San Marino, Serhat, 2

Yesterday the Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of music unprofessionals — travelled to San Marino and journeyed to the top of Monte Titano. While taking in the vast San Marino countryside, we discussed Serhat‘s song “I Didn’t Know”. Did we want to be inside his mind? Or was ignorance bliss? Read on to find out!

Serhat – “I Didn’t Know”

“I Didn’t Know” reviews

Robyn: I was already a fan of the original version and its deliciously weird video, but I’m even happier now that Serhat has gone disco. His classic sprechgesang performance style remains, but now he’s being assisted by a chorus of disco divas bringing some melody for those who don’t get spoken singing. But most importantly, “I Didn’t Know” is so far removed from being a “Eurovision song” that it makes all the wannabes seem trite and formulaic (take that, Denmark and Ireland). San Marino is giving us a boldly original performance.

Score: 7.5/10

Angus: This is just horrendous. Serhat’s scratchy voice is painful, the song almost comically bad and the lyrics unbearable.

Score: 0.5/10

David: I’m mixed on this one. The song sort of gets you. It doesn’t reach out and grab you but it does hold your attention throughout. I think if they work on it, both the song itself and the staging, it could be quite good. But at present it’s potentially quite good but so far merely decent. And the leather straps on his head give him a Dr. Evil vibe which I think detracts.

Score: 7.5/10

Bogdan: I’m in that weird minority that liked the first version of the song. Nonetheless, I like the disco version more, because it is more Eurovision friendly (read: camp) and is unlikely to bore its audience to tears. It will be very interesting to see what said audience — and jury members — will make of the ’70s homage. Either way, Serhat gets points for originality and utter balls.

Score: 7/10

Deban: Note to Serhat: Eurovision is a song contest. “I Didn’t Know” is spoken word over a dated disco beat.  The original version is befitting to a perfume advert, whilst the revamped version could pack punters into provincial swingers lounge. A massive improvement from my original rating of 1/10, but either way, its merits fall short of what is expected on the world’s biggest music stage.

Score: 2.5/10

Diego: I didn’t know there would be an entry from San Marino that I liked worse than last year’s “Chain of Lights”, and yet, I was wrong. If you enter a song that is a complete mess to the Eurovision Song Contest, and you decide to put it to a disco beat, you won’t have a better song, and probably Serhat was not aware of this fact. His deep-bass/broken voice won’t help the mix get any better. Sorry San Marino, but you’re the weakest link.

Score: 1/10

Jason: I Didn’t Know” is one of the strangest things ever to happen to modern Eurovision. The ’70s disco beats, the softly spoken sung proclamations of love, Serhat himself — it’s all a little bit mad. At the same time, it’s absolutely genius. It probably won’t qualify, but it will be remembered. You can’t understand how devastated I am that the disco version is the one going to Stockholm. The original was on a whole other level of crazy, and its music video will remain one of my favourite things for a long, long time. I hope he wears the leather monocle holder on stage.

Score: 7.5/10

Padraig: In a somewhat surprising twist of events, San Marino’s decision to go disco has seen my rating treble. Whereas the first “I Didn’t Know” lacked any sense of self-awareness, this version revels in its awfulness and injects some much needed camp into this year’s contest. The beats are dated, the lyrics are beyond cringey, and Serhat’s vocals very much remain an acquired taste. However, one does get a sense that we’re now laughing with the entry rather than at it.

Score: 3/10

William: When Serhat unveiled the original version I laughed at him. When he revealed the disco version I laughed with him. This throwback is in on its own joke, elevating it from dated trainwreck to vintage chanson. From the hand claps to the percussion to the hyper-sexualized and breathy vocals, everything smacks of 1970s discotheque. But this isn’t a party: the song’s strength comes from dousing dance in melancholy. Lyrically, his addiction to a certain someone is poetic. It borders on madness and self-delusion, as when puts a positive spin on his own isolation: “I didn’t know that you wished for the moon to provide me the light.” Perhaps San Marino’s best entry ever.

Score: 6.5/10

Zakaria: This song has awkward written all over it and even though I’m a disco lover, the new version is as awkward as the old one. What San Marino clearly didn’t understood is that even when you have the best song of all-time (which they don’t), if you don’t send someone who can actually SING, the result will undeniably be catastrophic… which is the case now.

