurovision Song Contest, Ellen has decided to follow suit at this year’s Melodifestivalen. Ironically, this falls into the same category of gentle ballads but sadly, “Songbird” lacks the appeal of its Dutch counterpart. However, Ellen’s live performance makes up for it. Vocally she can deliver! Given that Sweden faces a tough post-Soviet semi-final, I dread another possible Anna Bergendahl moment if Sweden were to send Ellen to Copenhagen.

Score: 5/10

Ellen Benediktson  Melodifestivalen 4

James: When I was watching the first semi-final in bed, I assumed that this song wouldn’t get through – it’s just another lovely ballad which will fail and fall just like Anna Jarvinen’s beautiful ballad ‘Porslin’ – but how wrong I was. It is calm, peaceful and will attract viewers from all over Europe who want an alternative to the schlager and the modern pop. I really enjoy listening to this whenever I have the chance. Eurovision may be characterised by all the camp pop and glitter, but every now and then we get a gem.

Score: 9/10

Patrick: I’m really confused. On the one hand it’s a wonderful song but on the other hand I really don’t like it that much. Her voice is nice, the song is mystical and dark. The lyrics are wonderful and the melody is beautiful. Here’s the catch: It doesn’t touch me at all. I really miss the moment when I say “Now she’s got me!” There is no goosebumps moment. It will do very well. Both the jury and the public will love Ellen…but for me this isn’t Eurovision.

Score: 6/10

ELLEN

Sami: This is so effing boring and just a minute after listening, I don’t remember a thing of it. Very old-fashioned, very lame. Ellen is an okay singer, even though her voice is a little annoying. But c’mon, nobody would remember this in ESC. It might become Sweden’s worst entry for a long, long time, if it gets chosen. I can’t understand why anyone would vote for this.

Score: 0/10

Franceska: I don’t get the sudden influx of acoustic songs in Eurovision. I really don’t. Her voice is strong, but the song isn’t. The lyrics are obscure, the guitar bit is more boring than a 95-year-old Ancient Greek philosophy professor, and she’s trying too hard. Come back when you’ve matured, darling.

Score: 3/10

Ramadan: This song is so cute! I really enjoy this and I’m happy that she got all adorable on us in the chorus with her personality and presence. That said, it only starts to make sense towards the end when she opens up with the vocals. I’m not sure this is going to do well in the final of Melodifestivalen.

Score: 6/10

Zach: Ellen surprised everyone by upsetting Helena and qualifying directly, even myself. But after a few more listens I find myself getting into the song. Vocally she’s advanced, and her voice leaves a lasting impression, which will help considering she goes second in the final. The lyrics are unique, kind of enchanting really. The pace may be a little bland, but I think she’ll do well score wise. However, I don’t think it will win, not enough mass appeal.

Score: 7/10

Wiwi Jury Verdict: 4.4/10

Final rankings: #10 of 10

See our latest #melfest reviews and rankings on the Wiwi Jury page, and then vote for your favourite in our #melfest poll.

You can keep up-to-date with the latest Eurovision news and gossip by following the team on Twitter @wiwibloggs and by liking our Facebook page.

22 Comments
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Me
Me
6 years ago

how stupid the people above giving scores, the only worthy is the one who gave 9

give the song a chance, listen to it 2 or 3 times and when you actually try to feel it, you will see that the song is beautiful and that’s why people voted for it and it went straight to the final

you say it’s boring…!? oh really, i thought it was meant to make you dance…

NathalieBazinga
6 years ago

It’s a relaxing song

Alex
Alex
6 years ago

Angus is awfully trigger-happy on the zeros this Eurovision season. Of all the entries in all the national contests, it’s downright asinine to give this one a zero. Shame on you guys. This entry’s easily one of the best in the contest this year – tender vocals, a song that’s interesting musically, and not a touch overdone.

