Last night the Wiwi Jury—our in-house panel of musical unprofessionals—got down on some Swedish meatballs. After we wiped the lindenberry sauce from our lips we set to reviewing Oscar Zia’s Melodifestivalen song “Yes We Can”. Did he leave us feeling as inspired as the folks at Obama’s inauguration? Or did we leave thinking, “Yes we can, but no you can’t”? Read on to find out…
Padraig: It would seem that Oscar Zia can do a lot of things. Unfortunately for him, I don’t think performing on the Eurovision stage is one of them. The lyrics are too vacuous and repetitive to offer any real connection, while the sound is too generic to catch the imagination. Saying that I do love the staging, especially the dangling tv’s. But Oscar fans should look on the bright side – at least we can still hold him to his promise – “How we party in our underwear, let the people stare.”
Deban: Every element supporting this entry gets an A plus. The choreography, stage presentation, lighting, wardrobe and even the production values of the track deserve high scores. Oscar’s performance is also noteworthy. However, the raw material is only a little better than rubbish. I expected more from Frederik Kempe, the lyricist. He wouldn’t sing this himself.
Franceska: Obama called, he wants his campaign slogan back. That aside, it’s a comeback of 90s boyband music. And 90s boyband music is a love or hate thing, and I hate it. This song is generic as hell, Oscar isn’t a good vocalist, and the whole thing is gimmicky. At least he has some share of the teenage girl voting bloc.
Anthony: Last year, Oscar Zia was one of the backing vocals for Behrang Miri’s “Jalla Dansa Sawa”. This year, he marks his Melodifestivalen debut with an entry that’s taken a leaf out of Bob the Builder and Barack Obama. The song itself is neither bad nor outstanding. There’s just one small problem. Cute guy, cracking choreography, yep I can see where that’s going. Oscar Zia could end up clashing with Anton Ewald on trying to gain votes from a certain female fanbase. Can one of them come out on top or will the two cancel each other out? I’m hoping for the latter.
Angus: Eric Saade’s little brother from another mother is beyond adorable and delivers his song with as much vocal variety as Saade displayed 3 years earlier. Unfortunately on the night Oscar’s vote will be split between himself and Anton Ewald and consequently they’ll cancel each other out. The One Direction quality to the song is fun but also makes it too lightweight to be in with any real chance of success. Maybe next year?
Zach: Coming out of probably the weakest semi-final this year, Oscar is forgettable. I can understand the claims of him being an Eric Saade/Anton Ewald wannabe. Decent dancing, nice backing beat, but vocals that no one will write home about. The lyrics are a little too teenage bubblegum for me, and the one about underwear just kind of creeps me out. Won’t impact the scoreboard much.
Patrick: Seems that Oscar is the biggest competitor for Anton Ewald in the looks department. Anyway, he can’t sing. This melody could belong to any of the other anonymous and forgettable songs we have heard 1000 times in the past. The chorus might be good in some parts but that doesn’t make the song any better. He doesn’t hit any notes…or maybe that’s just the quality of his voice…to be off-key? As we saw in the Semi Final, he performs a really good show even it’s stolen from N’SYNC. But Eurovision is not only a performance. Pubescent girls may call for him but the jury will hate this. Sorry, but this song doesn’t fit in at Melodifestivalen.
Sami: I don’t really agree with comparing it to Anton Ewald or Eric Saade, because it’s totally different from them. It’s also my favourite of this year’s contest. I love the staging, I love the song, I love Oscar. I don’t see it winning (sure it would have bigger chance if Anton wasn’t in the final) and I don’t think it would look this good on the ESC stage, but this is really a masterpiece in my eyes. It’s totally my type of music and I keep listening to it over and over again.
James: Pretty boy. Pretty face. Crap song. It’s repetitive. I really have nothing else to say. But to be fair, it will get votes because he is young and because there is something going on with some TV screens. It’s pretty obvious who will vote for this, so I don’t have a mahoosive appraisal for it. Sure, we can jump up and down to it and it could be used for a victory song, but really – can this match the likes of Loreen and her marvellous piece of art? I think not!
Ramadan: It’s another Kempe track, imagine that. This reminds me a lot of the Backstreet Boys and even Britney Spears. Oscar is not bad but this song is so average. His voice is nothing special, but the energetic performance really helps the song.
Wiwi Jury Verdict: 4.85/10
Final ranking: #8 of 10