Last night the Wiwi Jury—our in-house panel of musical unprofessionals—went to a Leonidas chocolate shop in Brussels where we enjoyed an exclusive assortment of Belgian chocolate, pralines, truffles, orange peel, and marzipan. Then we sat down to review Axel Hirsoux’s Eurovision 2014 song “Mother”. Did his song leave us sobbing? Or did we want to call his mother and ask her what the hell she did to create such a mommy’s boy? Read on to find out…

“Mother” reviews

Francheska: If I were Freud I’d say something about mommy issues, just given the context. I’m not a big fan of this, and I’ll utilize one of the metaphors I used during NRK MGP: A ballad is like a shark, it needs to move to survive. This ain’t moving, so it falls flat. People saying that this is 2014’s “Crisalide” should realize that “Crisalide” actually had movement. Snaps to Axel for his vocals, but seriously, do something else.

Score: 2/10

Deban: Oh, what a dirge! Yes, Axel can belt it out, but Eurovision isn’t only about singing. A song needs to make the right impact. ‘Mother’ would’ve been suitable in a musical, where the audience are given two hours to trace the plot. Unfortunately, in three minutes, this isn’t digestible. In addition, it resembles a bad copy of  Boy George’s musical composition. However, who’s to say it won’t do well? Belgium is hard to predict. Kate Ryan was critically acclaimed, but tanked. Roberto Bellarosa was loathed by the jury, yet he advanced. Axel, I wish you the best of luck. Simple.

Score: 3/10

http://youtu.be/PCAeh8g5Xnc

Vebooboo: Last year Roberto Bellarosa shocked us all with improved vocals leading to a surprise spot in the Final. This year, Belgium managed to find a magnificent singer in Axel…and yet somewhere along the way forgot that the actual song matters as well. Add to that the fact that Norway is representing again with a more powerful male ballad and we have sad faces all around for Axel and Belgium. Well, after all, Axel himself sings about going home brokenhearted to his mommy. I think he’s probably the first contestant to sing of his own defeat. Poor thing.

Score: 2/10

Angus: Finally a companion piece for ‘Papa Can You Hear Me’ from the seminal classic Yentl. B-Streis’s absence can be forgiven since Axel Hirsoux has the strongest male vocal and ‘Mother’ is a haunting composition. It’s the kind of thing that reduces you to a sobbing wreck on the floor and leaves you screeching, “MOTHERRRRR” at the screen in desperation. Your pain is felt Axel – now turn that pain into passion on stage in Copenhagen! Understatement might have worked for Tom Dice in 2010 but I want twirling drapes flapping mournfully on stage and tears from Axel: all Europe gonna cry.

Score: 8/10

axel hirsoux videoclip

Padraig: Overflowing with tenderness and sentimentality, “Mother” could have been written by the Kleenex marketing team. Sonically it has the potential to be one of Eurovision’s greatest weepies. Pity no one bothered to sense-check the lyrics. From Norman Bates to Seymour Skinner, popular culture has never looked kindly upon adult males who are BFFs with their mothers. There are many reasons for this; it’s not a societal norm, it’s embarrassing and most of all such a relationship is stifling for everyone involved – what if mummy needs some quality time with daddy? She hardly wants Axel warbling at her. It’s time for mammy Hirsoux to cut the apron strings and send her son packing.

Score: 5/10

Anthony: It’s no surprise to see that Eurosong guest judge Ruslana ends up having her own Italia 90 Gazza moment. It must have felt like Pavarotti was singing Nessun Dorma right in front of her. No disrespect to the legend himself though. Judging from Ruslana’s reaction, “Mother” is yet another ballad, but it is powerful stuff providing it’s executed with enough pizzazz. Fortunately, Axel delivered it brilliantly at Eurosong with his opera-esque voice and the chorus packs an emotional punch. The only slight drawback about Belgium this year, is that opera-based entries haven’t fared well at Eurovision. So they’re taking a bit of a gamble.

Score: 7.5/10

Axel Hirsoux Belgium Eurosong

Billy: Wow. That’s an amazing voice. I like the song’s theme and lyrics, as well as its rhythm. This singer is a young Pavarotti. It’s a wonderful ballad, and a very nice entry from Belgium, whose entries have been dismal in recent years.

Score: 9/10

Bogdan: Is that you, Oedipus? If I don’t disregard the lyrics, I must withdraw major points, because I find it ridic that a grown man should still consider his mother “his everything”. I also love my mom, but “Mother” is over the top. Mind you, my mom might love the song when she hears it, like I suspect most mothers across the continent will. As for me, if I disregard the lyrics, I would give props to Axel for his wonderful voice, but melody-wise “Mother” sounds quite dated, like something Jacques Brel would have performed 50 years ago. Oh and that staging, with the creepy ghost lady behind him, needs to go.

Score: 5/10

axel hirsoux

Katie: I thought it was a joke when I found out that a middle aged man would be singing a ballad about his mother for Belgium at Eurovision, but it wasn’t. Especially because I thought it was a woman singing for the first 30 seconds. Oh well, nice to see that Axel is full of surprises! He’s got a belting voice and the talent to silence the entire arena, but I just find the song a little awkward. It’s nice that he loves his mother so much, but honestly, I really don’t want to know about the fact that this brilliant singer is such a mummy’s boy.

