The Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of music unprofessionals — have gathered to review a shock jury winner; Cesár Sampson from Austria. Cesár brought the gospel-tinged “Nobody But You” and a handsome deep voice to Lisbon 2018, winning over the music professionals from all over the continent and getting nine sets of douze points.
Needing to recover from a televote nil points in 2017, Austria knew they had to bring something more accessible to people. Cue to Austrian broadcaster selecting Cesár Samspon. He had previously done backing vocals for Poli Genova’s successful return to Eurovision in 2016. He then arrived at Kyiv 2017 for an even better result with Kristian Kostov, and was part of the hit songwriting collective Symphonix.
Performing on a UFO-esque platform in a simple outfit with effective lighting, the song really was kept as the focus. It won the all-important jury vote, with a televote finish just outside the top ten. Overall, Cesár gave Austria an unexpected podium finish. Do the Wiwi Jury think this was deserved or would they rather have seen another artist take his place?
Cesár Sampson – “Nobody But You”
“Nobody But You” reviews
William: Cesar Sampson has a deep and resonant vocal that makes me scream amen! There’s power, yes, but more importantly there is control. He guides us through the soulful and spiritual, and never feels overwhelmed. The song has an inspirational feel, and the staging made him larger-than life. It’s solid and memorable, though not a song I’d add to my personal playlist.
Angus: Two years ago, Austria’s result came as a complete shock. The performance was straightforward: man stands on platform, platform descends, man run around stage. On top of which, vocally in places things sounded shaky. Things have improved since: Cesar is a showman, with great charisma and in places the vocal sounds spot on, which explains the scale of the jury score. But the performance was not a standout and that explains the disparity in the televote.
Deban: Topping the jury vote of Eurovision 2018, and slaying its way into my all-time favourite Eurovision playlist, “Nobody But You” always elevates my mood. With strong radio-play leanings, “Nobody But You” could be classed as gospel, but this entry ain’t preachy. Cesar Sampson’s confident vocal delivery is sexy. He is a man with an impressive vocal range. What’s more — he writes and sings the songs you wanna hear.
Kristin: Before John Lundvik and the Mamas, it was the one and only Cesár Sampson who brought the gospel pop to the Eurovision stage and did so perfectly. “Nobody But You” was an epic number with an epic performance wrapped up in a heartwarming and delicate softness. Don’t know about y’all but I was definitely ready to go back to Austria and had even begun checking if the apartment I rented back in 2015 was available. But alas, it wasn’t written in the stars. Netta may have won Eurovision, but Cesár won my heart and remains my favourite from the top three of 2018. Ain’t nobody but you, Cesár!
Steinunn: Before the 2018 contest, “Nobody But You” was somewhere around the middle on my list. The studio version was a solid gospel pop that I liked listening to but I didn’t really believe that it would do much for Europe in general. But hey, then Cesár appeared on stage with that charisma, that voice and those backing vocalists and the tables where turned. This is a great example of how the staging and live performance can change everything. Cesár sang his way into my heart and will not be forgotten. However, those pants will be.
Katie: When I watch “Nobody But You” back again, suddenly John Lundvik’s performance in Tel Aviv doesn’t feel as original as I thought it was. One thing that still stands out for me with “Nobody But You” is Cesár’s sincerity in how he presents the song. He has no backing singers to hide behind when he’s completely alone on his platform. As we all know, it’s a risk to be so exposed on the immense Eurovision stage, however it really paid off for Cesár. Something else that still impresses me is how the soft lights of the staging really add to the song’s mellow qualities, and Cesár’s soothing voice. Here is proof that subtlety really can work at Eurovision!
In the Wiwi Jury we have 24 jurors but only have room for six reviews. The remaining scores are below:
Lucy: 7 /10
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 3 and a high of 9.5.
Wiwi Jury verdict: 7.23/10
What do you think of this song? Share your own score and review below!