After months of build up, hundreds of submissions, six finalists and plenty of fake tan (courtesy of expert judge Bruno Tonlioni), we finally have a winner of Eurovision: You Decide. Lucie Jones will sing “Never Give Up On You” at the Eurovision Song Contest 2017.
Her song, which was criticised for being bland and somewhat flat following the release of its studio version, really came to life live. Or, rather, X Factor veteran Lucie gave it life with pure emotion.
Expert panel member Sophie Ellis-Bextor said as much herself.
“The song is one thing, but the real magic in the performance was you,” she said. “You really brought us all in. It felt like you were singing that song to someone. I was listening to your story. It was powerful.”
Bruno was wowed as well.
“The hardest thing to do is standing on stage on your own and captivating your public with the passion and power and drama of your performance and the power of your voice,” he said. “The technique was just magic. Beautiful.”
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, proving that she’s not just a pretty voice. She partnered 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.
— Nigel Wong ??? (@nigelwonguk) January 27, 2017
Lucie appeared barefoot during Eurovision: You Decide, perhaps paying homage to her composer (and Eurovision 2013 winner) Emmelie de Forest.
Emmelie has made quite the name for herself as a composer, having previously written the fan favourite “Never Alone”, which Anja Nissen sang at Dansk Melodi Grand Prix 2016.
The Expert Panel
Unlike the judges on X Factor — from which all of the finalists were booted — the Eurovision: You Decide expert panel seemed more focused on building the acts up rather than offering constructive criticism.
In fact, judge CeCe Sammy seemed to overlook any and all flaws, complimenting everyone and everything at all times — even when there were clear vocal issues, as with Danyl Johnson.
Following his clearly flawed performance, she said: “Tonight is a celebration. Every one of you are amazing singers. If you’re voted by the public I want you to reach out and sing to them.”
It’s great to be supportive, but surely these guys are ready to take their careers to the next level. Instructional criticism would go a long way.
— wiwibloggs (@wiwibloggs) January 27, 2017
Sophie did offer some form of negative critique, although it was more for the songwriters than the performers.
Speaking to Olivia Garcia — the youngest competitor in the competition — she expressed concern that “Freedom Hearts” would appeal to a limited audience.
She said: “My only concern about the song is I like my Eurovision songs cross-generational, and I’m not sure if my gran would like this.”