This afternoon the Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of music unprofessionals — flew into Rimini, Italy before taking a short bus trip to the Republic of San Marino. Whilst sipping on espresso on the aerial tramway, we decided to review Kamilla Ismailova‘s Junior Eurovision 2015 track ‘Mirror’. Do we think Kamilla is the fairest of them all, or will the mirror break and give us seven years of bad luck? Read on to find out…
SAN MARINO’S JUNIOR EUROVISION 2015 SONG
‘MIRROR’ REVIEWS – KAMILLA ISMAILOVA
Angus: This sounds like a Hilary Duff track from the early 00s and I love it. “Mirror” instantly snags in your head with that hook and nobody in this year’s field embraces dramatic balladry as well. You go San Marino!
William: Mirror, mirror on the wall, do you hear the fierce song Kamilla is throwing down?! This midtempo number adds some much-needed variety to this year’s contest, bringing a mysterious sound with R&B undertones. She doesn’t wax and wane on love, but instead treats a darker subject matter: losing control and fighting your inner demons. We’ve all been there, babe. Backed by Russian money and brimming with ambition, Kamilla will undoubtedly give San Marino its best result ever.
Robyn: I like the dynamics of this song — the minimalist introduction (think “Royals”, “Rhythm Inside”) which bursts into a lush chorus. Kamilla has the tough task of having to sing in two languages, neither of which are her mother tongue, but she’s obviously putting in the hard work there. The song is a little bit bleak at times, but it has a mysterious charm. It will be interesting to see how this comes off live.
Bernardo: Despite the strong chorus, the rest of the song seems quite flat and it has an unexpected ending. I’m quite sure Kamilla is going to give a flawless vocal performance in Sofia and it’s always good to see a talented young singer reaching high notes…but she really seems to strain to deliver this in Italian. Nevertheless, the juries and the diaspora votes will carry San Marino mid-table.
Deban: “Mirror” is unusual: no verses are necessary. This starts off as a piano-driven dirge with some pretty weak verses. But all is forgiven when the track bursts into an all-encompassing chorus. Intertwining English and Italian works well, but she could have pushed the boat further by incorporating her mother tongue into the score. Also, when “Mirror” is stripped back, Kamilla’s raw vocal has major limitations. However, the rich orchestration compensates for her vocal shortcomings.
Josh: On first listen ‘Mirror’ did absolutely nothing for me, and I really struggled to grasp why it was getting such rave reviews amongst JESC fans. However, the more I listen to it, the more I can appreciate San Marino’s effort this year. Kamilla has a great voice, and props to her for singing in two languages that she doesn’t speak natively. It will be interesting to see how Kamilla performs this live, but I’m not counting this out of the race just yet.
Luis: This might be the smoothest move from San Marino at JESC so far. Kamilla and “Mirror” tick all the boxes: she’s a good singer and the song is classy and dramatic. And it has dress projections! San Marino’s best placing at Eurovision (Valentina in 2014) came with their safest entry ever. So why not try that at JESC?
Our jury consists of 21 people, but we only have room for 7 written reviews. Here are the remaining 14 scores.
William C: 8.5/10
The highest and lowest scores are dropped prior to calculating the average score. This is to remove outliers and reduce potential bias. We have removed a low of 5 and a high of 10.
This one is in the lower guartile of my ranking. Kamilla herself is a pleasant girl, and Italian language is perfect for singing. The song itself is ok in terms of vocal structure, but I am not a fan of the lyrics and the overall presentation which looks to me as a not very subtle attempt to have this 11 year old girl act and sing an adult song. Some people already commented on the darkness in the English lyrics, which would have been fine, if not sung by a child. Add to that the video clip which is also… Read more »
One of the best this year. A catchy, memorable chorus and haunting verses mixed with the Russian accent in Italian. When the bridge comes in its like a second sanna Nielsen! Great effort, 9/10 from me and my 4th-5th place.
San Marino’s and this year’s best song.
I quite like it, though. But since it comes from San Marino I dont see it doing very well. On the other hand singer is Russian so that might catch some votes from exSoviet republics. But I do wish her well.
Great song, but a weak voice if I am honest.