Early this morning the Wiwi Jury—our in-house panel of music unprofessionals—headed to Amsterdam to enjoy fried food served with cream. Then we sat down to review The Common Linnets’ Eurovision 2014 song “Calm After the Storm”. Did it induce relaxation and serenity? Or nausea and vomitting? Read on to find out.

Update: ‘Wait, did you guys really give “Calm After the Storm” 4.4/10?’

Yes, we sure did! Here’s some context.

The Wiwi Jury reviewed “Calm After the Storm” in early April 2014. At this stage, all we had to go by was the studio recording, the music video, and a couple of live acoustic performances. The Common Linnets performed the song competently, but there never seemed to be much chemistry between Ilse and Waylon.

Most importantly, there was no hint of the spine-tinglingly brilliant staging, incredible chemistry and electric atmosphere that the Netherlands were to bring to Copenhagen. And remember – they surprised everyone with this and their odds shot up only after the first semi-final.

The members of Team Wiwi who were on the ground in Copenhagen soon had their minds changed after seeing the rehearsals. William wrote: “I wasn’t a huge fan of this song until I saw Ilse and Waylon rehearse,” with even more positive comments after the second rehearsal.

This is all part of the magic of Eurovision. Sometimes a song that can seem really flat and ordinary in its studio version magically comes to life when it’s performed on stage at Eurovision.

The Wiwi Jury can’t predict the future (if we could, we’d have made some serious money from betting), and we’re never going to adjust the Wiwi Jury reviews and scores after the competition. The jury reviews are not intended as some sort of scientific prediction – it’s just how the Wiwi Jury members feel about a song at the time they listen to it.

So what do these reviews tell you? That in early April 2014 we weren’t so impressed by “Calm After the Storm”. But as you now know, we were very happy to have our minds changed.

Now let’s take a look at The Common Linnets’ incredible grand final performance, that earned the Netherlands a very well deserved second place. Goosebumps, y’all.


The Common Linnets – “Calm After the Storm”

“Calm After the Storm” reviews

Bogdan: I’m sorry, but I agree with drunk Anouk. Ilse has no personality. And Waylon is even worse, he’s like Ilse’s shadow, both as a voice on the song (you could barely hear him on the acoustic performance) and as a character. Plus, Waylon has said that he isn’t interested in winning, but just performing for a large audience. The song may be okay, but come on, the Netherlands deserves better than just okay. The Dutch deserve a winning entry, and “Calm After The Storm” is a big step back after the triumph that was “Birds”.

Score: 5/10

Wiwi: So I’m not familiar with meteorlogical patterns in the Netherlands. But where I come from storms knock down trees, blow out windows, and leave dogs soaking wet. And in the aftermath you can hear people rebuilidng their houses and dogs barking like mad. Unfortunately for Ilse and Waylon, the calm after their storm is more akin to the silence after a nuclear holocaust. There is no life at all. I appreciate the subtlety, the meloncholy, and the blending of their voices. But a song this calm makes me question whether they have a pulse, let alone any shot of making the final.

Score: 3/10

Ilse DeLange Waylon

Angus: There was always going to be a breaking point in folk fever and The Common Linnets were the straw that broke my back. There’s a reason a song has never been written about the aftermath of the storm: nothing’s going on. Literally nothing – and that’s basically what happens for three minutes in the song. Someone murmurs and someone else clears their breath and then it’s over. Definite toilet break opportunity in Semi-Final 1.

Score: 3.5/10

Billy: “Calm After The Storm” is a lovely entry and quite slow, but it features beautiful music. The Dutch could work magic with this on stage and give a good song some great lift. Their voices work well together. I just wish the whole thing wasn’t so sleepy.

