The Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of music unprofessionals — continues to rank and review the 43 songs competing in Eurovision 2018. Next we head to Austria where Bulgaria’s two-time backing singer Cesár Sampson has “Nobody But You”. Did he make us feel like the only one? Read on to find out!
Cesár Sampson – “Nobody But You”
“Nobody But You” reviews
Angus: Cesar can sing, gives the song real soul and the chorus is catchy. Unfortunately, on repeat listen, the track turns timid. When it should explode into a loud drum and bass number, it cocoons into comfortable but unremarkable plodding safe midtempo territory. Austria has form here: Natalia Kelly sang a similarly safe song and failed to advance from her semi-final in 2013. It’s difficult to not feel the same misgivings about Cesar’s chances in the first semi-final.
Anthony: Once again, the songwriting trio of Boris Milanov, Sebastian Arman and Joacim Persson continue to deliver the goods with another quality entry. Blending pop and gospel with a serving of soul, the entire concept feels very Hozier — in a good way. Having worked wonders with Bulgaria, the attention now focus on Cesár to take the lead role and make his home country proud.
Cinan: Yaaas! I love the gospel motives in this song and I’m here for it! I love Cesar — he is a very good person and I’m happy that he is going to represent Austria after twice doing duty as one of the best backing vocalists for Bulgaria in 2016 and 2017. This one is going to do very well in Lisbon.
Deban: Straddling soul, gospel and pop — “Nobody But You” sets the quality benchmark. Cesar Sampson quietly triumphs with a song that builds and swells. Dark, yet not moody; confident, yet not cocky — this entry is modern, avant-garde and serves as a perfect debut for an emerging star.
Kristin: This is such a smooth song. Everything works here. From the very first second “Nobody But You” screams quality. Cesár gets to be the lead after being a backup vocal for the past two years and that man is going to shine. His voice is soulful and deep and embraces the audience, without being agressive. I see good things for Austria this year. This is straight-up top-ten material.
Padraig: “Nobody But You” is the best solo male effort in Eurovision 2018. Period. Of course, we’ve yet to hear César perform it live, so there’s still time for things to go horribly wrong. Can they pull off the gospel effect? How will the vocal layering work? But I refuse to be a doomsayer. The track is a carefully crafted pop-soul confection. Its influences are obvious – Hozier, Sam Smith, Rag ‘n’ Bone Man – but it never feels derivative. We’re taken on a proper journey with enough peaks and valleys to satisfy even the shortest of attention spans. And as César’s sublime vocals weave their magic, only one question remains – why has it taken this long for him to move from backing vocalist to headline act?
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 5 and a high of 9.5.
Wiwi Jury verdict: 7.78/10
What do you think of this song? Share your own score and review below!
This could be this years sleeper success… No one expect this to do great but I think top10 is a likely outcome
I love the song, it’s beautiful, but they used the Gospel Improv 1 loop from GarageBand at 1:06 on the video. I notice those things too much, though, and I don’t think that determines the value of the song.
So… I kind of like the chorus. Verses are a little meh. It’s mid-tempo which is always tricky for me. But it’s pleasant, he sings it well… it just doesn’t blow me away. I am curious to what extent they will be able to recreate the gospel choir for this as I don’t think anyone has ever sucessfully pulled that off with the contest restrictions yet. It feels like jury fodder but you never know. I’m 50-50 on its qualification chances as its such a tough semi on paper. For me it’s middle of the pack but it might make… Read more »
This is a quality entry, I quite like it and it should fare Well. This I jury food and I predict a top 5 with juries, abd around 20th with televotes. I can see why people love it, its just not one of My faves, because I don’t really like the chorus. The rest is great. 7,5/10
This one is finishing in the top 10 for sure. Solid overall package. Not pretentious, just feel-good music with an adequate singer for this type of song.
Once again, another feel-good song from Austria. It seems they’ve figured out what makes a qualifier ever since the Makemakes came up empty 3 years ago.
