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.

Score: 6/10

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.

Score: 7.5/10

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.

Score: 6.5/10

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!

Score: 8.5/10

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.

Score: 9/10

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.

Score: 6/10

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:

Antranig: 7.5/10

Chris: 6/10

Julian: 6.5/10

Luis: 6/10

Pablo: 6/10

William: 6.5/10

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 6 and a high of 9.

Wiwi Jury verdict: 6.7/10

See our list of Eurovision: You Decide 2019 rankings

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Charli Cheer Up
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Charli Cheer Up

Well the UK generally does well at ESC when they send a ballad. BBC will know what to do if this goes.

Maarten Plug
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Maarten Plug

Decent entry, but I agree with Jonathan, it lacks an extra verse. But you know, 3 minutes is actually just too short to come up with a full rounded ballad that has everything in it. I am a songwriter myself so I know this problem. But if I was the songwriter of this song I would have chosen to make an extra verse instead of this middle 8, then the song would have been more complete. Now to me the song sounds as if something is missing.

Kredential
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Kredential

When I first heard this song ‘X factor winner’s single’ came to mind. Yes it is generic and cliche, yes we’ve heard it a thousand times before, but it’s a damn good song. It won’t light up the scoreboard by any means if it makes it to ESC but it will be a safe choice and should score well with the jury.

Jack
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Jack

I like both versions equally but I can see Michael Rice easily winning the duel, decent song and his key change should capture the surprise factor, he’s very interactive on Twitter as well and already tweeted me a couple of times, seems a very nice bloke who’d make a wonderful ambassador to UK! seeing “Bigger Than Us” is co-written by John Lundvik, wouldn’t it be really cool that if he doesn’t win Melfest but Michael of UK finishes higher than Sweden on televoting? would also be a 2nd year running that’s happened XD

AngieP
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AngieP

Actually I like both versions of this song. This version is a clear ballad with strong vocals. I like this one.
7/10

Joe
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Joe

I honestly think the UK have a couple of decent options this year, and this is one of them. Wouldn’t be disappointed seeing this head to Tel Aviv. (Who’d have guessed this multiple-interpretation method would actually produce some decent songs? Now they just have to not screw up the staging and they could make the top ten yet!)

Jonas
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Jonas

The UK came 5th with a similar “winner’s single” in 2009. I don’t like it personally, but some people might go for it. Even a casual viewer will realize that they have heard this theme a million times before. It worked for John Lundvik last year, I guess – but I also imagine his own Melodifestivalen entry is better, otherwise he would have kept Bigger Than Us for himself. 3.5/10

Colin
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Colin

Michael Rice: Bigger Than Us – A big classical ballad meant to wow a standard Eurovision listener! And here lies the issue. This is very much constructed and impersonal. It contains a message about love and unity, as well as peace, while still being applied to everyone and nobody in particular. Michael has a great voice and I am sure many will appreciate this, but I cannot escape the feeling that this is methodically designed to win ESC. – 6.5/10

Petersu
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Petersu

A X Factor song to me.

Héctor
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Héctor

Overrated. “Bigger Than Us” isn’t bad, but a 6.7 is too much. Don’t you think?

Ted
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Ted

Still my fave of the 6 up for selection. That voice is epic and the BV’s are so uplifting. They give me tingles just as the rousing chorus in ‘Love shine a light’ did. But I still want a mild reworking. I just worry that he won’t have any stage presence. The ATN clips and his amature club videos on YT show him up to look like a startled rabbit in the headlights. He’ll be competing against a former pop puppet from the x factor in his song battle, against a song that just plods along in the same way… Read more »

Isti
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Isti

My favorite song in this Eurovision season.

Purple Mask
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Purple Mask

I’ll say the obvious joke:
It’s bigger, but not big enough.
You’re welcome.

JustMe
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JustMe

The first impressio may be awesome, but as i listened to it the sedcond time, it was kinda dull to me.

Hope that the UK will vote for Holly, instead of him. My opinion, sue me.

Skiwalko
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Skiwalko

Well, it’s the first impression that counts at Eurovision.

LukeGallagher
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LukeGallagher

I sadly don’t even think the ‘first impression’ is that big either tbh

Alexo
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Alexo

It’s between Michael, Kerrie Anne and Holly to win You Decide. Point .Blank. Periodt.

Khan
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Khan

So overrated, the UK has sent these types of songs heaps of times before and they always flop. Send Kerrie Anne or bust.

Floprina
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Floprina

This Michael has such a good voice, the song is very radio-friendly and now. What he needs now is good staging.

James
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James

This could really fill up an arena if it wins the selection so I hope this wins, if it sounds as good live as the studio cut.

Briekimchi
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Briekimchi

Whoa. Those be some high ratings. All the UK entries should have a jury cap of 5/10 if you’re comparing them to other NF songs.

Polegend Godgarina
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Polegend Godgarina

it’s very 90s ballad & cliché….. it tries to be soulful but it’s just very plastic n formulatic, issa cute song but this is the typical stuff people won’t care for enough to vote for

Fast Food Music Lover
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Fast Food Music Lover

My favorite among the 6. The power of the song comes from the gospel choir so I hope it will come across great live just like in the studio version.