Score: 4.5/10

Common Linnets Eurovision Netherlands

Deban: When two superstars team up to form a power duet, and then postpone the release of a three minute pop song for weeks, what do you get? Stratospheric expectations that only divinity can match. Bluegrass is good, but hues of it would have worked better. These two have taken me out of Denmark to the Deep South. The visual treatment exhibits strong veins of film noir, making it decidedly European. I’m sold on the sophistication and the artistry, but amid all of this, lies a hype that rings hollow. The Common Linnets in my view are the Emperor’s new clothes.

Score: 6/10

Padraig: Anouk’s successors were always going to have it tough. Not only did she restore Dutch pride in the contest, she also set the standard against which all their future acts will be judged. So it’s unsurprising that The Common Linnets’ effort has been met with varying degrees of shade. That’s a pity. “Calm After the Storm” may lack the pazzaz and bombast of some of the other numbers, but this is exactly what makes it special. In terms of both lyrics and music, it is probably one of the year’s most delicately intricate songs. And after an evening of madness and melodrama, I for one look forward to being enveloped in its blanket of tranquility .

Score: 7.5/10

 

Ilse DeLange
Katie:
The Common Linnets are definitely a sophisticated duo. Their country song with their black and white music video (not to mention Waylon’s hat!), but honestly we expected no less from these fabulous Dutchies since they were announced as this year’s representatives. There’s really not much to say about the song, and that’s what worries me. It’s all a bit too safe. Great voices of course, but I doubt such a mellow song would stand a chance next to the crazy Twin Twin and the unique Conchita, for example. It’s certainly not a boring song, but it’s an acquired taste and I can’t imagine it will go down well with the people who watch Eurovision for the sparkles and glitter. “The Calm After the Storm” could go two ways, it could bounce into the top 10 like Anouk’s “Birds” or it could become a forgotten toilet-break song that doesn’t make it past the semi finals, like Joan Franka’s “You and Me”.

Score: 5/10

Mike: The hardest thing about making your personal TOP37 or being on the Wiwi Jury is having a fair opinion about your own country’s song. But to be honest, the song is such a disappointment I can put all bias aside. When they start with their Oooooh you think it’s the moment the real song will start, but it never does. One tip for those countries who think sending artists who do great in their own country is the best idea: first pick the perfect Eurovision song, and after that a singer who can handle it!

Score: 3.5/10

Sami: So. Boring. I don’t see why anyone would vote for a song like this. It could be nice to listen to on a long car ride but for Eurovision, it’s one of those toilet break songs. I didn’t like Birds that much either, and this is just 10 times worse than that. I really think this won’t have any chance to reach the finals, even if they are professional singers and sound good together.

Score: 2/10

Netherlands, Ilse DeLange, 2

Vebooboo: Now resident in the Netherlands, I’m bound to be biased in favour of this tiny trading nation.  But to be honest I cannot think of a more appropriate title for this song, because it is exactly that — an utterly boring calm after the storm that was Anouk’s “Birds”.  I would write more, but I feel like I’d need something to react to…and to be honest, there ain’t much to grasp onto here.  Quality vocals alone do not a winner make. Shame on you, Netherlands. Shame!

Score 3.5/10

All 19 members of our jury rate each song. However, we only have room to share 10 written reviews. Here are the remaining nine scores.

Anthony: 3/10

Francheska: 2.7/10

Zach: 5/10

Mario: 9/10

Patrick: 4/10

James L: 5/10

Maxim Montana: 6/10

William C: 5.1/10

The highest and lowest scores are removed before calculating the final score. We have dropped a low of 2 and a high of 9.

The Wiwi Jury Verdict: 4.4/10

You can check out our latest Eurovision 2014 reviews and rankings on the Wiwi Jury page. You can keep up-to-date on the latest Eurovision news and gossip by following the team on Twitter @wiwibloggs and by liking our Facebook page.

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Christine
Guest
Christine

Just shows that we can’t take this ‘Wiwi Jury’ serious. It’s your name that sounds like a toilet break.

The Common Linnets were great. Magical performance.

