The Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of music unprofessionals — are re-assembling to celebrate the 2010s. Today we are reviewing the fabulous Emmelie De Forest from Denmark. She came to Malmö’s contest with boho style and a raspy voice, and gave us “Only Teardrops”.

The winning song in 2013 brought orange lighting, pounding drums and a man with a flute, but most of all it gave us unique tones from Emmelie. She won with 281 points, 47 clear of her nearest rival (Azerbaijan), after filling a rather small arena with pulsating beats and an ethereal feel.

“Only Teardrops” is very different to anything else heard in the decade, so do the Wiwi Jury still go back to it for their fix of de Forest goodness, or have they ditched the flute for something more electro?

Emmelie de Forest – “Only Teardrops”

“Only Teardrops” reviews

William: Of all the songs at Eurovision in 2013, “Only Teardrops” seemed most likely to play well in the most markets. It has East-West appeal, is radio-friendly and actually has a story to tell. Themes of division and unity apply to love, politics, and the environment—and cut across all cultures. The tribal drumming taps into our most basic instincts and would have stirred a reaction in the first homo sapiens, the mandarins, and Enlightenment thinkers, just as it will in today’s bright young things, supermodels, and fans of pop. This song has aged well as it’s timeless and has no borders. Mature lyrics with a spiritual delivery. LOVE!

Score: 8/10

Antranig: Hands down my favourite Eurovision winner of all time, just ahead of “1944”. “Only Teardrops” is timeless and will be replayed in highlight reels for many decades to come. Every winning song — even the ones I don’t like — has a “winning moment”. Emmelie’s winning moment came before she even started singing. The trophy was hers the second you heard that flute. Game over, you timeless beauty!

Score: 10/10

Lucy: “Only Teardrops”‘ is perfectly fine, Emmelie’s voice was perfect for it… but to my ears this is boring and not engaging. She gets points for originality — there’s certainly not really been anything like it since. It’s simply a case of it not being my cup of tea back then, and this is an opinion that has stayed throughout the six years since her win. I’m not a fan of the orange hues in the staging either, and whilst I get the boho fashion choices fit the song, it doesn’t grip me. I much prefer Emmelie’s work since, truth be told – her latest EP offering, History, is stunning.

Score: 5/10

Kristin: The contest in 2013 was merely a formality for Emmelie (and the flautist). She was the winner from the start, and I for one was quick to jump on the “Only Teardrops” bandwagon. This song is timeless. It’s both old-fashioned and modern at the same time, and Emmelie’s laid-back and natural appearance along with the flute and the drums was exactly what makes this a winning song in all sense. It has stood the test of time and goes down in history as one of the epic ones.

Score: 9/10

Florian: Unsurprisingly the landslide winner of 2013. Beginning with the prominent flute intro, the song had a winning composition to begin with. And Emmelie managed to draw a picture that took viewers into her flow. “Only Teardrops” is one of the Eurovision winners that hasn’t been forgotten — indeed it’s a perfect example showcasing what modern Eurovision songs could sound like!

Score: 9.5/10

Julian: I love Emmelie de forest and I liked her song and performance back in 2013 but she definitely isn’t my personal winner in that year. It is a good song which still is in my playlist but there were way better songs competing in Malmö!

Score: 5.5/10

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

Pablo: 7.5/10

Robyn: 7.5/10

Angus: 6/10

Sebastian: 8/10

Jonathan: 8/10

Bernardo: 7/10

Deban: 5/10

Calvin: 7/10

Luis: 7.5/10

Oliver: 10/10

Edd: 8.5/10

Lukas: 9/10

Barnabas: 9/10

Steinunn: 7.5/10

Natalie: 10/10

Katie: 8.5/10

Tom: 8.5/10

Charlotte: 8.5/10

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 5 and a high of 10.

Wiwi Jury verdict: 7.95/10

What do you think of this song? Share your own score and review below!

See all of our Wiwi Jury of the 10’s rankings here

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Saney
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Saney

Simply the best in 2013 by far, no discussion. Also it’s my favorite winner since 1996 and my 2nd favorite since 2000 (after The Netherlands 2019) LOVE

Graph
Guest
Graph

If this song had competed in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2016, 2017, or 2018, I would have said it was a deserving winner. But there were just so many excellent songs in 2013. This song was good, but not top tier for me.

