The Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of music unprofessionals — continues to rate and view the six entries competing in the UK’s Eurovision: You Decide. Next up we take a look at All Together Now winner Michael Rice with his version of “Bigger Than Us”. Were we caught up in his emotional take on the song? Read on to find out!
Michael Rice – “Bigger Than Us”
“Bigger than Us” reviews
Angus: What we have here is VHS: voice, heart and soul. Michael can sing! He carries the song and can throw out vocal ad-libs over the choral elements of the bridge with suitable aplomb. And as we’ve seen at You Decide before – hey Lucie Jones! – vocal firepower can be enough to carry the day. But if this goes beyond the competition, the song is going to need to go beyond the talent show winner single formula and elevate itself. It will be hard to replicate the choral bridge on stage at Eurovision and despite the impressive vocal gymnastics, the whole thing needs oomph. But, at least in Michael’s voice, there’s a strong starting point to work from.
Barnabas: It was hard to pick this or Holly’s version as the best of the bunch, but since country music without some banjo and fiddles is nonexistent, Michael wins the tie-break for me. He seems to have some great vocal abilities, and if he’ll have a monumental staging, we could see a positive surprise coming from Britain this year.
Jonathan: On paper, this song/artist combination has perhaps the most potential to be a competent Eurovision entry. No doubt Michael will give his soul to the performance and have some of the best vocals of the selection. However, my biggest problem with the song is that there is no second verse – it goes straight from the first chorus to the second pre-chorus. This means the track loses shape and becomes repetitive. The same applies for the middle eight, which only provides a very short interlude before it goes full throttle into the key change. It’s as if the songwriters are trying to force the track’s uplifting message and emotions upon the listener, without giving us a chance to breathe and take it all in.
Kristin: This is something that I can definitely picture on the big stage. A strong chorus, a powerful performance and the fantastic singer Michael Rice is. With the right staging, who knows what “Bigger Than Us” could do in the long run. This version has all the potentials of winning “You Decide” and I would not mind that one bit, in fact. A very strong entry and could become freaking epic, if they hold their cards right!
Lucy: I’m starting by stating the obvious…those are some STUNNING vocals, and after scouring YouTube for his performances on the BBC show All Together Now, it’s plain to see it’s going to be even better live. I find the song a bit cheesy, but it’s the best of the three options available by a country mile. I do wish they’d put the key change in the bin, but this could be very credible for the UK. Despite the UK often not choosing the fan favourite, I don’t see any other song in You Decide making it to Tel Aviv. I love this version now where I wasn’t such a fan originally, so I’m giving this a big ol’ 9.
Robyn: Michael is one of the strongest vocalists in the selection this year and he’s a good match for this version of “Bigger Than Us”. But despite the drama and emotion of the song (the gospel choir!), it all feels a bit flat. It’s like a one-size-fits-all talent show winner’s single, rather than something that will create a special moment at Eurovision 2019.
In our Eurovision: You Decide Wiwi Jury, we have 12 jurors but only room for 6 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 6 and a high of 9.