Is it just my imagination, or does this song remind anyone of Nano’s “Hold On” from MelFest 2017?
So, who’s gonna top Wiwibloggs list – Israel, Bulgaria, Belgium or Finland? My gut says Finland even if my brain says Israel.
See, this one can go either way for me There is undeniable quality in this one… but it leaves me feeling somewhat cold. It doesn’t really get into high gear until the bridge, and the gospel sound would be hard to really replicate on stage. When this song kicks off, it really soars, and I believe Cesar can pull this song off in his sleep. I am not sure about this one’s chances (I say it might fail to make it to the final), but I am sure this is a really credible entry for Austria. Well done for focusing… Read more »
Just top 10?
While the song is indeed great, the singer’s voice is just acceptable. Alesia Michelle in her YouTube review pointed this out and I think she is right. It’s the backgroung voices who make this great. So in my top its 23.
By far the best Austrian entry since Conchita! I loved this from the very firs time listen and I love it just as much now. It’s so contemporary and not unlike, Rag N Bone man, Aloe Blacc and Hozier! It’s brilliant and could easily have life after the contest. Such a catchy chorus too and damn has Cezar got a voice…not to mention the guy is hot as hell. Austria, I love love love this. 8/10
I didn’t expect Austria to be that high this year! This time I do agree with the wiwi jury. I find Cesar Sampson a good mix between John Legend and Rag ‘n’ Bone Human. Also, “Nobody But You” is one of the most radiofriendly songs this year. Austrian isn’t getting the attention it deserves, but it is going to be the dark horse of the edition. The juries will love it, I hope the televote appreciates it too. Austria is my 4th: 1. Germany (9)| 2. Albania (8.75) 3. Spain (8.5)| 4. AUSTRIA (8.25)| 7. Ukraine (7.5)| 9. Portugal (7.25)|… Read more »
This is the most underrated song in the contest this year. Right now nobody is speaking of this when they talk of potential winners, but if Cesár nails his semi-final live performances then it could very easily be the “Common Linnets” of 2018 and come from nowhere to being a serious contender for victory.
In one of the previous review video, William said they do these voting in cooperation with someone and I didn’t quite understand it. Can someone explain? I understand the part about wiwibloggers editors from around 20 countries worldwide give their votes, but who else? There was some talk why wiwibloggers actually can’t later change their scores. Thanks for your explanation.
Why was Edd giving scores on previous review videos but he isn’t part of the 20 wiwi jury members?
I see. Thanks a lot!
He was average, and so is his song. If you didn’t like it before you woudn’t have noticed it there! Albania, Hungary, Belarus, Ukraine shined. He was middle of the road. Just my opinion, cheers!
Beautiful song! I love the chorus and the gospel influences! I hope it qualifies, though the 1st semi is tough. OMG, we all the songs I like are in the first semi?
Everyone knows that you hate the Czech Republic. Stop!
It’s a nice entry. And that’s the problem. Nobody vote for nice.
You need to be someone’s favourite to get votes from televote and not sure this is that kind of entry.
I’m sure nobody will hate this or think it’s bad, but I don’t see it being loved enough either. And you need passion to do well.
I agree! You only vote for a crush! Who is able to be 200 millions’ crush?
