There’s Eurovision royalty in the house at Eurovision: You Decide. Lucie Jones takes part with the song “Never Give Up On You”, written partly by 2013 winner Emmelie de Forest. But the Wiwi Jury doesn’t give out any favours just because of past performance, y’all! What do our troupe of music unprofessionals think about Lucie’s effort? Check out the reviews below!
Lucie Jones — “Never Give Up On You”
About Lucie Jones
Of all the X Factor acts in this competition, Lucie had the most ignominious exit of them all. She lost out to Jedward in the public vote in the 2009 series after the vote went to Deadlock. The Welsh singer quickly moved on, though, partnering her music career with one as a model. She’s most recently been seen on stage, where she’s starred in both Legally Blonde and RENT.
“Never Give Up On You” Reviews
Chris: I spent the entirety of my first listen waiting for the moment. A beat change. A soaring climax. But it just never comes — all edging, no payoff. Instead, it relies solely on Lucie’s vocals, which I have no doubt about. Is that really enough though? Probably not.
Matt: This West End starlet has lit up theatres and she dazzles me vocally with her sultry love ballad. She sings with conviction and grabs you from the first lyrics. With Emmelie De Forest writing this fabulous ballad, it will go far and could do really well in Kyiv.
Josh: When you get the right ingredients, you should be able to make something delicious. And let me tell you, this cake does not rise! Everything about this should be amazing — a great vocalist paired with powerhouse songwriters including a former Eurovision winner. However, this song is dull, forgettable, and easily one of my least favourites in this national final. Sorry Lucie, but I’ve given up on you.
Luis: Lucie has a gorgeous voice, but that’s not enough. This is definitely a case of “it’s not her, it’s the song”. There’s nothing wrong with “Never Give Up On You” — but there’s nothing that makes it a Eurovision song either. It’s plain and laid back. All done on purpose, of course, because it’s all about Lucie’s voice. However, leaving it all to the singer’s voice is putting all the eggs in one basket, and that doesn’t usually work. This is a prime example.
Dayana: After all those “pop-drop” songs of 2016, this is a breath of fresh air. Lucie’s charming voice fits the melody perfectly and the beginning is particularly compelling. Then there’s the chorus and suddenly I want to fall asleep. The lack of a decent chorus ruins the whole beauty of the song — and it’s very sad for that.
Edd: When a ballad lacks emotion, what is its purpose? Neither her voice nor the production nor the lyrics conjure up any sort of emotion inside of me. It just all comes across as so forced, so false. When the sincerity of the message is lost, it doesn’t even have an interesting production to fall back on — just a piano and one violin. I’d much rather be given a sleeping bag than sit through this performance.
William: The song may have a songwriter with the last name “De Forest”, but that doesn’t make it a good song. Nor does it give it shape or swell or a memorable (or even identifiable) melody. I understand stripped back. But this lacks so much – texture, drive, direction — that Lucie is virtually naked. She may never give up on this song, but I already have.
Robyn: The first time I heard “Never Give Up On You”, it sounded like a barebones demo rather than a deliberately stripped-back arrangement. But on later listens, I get what they’re trying to do. It’s all technically nice, but I’m getting an emotional connection. Let’s not forget that in 2009, Lucie lost The X Factor deadlock sing-off against Jedward. That’s not just a random pop fact — it’s a potential insight into her appeal as a performer.
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 and a high of 9.
It sounds more like an acoustic version of an original recording nobody will ever hear … and I agree with the “being forced” commentary … for me not in the emotional sense – i believe there is a honest emotion hidden in there – but the fact that Emmelie was trying too hard to squeeze too many words into 3 minutes suffocates such emotion … this is a song that needs to breathe air between words, lines, verses in order to echo the true emotion that Lucie cannot express singing this way … rushed in just 3 minutes. It’s a… Read more »
I really start to like this.
If you ask me, this is a good song that could be great with just a few changes. What it needs the most is a greater build as it approaches the end. The second chorus should have include a stronger instrumental support and it should grow further from there. With the right kind of backing vocalists (I’m thinking Yohanna’s backing singers for Iceland in 2009) coming in gradually over the course of the song and a small instrumental rearrangement, this could potentially soar. My favourite of the six shortlisted songs.
I love her voice. The song is nothing special, but is better than Holly’s one, for sure. Lucia or Olivia should go to Kiev. Anyway, I dont see the UK placing in the top 10 this year.