FTLH
Guest
FTLH

SURE YOU ARE ALL CRYING IN A CORNER NOW FOR JUDGING OUR MASTERPIECE WOOOOO NETHERLANDS

Fred Sevriens
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Fred Sevriens

Dear ‘jurors’ of Wiwibloggs, don’t you think you owe Isle and Waylon an apology?

And maybe next year you should think twice before you run with the hare and hunt with the hounds…

NKN
Guest
NKN

What’s funny is that Wiwi bloggs deleted my comment, I made it before the contest telling them their taste in music sucks, this review proves that they have to connection with music whatsoever. They rate the best song in the competition by far with 4.4. Hilarious. Just because it’s not made of useless pop/dance beats.

Dhani
Guest

hahahah after the contest i gotta laugh of you!! The netherlands came second hahaha! That just shows that the “wiwi jury”, “music experts” have absolutely no taste in music!

Paul
Guest
Paul

Guys and Galls of the so called jury of Wiwiblogs.com,

I think you have really no clue what works for the ESC and your commenting is merely a narrowminded and prejudiced view and disregards the simple beauty of this track and their performance, massively recognized by the ESC jury and voters.

You better stop bashing other people’s hard work for trying to be themselves, artistically and personally.
The performance was en is one of the highpoints of the ESC history together with Conchita Wurst as a symbol for freedom and equality.

Paul
Guest
Paul

well Guys and Gals of WiWiBlogs.com

Your reviews of the track and performance of The Common Linnets only reveals narrowmind and prejudiced thinking and having no clue what works for the ESC.
You better stop bashing other people’s hard work for trying to be themselves, artistically and personally.
The performance was en is one of the highpoints of the ESC history together with Conchita Wurst as a symbol for freedom and equality.

Rob S
Guest

Pfff… Hahaha! Your reviews suck! The song preveals! 10/10 from me!!

guido dam
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guido dam

I agree with the previous writer that the scores by the Wiki Jurors are ridiculously low…its a song…simple..no jumping idiots with a dick instead of a nose to become the talk of the town.

klaas
Guest
klaas
Sological
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Sological

I have to admit l didn’t like it either the first time i’ve heard this song, bit it’s a Breath of fresh air after all the drums, fireworks, screaming and all other BS. Listen to it twice and it’ll stick, we could have a winner here!

Ryan from NL
Guest
Ryan from NL

Let’s not forget that only part of the final score will be based on viewer’s judgement. The song is truly artistic and has quality. Ilse and Waylon on stage sing as good as (if not even better) Ilse and Waylon in the studio version. The benefit of this song is that it will not sound much different from the album version, unlike France’s or Greece’s song. The title is of course a metaphor and stands for the moment after you had a huge fight with your girl/boyfriend and you’re considering leaving him/her. I don’t think it will end up in… Read more »

Rogie
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Rogie

MMM Calm after the Storm, its far too calm for me.
It’s he Corrs meets Fleetwood Mac and although the ladies voice is very nice I dont know how the staging of this is gonna hold my attention for any longer than it takes for the Phone number to disappear from the screen, i.e. the first 10 seconds.
Sorry Netherlands:-(

klaas
Guest
klaas

the performance will be as dull as the video
Ilse wanted only a spot and 2 chairs she stated

MoMo
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MoMo

I absolutely love this song. Hopefully the performance won’t be as dull as the video.

While I appreciate the artistic direction, it just doesn’t work for ESC.

Le sigh

kim
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kim

It’s not that bad at all.
Let’s wait and see.

Sofie
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Sofie

I really like it, it gives me an indie vibe! It is very soothing and relaxing and also very classy. And I like Ilse and Waylon’s looks, they are so beautiful… I do not think the song will qualify to the final though.

CookyMonzta
Guest
CookyMonzta

They’re going to cut it pretty close. On my first listen to the audio track, I have them on the bubble with Montenegro, with Moldova and Albania just outside. But if Hersi changes her mind and goes back to the Albanian version (“Zemërimi I Një Natë”), the Dutch could be sent packing on Tuesday night.

