It’s been 20 years since Katrina & The Waves won Eurovision with “Love Shine a Light”. And now Danyl Johnson wants to “Light Up The World” for the United Kingdom. But does the Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of music unprofessionals — think he has what it takes to win Eurovision: You Decide? Read on to find out…
Danyl Johnson — “Light Up The World”
About Danyl Johnson
You Decide marks Danyl’s return to music. Most recently he has been working as a spokesperson for the People’s Postcode Lottery. Like his fellow national finalists, Danyl participated on the UK’s X Factor. He had the most success, making it to the semi-finals in 2009. He’s also good friends with Lucie Jones, as the two participated in the same contest. Will their friendly rivalry push him forward?
“Light Up The World” Reviews
Chris: Danyl is an amazing vocalist held back by a lacklustre song. “Light Up The World” is the most generic kind of mish-mash of “built for Eurovision” that you could get. The little flourishes try to be anthemic, but the chorus falls completely flat. It might get the Hammersmith Apollo clapping along on the night, but surely Europe wouldn’t respond in kind. The breathy noises over the chorus also make me feel a little uncomfortable.
Kristin: I feel like I could direct the video for this: Danyl on top of a cliff in a long coat and with the wind in his hair. Is the song theatrical? Yes. Is it bad? Far from it. There’s something liberating in it. It makes me want to shake my fists and say: “Hell yeah!” Hopefully this power delivers all the way in the live show, because the studio version kicks ass.
Robyn: This is ok. It’s quite theatrical, but Danyl delivers a great vocal and gives the song solid roots. The pop drop is an awkward inclusion — it cuts into the energy of the song and will be awkward to stage. But with Danyl brought along to the UK national selection, it’s disappointing he hasn’t been given a better song. Imagine how much he’d slay with a song like “Tonight Again”!
Antranig: “Light Up The World” has a “Rainmaker” hook right off the bat, but it fails to capture the grandeur it’s going for. It tries to channel some Lion King wildness, only to be as tame as a caged animal. It’s a song with big dreams that are never fulfilled. Pleasant listening for three minutes, yet there’s no hook to reel me back in for another go.
Bernardo: I love when a song desperately tries to be anthemic but does not reach that level. Shout out to Danyl’s vocals and the production behind the instrumental track, though. This is how you turn an okay song into something that makes an impact in three minutes. Shine in the darkness, hunty!
Edd: Finally, something that stands out! Ignoring the lyrics (as most Eurovision viewers do), this is by far the least-cheesy song in the UK selection. I’m kept attentive with epic marching drums, jovial trumpets and the synths used in the chorus, which are oh so in nowadays. Furthermore, Daniel’s is one of just two songs in the UK selection that isn’t written by Scandinavians — and I’m sick of Eurovision being a battle of Melfest rejects.
Cinan: On first listen, the song isn’t really anything, but on repeat listens I start to like it. It’s hard to say why, but it feels like it might become a hit. Danyl is very talented and I like how he sings. The only issue I have is how the song ends: it feels like someone just interrupts the song. It would be much cooler for it to end with a “bang” than a whimper.
William: The West End meets EDM — and with a nod to the gospel churches of the American South! Danyl can sing and this song is a decent vehicle for him to flaunt what he’s got. It’s definitely not my cup of tea — it’s a little too “Christian pop album” — but I like that he’s bringing a different flavour to the table. I don’t want this to win, but I’m sending Danyl an Amen for owning his genre.
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 5 and a high of 8.5.