The song and her voice really touch my soul.
Beautiful ballad, can understand people will get bored from good, yet slow songs. Most ballads nowadays start slowly and are upbeat later on, this one stays the same and i can appreciate that alot! 8.5/10
Lucie or Olivia for uk hopefully.
@Racal – Of course people can disagree for many different reasons of song ratings. This one can be flat to you and nice to me. I was just pointing out that good slower songs and ballads tend to have lower score on average than good up-tempo pop songs with catchy chorus. Blackbird from Finland and Wild Wind from Belarus both achieved lower score than deserved as well IMO. And as I said… wait for Iceland ratings to come… ‘Again’, ‘I’ll Be Gone’, ‘You and I’ ect. will probably each get at least a point lower than I’d like them to.… Read more »
this song is drier than sahara desert.
The only song that could possibly get the UK on to the left side of the scoreboard. It might do bad in the televote but a young girl in front of a piano with a great voice is the type of thing the juries eat up. Not to mention the chance to flaunt the “written by a former winner” point. If she can get the vocals spot on and show some raw emotion on Friday this might just be our entry.
I get the negative comments, the instrumentation lacks big time, I get the feeling they stripped it back because they overdid the production first time around but Jesus guys, just strip the auto tune back from her voice and arrange the production to add some drama, emotion and a build and you may have a top 10 on your hands
I hope the BBC did not cover the expenses of those songwriters because they need to get their money back. The song goes nowhere and it is a long three minutes. Lucie is not the most appealing of performers, she lacks personality so for me, this is a non-starter and should come last in the UK selection process.
@ Racal – I’m happy to inform you that Emmelie is still working as a songwriter and recording artist. But you’re right, she hasn’t been heard of since that rigged ass 2013 contest.
A complete snoozefest, just like any other Emmelie De Forest ballad. Not sure why everyone was so hyped.
I love this song and so want it to win on Friday, hope your all proven wrong as I think this is Top 10 in Eurovision and will get a lot of the Jury’s listening love love love Lucy’s voice live and think she’s the best of them all in You Decide
@Colin: Slow ballads can be awesome, this one is just a bad one. I don’t even consider it as slow, it’s just empty. There’s nothing in that song.
And I don’t understand all the fuss about Emelie De Forest writing it: she won in 2013 with a song that she didn’t write, and who has even heard of another song from Emelie since then? For all I know, she could be working at MacDonald’s now.
Needs a revamp in next 4 days or RIP
It may not be placed at the bottom by the juries but it wouldn’t be in the top ten either that’s the crucial part to gain points…
IMO, if this had a simple revamp it could do well. All of the songs in this final need a revamp if they were to try and even contend for a top ten spot.
Since this is a slow ballad, I had zero doubts it would be deemed ‘boring’ by the half of the jury/comments and placed lower than it deserves. I also have no doubts half of great Icelandic ballads will come to the same ratings when their time comes. Personally, I love it. This type of song isn’t meant to primarely entertain in a way dance songs are. It is meant to hit the right string of emotion and if it succeeds, that is a good thing. This song pulled some touching strings to me. Since apparently Lucie is good live, this… Read more »
I feel like this is the You Decide song with the most revamp potential, but I doubt people would consider that when voting on Friday, unless her vocals are by some miracle leagues better than all of the other performers, which seems unlikely.
This would be placed about 7th in the running order by the producers and be completely forgotten by everyone before we’re even half way through the show..
This studio recording sounds terrible. There is wayy too much autotune on the voice, and the background strings are just “there” and not really adding anything. Even I myself have made demo recordings that sound better – and that’s just me singing with a piano and some basic sound effects!
Now the positive – Lucie Jones is amazing-sounding live, and beautiful in front of a camera lens. She is perfect for this contest. If this song is re-vamped for Friday, given more texture and more feeling, this could surprise a lot of critics and fans.
Even taking the comments into consideration, I still feel this could be a very good entry for the UK. 1) there’s a little name recognition with Emmelie as the writer, which will intrigue some fans in other countries, 2) beautiful undeniably strong vocal, 3) this would be difficult for international juries to put at the bottom bc it’s objectively good singing and music, even if a little plain, and 4) the UK have tried upbeat numbers ever since 2009 with no success, let’s try a respectable ballad again