The Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of music unprofessionals — continues to rate and review the 41 competing entries of Eurovision 2019. Next we turn to Lithuania‘s Jurij Veklenko and his song “Run with the Lions”. Did it make us roar? Read on to find out!
Jurij Veklenko – “Run with the Lions”
“Run with the Lions” reviews
Lukas: Jurij is a great singer and his song is good but that‘s about it. In a year where we have a lot of strong songs, good is not enough to make an entry stand out. “Run With the Lions” has a nice melody and its chorus quite catchy but it feels very safe and the whole performance doesn’t have that wow moment. If Lithuania wants to make the final they really need to give this strong staging. Jurijus also needs to have more stage presence so the performance doesn’t feel so safe.
Angus: At this point, Lithuania is flying a little under the radar. “Run with the Lions” has moments to really commend it and moments that fade into the background. Likewise Jurij has moments of total charisma and moments where you question whether he actually hit that falsetto note or not. In all, the problem with Lithuania is that the package at the moment oscillates between pedestrian and purposeful delivery. Smart staging, as we saw last year, might bring this together better. At the moment it is lacking in direction, but there are promising elements here.
Bernardo: Jurijus is eye candy with a decent but not perfect vocal delivery. “Run with the Lions” is painfully generic though. I got myself waiting the big moment where I would connect with the singer or the song on an emotional level. That moment never arrived. It’s probably one of my least heard songs of the season. A risk-free effort that will suffer in the hands of both the juries and televote.
Robyn: Jurij has been to Eurovision twice before — but both times as a backing singer. And I think that’s where the problem is. He is used to blending in in the background and is less convincing as the charismatic frontman the performance needs. But there is potential. If Jurij can get comfortable on stage and bring some swagger to his performance this bold pop anthem could be another qualifier. It really needs to feel like he’s running with lions, not tiptoeing with kittens.
Deban: Jurijus may have the look and the voice, but a song contest calls for a decent song and a charismatic delivery. This is where his shortcomings lie. “Run with the Lions” is just so boring! Jurijus often sings to inanimate household appliances such as his refrigerator. His bland execution makes magnolia seem like a burst of rainbow colours.
Oliver: Lithuania completely blew me away last year with their entry and stage show, so I was somewhat hopeful that they could double down on their success. However, “Run With The Lions” really does not sit on anywhere near the same level as Lithuania did last year. It is a decent song but it just did not stand out to me in the selection let alone in the sea of 40 other entries. The vocals felt a little shouty at times and the song barely managed to hold my interest for the entire three minutes.
In the Wiwi Jury we have 29 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 1 and a high of 9.
Wiwi Jury verdict: 4.83/10
What do you think of this song? Share your own score and review below!