Azerbaijan, Samra, 3

Yesterday the Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of music unprofessionals — travelled to Azerbaijan. We stopped by the Baku Crystal Hall and remembered Eurovision 2012. While we were there, we discussed Samra‘s song “Miracle”. Did we believe in the miracle? Read on to find out!

Samra – “Miracle”

“Miracle” reviews

Anthony: Recent results from Dilara and Elnur suggests Europe are getting bored of ballads. So the broadcaster must have listened and unleashed a well-produced pop song. A moody intro starts things off before the chorus instantly grabs your attention and leaves you wanting more, which Samra does exactly that. Azerbaijan’s top 10 hopes rests on Samra’s live performance on the night. And it’s a massive step up from her journey on Ses Azerbaycan.

Score: 9/10

Sami: Azerbaijan is back in the game, after doing quite badly in the results for past two year. “Miracle” is a perfect pop song, with catchy hook. It’s not giving us anything new and is far from being unique, but it still is a nice change to all the female ballads we have this year. Based on her previous live performances, she still needs couple more singing lessons before the contest, but Azerbaijan shouldn’t have any trouble at reaching the final with this.

Score: 8/10

Angus: Azerbaijan are back on their A-game! Samra has a big voice and in “Miracle” a deceptively big song. People can write this off as out of touch, but the fact is the chorus gets stuck in your head. Paired with killer staging, that is all Azerbaijan needs to soar up the scoreboard. This formula nearly won it for them in 2013 with Farid, and with “Miracle”, Samra looks set to overturn the poor results of the past two years.

Score: 7/10

Bogdan: When I first heard this song, I thought it was a Jennifer Lopez track from the previous decade. Therein lies Azerbaijan’s strength and weakness this year. Samra is a good and charismatic singer and “Miracle” has a memorable and catchy chorus, but otherwise the song is not current enough to obliterate its competition. It all depends on the staging, and Azerbaijan could surprise there.

Score: 7.5/10

Deban: Samra’s vocals can power up a lighthouse! She is smouldering on camera, and confident in her abilities as a performer. Kudos to AzTV for their wise internal selection choice. “Miracle” is one of 2016’s stronger entries. It has a brilliant radio finish, and a music video you’d love to have on repeat. The message in it is turbo-packed with enough currency to minister to a broad demographic. “Miracle” is an anthem of strength that sports a catchy chorus.

Score: 8.5/10

George: This is just a typical Swedish pop song. It struggles to reach G:son level, but of course fails. It’s upbeat and well-written, but unfortunately, it does nothing for me. I doubt her live vocals will be as good as the studio version. So, in my opinion, only a miracle can take Azerbaijan back to the top 10 this year.

Score: 6.5/10

Denise: I love the start of the song. The beat sounds really modern. Semra (or Samra? Haha) sings good in the studio version, but after seeing her live performances in The Voice, I’m really afraid for what it will sound like in Stockholm, but I bet it will sound good in the end with lots of backings.

Score: 9/10

Forrest: This year Azerbaijan is breaking their long string of ballads and going for something different. It’s a shame that “something different” in this instance is just a standard piece of Swedish pop. “Miracle” is a well-produced, upbeat, and catchy thee minutes. The hook is effective, if not a tad irritating after a few listens. I can’t help but think that the writers got bored halfway through and just decided to loop “Mira-mira-miracle” for the remaining 90 seconds. “Miracle” is a decent pop number but, in the end, is remarkably vapid.

Score: 7/10

Josh: Samra is one fierce lady! I’m thrilled that Azerbaijan have gone back to their original Eurovision roots by going for modern, radio-friendly pop. One can’t help but compare “Miracle” to “Drip Drop” from Azerbaijan in 2010, but it’s a great comparison. Azerbaijan have been unlucky the past couple of years, but this should definitely get them back in the top 10 at a minimum!

Score: 8/10

Padraig: “Miracle” is a well-crafted pop song sung well, yet it all feels a bit soulless. Samra belts it out, but she shows no vulnerability. The relationship is over and needs a miracle if it’s to be saved. However, the miracle in question could be just about anything. The focus on powerhouse vocals rather than emotion dilutes the message significantly. “Miracle” works fine as a standalone track, but pales when put alongside the likes “Goodbye (Shelter)” or “I Stand”.

Score: 6/10

Robyn: I’m being cautious here. The studio version sounds terrific, but going by videos of Samra on The Voice, her live vocals aren’t as strong. As Poland’s national final showed us, a great studio version doesn’t necessarily equal a great live performance. “Miracle” is a really good upbeat pop song, but Azerbaijan will need to ensure the Eurovision performance sounds as good as the studio version or it just won’t work.

