Avant-garde, edgy, original — Estonia’s Eesti Laul has these qualities in spades. So the Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of music unprofessionals — is more than happy to continue reviewing the songs competing in this always-entertaining Eurovision 2017 selection. Next up is Kerli with her song “Spirit Animal”. Were we feeling her wild rhythm? Read on to find out!

Kerli – “Spirit Animal”

“Spirit Animal” reviews

Chris: Full disclosure here: I was underwhelmed when I first heard “Spirit Animal”. Looking back, that was probably because I was going in with such unrealistic expectations. Crucially, the average person tuning in to the Eurovision final won’t have them. Which leaves a very, very good song, with a great performer. We all know that we’re waiting for Kerli to perform this with full staging. With everything together, it could be something truly special. Is it a Eurovision winner? I’m not sure. Top 10? Definitely.

Score: 9/10

Robyn: I’m new to Kerli and based on the excitement around her, I was expecting something amazing. But this is pretty ordinary. “Spirit Animal” doesn’t go anywhere — it’s just Kerli repeatedly asserting that you are my spirit animal. The song’s production is slick and cool, but the song lurking behind all the effects just isn’t strong enough. But compared to all the generic electro-folk in other national finals, “Spirit Animal” stands out in a very good way.

Score: 6.5/10

William: She recently spent nine months living in the woods, drawing inspiration from nature and isolation. And it seems she’s poured all of that into the avant-garde, daring and high impact entry “Spirit Animal”. It melds electronica and animism, creating a digital ode to the human spirit and the bonds that unite us: “You are my spirit animal, you’re my totem of love, you are the child of the moon, you are the ruler of the sun…” Some will think it’s bonkers. Others will think it’s brilliant. I’m on the fence and feeling rather confused. Live she will slay or be slayed — I’m hoping for the former.

Score: 7/10

Jason: I too was expecting a little something more, but there is no denying that Kerli and “Spirit Animal” would be a bankable decision on Estonia’s part. Catchy and slick with a seasoned professional, as an entry this would pack some punch. Yes, it is slightly repetitive but most successful Eurovision entries are built around a hook. And visually, this will undoubtedly be stunning.

Score: 9/10

 

Josh: I have to admit that I completely fell for the hype around Kerli before the song was released – which resulted in a slight feeling of being underwhelmed on first listen. Since then it has grown on me tremendously, but I still can’t get past the repetitiveness. I have no doubt that the expected elaborate staging will give the entry lift, but I was truly hoping for something more.

Score: 7/10

Mikhail: The production of the song is remarkable, but I don’t really like Kerli’s singing technique. The song is all electronic and the voice seems like it was also produced on a machine. Too much hype was built around this entry, and it falls very flat. Especially the chorus — it is nothing special and it drags the song down.

Score: 6.5/10

Natalie: It is so easy to see why this is the favourite this year. There really is so much to like — the inspiration is so sweet and original, the production is authentic and sophisticated, and Kerli’s voice mixes so neatly with the instrumentation. It’s quite weird. But if Kerli manages to get the delivery down and bring beautiful, wild staging, this one could really go far.

Score: 9/10

Patrick: The song isn’t her best — and it’s not the best for Eurovision. It needs a strong music video to be fully appreciated. And while I appreciate the Asian elements in the song (hello Saara Aalto’s “No Fear”), I’m not quite sure why they are here. But Kerli will do well — regardless of whether she should go to Kyiv or not.

Score: 6/10

In our Eesti Laul Wiwi Jury, we have 20 jurors but only room for 8 reviews. The rest of our scores can be found below:

Anthony: 8.5/10

Antranig: 10/10

Bernardo: 5.5/10

Dayana: 5.5/10

Edd: 8.5/10

Forrest: 5.5/10

Kristin: 5/10

Luis:  7.5/10

Matt: 8/10

Sami: 6/10

Steinunn:  7/10

Zakaria:  5/10

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 10.

Wiwi Jury Verdict: 7.03/10

See our list of Eesti Laul rankings here

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ririntin
Guest
ririntin

I don’t even doubt she will slay that stage! The song is not out-of-this-world amazing, but it’s actually pretty great, she’s very cute and has a great energy, and I can see it in top 10 in Kyiv, maybe even top 5. I just hope she wins Eesti Laul – which won’t be that easy, there are a few other great aongs going on there. But she’s the most unique performer Estonia could ever offer. Go Kerli!

Samara
Guest
Samara

I love this song and I think her performance was so good! Estonia should stick with Kerli #SpiritAnimal 😀

AngieP
Guest
AngieP

She obviously has a great, quite strange voice! I am not a fan of the song though. I don’t know if this will work at ESC. Imagine a good live performance though.

Robyn Gallagher
Editor

Zebb: “It’s sad we can’t see Deban’s rankings. Why that?”

Deban did not participate in the Estonian Wiwi Jury 🙂

Karlo
Guest
Karlo

Kerli is the most unique artist in Estonia. She has her own style and she has success all over the Europe. This song is haunting me. It’s playing on my mind, on repeat. She will slay!