Briekimchi
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Briekimchi

For me, it was a top ten song that year and nothing more. So many countries had original, GREAT entries and Denmark’s, although done quite well, was just trying too hard.

Graph
Guest
Graph

I agree with you 100%

Bubi
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Bubi

One of a 3-4 deserved winners in this decade.

Jonas
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Jonas

I loved Only Teardrops at the time, and still do, but L’essenziale should have won and is truly the timeless song from that year.

Sam
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Sam

Italy was my personal winner, both are great songs and deserved to win, but I still can’t believe how underrated was l’Essenziale…

Saney
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Saney

Italy was underrated for sure, Emmelie was still the best tho

Sabrina
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Sabrina

The decade was so packed with iconic/groundbreaking/divisive Eurovision winners that this ones may look safe in comparison. But I remember watching Eurovision that year and thinking immediately it was the winner. It’s expensive, accurate, but also has loads of charm. The flute grabs our attention right away (it doesn’t hurt that it’s played by a very handsome man…) and Emmelie was stunning in every sense (the bare feet are a nice touch). I still love it and my memories about it are so fond that I was surprised by how small the stage was!

Jonas
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Jonas

It was the second year in a row the winner went barefoot…!

Sabrina
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Sabrina

True. And they were followed as a winner by the exact opposite, someone with very covered feet. 😀

Jack Pricefield
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Jack Pricefield

My favourite Eurovision winner of the 2010s and maybe this century so far. “Only Teardrops” is still the last time my #1 ended up as the victor, I have vivid fun memory watching Dansk Melodi Grand Prix 2013 on January 26th as well which was a highly strong national final(if only DMGP was still that good) Emmelie de Forest stood out as the most unique and cool among the field, the easy to sing-a-long chorus of Only Teardrops stuck to my head all night after being chosen by the Danish public and day by day it grew ‘n grew on… Read more »

oli
Guest
oli

I am surprised! I thought this would get the lowes score among the winners. I love it, don’t get me wrong, I just think it hasn’t aged as well as other winners, and it’s not so iconic. but a well deserved winner, nonetheless. it was the right choice

Polegend Godgarina
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Polegend Godgarina

i feel like only teadrops’ victory was very orchestrated and non-organic. i didn’t follow eurovision closely back in 2013, i just watched the final, but in the months prior to the contest they kept spamming the song on youtube n on the day of the final it was the only song i knew. plus she had huge label support, it was the bookies’ favorite since january despite not being a clear winner, n that year’s votes were fishy af n they still won’t reveal the real split voting. nevertheless issa great song

pepe
Guest
pepe

They don’t show the split votes because Azerbaijan was caught cheating that year.

Jack Pricefield
Guest
Jack Pricefield

Like Duncan, Emmelie was clear favourite to win from the get go and she released her debut album a week before the contest which benefited her chances along with the ‘history repeats itself’ motto at the time when Denmark ofc won ESC last time hosted in Sweden, it was pretty amusing how ESC only had to move a few miles for the next host city following year! EBU didn’t publish the full split results in 2010-3 without any explanation(would be cool if they finally do it out of nowhere one day) but in that period there were rumours of Azerbaijan… Read more »

Skiwalko
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Skiwalko

I’m sorry, but I simply don’t enjoy this song. It’s not bad in any way, but to me it’s very repetitive, uncompelling and unmemorable, another Eurovision peace song (and there was maaany of them already). I gotta give credit where credit is due – Emmelie gave an amazing performance, giving a life to an average track, and thanks to her I can see why Denmark won with such a big margin, but its not an entry I come back to a lot, and it’s somewhere in the bottom of my ESC winners list. (6/10, #9 in 2013)

Héctor
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Héctor

It’s a good one, but probably the most “basic” winner along “Running Scared”. I don’t get why it is the best ranked so far…

Saney
Guest
Saney

Because it’s the best that’s why

Joe
Guest
Joe

In its own way, despite having the drums, flutes, confetti, and whatnot, “Only Teardrops” kind of paved the way for our more recent stripped-down winners. The song’s success boils down to being, at its core, just a really amazing pop song (OK, you can kind of say the same things about “Satellite” – and I will – but I digress). Natural earthy feel, Emmelie de Forest’s clear but not showboating voice, great use of drums, and an awesome song-along chorus. It’s one of the first songs I heard when I was getting into Eurovision, and I got the general vibe… Read more »

jack
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jack

Unremarkable victory that won also thanks to the extreme support of Svt ( they had signs ready to the afterparty saying see you next year over the bridge….)