Score: 6/10

William: When singing about female emancipation, you’ve got to have sass and self-confidence. Samra has these attributes in spades. Her voice blends soul and pop perfectly, and her self-assured performances have managed to mix anger, sex appeal and optimism. The song features one of the best hooks of the year, supported by top-notch production.

Score: 8/10

In the Wiwi Jury we have 40 jurors but only have room for 12 reviews. The remaining 28 scores are below.

Antranig: 10/10

Bernardo: 8/10

Chris: 8.5/10

Cristian: 8/10

David: 8.5/10

Dayana: 6.5/10

Diego: 6.5/10

Edd: 8.5/10

Gökhan: 7.5/10

Jason: 8.5/10

Judit: 6/10

Kristin: 6/10

Liam: 9/10

Luis: 9/10

Marek: 8.5/10

Maria: 6/10

Mario: 8/10

Max: 8.5/10

Mike: 7/10

Mikhail: 5.5/10

Patrick: 7/10

Renske: 7/10

Rezo: 5/10

Sinan: 7.5/10

Steinunn: 3.5/10

Tobias: 7/10

William C: 9.5/10

Zakaria: 6/10

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 3.5 and a high of 10.

WIWI JURY SCORE: 7.46/10

SEE OUR CURRENT EUROVISION 2016 REVIEWS AND RANKINGS

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Ilham Aliyev
Guest
Ilham Aliyev

@ Shanfa Chai; I think your rude comments work a little counterproductive, dear.

Leaf
Guest
Leaf

It’s very catchy and memorable and I love how R&B her voice is in the studio version…… Hope she can deliver that MIRACULOUS soulful vocal LIVE on Saturday night (she will qualify).
9/10

Katy
Guest
Katy

Super song, my favorite! Good luck, beautiful Samra!

Margaret
Guest
Margaret

Loved Elnur’s song last year, but this is really great too! My 6th

EscAddict
Guest
EscAddict

The Hour of the Wolf & Start A Fire were both brilliant songs but too deep for some. These songs were high quality. Whoever is choosing Azerbaijan’s song does an amazing job.
Miracle keeps it light this year & many ESC fans are responding. It certainly is a catchy & memorable song. I hope it does well.
Currently I rank Miracle 17 of 43. It could go higher before the finals.

Daniel Martins
Guest
Daniel Martins

Ugh overrated… Sweden sold the worst song to Azerbeijan obviously. I guess Azerbaijan has no music history or normal music industry..they either send some ‘arabic +turkic+iranian+armenian’ mixed stuff or some cheap pop songs.

Last year’s ballad was much better tho

Anyways good luck!

Sam
Guest
Sam

Live performance shows it is too overrated in some comments. I’ve got an impression she does not even understand the lyrics. Sorry but no soul and no emotions. Technically it is performed extremely bad. However, it can soar up in the scoreboard like Hadise from Turkey in 2009 who did not sing at all. Turkish diaspora and some small and corrupted countries will vote for her. Now I see why the UK mocks Eurovision. We must drop out of this cheap thing.

Alex
Guest
Alex

Amazing track and easily one of the best songs of the year.

davve
Guest
davve

This song is great. BUT it will all hang on the presentation in Stockholm.. her stage presence, voice etc…

it could be top3 or like 26th place .. I think it will definitely qualify.

Layla
Guest
Layla

I like this song, but I don’t like her live. This song is nothing original. After a few listens I quickly got bored. Top 10 for sure, but no winner.

Xepher
Guest
Xepher

Are we just gonna ignore the elephant in the room and not say that this song is a discounted Survivor by Helena from Mel fest?

Charles
Guest
Charles

Quite forgettable in my book … I find it so unoriginal and inspiring as the Norwegian song and I have a bit of hard time to know which one is which when I take a second to bother to listen to any of those 2. But in a very “Russian” style this is a final-going-guarantee because … it is what the “rules” say or the fans will take the whole Globen down like a kid insisting to his mother he wants that lollipop and he will publicly scream embarrassing his mother to achieve such goal.

Österrike
Guest
Österrike

This is the kind of song that wiwi loves: Overproduced Scandinavian formula pop without soul and a meaning

Chelem
Guest
Chelem

Meh song. Nothing new in the music industry. Christina Aguilera wannabe. Maybe a hit in 2002, but not anymore.

Mira-mira-mira-mira-cle! Not very original.

