Earlier today the Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of musical unprofessionals — journeyed to Evita, the famed Tel Aviv bar that hosts one of the fiercest Eurovision nights in the world. Then we kicked a drag queen out of her dressing room so we could discuss — in private — Nadav Guedj and his Eurovision 2015 song “Golden Boy”. Did he live up to his song title? Or come out a bit tarnished? Read on to find out…
Israel’s Eurovision 2015 song
Review: Nadav Guedj with “Golden Boy”
Robyn: I’m kind of embarrassed about how much I love this song. It has the best energy and it’s fun and cool and yaaaas. If the live performance lives up to the potential of the music video, “Golden Boy” will set the second semi-final on fire. I just don’t want to see the staging take too much of a cue from the music video and come across like a tourism promo for hip, sexy Tel Aviv.
William: It’s a song in at least three parts — and I love all of them. The dramatic opening establishes Nadav as the heartbroken lover who can drop balladry and pain. The second shows him in a mid-tempo revival. And the third gets jiggy to mark his evolution to emancipated male. It’s cheeky without being a joke, and, owing to clever production and changing instrumentation, the gag doesn’t get old. Ultimately this song is about freedom and the right to live and to love. J’adore!
Padraig: Three songs in one, spanning three genres, in just three minutes, delivered by one man – this shouldn’t work. Maybe the lack of upbeat pop and dance tracks is causing me to go a bit crazy, but “Golden Boy” is magnificent! Fun, energetic and clever, it injects some much needed life into this year’s contest. The whole package is irresistible. To quote Nadav – “now dance, dance, dance, dance”. Euro-club won’t know what hit it!
Deban: “Golden Boy” starts off beautifully, but then suddenly slaps me at the bridge, before beating me into an eastern-flavoured mashup. This song is a mess, and somewhat confirms that Israel is at a loss for what to do to feature in the finals of the world’s biggest song contest. I may not have the answer, but I am dead certain that “there must be another way”!
Denise: I’m so in love with this song. I really wanted a good dance song, like Greece was for me last year, and Israel gave it to us. The beginning of the song reminds me of Sirusho who also started off really slowly but BOOM there is the beat, the voice and the dancers. Okay, the lyrics are a little dull and Nadav looks like a 30 year old, but come on…Who can’t sing and dance along when this song is on? Nadav, please bring Israel back to the finals…You absolutely deserve it this year!
Judit: OMG: I’m in love with this song! We need more songs like this in the competition. First I thought it was just another ballad, but after the first few seconds it morphs into a party song with some major Arabian Night feels. We really need this song in the final. It’s typical ESC — but in the way we love. I just want to dance and forget all of my problems. “Golden Boy” is perfect for this!
Our first reaction (March 12)
Luis: I’m sorry but I can’t understand the hype with this. It starts nice, but then kaboom! It all explodes and the song transforms into a 2002 summer hit which totally destroys Israel’s chances of making the final. Only the Eurovision fandom can like this and, outside our borders, it sounds cheap, dated and cheesy. And that’s no good when your chances of winning rely on a huge non-Eurovision fan audience.
Angus: ‘Golden Boy’ wrong-foots you with the opening vocal tricking you into thinking this is ‘The Fire In Your Eyes’ 2.0. Unfortunately Boaz isn’t back, and what we’re left with instead is Nadav Guedj’s sterling effort at ‘Dum Tek Tek’ karaoke. He would have pulled it off too, if it wasn’t for that meddling ending.
Bogdan: Israel dropped its native tongue in an apparent effort to appeal to the Eurovision audiences, but it missed the memo: juries have more say since 2013, and juries are going to kill Nadav’s “Golden Boy”. However, although I recognize that the song is audience bait with little melodic value and a chaotic structure (it’s basically three songs jammed in three minutes), I can’t help enjoying it and dancing to its infectious beats. I guess you could call “Golden Boy” my guilty pleasure, except I don’t feel guilty when I abandon myself to its chorus. I feel pure joy.
Chris: Ugh. No, no, no. I really cannot stand this song – it’s like all the worst male songs from noughties Eurovision crushed into one. It’s a self-serving mess of genres and doesn’t succeed at any of them, with the chorus being the worst culprit. It bothers me immensely that this could qualify for Israel, when they have failed with much more deserving songs every year since 2011. This year might need more upbeat songs, but it does not mean we should settle for “Golden Boy”.
Twenty-nine jurors review each song, but we only have space for ten written reviews. The remaining 19 scores are listed below.
William C: 9/10
To reduce potential bias, the highest and lowest scores are dropped prior to calculating the average. We have removed a high of 10 and a low of 1.