Today the Wiwi Jury – our in-house panel of music unprofessionals – hit up Malmö for a trip down memory lane on our tour of Sweden ahead of the Melodifestivalen final. While there we caught a bewitching chill on the air from Mariette and her song ‘Don’t Stop Believing’. Did the darkness charm us or were we left crying out for Dorothy to save us from the Wicked Witch? Find out below!
Mariette – ‘Don’t Stop Believing’
Sami: This is a very haunting song, but I don’t think it has a chance to win – the guys are just so much better. She has a great voice and she is an amazing performer, but I’ve listened to the song many times and I still don’t remember much of it.
Robyn: I kept listening to this song, trying to find a reason to like it, but in the end I gave up. It’s just really boring. The most exciting thing is Mariette’s cape, but only because it comes with the possibility of a Madonna-like wardrobe malfunction. There’s nothing bad about this song, but nothing amazing either.
Deban: There is potential for drama here, and this is evidenced by the Gothic staging. However, this doesn’t kick in until the third phase of the song. A tad late for a three minute Eurovision entry, but when it does, Mariette slays with a killer key change and powerhouse vocals. “Don’t Stop Believing” is like fine wine. It appreciates with every listen.
Bogdan: Look, I don’t care that there is going to be an army of warrior ladies in Vienna. Just because Mariette is late to the party doesn’t mean that she shouldn’t be there. I was won over by her clean vocals, edgy look, the staging and costumes, and especially the song that is very now and Scandinavian — and that’s my jam, y’all. I am even willing to overlook the cliché and repetitive lyrics.
Padraig: Amber and Nina, take note. This is how a gothic ballad should be done. No screeching, no shouting, no wailing. Just crystal clear vocals, full of emotion and passion. And who knew you could get such results from some spare material and wind machines? The whole act is crying out to be on a movie soundtrack. Should Disney ever decide to remake Maleficent as a movie, here’s their leading lady.
Ron: This has great direction, I love the darkness and the drama. In kinda Loreen style it ends up looking great on the TV screen. This one should definitely be in the Top 3 in the final, if not being the winner.
William: Mariette has a lovely voice and amazing stage presence, but I’m way more interested in her oversized cape and creepy backing dancers than I am in her song. It starts off great — such vulnerability in those vocals! — but then it doesn’t go anywhere. It’s more appetizer than main course, and I am left starving for something more interesting. I’m hoping SVT cranks up the wind machine even more and blows this song away.
Angus: Voodoo, the occult and shivers. If any cults witches looking for how to advertise the dark arts to the mass market, look no further than Mariette’s feathered shoulder-pads and those entrancing shadow backing dancers. She’s a bad ass dark fairy godmother and she might just be spellbinding enough to cause an upset. A very literal dark horse for the win.
Denise: The first thing that came to mind was ‘Oh god no, not another Rona’, but I was pleasantly surprised. No pleasantly isn’t the good word.. I was amazed by how fantastic this is. The darkness and mysteriousness makes me want to see and hear every single second of it. The staging is perfect and Mariette is doing an amazing job. No doubt she can win the whole thing in May.
Billy: Love it! This is my second favourite entry in #melfest. Mariette’s looks stunning and sings stunningly, and her choreography and staging are truly amazing. At first, I was not persuaded fully, but the phrase “so when darkness comes” killed me. It’s a fresh, original and promising song. Would enjoy seeing her at Vienna!
Wiwi Jury Verdict: 7.7/10