David Who
Guest
David Who

@Ricardo. Thanks. Actually I used to have a website, but I had to remove it. The hate directed towards me vastly outweighed the love, and it was making me unecessarily depressed.

cheesecake
Guest
cheesecake

I prefer Azerbaijan’s 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2010 and 2009 efforts. So to me it’s actually one of their weakest entries. I don’t say it’s bad, but it’s just very unoriginal and repetitive.

il pleut
Guest
il pleut

Samra`s rendition at Moscow pre-party was pretty impressive.But at Israel one totally messed up.Hope, she will take note.

Yudhistira Mahasena
Guest

Thumbs up for Samra’s hair!

Ruppfel
Guest
Ruppfel

Just need to quote Homer’s comment, 100% my opinion. “This score, once again, is laughable. This is actually another lame entry by Azerbuyjan. The song is another Swedish product with lack of soul, ordinary lyrics and it doesn’t help the fact that the singer is disastrous. I would love to see them finally missing the final, it’s the most overrated country in this contest and it never tries to achieve something different, always the same formula over and over…” Azerbaijan is just one of those countries, which think they can improve their image with a overproduced song and a good… Read more »

Steven Keenan
Guest
Steven Keenan

So painfully over the top and overproduced. Miracle is also probably my least favourite song title ever.

@EugeneESCUK
Guest

Another extremely high score and another one of the many so called “radio hits” this year and it will be interesting to see what the ESC juries make of it? It lacks originality and it is all too familiar and also vocally is not challenging enough. We will have to see if the live vocals match the studio in a few weeks’ time.

On the plus side, it is very now, has immediate impact and has a catchy chorus. The public will like.

Should do okay, but not Top 10 for me, 6/10.

Ricardo
Guest
Ricardo

I’m living for your analysis David Who. .where is your website?!

Yasi
Guest
Yasi

Wow, very good average points!
This has to qualify, otherwise I’m going to cry. The first semi final scares me so much, but she has a starting position with a good qualification record, so hopefully this will help. My favourite shouldn’t stay in the semis like last year (Iceland :'( )

Racal
Guest
Racal

@Homer: “Azerbuyjan”, ahahah! So true! 😀

Héctor
Guest
Héctor

I think ‘Miracle’ is a little overrated. For me it’s around 6’5, though in the Wiwi Jury it should have around 7, but no more than that. It’s a generic song which is ok, but it doesn’t make feel anything because it’s prefabricated. Samra doesn’t make it better, ‘Miracle’ is delivered by a cold singer who isn’t feeling it. Nor do I believe its going to be enjoyable live in May, what I’ve could hear from her is hopeless.

Skandar
Guest
Skandar

@Homer …Azerbuyjan…Thank you for it. 😀

IMO this time they will not buy any votes they will keep their money for better entries of following years. This year comparing to cheating years AZ is nowhere in odds and this song is not fan favorite. It would be wasting money.

manu
Guest
manu

prefabricated crap

Nicky91
Guest
Nicky91

@Racal

if only the voting was fair 🙂

and you’re right about her live vocals, she’s horrible live, maybe Serhat is a better singer than her lol 🙂

Homer
Guest
Homer

This score, once again, is laughable. This is actually another lame entry by Azerbuyjan. The song is another Swedish product with lack of soul, ordinary lyrics and it doesn’t help the fact that the singer is disastrous. I would love to see them finally missing the final, it’s the most overrated country in this contest and it never tries to achieve something different, always the same formula over and over…

Nicky91
Guest
Nicky91

@John Doe

okay i’ll leave you alone

i was only agreeing with your opinion, mate

David Who
Guest
David Who

Azerbaijan’s song this year has a basic verse-to-chorus structure (without a bridge) and an underlying hook (mira-mira-mira-cle) that becomes increasingly prominent throughout. The verses contain chromatic downshifting in the underlying harmonies – something no other song does this year. (That’s a throwback to 1990s pop and early hip-hop.) It’s clever songwriting since it gives the impression of being deflated during the verses, which matches the tone of the lyrics. The choruses are when the hook really kicks in, and suddenly we jump from 1990s UK/US pop sound to 2010s swedish pop sound. It’s a jarring transition and excellent. I think… Read more »

Racal
Guest
Racal

Swedish plastic song, as usual when it comes to the Land of Cheaters. The live vocals of Samra are not good at all, and in the video she does way too many diva head throws.

But with the usual jury rigging and vote buying, this should qualify and place in the top 15.

Andrey (from Russia)
Guest
Andrey (from Russia)

The song is very good, the studio version is perfect and I had loved this high quality product until her live performances happened. Maybe, she can sing very well, but she isn’t able to sing this particular song. So, I’m not sure she can get into top 15 with such live performance.

Huh
Guest
Huh

The song is truly captivating and fits the notion of “modern” song according to others, but I think it is a leftover of the recent Nordic national final pop song entries. Without them, this song will not come into fruition the way it is now.