Score: 1/10

William C: When rumours spread about this replacing the irreplaceable monocle, i.e. the original version, I laughed, but at the same time, I hoped it would be true. When the announcement was made, I was over the moon with joy. This version is a million times better, which isn’t saying much, however, I genuinely like the more upbeat version. Serhat has won me over, but I can’t see how the televoters will take it.

Score: 6/10

In the Wiwi Jury we have 40 jurors but only have room for 11 reviews. The remaining 29 scores are below.

Anthony: 1/10

Antranig: 1/10

Bernardo: 0.5/10

Chris: 1.5/10

Cristian: 4/10

Dayana: 5/10

Denise: 1.5/10

Edd: 7/10

Forrest: 1/10

George: 0/10

Gökhan: 1.5/10

Josh: 1/10

Judit: 1/10

Kristin: 7/10

Liam: 0.5/10

Luis: 3.5/10

Marek: 5/10

Maria: 7/10

Mario: 2.5/10

Max: 5/10

Mike: 2/10

Mikhail: 0/10

Patrick: 0/10

Renske: 0/10

Rezo: 8/10

Sami: 3/10

Sinan: 4/10

Steinunn: 5/10

Tobias: 0/10

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 0 and a high of 8.

WIWI JURY SCORE: 3.14/10

SEE OUR CURRENT EUROVISION 2016 REVIEWS AND RANKINGS

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Kyle Swihart
Guest
Kyle Swihart

Serhat’s voice and words sound like I DIDN’T KNOW was being sung by the animated skunk Pepe Lepew. This song is anything but disco. It is horrible. 43 of 43 still after many listens.

jaicherchelookingforyou
Guest
jaicherchelookingforyou

Serhat for the win!!

CookyMonzta
Guest
CookyMonzta

The good news: Serhat and his producers channeling the year 1978 with that disco remix probably kept him out of the basement everywhere, including the bookies’ boards. The bad news: Rykka now takes his place at the bottom of the odds tables. 🙁

Be that as it may, this is my #40 in my first review. I’m almost done with my 2nd review, and he just might move UP a spot or two. 😛

Poppina
Guest
Poppina

The original version: 0,5/10

The revamped version: 4/10

the new version is much better, it has some disco quality and irony, and that saves it from being a joke… still not a qualifier

ESCaddict
Guest
ESCaddict

The original version was a creepy love song but presumably Serhat & his team thought it was good. To later replace their original vision with a disco version “to give the fans what they want” is unforgivable. What a sell out.
There is nothing about this song I like. It is not funny. Do not waste my time.
I rank I Didn’t Know 43 of 43.

Colin
Guest
Colin

@Pollaski

I am a regular watcher/big fan since 2007, I will review 2006 soon, I guess. I remember only the winner, ”Hard Rock Hallelujah” and our song, ”Moja Stikla”.

Ben Rafter
Guest
Ben Rafter

3/10
I don’t really like it but I can see it doing well for some reason.

Pollaski
Guest
Pollaski

@Colin

Don’t forget “Congratulations” in 2006.

That song was hilarious.

Österrike
Guest
Österrike

10/10

Colin
Guest
Colin

@Pollaski Yeah, ”I Didn’t Know” is basically a Sharknado. It’s one of those songs (the only one this year, I believe) that is SO IMMENSLY BAD, you cannot help but smile. 🙂 Other ESC songs that come to mind being so stupid and funny are: The Social Network Song (San Marino 2012) Boom Boom (Armenia 2011) Leto Svet (Estonia 2008) Flying the Flag (UK 2007) Hasta la Vista (Belarus 2009) Have Some Fun (Czech Republic 2009) Three Minutes to Earth (Georgia 2014) It’s My Life (Romania 2013) Kind of a ”guilty pleasure” list. Of course, some of ”so bad” become… Read more »

Ejin
Guest
Ejin

@Per

No,Russia is very much better.

Ejin
Guest
Ejin

First i like the original version a little bit,but then it have change to the disco version i like it much.