i like this song and can’t tell anything bad about it, but i have another crush to vote…
Semi 1 Wiwi jury!! Qualified :1)AUT 7.78 2)CZE 7.72 3)EST 7.67 4)CYP 7.61 5)MKD 7.58 6)AZE 7.22 Not qualified: 7)GRE 6.94 8)ALB 6.89 9)SUI 6.50 10)ARM 6.39 11)BLR 6.36 12)CRO 6.19 13)LTU 5.83 14)IRE 5.67 15)ISL 3.83 Modified Score Qualified: 1)EST 9.25 2)CYP 9.06 3)AUT 8.75 4)MKD 8.69 5)CZE 8.56 6)GRE 8.56 Not qualified: 7)ALB 8.19 8)AZE 8.19 9)SUI 8.06 10)CRO 7.69 11)BLR 7.56 12)ARM 7.50 13)LTU 7.44 14)IRE 7.06 15)ISL 5.31 Total: Qualified:1)EST 16.92 2)CYP 16.67 3)AUT16.53 4)CZE 16.28 5)MKD 16.27 6)GRE 15.50 Not qualified: 7)AZE 15.41 8)ALB 15.08 9)SUI 14.56 10)BLR 13.92 11)ARM 13.89 12)CRO 13.88 13)LTU 13.27… Read more »
Come on, Laura. That is being really, really picky! The similarity is minimal, just a few notes. For every song you can find another one sharing that amount of notes
This is quite good! Very current and good production with the only song with the gospel vibe! The singer appears friendly and has experience and good vocals!
However I feel the song doesn’t have any great moment wherein the people randomly gossiping and having a drink will turn up and say I gotta vote for this. The juries though should get behind this! I’m still not a 100% sold on the notion that this will qualify.
This year I only can think of the following countries as winners:
Belgium (if she improves the live vocals)
Hungary (Lordi moment)
other than those I can’t think of another winner
Are you Spanish by any chance?
In my opinion these are the potential winners (no particular order):
I reckon Chezchia’ll get its highest position in the contest but don’t see it as winner, like Moldova last year. Sweden and Australia will reach top 10 for sure and Estonia can stay out in SFs or get a good place. Be careful with Denmark and Norway, then.
I’m not from there, put I see Melovin as a potential winner too. Neither Denmark nor Norway are my cup of tea, but I can imagine both in top 10.
Everything fine, but Netherlands? Really?
Mot in a million years, not that it’s bad, just bland and too american for Esc
Exactly haha no need for America at Eurovision.
You do realize that you are writing on blogg which founder is American? 😛
If it worked for Douwe Bob, it may work for Waylon. He is a dangerous contender with that song of his.
Good list Kirk!
i wouldn’t mind one of these winning, though i doubt it’s gonna be Spain, no hate here, i just find it a bit forgettable …
My one concern here is Cesar’s total lack of solo experience. He’s 35 years old but has no solo career to speak of and just has done a bit of backing singer work here and there. I thought he looked a bit stiff and awkward at the parties we’ve seen so far, rather than a hugely charismatic front man.
That’s a concern I also have. One thing that I’ve noticed watching music reality competitions is that some people who are very experienced as backing vocals need some time to get used to be the main attraction, no matter how much talent they have. I have no doubt that he can sing, but he’ll need to be also convincing.
He’s definitely the hottie of the year, but the song is not that good. It’s just OK
Did you explain somewhere this “as suggested”? I am interested to know what it means.
Austria, Belarus, Finland, Portugal, Spain, Greece and Cyprus seem like odd choices. I don’t see any of them going for the win. I would say Netherlands, Norway and Belgium are frontrunners, with Denmark a major dark horse.
Norway??? This can’t be serious!
Hey you really identified what’s wrong with the song – indeed the chorus is much weeker (kind of boring) than the verses and and both parts could belong to completely different songs. Thanks.
And for the good part, who do you think in Europe likes gospel? Get a grip!
Sorry, I really value your comments, you just said that you like the verses, with the gospel thing but not so much the rest. And I argue that maybe even the verses may not be everyone’s cup of tea. That’s all.
My comment about beying too american to win was about Waylon, not this one, just my opinion, nothing more.
Hi Eugene interesting what you’ve written. Have you had luck predicting winners previously?
-Stark contrast to last year’s feel-good song.
-Really good voice.
-Doesn’t offer much innovation, but has good backing voices.
-May not make it, despite the good reviews.
It’s really tragic and shocking how people think it’s not qualifying IT IS
Get a GRIP
Top 5 in Semi Final 1
Top 15 in the Final
Aye! After my first evaluation (song and video), he was 17th on my scorecard. He’ll make it to Saturday (May 12).