Timselvision
Guest
Timselvision

Ilse and Waylon want to win, especially Ilse, like they said in an interview 😉

Leon
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Leon

What a departure for The Netherlands from their excellent entry last year ( Birds from Anouk) which broke in to the top 10 final. This has very few hooks for me that would make me want to listen again. 3/10

Dan
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Dan

Man…..een mooi liedje maar echt saai voor ESC .

Elmo
Guest
Elmo

Plus, Waylon has said that he isn’t interested in winning, but just performing for a large audience

He never said that, what the hell. They clearly said they WANT to win (doubtful but ok), unlike Anouk who actually said in all honesty she is doing it for the fame

klaas
Guest
klaas

What does “calm after the storm” mean? As Wiwi said, things aren’t normally calm after a storm. The destructive weather may have stopped, but there’s a whole lot of heartbreak and clean-up going on.
a storm is not a hurricane. when there’s a storm here only a few branches fall from trees. a storm is not that destructive, like a tornado, or a hurricane

Jericho
Guest
Jericho

@Julian: Actually I don’t think the wiwibloggers support Valentina this year as strongly as you say http://wiwibloggs.com/2014/03/19/editorial-valentina-monetta-jazz/43091/

Pastora Soler haha
Guest
Pastora Soler haha

4.1?? They deserve more, not all in Eurovision is girls screaming ¬¬

For me: 7

But the song is very calm to qualify in ESC, so.. good luck for them

Zolan
Guest
Zolan

@Chesco. Now that you mention it, I would like to hear this in Dutch or Frisian. It might even be a genre that Dutch can do well with.

But realistically, this song will struggle to hold people’s attention. The staging needs to project a warm and inviting atmosphere and the subtle variations need to be a little more prominent and frequent.
It’s a good song, but we can’t be surprised if the audience just isn’t in the right frame of mind for it.

Robyn
Guest
Robyn

The common expression in English is “calm before the storm”, meaning a false sense of peace preceding impending disruption.

What does “calm after the storm” mean? As Wiwi said, things aren’t normally calm after a storm. The destructive weather may have stopped, but there’s a whole lot of heartbreak and clean-up going on.

Meteorological metaphors have a place in pop (and God knows rain has been used in more than its fair share of songs), but it’s a bit unusual in this one.

klaas
Guest
klaas
Timselvision
Guest
Timselvision

@Chesco: I actually can´t remember Waylon or Ilse singing in Dutch! I´m not a great fan of both (I have seen them both live though :P) but… yeah… I don´t know if you know the Dutch language, but it´s terrible. (That´s a common opinion of Dutch “young” people like me :P)

Julian
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Julian

For some reason Wiwi bloggers are strongly favoring Valentina Monetta. And Netherlands is a direct competitor in first semifinal 6 countries fighting for last 2 or 3 qualifying places.

Chesco
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Chesco

I actually like the song, it is very indie and the rhythm is surprisingly upbeat for a song so calm. It is pleasant and it is not tacky. I know, the lyrics are nothing to write home about, but all in all, I like it much more than other entries, I just wish they would sing in Dutch and not in English, I think it would have added to the character

Timselvision
Guest
Timselvision

Wow. Are you ESC fan to bring any ESC song down or something? Every song is “bad” in the jury´s opinion, but why are you, in that case, ESC fan anyway? I don´t see the use of being a fan and saying every song is bad. If someone can explain this, please. Explain. I don´t get it anyway :p I am from the Netherlands and I´m one of the people who liked it instantly. I think we are going to the finals. Why? It´s calm, if their staging will be good it will be chills-giving it will be a stunning… Read more »

Derek P
Guest
Derek P

Zzzzzz zzzzz. Wake me when the next song is on please. This is so dullll

Blerg
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Blerg

fuq da hataz I love this understated, subtle song.