My ranking :
Original version – 3.5/10
Disco Version – 7/10

Position of San Marino in my top : 24/43

sonic0201
Guest
sonic0201

All I can say about this entry is that I can’t take it serious. But somehow it has its own charm.

ps.
I also never take wiwi jury’s reviews serious. But those jury members who gave this song higher points than to Croatia, Hungary, Armenia, or Serbia, should really consider writing about something else not related to music, or just stop making fun of ESC.

cheesecake
Guest
cheesecake

If this wasn’t in the first semi I would even give it a chance to qualify. Just because it’s SO bad that it’s entertaining. Still, this wouldn’t get more than a 2/10 from me. (His vocal performance on its own would be a fat ZERO.)
If he somehow manages to steal a place in the grand final I will go nuts. There are so many songs in semi 1 that deserve to qualify.

Thiefo
Guest

I don’t even find the song funny, and for me is not one of those cases when is “too bad is good”, it’s just plain bad, period 😛

Besides, all of Serhats photos look creepy for me. So it wasn’t difficult for me to choose my No. 43 this year hah!

Erin
Guest
Erin

I wouldn’t extrapolate so much on Serhat’s grasp of reverse psychology because nothing indicates there is any ambiguity in his wacky appeal as the incorrigible romantic. He was given a free (artistic) hand from San Marino and had the resources and financing to complete an entire project consisting of a 6 track EP. This looks like a very calculated effort in extracting as much leverage from the Sammarinise patron. What does San Marino get in return? the Turkish diaspora vote for immediate gains and a list of potential singers who could finance their vision and cut through the red tape… Read more »

Bapak Lurah
Guest
Bapak Lurah

tbh, this is terrible. the disco version couldn’t help it too
he just didn’t know how to sing or what?
0/10
43/43

Pollaski
Guest
Pollaski

@Colin

So Serhat is the Sharknado of Eurovision?

…not enough chainsaws, really.

Darren
Guest
Darren

Oh god! I have no words to describe this. It’s beyond a joke. Clearly this years novelty act. But at least they know it. San Marino if this wasn’t the ESC and let’s say Europes Biggest Joke, you would win hands down, but sadly that’s not what this is and you have to actually try. 0/10 🙁 not good, but I get the joke

David Who
Guest
David Who

I’m pretty certain this song is a deliberate parody, made slightly less obvious by the disco re-mix. San Marino really shouldn’t come back to Eurovision for a while after this – This song is the musical equivalent of sticking two fingers up at the contest. Serhat is a lovable artist, but even he has to know this was never intended as serious. “I didn’t know,” he says? Bullsh*t!
Start making those documentary films, cos it’s goodbye to San Marino at ESC from now on for a while (unless Valentina Monetta wants to return).

Colin
Guest
Colin

Serhat actually TRIES to be as bad. San Marino’s entry is like an Asylum Productions film or Manos: Hands of Fate. I kind of like this is part of the program. We have enough of sterile, mediocre songs and we need to embrace this in it’s full glory of awfulness and tastelessness. I have San Marino as my 43’rd and I kind of think that is how Serhat would want it. Giving the last place to lazy atrocities like Albania or Slovenia would actually take away some dignity to San Marino who actually put some effort into making this THE… Read more »

Erin
Guest
Erin

Serhat should have known better. His smug and pretentious performance is just obscene on so many levels that I figuratively wanna grab his balls and make him actually sing…a turd is still a turd after a sprinkle of glitter disco.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0TZbOz1Pz5o

georgekirkas
Guest
georgekirkas

@Antranig Shokayan

What do you mean? Had you given a 10/10 to the original version of the song?

georgekirkas
Guest
georgekirkas

This is by far my least favourite entry this year! I hate everything about it! It tries to be funny, but it’s ridiculous! It sounds dated and the first time I listened to the disco version, I thought that I was living in 1970 or something! The original version was not good either, but it was much better! It’s the comedy act of the year and I will use it as my toilet break!

1,5/10

Antranig Shokayan
Editor

I wish I could go back in time and give this a 10. Seriously!!

fluffybiscuits
Guest
João Teles
Guest
João Teles

it will be a fun number but that’s pretty much it, sadly, i can’t really give it a positive rank, 3,5/10 for me, the disco version improved the original ballad version a lot but not enough to give the credibility they need, in my opinion.