Loved it from the very first moment. Am really worried about the staging and the back vocals, though. Although César sounded great, his live performances looked a bit shy to me so far.
Hope Austria will do well this year because it’s definitely in my top 5.
Why should the song qualify because it is from Austria.
Austria is one of few countries who can not count on block voting or diaspora votes.
For many years Austria struggled to qualify due to bad songs.
If Austria qualifies (I am sure Cesár will) it is because of the quality of the song and it’s performance and not because it’s an Austrian entry.
This is undoubtedly one of my favourites this year. I’m not sure exactly what it is about it that makes it so appealing to me. Cesar has amazing stage presence and one of the best voices this year. It’s slick and really, really much better than I was initially expecting. I really hope this does well because it deserves to.
He was awesome in Amsterdam.
I am so surprised that everybody from wiwibloggs loves Gospel vibes – it’s the thing that puts me off. His voice is very good though. Maybe on first listen a lot of people will love it. Do you like this on a repeat button? I would have wished him a different song – Austria has no Gospel tradition and in comparison – Waylon has been a Country boy from early on in his live – and than it convinces me that the artist brings a culture on stage very different from his country. But that’s only my personal taste. To… Read more »
This is a difficult one for me. While I like soul, I don’t like gospels at all. I definitely won’t vote for it although I think it deserves to qualify. I would put it somewhere in the middle of a scoreboard. I think juries will respond to it and help it a lot.
Such grower, I’m addicted to this song now, it’s my second place and the most favorite from semi 1!
Love the rhytm, love the gospel choir, his voice is wonderful, with the right staging this has potential to achieve that WOW moment. Such a great potential here, strong entry. Good luck!
One of the best entries on offer this year. Great song and singer! 9/10
And I keep understanding “Lord, I gonna get some hot tuna!”. Thank you for those who contaminated my mind with that on the post from when this song was released! 😀
So you think all those 20 jurors should share your opinion and give Austria 3/10? Quite a big demand from one reader, megaLOL 😀
This is one of the biggest growers this year. It’s now one of my favorites! I love his voice, I love the song. I think that the lyrics are good, too. I’m just curious about the staging and how they are going to pull off the gospel effect.
Austria has done quite well with the very likeable Zoë and Nathan (I would definitely watch a romantic comedy starred by them!), but it’s good to know they opted for something different this year. This is also a radio-friendly entry, but this time it’s not cute and optimistic, it sounds much more layered and sophisticated. As others have mentioned, Rag’n’Bone Man and Hozier seem to be inspirations for this one and I happen to like a lot both of them. The gospel hints are a very nice touch, bringing something we’re not used to have on the contest. The arrangement… Read more »
Great review, Sabrina! Once again, I am the ”nice” one. 🙂 I loved Zoe and Nathan, and Austria continues in a good way IMHO.
Thanks, Colin! But according to Purple Mask, this time we were both the nice ones haha I loved Zoë from the beginning and Nathan had found his way to my heart too, but I like the fact Austria’s trying to join the “big players’ table” with this one. Let’s see if it will work.
Thanks Sabrina. Despite what Colin just wrote, I think you have been very “nice” to this song. I don’t remember exactly what I wrote about this one, but I remember it wasn’t very complimentary. Happily, other reviews and Colin’s feedback below are beginning to change my opinion of the song for the better. And Cesár was great in London too. 🙂
What’s your problem with this one, Mask? Too much things going on? I feel that it has a lot of interesting elements, but also a lot of things that they need to make work. The backing vocals for example, can make it sound gorgeous or help it sink.