Gerard P
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Gerard P

Ilse and Waylon can sing. It’s just a shame they wasted their voices on THIS song. It’s just not memorable. Sorry. All you folks complaining down below need to have a reality check. Good artists sometimes sing bad songs. This is one of them. 2/10 for me

Z24
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Z24

I actually like this song. Pretty much everything was going ot be considered a step down to Anouk. This fails to be in my top 10, but it’s definetly a quality entry that shows the Dutch are taking this seriously.

But sadly, this may be a bit too personal to pass by unnanounced. Should get amazing remarks by jury.

MrB
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MrB

I think this song is really underrated. It will do much better then most people expect, mark my words. Some people are still stuck in the past ‘a song needs a few listenings before the televoters will appreciate it’ = overrated! Thanks to social media people get to know songs before ESC and even if people have not heard the songs before, it not only about the song. Do not forget that ESC nowadays is about the total package: song + voices + stage-act, well the visuals are really important. Azerbaijan 2011 was a pretty average song, not a winner… Read more »

Thiefo
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Thiefo

I agree 100% with Katie’s review, she already expressed exactly how I feel about this song.

Not a bad song, it just needs some listenings before fully appreciating it, but with all the people hearing the songs for the first time during the final (or the semis) and assuming it will have a simple staging (as I think it should be), I’m not sure it will even qualify.

Personally, I enjoy it, it’s really relaxing, but I doubt it will do well. I hope I get proved wrong though.

Jerome
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Jerome

This song is a huge disappointment. It goes nowhere. No final for Holland 🙁

Marcelo N
Guest

These “unprofessional” reviews do honour their name. Like, I find nothing in this song, but I would not say it is toilet break, especially not to please the readers. IMHO.

@ Nathan – Boy, if you are actually writing your comments before you read the “””reviews”””, then you nailed it! I guess you know a thing or two about the panel that we mortals ignore 😉

SJ
Guest
SJ

I don t like the song. Maybe in final only thank to juries if with juries they wili be in TOP 2 or 3. In televote this song wili be from 12 to 16 place in semi final.

Joyce
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Joyce

Hmmm songcheck on german site rate this song 8 and 10…:))

MK
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MK

Europe will be suprised by this. I’ll bet this will be a vocally flawless performance.
Such negative comments of a so-called ‘jury’.

Nathan
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Nathan

Once again, I’ll scroll right to the bottom and rant a little before reading the highly predictable comments that come from the wiwi jury… What will the average ESC wiwijury say about this song? It’s mindnumbingly slow, boring, and I’m willing to bet at least one panelist will say this is another “toilet break” song. Such comments come from mediocre individuals who have little appreciation for different genres of music. Ladies and Gentleman, Boys and girls and gender-neutral ESC addicts, here is a song that will ask you what you like about an Eurovision song? Are you listening to this… Read more »

Dan
Guest
Dan

After hearing this, I’m confused: did they move the ESC to Nashville, USA?! Seriously though, I like this! It has a melody and the voices are great. I don’t know whether sending a country song to the EUROPEAN Song Contest is a smart move, though! I agree that it will all depend on the staging! A solid 7 from me, which is a very good note in a quite bad year in ESC…

Miguel12MAI
Guest

Party is not the same of musical quality.

Miguel12MAI
Guest

OMG, REALLY?

They’ve got the best music this year! They’ve got quality in their song, I hope they will be able to be in TOP 10.

Inge
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Inge

I like Ilse and Waylon, I really do – but this song? No. Just no. That’s about everything I have to say about it.

Nitzan
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Nitzan

I find this song relaxing and beautiful, and a good contrast to Esc’s rather noisy nature. I also think that the singers ARE charismatic and it comes across as a rather tasteful, quality entry. I think it’s the classic dark horse but highly dependent on its draw.

Tom
Guest
Tom

This song is really beautiful, well-built and the lyrics are great. Such a pleasant moment. I’d give it a 9 too and I hope it will qualify.