Briekimchi
Guest
Briekimchi

I was really disappointed when they changed this to the disco version as I was incredibly interested in how on Earth they were going to stage the original. I feel that the live crowd would have loved it, would have sang along and it would have been a spectacle. It was overly self-confident and it was interesting.
The disco version I can picture already and I cannot get excited about.
2/10 (4.5/10 for the original)

Bhrister Cjorkman
Guest
Bhrister Cjorkman

0/10
43th/43

The song is a creative effort but it failed in all other fronts, so miserably that I cannot even give it half a point. I just do not see any musicality in this. Romania was in last place but since she has improved somewhat I think Serhat is locking in the trophy here.

Daan van Wissen
Guest

Angus giving this 0.5 points stating the Lyrics as one of the reason yet is the biggest Eric Saadde fan on here who has had lyrics like “I WILL BE POPULAR, My body wants you gurl” and “Stingggggg, Its gonna sting so baddd, Oh Yeah!” GIGGLE.

oooops
Guest
oooops

I think it is ok, a part of me think this song is just a plastic remix, part of me think that it is good, at least Disco verision>>>>>>>>>>Original verision

oooops
Guest
oooops

When will we see the finalists in the alternative song contest

esc 2016
Guest
esc 2016

Guys I like it!! Its different and his voice is unique….of course have bad music and lyrics but I dont know….i like it!!

6.5/10

fikri
Guest
fikri

i swear to god this edd fella has the weirdest musical taste ever.

GEF
Guest
GEF

@ Robyn Thanx for reminding me.. I think I missed them at the weekend 🙂 I think both are OK but I don’t really like them very much. Switzerland won’t make it again to the Grand Final. I thought their song last year was better and they only received 4 points in the Semifinal. I belong to the minority of ESC fans who really liked the Azerbaijan entries from 2014 and 2015. But this year, I think it is a bit too much a cliche of a catchy “Swedish” pop song. And “miracle” is probably the most overused word in… Read more »

Robyn Gallagher
Editor

GEF: What about your scores for Azerbaijan and Switzerland?

Nicky91
Guest
Nicky91

@Jan

nice to hear that, and sharing different cultures i think, well Ira and Iveta are also becoming friends, maybe Gabriela and Ira could also become friends 🙂

Jan
Guest
Jan

@Nicky91

Yeah.. But there are hints that Gabriela will meet Ira on Xarabank TVM show and will sing I STAND live for the first time…

Nicky91
Guest
Nicky91

@light star

and we don’t have to mention his poor english

look this song is funny, but there are better quality songs in semi final 1

Nicky91
Guest
Nicky91

@Jerome

thank you 🙂

Jerome
Guest
Jerome

@Nicky91
I’d like to see all the nations you’ve listed in the final as well (even Russia). XD

Nicky91
Guest
Nicky91

@Jerome

for me i like the own language, but their song is a bit bland in a strong semi final

you’ve got strong and catchy songs towards the end, so i think they will be qualifying

Iceland

Malta

Czech Republic

and of course Russia will obviously qualify, despite i don’t like it

and Croatia will have the sympathy vote, for coming back to eurovision with a powerful song

Jerome
Guest
Jerome

@Nicky91
I would so love to see that. 🙂

To be honest, I’m getting more convinced that Bosnia & Herzegovina won’t qualify. I guess using their native language might not be enough now. The song just isn’t standing out.

Nicky91
Guest
Nicky91

@Pollaski

but Rebecca Black’s Friday received more dislikes

Ira’s is on more then 14.000 likes 🙂

Mvaneijk97
Guest

Awful to the max 0/10

Pollaski
Guest
Pollaski

@Nicky91

Friday by Rebecca Black’s at 93 million.

YouTube views don’t mean dehydrated monkey crap about a song’s quality or reception.

Nicky91
Guest
Nicky91

@Pollaski

i said maybe, so i think i might stay loyal to Malta, and just to say this Malta isn’t overrated, they are underrated at the OGAE, who definitely favour Amir and Sergey

but guess what Ira is at 2.4 Million views on YouTube 🙂

Tom
Guest
Tom

@Jerome agreed!

Deen
Guest
Deen

1/10. Worst song in the decade
(I though you were keeping it for the end)