Zolan
Zolan
6 years ago

I like how they have used high quality sound engineering to produce an incredibly clean yet unproduced sound. Crisp, intimate enunciation with minimal instrumentation. That clarity and freedom from background fill sets it apart subconsciously as if the acoustic environment itself has changed. It is reminiscent of some of the best ballads from the early sixties. But even fans of the old songs probably make allowances for “classics” that don’t extend to new material. I don’t think fans will have the patience or inner calm to enjoy this, but I do think it’s the most interesting option. Shock-value is predictable:… Read more »

D
D
6 years ago

I don’t get how you’re all in love with Helena’s one-dimensional power ballad, yet dismiss this amazing piece of work. Well, I guess everyone has the right to their own opinions. This, “Bröder”, or “Busy Doin’ Nothin'” to Copenhagen for me 😛

Inge
Inge
6 years ago

It’s..interesting. I largely agree with Patrick. I like my songs this way; but they do have to touch me. And it doesn’t. I really think they should have given her more of a chance to exploit her voice..Real shame they haven’t, as her voice outreageously good!

bav
bav
6 years ago

Many people will vote for Yohio, because singing is not enough for the Eurovision Song Contest. The first advantage of the performance is visual kei. Yohio is nicely dressed and he has good hairdo. During the verses the background is colorful, and the chorus appears lightning. At the end of a lot of fire. The choreography in his performance refers to the lyrics. “To The End” has better lyrics than all songs from final of Melodifestivalen. Andreas Johnson wrote this song. Great song and great presentation. It’s all here. What more do you want?

VilijaFan
VilijaFan
6 years ago

Angus and Sami STUPID

bav
bav
6 years ago

Sanna Nielsen has pyramid, but Yohio has more. Visual kei, lightning and fire.

bav
bav
6 years ago

For Swedes ESC is a show. They appreciate Yohio because he is interesting.

Zach
Zach
6 years ago

I am just totally in love with this song. I sing it everyday, sometimes in 4-5 times a day. It has the emotion that makes me love Melodifestivalen and Eurovision songs. If I had a choice I say she could be in the top 5 at melfest.

Z24
Z24
6 years ago

I agree with Patrick.

I disagree when he says this is not ESC; everything can be ESC, but she won’t catch anyone’s attention in the final and I fear she will plummet

AnesBosna
AnesBosna
6 years ago

Angus strikes again >:|

Dhani
6 years ago

No I’m not talking about Ruth I’m talking about examples like Krista Siegfrids, Safura etc. which wiwibloggs liked, even though they had a crappy song, but they had a big dress and a pretty face, and that was apparently enough for “wiwi jury”.
Ellen has an amazing song and voice, but she doesn’t have a large dress and a face filled with makeup, and doesn’t like like a diva and wiwibloggs doesn’t like that.

Armond
Armond
6 years ago

@Dhani I hope you’re not talking about Ruth because I was actually starting to like you because of your taste! Ruth is very authentic.

Dhani
6 years ago

@Nadine she doesn’t have a large dress and she’s not singing a ballad so no it’s definitely not her!!!!!!!!!

bav
bav
6 years ago

Why do not appreciate when someone tries? Why do not appreciate when someone is trying to?

bav
bav
6 years ago

Yohio has the most complete performance in history of Eurovision Song Contest. Beautiful dress and hairstyle, lightnings, fire, guitars, many lights and colors. He is trying to.

Nadine
Nadine
6 years ago

@dhani: “a diva with an over-styled makeupped face and large dress”. Are you describing your lovely Helena? the only difference is that she has on NO DRESS. you are a hypocrite…

Dhani
6 years ago

Wow. you think this is dull and lame and boring but you all thought gosia’s ultra mediocre flat dance song “I’m not afraid” was a masterpiece???? i can’t take your reviews seriously anymore. The only one in that “jury” who has sense of music is James. This one is a beautiful song, and i bet if it was sung by a diva with an over-styled makeupped face and large dress you all would rate it 10/10. If Helena can’t win, then this should definitely represent sweden!! Anyone who has a good taste in music would agree with me. Appearently you… Read more »