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.

Score: 6/10

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.

Score: 3/10

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.

Score: 9/10

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!

Score: 9.5/10

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.

Score: 9/10

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!

Score: 8.5/10

In the Wiwi Jury we have 24 jurors but only have room for six reviews. The remaining scores are below:

Antranig: 9/10

Pablo: 4/10

Robyn: 9/10

Lucy: 7 /10

Sebastian: 6.5/10

Jonathan: 6/10

Bernardo: 7/10

Calvin: 5/10

Luis: 8/10

Oliver: 7/10

Edd: 7/10

Lukas: 7/10

Barnabas: 8/10

Florian: 7.5/10

Natalie: 6.5/10

Julian: 6.5/10

Tom: 8/10

Charlotte: 7.5/10

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!

See all of our Wiwi Jury of the 2010s rankings here

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Purple Mask
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Purple Mask

My initial review of this song absolutely slated it. I remember questioning that the lyrics had no continuity, and that the music couldn’t choose between four directions. But when I watched back the live final performance just now, it was actually rather impressive. This is one of those that seems to have aged well, at least for me. Also I love all of those mis-heard lyrics. 🙂

Polegend Godgarina
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Polegend Godgarina

good song but too john legend tribute. cesár gave it justice and made it his own

Briekimchi
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Briekimchi

In most years, this would be a borderline qualifier but in 2018, it won the jury vote. Tells you all that you need to know about 2018, really. Having said that, it was one of my favourites from that year so I did not mind it doing so well.

Tibor
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Tibor

I don’t share this reasoning. The voting often takes strange routes, that have nothing to do with the overall quality of the music in that particular year. If I’d follow your logic, there’d be no such thing as an “undeserved” top finish: What we see is what we get and what is right, if this finishes top 3, there simply wasn’t anything better in the line-up. I don’t think that’s accurate.

Sabrina
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Sabrina

It’s a good song, the track is very well produced and Cesar’s voice is amazing. I remember giving it a better grade than most during Wiwi Jury. But the same performance that worked like a charm for the juries left me quite cold. I think the platform was too much and I felt Cesar was a little uncomfortable during the beginning of the performance. He took it home, but by that point I was already overthinking about it. I’m with Tibor, top 3 was too much. But it was nice to see Cesar so genuinely moved during the voting segment.

Edouard
Guest
Edouard

I won’t say this enough because this song’s success at ESC still leaves a bitter taste in my mouth: the chorus/hook of “Nobody But You” was an absolutely blatant plagiarism of Marlon Roudette’s superb song “New Age” (and I still don’t understand why this wasn’t addressed more last year when far less obvious examples of plagiarism are always put forward… to me this is the most direct/blatant example of it we’ve had in recent ESC) Therefore any merit that this song could’ve had is completely invalid and did not deserve its podium placing one bit. Marlon Roudette >>>>> Copycat Cesar

Edouard
Guest
Edouard

And the verses of his follow-up single ‘Stone Cold’ were also directly copy-pasted from ‘Impossible’ (Shontelle/James Arthur) so apparently the guy can’t put a song out there without plagiarising…

Conor K
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Conor K

First time my personal winner came top 3 in so long!

FYROM
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FYROM

i just received information from my friend who works very close with the EBU he says it is very likely that vatican city are debuting next year!

Mr. Vanilla Bean
Guest
Mr. Vanilla Bean

Yes, totally. My EBU friend already let me listen to the song. It’s called “I love boys”.

Skiwalko
Guest
Skiwalko

What a coincidence! I have a friend in the EBU too! He told me it’s not entirely certain, but apparently Vatican City is gonna be represented by returning group Hatari feat. Pope Francis doing the BDSM dancing. Other debuting countries include North Korea, Fiji, Antarctica and the state of Wisconsin.

Joe
Guest
Joe

Keep an eye out for Antarctica – rumor has it Arnold Schwarzenegger is breaking out his Mr. Freeze outfit again.

Sally
Guest
Sally

Watch out for Wisconsin – I hear they have figured out how to bring Les Paul back from the dead and are pairing him with Eric Benet and the ghost of Al Jerreau for an all-star jam like you’ve never seen before – mainly because of the crazy staging by Harry Houdini.

Jonas
Guest
Jonas

#QueenMaudLand2021

Preuss
Guest
Preuss

This is what confuses me lol that this entry has pretty much got a free-pass from the community after the huge discrepancy between jury- and televote but whenever this happens with Sweden, people complain about bias and corruption in the juries. Not talking about just 2018 but in general. Where’s the shitstorm after Czech Republic and North-Macedonia’s huge discrepancies this year for example? And I fully understand that there’s a stigma with Sweden this decade that leads to all of this but I find it really weird by fans to be outraged whenever this happens to Sweden but not with… Read more »

Ana
Guest
Ana

Well, the thing is that Sweden gets top points from the jury every year. Can you tell the same about North Macedonia and Czech republic? I actually don’t mind that sweden gets a lot of points, they actually take the contest seriously. The funny thing that ”those fans” love the Swedish songs when they are performed by other countries (Fuego, Beautiful mess, If love was a crime etc.), but hate the Swedish entries and call them over rated.

