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. Next up, we listen to international star Mohombi with his song “Hello”. Did it make us want to say hej?
Mohombi – “Hello”
Lucy: Well, isn’t this catchy as all heck? I can’t stop singing it (maybe sometimes in a Lynda Woodruff voice), and it’s one of the only songs in the first heat I can remember the full melody to. A truly Eurovision-worthy performance in an otherwise underwhelming heat considering the big names drawn into the round. Plus that staging is very cool, and exciting to watch.
Tobias: My excitement for Mohombi’s appearance in Melodifestivalen this year was over the top. He has a great resume with two big international hits “Bumpy Ride” and “Coconut Tree”. He has also been collaborating with artists like Pitbull and Jennifer Lopez and even won a Grammy! Considering all this, I have to say I was rather disappointed by “Hello”. I was expecting this to be his big comeback as he has been quiet the last seven years, but “Hello” was not even close to the hits that made him an international pop star. The song was nothing interesting. A catchy refrain, yes, but the overall song was nothing memorable. The staging reminded me only of “Heroes” by Måns Zelmerlöw. We have seen that already. The vocals were not on point and his voice was very shaky. I also hope he hires a better stylist for the final, because those pants were not fitting him well at all.
Robyn: Mohombi might not be the strongest vocalist, but he can deliver the performance with the emotion it needs. It helps that “Hello” is a such a catchy song that it’s able to withstand any vocal flaws. The screen risks feeling a little gimmicky, like a cross between Måns Zelmerlöw’s “Heroes” performance and A-ha’s iconic “Take On Me” music video, but Mohombi is an experienced performance and remains the star of the performance. Perhaps not a Mello winner, but a deserved finalist.
Anthony: After winning the audience poll prior to the show itself, it wasn’t much of a surprise to see Mohombi into the final. A far cry from his energetic Congolese-influenced bop of “Big Up”, “Hello” does have the radio-friendly feel to it. Although it’s well-executed and packs a catchy chorus, its heavy one-word use of “hello” does feel repetitive at times.
Deban: Mohombi sings well, but I don’t find him sufficiently engaging. “Hello”‘s moments of augmented reality don’t smoothly run into reality. On top of that, the song verses here are totally forgettable. When he starts to yelp “Hello, Hello…”, I gasp with renewed hope for an early goodbye.
Bernardo: Look, “Hello” is perfectly fine until it gets to the chorus. Actually, it has a pretty nice pre-chorus, despite Mohombi’s struggle to hit the falsetto with control. I see why it went direct to the final, but the chorus is too repetitive. Ultimately, this is a case where the stage performance completely outshines the song itself.
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.