We’re ready to make a decision! The Wiwi Jury is here to take on Eurovision: You Decide — the UK’s selection for Eurovision 2017. With the show set to take place on January 27, there’s no time to wait. So, as usual, our group of music un-professionals will be giving their candid thoughts on each song and we’re starting now. The first act to face our exacting jury is Olivia Garcia with her song “Freedom Hearts”.
Olivia Garcia — “Freedom Hearts”
About Olivia Garcia
Like the other five contestants, 16-year old Olivia is perhaps best known for her time on The X Factor UK. She appeared on the show in 2016, making it through to the judges houses. Simon Cowell sent her home. She was also a finalist in the UK’s Open Mic competition in 2014.
“Freedom Hearts” Reviews
Josh: A big voice packed into a young human – Olivia slays the pack. “Freedom Hearts” combines thought-provoking lyrics with a solid beat and a voice that exudes a Jessie J-esque sass. My favourite part of all? This is a pop song that can be played on the radio in 2017. This is a step in the right direction for BBC. The left-hand side of the scoreboard can be achieved!
Robyn: This is the only song in You Decide 2017 that I’ve been repeatedly listening to and I’d be very happy for it go to Kyiv. The lyrics are clever — they can either refer to a relationship or the current political climate, which seems a very smart move for the UK. Olivia gives a fantastic performance, full of attitude and never feeling unsuited for her 16 years. It’s super catchy and fun and could give the UK its long-desired not-awful result. My only reservation: I’m holding off scoring a full ten until I see how Olivia is live.
Florian: “Freedom Hearts” is a well-composed pop song and has all the ingredients to achieve a better result at Eurovision 2017 than Joe and Jake did last year. Olivia already proved her singing prowess on the X Factor, and this song showcases her voice on a new high.
Chris: “Freedom Hearts” never strives to be more than safe, really, but that might not be such a bad thing in this selection. It’s the better kind of “off the shelf” Eurovision track: it does enough to keep you hooked for three minutes. Good jury fodder, but I doubt it’d motivate a stunning televote score (yet again). Sending young Olivia might also help as a way to ward off any anti-Brexit feelings.
Antranig: “Freedom Hearts” is by far the standout song in the United Kingdom. This song belongs on a Demi Lovato album and would definitely light up the Eurovision stage. Olivia has everything she needs to take the UK back to the left side of the scoreboard. If she can nail this live, there is no reason to send anything else. Head and shoulders above the competition.
William: Polish, poise, power — Olivia has these qualities in spades and “Freedom Hearts” helps her flaunt her many gifts. The only tolerable song in the bunch, this builds steadily to a memorable chorus with major ear-worm potential and some lovely drumming to boot. And while Swedes can definitely do production and melody, the lyrics have me whispering WTF: “Mad men in suits, shiny hair and shoes, how about me and you?” I’ll bump my score up by a point if she can actually tell me what “Freedom Hearts” are.
Jovana: “Freedom Hearts” is not a bad song, but it’s not that good either. It lacks personality. It feels like Olivia read a textbook called ‘How to Make a Good Eurovision Song’ and then just put everything she saw in there into a song. I’m afraid it’s going to drown in the pile of songs that will inevitably have a similar sound. Good staging could give it lift though.
Luis: Olivia may be 16 years old, but she brings a strong message. “Freedom Hearts” blends a powerful pop with shades of teen music — a combination at once sophisticated and age appropriate. The song creates the perfect platform for this young diva to show her full potential. Olivia is the obvious choice for the UK. It’s the only song I’ve actually wanted to listen to on repeat. Coincidentally, it’s also the only one I didn’t lose interest in before it ended.
In our UK Wiwi Jury, we have 18 jurors but only room for 8 reviews. The rest of our scores can be found below:
Before calculating the average score, the highest and lowest scores are dropped. This is to remove outliers and reduce potential bias. We have removed a low of 3.5 and a high of 10.