The Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of music unprofessionals — continues to rate and review the songs competing in the grand final of Sweden’s Melodifestivalen 2019. Now it’s time to turn to the eight direct qualifiers for the grand final. First, we listen to two-time Melfest finalist Wiktoria and her ballad “Not with Me”. Is it third time lucky for Wiktoria? Read on to find out!
Wiktoria – “Not with Me”
“Not with Me” reviews
Cinan: What a beautiful song we have here! “Not with Me” is one of the great songs we have this year in the national finals around Europe and beyond. Wiktoria is such a good vocalist and performer, as she showed us this in recent years. The staging doesn’t have many effects, except the waterfall that drenches Wiktoria at the end. But with her presence and voice, Wiktoria makes the song come alive.
Antranig: On Melfest juries of years gone by, I have been Wiktoria’s biggest hater. I’m so thrilled to say she has finally won me over. That emotional connection to the song was missing from her previous attempts but she has it in spades with “Not with Me”. I’m proud of Wiktoria’s evolution as a musician and I’m definitely on the Queen W bandwagon with this one.
Florian: Based on the studio snippet, I wasn’t really a big fan of the track in the first place. But I did expect Wiktoria to pull off a great performance — and she delivered! The emotions shine throughout the performance, even making the whole act seem effortless at times. The strength of this song is the live performance and unlike her past appearance, where some weren’t fond of her vocal performance, she really proved her haters wrong!
Angus: Once you realise what Wiktoria can do with her voice, it’s a wonder it was ever wasted on vocally undemanding country boppers like “As I Lay Me Down” and “Save Me”. And undoubtedly “Not With Me” is a much better vehicle for her voice, teeming as it is with opportunities to belt big notes and show variation in vocal firepower. However, the song is not perfect and nor was the performance in Gothenburg — but the chorus is catchy and the stage show compelling. Wiktoria has made the transformation from Little Big Town to Little Mermaid, but whether she’s gone from Melfest finalist to Melfest winner remains to be seen.
Ron: So many emotions, just as many as the raindrops in her performance, and a fantastic voice — what more could you ask for? I wasn’t one of Wiktoria’s biggest fans, but this one is really powerful and touching. Also, we must set the record straight, Wiktoria is the one and only that sang under “rain” on stage. With all respect to Ruth Lorenzo (Spain 2014) that only had the “wet look”, no water was falling on her — it was just a visual illusion. And Eric Saade with “Manboy” (2010) only danced a few notes at the end of his song under water. Wiktoria is the one and only rain queen and respect to her for that as well!
Luis: “Not with Me” has been a very positive surprise. Wiktoria’s previous attempts didn’t completely grab my attention, as she came across as a slightly cold performer who had to follow a lot of cues during the performance. However, this other shape of herself is much more interesting: now she is a singer who brings a big and ambitious show for a song that’s deserving. My only concern is that “Not with Me” is a bit safe as a song. Still, it’s definitely a contender.
In our Melodifestivalen 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 3 and a high of 9.