John Doe
Guest
John Doe

@Nicky91
You have already driven Agustin away.
I have already asked you not to reply to my comments! NEVER!
I DO NOT CARE YOUR OPINION!! Leave me alone, please!

Robyn Gallagher
Editor

Skandar: Aw, thanks! 😀

Bhrister Cjorkman
Guest
Bhrister Cjorkman

4.5/10
32nd/43

If we are only judging the song, the composition, then I would have given something around 7/10. Unfortunately, her latest performance in Israel was atrocious. The low notes were completely out of tune. The higher note were much better but still not accurate all the way. Unacceptable.

fikri
Guest
fikri

this is one of the songs this year that i always find myself humming to. it’s just so dang catchy! 😛

georgekirkas
Guest
georgekirkas

@Pollaski

OMG, LOL!!! Since I read your comment, I can’t stop laughing! I had the laugh of my life! You have a great sense of humour! I had not read the lyrics, so I thought that it was optimistic and happy! At least it sounds so, unlike ”Start A Fire” or ”Hour Of The Wolf”!

Nicky91
Guest
Nicky91

@Ben Rafter

well her live vocals weren’t good in Israel, she’ll need a miracle herself, or at least a miracle vocal coach haha 🙂

and here’s maybe something what you like Ira in Prague

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GuFjdH9Npn0

that’s how i like to see an audience, quiet when someone is singing, btw i loved it again, i prefer live version above studio version, and i don’t care about the high note anymore, hopefully she’s working on that backstage, and she uses the pre party’s to perfect the rest of her song 🙂

Ben Rafter
Guest
Ben Rafter

9/10
I’m worried about her live vocals, but the performance will be good, I think. Samra is a nice girl too, I hope she qualifies and does well, my number 6 of 43.

esc 2016
Guest
esc 2016

wow the first time that I agree with wiwiblogs….bravo!!

Skandar
Guest
Skandar

@Robyn I do not mind If you disagree with me you are still my favourite blogger on this site. 😀

Skandar
Guest
Skandar

@Robyn In dispersion of scores there is huge difference comparing to Sanja or Freddie or others. I do not think that this song is not as divisive as the others outside of Wiwi world.

Nicky91
Guest
Nicky91

@John Doe

i agree with you, there are better songs than this, and Azerbaijan had better songs in the past, and Always top 10 in the final for them

but this is just an average song, with a awful live singer

Darren
Guest
Darren

Azerbaijan have been coming on since 2015. I honestly don’t know how they qualified in 2014 and 2013, but I guess Azerbaijan will always qualify regardless. Anyway, this year they absolutely deserve to qualify, Samra is amazing and her voice is stunning. The song starts off as a typical Eurovision filler ballad, but once that chorus kicks in, it’s hard to stop listening. It’s quite a catchy number. This will sail through qualification, Azerbaijan has qualified (and won the whole thing) with much worse. I do wish they would stop getting foreign involvement every year and enter something ethnic and… Read more »

Robyn Gallagher
Editor

Skandar: “I checked the current ranking, these are 10 songs behind Samra according to Wiwi. I think at least 7 of 10 are better than Miracle. What the hell is going on?”

There’s only 0.89 variance between Azerbaijan (7.46) and the Netherlands (6.57). There are a lot of *quite good* songs in the competition this year, so half the jury averages cluster between 6.0 and 8.0. So while Azerbaijan does get a higher score than those other songs, it’s not a huge difference.

John Doe
Guest
John Doe

Gosh….wiwi jury…you are very disappointing.
Trash song, horrible!!!! (yowling) voice and an untalented vocalist.
In addition, one of my friends is from Azerbaijan and he feels ashamed when Samra deliberately showing off different parts of her body in order to get more votes.
It wouldn’t be fair if this song qualified. There are much better songs than this.

Michael
Guest
Michael

So hereby I write my first message on wiwi! Let’s start to say how much I enjoy this blog, well done guys! However, when reading these reviews about the Azeri song I did feel a bit annoyed. This song is dated, very annoying (Mira-Mira-Mira) and she is not a good singer live. If this were a song from Czech Republic, Belgium, U.K., Netherlands and so on…. The reviews here would be so much more negative. I am completely in love with Eurovision, but I am completely done with countries that just make the final because they are a specific country.… Read more »

Pollaski
Guest
Pollaski

@georgekirkas

*reads your comment*

*rubs eyes*

*reads comment again*

*pulls up lyrics*

Gonna take a miracle, oh oh
?Gonna take a miracle to save us now?
And I won’t pretend to be alright?
my heart is on the line, our end is my start

Azerbaijan 2016: Feel the Optimism.