CharlieChan
Guest
CharlieChan

You know, Spirit Animal reminds me of 1944 in a way. A lot of people love it, a lot of people hate it and some just don’t get the song. Spirit Animal will be a dark horse at Eurovision and will probably finish top 5. Kerli can deliver great vocals and performance. I also think that this song is nore lovable the more the times you hear it, but remember Calm After The Storm! They were said to be a boring song but they delivered a great performance and it seems Eurofans didn’t need a second listen. Estonia, I think… Read more »

UKEesti Kid
Guest
UKEesti Kid

Kerli’s staging looks fab from the photos that have been released, I’d be very proud to have her representing Estonia in Kyiv and representing the diversity of our music

KYLLITO
Guest
KYLLITO

@MarioMario…..Agreed. I hope a SPIRIT ANIMAL, which I have given eight listens to and still don’t like, doesn’t knock out a really enjoyable song like VERONA.

cheesecake
Guest
cheesecake

Another song that I don’t get all the hype about. Are people really loving the song or is it about Kerli? (I haven’t heard of Kerli before, maybe that’s why I don’t like this song…)
Still, the verses are actually okay, but the chorus is a let-down.

eurovision6
Guest
eurovision6

This is a masterpiece, my only worry is that it doesnt quite work on the first listen.. it needs a bit of time, I didnt understand it at first but now I love it..

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

This is the entry that all the other artists are afraid of. It all depends on how Kerli stages this on the night, but with a live voice like hers, all other participants should be very worried. The song is (arguably) the only weak part of this entry, although it depends on who you ask. When I first heard the recorded version, I thought it was terribly produced – but the live version makes a lot more sense and almost becomes an entirely different song thanks to the stripped back arrangement. If this goes well, it will win Eesti Laul… Read more »

Amor Amankwah
Guest
Amor Amankwah

When I first heard this, I was confused and unsure of what to think but now I love it! I do think it is a bit repetitive and would like to hear more verses than just the chorus.

MarioMario
Guest

I can’t believe Verona ended up below a song like this.

(J)ESC Fanatic
Guest
(J)ESC Fanatic

I’m glad Elina’s far superior entry got a higher score. This is just bland and too repetitive.

Chance
Guest
Chance

This song is an abomination. JUst terrible. The lyrics are awful. Her voice is irritating. It’s too repetitive. Worst song in Eeesti Laul.

0/10 (20/20)

Briekimchi
Guest
Briekimchi

Easily a top ten Eurovision song. Kerli is going to bring the performance and song is interesting enough to really stand out. I am just a little disappointed that the chorus repeats as much as it does. Just a bit of variation and this could have been a potential winner in Kyiv.

Melow
Guest
Melow

– Marco

You’re right. I think her song “Blossom” would be a great representation of Estonia itself. And it’s better than “Spirit Animal.” Check it out!

Melow
Guest
Melow

Finally something refreshing in this year’s Eesti Laul. The production is awesome and for those who thought Kerli wouldn’t be able to sing because of her distorted vocals in the studio version, her TV performance shows she is singing ALL BY HERSELF when the other singers need at least 3 backing vocalists.

Also, she’s independent now and doesn’t have a label/producer supporting her just like some of the other girls in this competition. Because of her popularity, “Spirit Animal” is the most streamed Eesti Laul song on Spotify and YouTube for quite some time.

Soy
Guest

Fan Flop 101

mad-professor
Guest
mad-professor

It’s just bland and her live performance was certainly poor. Maybe the semi-final performance might be different, but I’m not expecting anything.

Ellie
Guest
Ellie

NEW INFORMATION! The voting system for Eesti Laul semi-finals was changed. Apparently there will be two rounds. First only 4 acts get straight to the final based on 50/50 jury and televote. However, the 5th act though to the final will be decided 100% by the public.

Colin
Guest
Colin

Kerli for the win in Estonia! Simple as that! This song is so quirky and unusual and yet so catchy and memorable! B-) Love it!

Zebb
Guest
Zebb

It’s sad we can’t see Deban’s rankings. Why that?

Kerli is simply good with this. I’m rooting for some other people, though seeing her in big stage wouldn’t be bad. But let’s see if she will pass through that spiritual theme, because she’s got some other challengers at her NF who actually serves some spiritual or ethereal theme better and we can’t be sure if her biomech experience will be that accessible to listeners.

She’s still brighter of that mistaken ‘In or Out’ 🙂

Jairo
Guest
Jairo

Laura and Verona to Kiev!

Marco
Guest
Marco

Loooooooool,this is miles better than Elina and it’s not even the best song from Kerli…

Polegend Godgarina
Guest
Polegend Godgarina

This song is different and in no ways disappointing. I’ve been a fan of Kerli since 2008, and she’s always served. This could totally win the Eesti Laul based on Kerli’s international fame and I wouldn’t be mad, because it really is a very good song.

Gigigi
Guest
Gigigi

In or out better than this?? Seriously you gave Elina an 8 and this a 7….