The Wiwi Jury – our in-house panel of music unprofessionals – is continuing its journey around Lithuania ahead of the fifth Eurovizija show on Saturday. Our encounter with Donny Montell on Friday left the majority of our panel a little hot and bothered. Will Saulene Chlevickaite’s “Strong” help them cool down? Read on to find out…
Saulene Chlevickaite “Strong”
Reviews: Saulene Chlevickaite with “Strong”
Antranig: “Strong” gets the basics right — a catchy beat, strong vocals from Saulene and some interesting lyrics. All of the ingredients are there for this to be spectacular but it doesn’t quite reach those heights. This could do really well at Eurovision with a good revamp, but at the moment it’s simply a decent entry.
Luis: I like what’s going on here. Saulene might not be the best singer in the competition (she’s not a bad one, of course) and “Strong” is not the best song, but the whole package works well. With some tweaking this could be a contender. I’d chop some of the verses — “be strong, feel strong” — because they get a bit repetitive, but even if it stays as it is, this is quite a decent attempt.
Robyn: One of the national final favourites in nearby Estonia has this 1960s soul-pop sound and there’s no question which is the better song. But “Strong” isn’t a terrible entry, it’s just quite repetitive. Once you’ve heard half the song, you’ve heard it all. And it’s hard to get drawn into a song that keeps blandly asserting, “It fits like a glove! Feeling strong!”
Anthony: I love how the piano leads through the first verse and into the chorus. It’s just enough of a catch to draw you in. Saulene performs with pizazz and she stands out from her fellow participants. However, once you’ve heard her song, it feels like you could’ve expected a bit more from Saulene herself.
Angus: In such a sparse national final, “Strong” is one of the few high points, crackling with intensity and vocal depth. Saulené looks fierce and doesn’t let a middling song hold her back, going for the big notes with a gusto and using the screens to full effect. A definite contender.
Mikhail: This is indeed strong. And with a bit of revamp it has some potential. However, at the moment it’s quite repetitive. “Strong” has a distinct sound, which is really nice, although I don’t like the beginning. The one-note piano quickly becomes annoying.
Liam: This bohemian Mila Kunis lookalike can rock! “Strong” shares similarities with Selena Gomez’ “Same Old Love”, although it lacks the production value. However, for Lithuania, it’s a golden nugget.
Steinunn: I’m missing some spark, some emotion, some performance… I get nothing. Which is a shame since I think the song really isn’t that bad. “Strong” has the potential to be good but isn’t. Instead it’s just a dull version of something that could be a hit. Saulené also needs to tune her vocals.
Bernardo: “Strong” is a breath of (much needed) fresh air. Saulene is vocally intense and she knows how to connect with her audience and get them hyped. A favourite amongst a group of terrible entries.
Padraig: Saulene is a mistress of deceit. Through her stage presence alone, she manages to fool us into thinking we’re hearing something better than we actually are. But once you focus on what she’s singing, the facade crumbles. The lyrics are borderline nonsensical and completely lacking in depth. I’ll give some bonus points for the retro vibes, although they’re probably cancelled out by all the repetition. Saulene won’t be a true contender until she has a song befitting of her talents.
Our jury consists of 16 people, but we only have room for 10 written reviews. Here are the remaining 6 scores.
WIWI JURY AVERAGE: 5.96/10
To reduce potential bias, we drop the highest and lowest scores prior to calculating the average. We removed a low of 4 and a high of 8.5.
SEE OUR CURRENT LITHUANIA 2016 REVIEWS AND RANKINGS.
Photos: Vytenio Radžiuno (LRT.lt)