A few nights ago the Wiwi Jury—our in-house panel of musical unprofessionals—headed to Monster Ronson’s Ichiban Karaoke palace in Berlin. After we had warmed up our vocal chords we sat down to review Elaiza’s Eurovision 2014 song “Is it Right”. Did they turn up the heat and light our fire? Or were we more impressed by our own karaoke? Read on to find out…
Padraig: “Is it r-r-r-i-i-i-ght?” Ela sings again and again…and again. Well, since she asked – no, it’s wrong, wrong, WRONG! The very fact that the Germans’ chose this is mind boggling. In doing so not only did they snub at least 3 better songs, but they’ve also wrecked their brilliant post 2009 back catalogue. “Is it Right” is pleasantly inoffensive – aka dull and forgettable. The protagonist’s indecisiveness is just irritating, after 3 minutes I couldn’t give a damn whether she’s right or wrong. Instead of going on a musical journey, I find myself plodding through a load of repetition and accordions. I’m with Madeline Juno on this one – Germany have made an “error, error, error”.
James L: I think Germany’s insanely complicated selection process this year just might have found them a winner! No who am I kidding – Elaiza was clearly the strongest in the wildcard round, and they outshined many of their competitors in the main final, but they risk blending into the background with this one. It’s got all the ingredients – a folksy flair, live instruments, young likeable and spunky-yet-wholesome singers, a catchy chorus… but where’s the ZING that sends it straight to the heart of every European? It’s a nice song, but I can’t imagine anyone wildly voting for it.
Vebooboo: A lot of people are hating on this song, but I just love something about the quality of Elaiza’s voice. And unlike so many other songs this year, the song actually builds in a logical fashion, climaxing at the end like a good bedroom session. The song isn’t stellar, though, and I don’t foresee this finishing in the Top 10.
Angus: So at first with this I was all “Ja natürlich!” But over time some of the charm has been eroded away amongst the competition and I’m beginning to revise it downward in my estimations. Fortunately most of Europe will only hear it for the first time and this is ear wormy enough to lock itself in. Roman Lob was hardly exciting in 2012 with ‘Standing Still’ and ‘Is It Right’, given the right slot, could catapult up the leader board. Ela can also sing which is a lot more than can be said for Cascada last year…
Wiwi: Elaiza work magic on stage: They manage to make a three-minute song feel like an enternity. Forty-five seconds into it Elaiza say they can’t go on. Neither can I. The accordions feel sluggish. Rather than taking sleeping pills I’m just gonna kick it with deeze ladies. A wildcard entry to the German final, they milked their underdog status all the way to a win against more established German acts. Unfortunately Europeans won’t care that they are relatively unknown at home. I gave Iceland a 3, and I prefer that to this, so it’s a sad 2.5 from me.
Bogdan: I still can’t get my head around what happened in Germany. Out of so many great songs (I personally rooted for Oceana’s “Thank You”), they chose Elaiza’s, which is an okay choice, but so wrong compared to what it could have been, and definitely my least favourite of the Big 5 this year. This way, Germany will probably land on the bottom right side of the scoreboard on the 10th of May. As I said, it’s an okay song, but it’s not enough, and I’m not blown away by their live performance at USFD either. Terrible. So my answer to Elaiza’s question would be a resounding “Nein.”
Deban: The sound is a tad vintage, but the band’s vibe is refreshingly cool. The acoustic version really showcases the strength of Ela’s voice. However, there is a danger with this track. Unlike ‘Start A Fire’ which resonates with every listen, ‘Is It Right’ isn’t the track you’d want to put on repeat.
Billy: I like her amazing voice and the style of the song, the group atmosphere and the variety of musical instruments! Yet somehow this is still just a little boring. Even though I would have preferred Oceana to go to Denmark, I think Elaiza have great stage presence. Yes, “Is It Right” is a tad repetitive. But I can’t ignore the climax where we feel the full power of her voice. Yasssss!
Katie: Oh Goodness me. What on earth do we have here? It sounds very traditional at the beginning but judging by the singer’s spiky hair and brightly coloured outfits, it won’t be very traditional. So nothing really happens until the chorus, and the dynamics of this song are best described with the analogy of a ticking time bomb. Tick, tick, tick, BOOM! Crazy chorus. Only after a few seconds, we’re back to the repetitive “Is it right? Is it right?”. Am I the only one that’s still not sure what “it” is? I can’t listen to the song in full without getting bored after two minutes… Nothing exciting happens!
Mike: My first reaction to this song was that Germany doesn’t take Eurovision seriously anymore. Perhaps we shouldn’t have cast their dear Cascada in the gutter last year? But this song has grown on me. It’s actually something different and makes me feel like I am dancing in a circle around a gypsy bride and groom and waving with white tissues! Even so, European voters won’t remember this when the voting starts…
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.
Maxim Montana: 5/10
The highest and lowest scores are dropped before calculating the average. We have dropped a low of 2.5 and a high of 9.
The Wiwi Jury Verdict: 5.56/10
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.