Yes, there is a lot going on, and it puts me off slightly. Put simply, the Verses and Pre-Choruses sound slightly stronger than Choruses, in my opinion. (There are technical reasons for this which I won’t go into.) The final Reprise throws the electric guitar and high falsetto screaming at the song; it’s as if to say “let’s make so much noise that no-one will remember any mess before it”. 😀 The lyrics have no continuity, although Colin has done a good job at explaining this to me. I understand why people like this song; it’s catchy, well-produced and well-performed.… Read more »
It makes total sense to me. I wrote that this could be a mess but they kept under control, you just think they didn’t. Maybe when I watch it live I’ll change my mind about it, because I really think this is the kind of entry where a simple detail can start ruining the whole thing. So far, I give it a vote of confidence.
Sabrina, I don’t think that lyrics means that he’s desperate to convince his lover to stay, it’s quite the opposite, he wants to end that relationship, to feel again free ”like in open water”, but simmply he can’t, he’s already ”in too deep” and at this moment he ”can’t search for someone new, when I really want you by my side” though he knows that search for someone new would be right thing to do. On-off relationship basically, therefore confusion in thoughts and different feelings 😉 I like that opening line, his kinda tiresome statement ”Oh Lord, I’m gonna get… Read more »
@Eve: Thank you for that explanation. 🙂
So when he sings “oh Lord, I’m gonna get so high tonight”, is he being sarcastic?
Or maybe he’s thinking of turning to drugs?
haha, you can interpret in that way also, but I think that’s the metaphor- he wants to free himself from that relationship, to be in ”open water” also metaphor for freedom..
It makes sense, Eve! I guess I haven’t paid enough attention to the “This is what I need and though I try to get you off my mind”. Maybe I read “thought” and this made the whole difference. Anyway, I still think that Cesár needs to be careful about the way he delivers it. He needs to get us to his side. Though I agree that if the lyrics have this meaning, he needs to sound a little desperate. But to get rid of this toxic love that’s consuming him. But I still think he wants to get hot tuna… Read more »
Maybe both, LOL
I agree that backing vocals are key. But Sasha, who I believe will do the staging, doesn’t like backing vocals on stage… So let’s see how this will turn out.
Oops… typo in my email
Since the backing vocals here are used to give that choir vibe, I hope Sasha will open an exception this time. Let Cesár take us to church, SJB!
Please get H-I-T by a truck – you and your close ones. With nothing but the W-O-R-S-T for the Portugese!
What is your problem?
My secondlast favourite after France. I find it very original, very deep, very spiritual. 9.5/10
@DOW: That was rude and unnecessary.
Seriously everyone look at the reply above and then try to tell me there’s nothing wrong with this comments section. Unbelievable question.
I have a life, do not worry!
Btw, damn autocorreection. It is my second favourite. Not last, I love this song as my rating suggests.
Cesár is definitely a dark horse this year. He has a lovely voice and has shown in the pre-ESC concerts that he can deliver. Add to that 5 strong singers for the choir, then this can come alive big on the ESC stage. The song itself is modern and radio-friendly. A top 10 result is possible if he can suvive bloody SF1 and gets a good starting slot in the running order. This might be the biggest problem for Austria. Christopher Bjorkman has assigned two times the worst possible slots to Nathan Trent (nr 2 and 4) last year –… Read more »
Great melodies, a very fresh sound. Cesár is perfect live and the song is one of my favorites of the year. It manages to be accessible without being generic. Just brilliant.
I like this song, and I think it has an appeal that will help him win over votes from people hearing the song for the first time when he performs it on the night. His voice reminds me of Isaiah from Australia last year. The song progression sort of sounds like it as well, but the song extends upon this and his voice draws you in which is only a positive. I’d say this is almost a definite qualifier, he may even get top 5 in his semi if the staging is amazing, but should progress based on his voice… Read more »
Updated Wiwi Jury scoreboard: https://scorewiz.eu/scoreboard/view/212753/wiwi-jury-2018
I believe, that Cesar is one of the darker Horses this year. Almost no one is talking about him, there are several other Acts in Focus from semi 1. This could be his Advantage (same as Nathan Trent last year, who imo unexpectedly qualified but had a great Performance).
However, as most of the Ratings from Wiwijury are, this place is way to high for him and Austria.