In just over five weeks, 43 acts will take to the stage at Altice Arena in Lisbon, Portugal. But only one act can win Eurovision 2018 and follow Salvador Sobral’s path to victory. The Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of music unprofessionals — has been listening to, reviewing and ranking all 43 competing songs.
We kick off the Wiwi Jury 2018 with Denmark‘s Rasmussen and his Viking epic “Higher Ground”. Did we want to join him on his adventure? Read on to find out!
Rasmussen – “Higher Ground”
Antranig: I wasn’t keen on “Higher Ground” in the national final but in the aftermath of its victory, this has become my secret obsession and cemented a spot in my top ten. Clearly the best musical composition of Eurovision 2018 — the dark Viking influence is everything. Pump up the staging, make it a bit darker and more eclectic and you’re looking at the dark horse of Eurovision 2018. This will make a mark and leave it hanging there — it’s all kinds of amazing.
Bernardo: Bring on the Vikings! The mysterious instrumentation of “Higher Ground” paired with Rasmussen’s distinct look and vocals transports me from Earth to Westeros. Yes, it’s a bit cheesy but it also is different from everything we have in this year’s competition. Apart from it, it follows the usual Eurovision formula — verses, chorus, verses, chorus, key change, chorus, the end. It can go very well with televoters but it can also be obliviated.
Bogdan: When I heard Denmark’s song for Eurovision, my first thought was, “We have the first non-qualifier of the year.” I have been going back and forth on this thought, but eventually, after listening to all the other entries of semi-final two, I think that Rasmussen will stay there. The song does pick up in the last minute, serving some serious “Game of Thrones” realness (the snow is a nice touch), but it’s too little, too late.
Chris: The overwhelming issue with “Higher Ground” is its theme. Whilst the lyrics focus on the idea of the “pacifist Viking” legend, the staging seems to be going for stereotypical Viking motifs. It’s dark, they look moody and vaguely aggressive — it’s almost a direct contrast. The song reaches its crescendo too early as well. More frosty reception than stone-cold winner.
Jovana: I have a feeling that this song was written to appeal to the fans of Viking culture and of the very popular TV series “Vikings” – which includes me. I love the dramatic instrumental background and the dark edge that the song has, especially when the choir joins in. However, I am not a fan of the lyrics. They try to be inspiring and hymn-like, but they are just bland and destroy the atmosphere of the song.
Robyn: Vikings are cool and Rasmussen is delivering a modern Viking style. The strength of the song is in the vocal work, with Rasmussen’s band of backing singers delivering strength, depth and texture. The only problem is that the song sounds like a television theme song, designed to establish but never overshadow the show itself, the sort of song that would be at risk of the “SKIP INTRO” button on Netflix.
In the Wiwi Jury we have 20 jurors but only have room for six reviews. The remaining scores are below:
We have removed the highest and lowest scores prior to calculating the average. This is to remove outliers and potential bias. We have removed a low of 3 and a high of 10.
Wiwi Jury verdict: 6.17/10
What do you think of this song? Share your own score and review below!