GUEST
Guest
GUEST

An amazing song sung well. Deserved the top 3 placing!! This is why we need juries

ESCFan2009
Guest
ESCFan2009

I love the melody, it is an earworm (“it wouldn’t be right lettin’ you go, runnin’ away from love”) and I love the passion behind the lyrics. Sure, the performance was a bit static with the platform, but overall it was completely fine… 8/10

Tibor
Guest
Tibor

This was a credible albeit slightly safe entry. Top 10 would have been fine, top 3 was exaggerated. The verse is soulful and gospelly, yet the chorus is rather forgettable. César Sampson is a very capable performer with good stage presence and he sings “Nobody but you” well, but he’s also a symptom of an overarching tendency to value performance over music, and that is something I feel very uneasy about. I don’t want to end up in a contest where Thomas G:sson, Symphonix and Laurell Baker write thirteen songs for eighteen performers from twenty-one countries, and these performers afterwards… Read more »

Jo.
Guest
Jo.

All those misheard lyrics…

Skiwalko
Guest
Skiwalko

Lord, I’m gonna get some hot tuna I’m gonna let the flat get some red wine I mean – open water – this is what I need And doe, try to get you off mama. And I get no sneeze I’m into Dean I can’t lent you leaf… Would it be right? Letting you go Runnin’ away from love Hey, no buddy, but you… Eye can’t hold onto So in my world Given my own Making you staint tonight Hey, no buddy, but you… Eye can’t hold onto Ford, I’m gonna break your back tonight Ow, we run in circles… Read more »

CookyMonzta
Guest
CookyMonzta

I’m late for the party here, but I assume the Wiwi jury is rating the top 3 ESC songs of every year this decade, yes?

Mr. Vanilla Bean
Guest
Mr. Vanilla Bean

That’s how I understood it. A good idea to recap this period and see how it has shaped the contest. Personally, I’ve long thought the top 3 should be acknowledged in the show, maybe even with a quick medal ceremony. (Or as it stands now, the televoting winner, the jury winner and the overall winner? ) A top 3 finish for countries like Cyprus or Moldova is a big deal after all.

Jonas
Guest
Jonas

A good idea, though probably best to stick with the actual top three. The jury/televote/overall winner might be just the one song like 2017.

khan
Guest
khan

A song that no one was even sure would qualifiy which was completely boosted by the tasteless juries. Proof that the jury are out of touch (see also Australia 2017, Sweden 2018, Sweden 2019, North Macedonia 2019)

Jo.
Guest
Jo.

It had the “jury quality ” since the beginning , I don’t know why everybody was so surprised….

Mr. Vanilla Bean
Guest
Mr. Vanilla Bean

To me, this has always been a very well performed but still mediocre, middle-of-the-road, “I-took-part-and-that’s all-that-matters” entry and the fact that it won the jury voting was yet another confirmation to me that we should get rid of them. The good thing about that was of course that it at least prevented the suprempely unnerving Ingrosso from undeservedly winning any voting. That cringy second place was the best argument imaginable against juries. So yeah, my country’s entry served a purpose after all and was way better than this year’s savagely fake jury winner. Speaking of, has the EBU ever apologized… Read more »

Jonas
Guest
Jonas

I feel the exact opposite way regarding juries. Just because they diverge from the televote doesn’t mean they’re invalid. That’s their job. If they were to vote the same way, what would be the point? Nobody But You deserved to be at least Top 5. Its early slot in the running order didn’t help with the public either, it was not deemed a contender before the show, so the producers doomed it by putting it near the start. The juries righted that wrong.

Mr. Vanilla Bean
Guest
Mr. Vanilla Bean

Not to sound like a broken record here, but who’s going to right the wrong of 2019’s show declaring the wrong jury voting winner, which was basically Austria 2018 2.0 with a much worse song? So much for diverse jury voting. Is the EBU even aware of their grave oversights, or do they expect us to “swallow hard” and be okay with that if it happens again? Obviously, this jury system is very flawed the way it is now and some questionable people get to decide a big part of it. I wonder how badly they must be instructed when… Read more »

Jonas
Guest
Jonas

Sure, I agree with all that. I agree with juries in principle, but obviously it would need to be organized properly and fairly. The disaster this year was down to incompetence, not the system. The televote isn’t perfect either – the fake San Marinese televote points are just as bad as any fake jury points. Macedonia were the jury winners according to the offical rules, but are they really the “real” winners…there were so few points between the top songs, can any result really be valid when 58 of the points are computer generated?

Mr. Vanilla Bean
Guest
Mr. Vanilla Bean

Definitely. The way the EBU dictates the voting of San Marino is a joke in itself, indeed. It’s as if they think of stuff like that on a whim and have no sense of justice. I’m always hoping for close results to make things exciting but essentially, thanks to the EBU’s incompetence, really close results basically guarantee an unfair outcome in both votings. It really makes you think about the people running this contest. It’s as if intelligence was a disqualifying factor in these positions.

Skiwalko
Guest
Skiwalko

Great uplifting gospel banger driven by Cesar’s vocals and stage presence. It has intriguing lyrics, dealing with typical love story with more poetic and… religious aproach, that combined with Cesar’s presentation really stood out that night. I don’t really get the staging (I guess it was referring to the “Lord, I’m gonna get so high tonight” line) but c’mon, the UFO platform was a really cool element and it just enhanced the retro feel of the song. Plus he’s such a likeable guy, I bet that smile in the end alone won him like 50 points. It might not be… Read more »

Joe
Guest
Joe

Safe to say nobody saw this one coming so close to victory. I hated it the night of since my family and I were rooting for Israel, but in hindsight it is a very good song and Cesar gave a fantastic performance. I see why the juries liked it so much! Better than Sweden, at least. 8/10.

Ursula
Guest
Ursula

Ingrosso was like Take That – Eveything Changes But You. No wonder the world thinks ESC is dated.