Score: 5/10

Wiwi: That creeps me out—and I’m not even talking about the poltergeist dancing in the background. “I can count on you, only you….you are my guiding light, my shoulder, my shelter, my satellite…” Lord have mercy. A good parent raises his or her child to move on and to fly the nest. There’s no denying the Axel has a fantastic voice and that he is feeling every single word of this. I just wish he’d do that in private. Despite my own reservations, I’m aware that much of Europe celebrates Mother’s Day on May 11. Perhaps voters will be in the mood for all this sugar, no matter how nauseating. I gave Iceland a 3, and I prefer that to this, so it has to be a 2.5 from me.

Score: 2.5/10

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.

James L: 7/10

Maxim Montana: 4/10

Mario: 9/10

Mike: 8.5/10

Patrick: 7/10

Sami: 2/10

Ramadan: 1/10

Zach: 1/10

William C: 9.1/10

The highest and lowest scores are removed before calculating the final score. We have dropped a low of 1 and a high of 9.1.

The Wiwi Jury Verdict: 5.15/10

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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MoMo
Guest
MoMo

I thought this song was beautiful until I stopped to listen ” .. you are my guiding light.. my satellite”??
The things we do to rhyme.

Nathan
Guest
Nathan

Oh Mother Mother – he should be singing to the commercial that has been going viral for the American Greetings card. This song inspired me to paint my mother. And no Bogdan, no Oedipus complex on my end.
You guys are brutal.

Eurovision 2014 ain’t over ’til the fat man sings.

I am going to go and call my mommy now!

Chesco
Guest
Chesco

The song is pretty, his voice is quite mellow, but, for some reason whenever I see the singer, he reminds me of the guy with the funny mustache on the “Go-compare” advert and I can’t take him seriously…Pity

GLORIA BELGIUM
Guest
GLORIA BELGIUM

Wwi i agree with you. I thinked since Nathalie Sorce (2000) awarded with 2 points, an hilarious 3 minutes melting pot of “Everithing you don’t have to [email protected] it was impossible to do worst.

Obviously not, Made in a laboratory with the worst genes combined with chiara, pavarotti’s neighbor and nathalie sorce’s left buttock instead his ears.

Oh mama you’re like my satellite, please kill me in silence.

Rogie
Guest
Rogie

Oh I can just see the mobile phone torches glistening around the arena for this song.
Yes there is no doubting he can sing but as Deban says it’e about more that just the singing. Am sure the staging wll include the mother character in the background but this may be all that this is remembered for.

Leon
Guest
Leon

Beautiful voice sung with lots of emotion. I am sure it will qualify as most can empathise with the message, probably not enough to win. 8/10

Dan RO
Guest
Dan RO

@ Marcelo N

I’m glad you agree :). You can say the same things, I won’t take the credit ;))

H.K. Dick
Guest

I just find this creepy. If they made (another) psycho remake they already have a potential theme tune. As Deban said, not a patch on the Boy George from Taboo.

Marcelo N
Guest

@ Dan RO
Ditto your comment, ditto word for word!! I was thinking of writing my own comment earlier on, but I had no time. I don’t need it anymore. DITTO verbatim!

CookyMonzta
Guest
CookyMonzta

Is it just me, or does anyone else see nothing that is so horribly wrong with this song that it can’t possibly qualify? After my first listen/viewing, I placed him 13th (and if memory serves, last year’s Belgian entry, Roberto Bellarosa, finished 12th when the bookies didn’t think he’d qualify). After my 2nd listen, it could be a different story, but I gather it won’t be that much different.

ONE
Guest
ONE
Robyn
Guest
Robyn

This song always makes me think of the Motherboy event from Arrested Development.

Dan RO
Guest
Dan RO

The voice is undeniably very good – I don’t know about “young Pavarotti” though, this might be a stretch. As far as the music is concerned, this ballad is extremely dull, predictable and desperately trying too hard to move the audience – it’s all too obvious; so obvious that it’s almost indecent. But this song is qll about the lyrics. And these lyrics make me uncomfortable… I don’t have anything against the concept, a song about one’s mother is always nice. But I can’t help but think that Freud would have a lot to say about this… And, aside from… Read more »

Thiefo
Guest
Thiefo

One of those cases when the singer is greater than the song, I think Axel’s voice is amazing, but his song doesn’t make him justice.

Tristeza
Guest
Tristeza

This is SO good!
But only if good means bad and bad means horrible.

Easpag
Guest
Easpag

It is the worst song in the contest this year. The lyrics are embarrassing, the song itself is boring, and Axel doesn’t sing; he screeches. Even Latvia is remotely entertaining.
0.5/10

D
Guest
D

Hate it, horrible. Juries might like it but I think the public will destroy it’s chances of doing well, like Austria 2013. 50/50 for qualification for me and if it does it will place 15th-26th in the final.

mateusz
Guest
mateusz

number 36 on my list, can’t stand it !!

Dhani
Guest
Dhani

of course it will qualify. The juries loves this kind of boring(ness) and will probably place it 1st. And then it will qualify instead of someone who deserves it more like San Marino or Montenegro