The Wiwi Jury – our in-house panel of music unprofessionals – is taking Sweden and the acts of Melodifestivalen 2015 by storm. Next in the firing line is veteran performer Jessica Andersson and her ballad ‘Can’t Hurt Me Now’. Are we glad SVT remembered her name picking the acts this year or is she just relying on fame to get by in the competition? Read on to find out!
Jessica Andersson with ‘Can’t Hurt Me Now’
Robyn: This is following in the footsteps of Sanna in 2014 – a big heartbreak ballad, though “Can’t Hurt Me Now” is more defiant and less fragile than “Undo”. And despite the dramatics, it’s not as compelling as “Undo”. Sweden needs to go in a different direction this year.
Deban: Jessica Andersson exudes professionalism. Her dulcet voice tells a beautiful story of defiance. She communicates her victory without overlabouring it. Her movements are subtle, whilst picking up the pace with key changes and a wind machine. “Can’t Hurt Me Now” is simple, and that’s what makes it magical.
Bogdan: I am not impressed with her vocals, and her song reminds me of a 90s Faith Hill ballad (and the American singer did it way better). This is a ballad that should die together with other formulaic ballads sung by pretty ladies in the history of Melodifestivalen. If Sanna was the exception to the rule, Jessica is definitely not. Unlike last year’s winner, Ms Andersson doesn’t convey me anything other than, “I want to go to Vienna.” But she doesn’t deserve it.
William: I’m glad that she’s over her need for love: It means that I don’t have to feel bad for saying I hate this. The song is predictible and monotonous, and reminds me of the tosh they play in really low budget movies when the heroine has a self-revelatory moment. Perhaps this film will be about a woman rebuilding herself after falling from fame and trying to ressurect her career in Melodifestivalen, only to be smacked down in the final. I know who we can cast as the lead…
Angus: Jessica lends ‘Can’t Hurt Me Now’ an elegance lacking across the rest of the competition. She is a veteran but the power of her voice makes this seemingly traditional slice of balladry relevant. ‘Can’t Hurt Me Now’ demonstrates real professionalism and a deference to an older school of performance. It is a testament to vocal power and emotional punch of the song that she beat out the competition at Deltävling 1.
Billy: Well that’s a typical ballad. “Can’t Hurt Me Now” made me laugh at the beginning with lyrics such as “the kids are playing in the park”. To my huble opinion, this is totally boring and forgettable, needless after Sanna’s perfect ballad last year. Too much golden there. And Jessica should really work her hand moves. At one point I thought she would slap me.
Padraig: Fame clearly has its perks (pun intended). Because if Jessica was a Melfest debutante, there’s no way she’d be still in the process while Molly and Annika watch at home. “Can’t Hurt Me Now” is such an insipid ballad, and Andersson just reeks of being a goody-two-shoes. She’s like Glenda the Good Witch from the Wizard of Oz – undeniably worthy, but no one’s favourite.
Ron: A classic and a well made ballad (written by Aleena Gibson that also wrote the hit ballads “Empty Room” for Sanna Nielsen in 2008 and “Why Am I Crying?” for Molly Sandén in 2012). Jessica has a great voice, she looks great and knows how to deliver the song. It’s not a winner but it’s a very nice and emotional song.
Denise: My god… I’m going to wish I look like that when I’m in my forties. Jessica looks amazing with her golden dress in her golden background. The song is also good, not the best but good. She knows how to sell it with her amazing voice which adds lots of emotion. This one will probably end up somewhere really low on the scoreboard, but Jessica won’t be the one to blame.
Sami: This is such a typical Melodifestivalen ballad and they always have their voters. But it was still surprising to see this qualifying to the final from the first heat. Jessica’s voice is nice and you really can remember something from this after the first listening, but it’s far from the most iconic Swedish ballads such as “Moving On” or “Undo”.
Wiwi Jury Verdict: 5.5/10