Mr. Vanilla Bean
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Mr. Vanilla Bean

I think that sign was from DR.

Joe
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Joe

You’d figure if Sweden wanted one of their neighbors to win, they’d have let them qualify in 2016.

jack
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jack

Denmark didnt really wanted to win back in 2016. It was quite obvious.

Eurovision Online Contest
Guest

I like the song but I can never shake off the feeling that it was “designed for Eurovision” which is something I just don’t like

Africavision
Guest
Africavision

Despite her easy and well-deserved victory at ESC2013, Emmelie De Forest is such an understated figure in the Eurovision World, and generally flies under the radar. What I love about her is that she does not need the bells and whistles, pomp, and does not aim to always be in the foreground, like some other winners. By bringing her simple song, bags of personality, and a wonderful little stage show, she showed off herself perfectly. Moreover, when the Eurovision Song Contest went to Copenhagen in 2014, Emmelie still was hardly seen, apart from a small role in the starting sequence,… Read more »

Africavision
Guest
Africavision

Oh, just one other thing… Does anyone have links for Eurovision 2013 and 2014 videos that are of a better quality than those appearing on the main Eurovision channel? I am dying to see my 5 favorite songs from 2013 and 2014 in full HD (i.e., Denmark 2013 and 2014; Germany 2013; Russia 2013; Spain 2014). Thanks. 🙂

pepe
Guest
pepe

NRK has them on their website. Use a Norwegian proxy to access them.
https://tv.nrk.no/serie/eurovision-song-contest/2013
https://tv.nrk.no/serie/eurovision-song-contest/2014

Jack Pricefield
Guest
Jack Pricefield

Spot on! Understated is definitely the word to describe, Emmelie is a sweet talented lady who is very different, natural and mystical from other recent winners. I adored her first album and “Rainmaker” was just art, that interval performance in Copenhagen 2014 where she got all grand finalists on stage together(first time that ever happened in ESC) was just something else, I got chills when the audience loudly sung back “WEY-OH” no wonder the song charted all over Europe afterwards(even cracking the official UK Top 75) it was such a treat when she wrote for UK in 2017 as well,… Read more »

ESCFan2009
Guest
ESCFan2009

My favorite winner of the 2010s. It’s simply beautiful. Emmelie singing barefoot with great styling, the song with the flute and its whole charm, the pyro and costumes. I adore this. 10/10

Roelof Meesters
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Roelof Meesters

This does not deserve a higher score than 1944 or Calm After The Storm. Its a decent 7/10, and definitly not the best that year.

Hannah
Guest
Hannah

Totally agree

Jo.
Guest
Jo.

It’s a decent winner but not really a memorable one.

Tibor
Guest
Tibor

Folk is a peculiar genre and any kind of flute or whistle are tricky instruments in pop music. So I never liked this, it’s not an abysmal winner, but the obvious charm this tune seemed to exude for so many always eluded me. To my ears, it sounds like every other 90s folk pop song. One of my less favourite winners.

Kosey
Guest
Kosey

I love this Eurovision winner, one of my favourites of the whole decade. There is something earthy and ancient about it, it taps into something very deep in my soul. Emmelie is Mother Nature, the flautist is the beauty in the wind, the drummers are the men going to war, and the pyro rain at the end washes everything away. Wonderful! All in the space of three glorious minutes.

Mr. Vanilla Bean
Guest
Mr. Vanilla Bean

Did Emmelie understand the lyrics? The more she sang “Only Teardrops”, the more she smiled, as if the song was about tears of joy. Great smile, though! It’s okay, the package seemed like the compromise most countries could get behind that year. I feel like this is what Denmark alway does: send a reasonably nice and catchy tune that doesn’t offend anyone and hope to once again sneak into the better places. Only this time, Lise Cabble put a little more work into the song and added a flute and drums. How far a flute can take you. Morever, Denmark… Read more »

Skiwalko
Guest
Skiwalko

Well, I feel like the song, despite depicting human’s evil nature, is also full of hope and optimism – like if Emmelie wanted to say “I believe we’ll finally see how pointless all of this is” and was inviting us to sing along and share the message. I think it’s no coincidence that in the final chorus the backing singers’ vocals start to be more prominent – my interpretation is that they symbolize all the people joining Emmelie’s protest, and saying “let’s stop it, let’s make our world a better place”. So, after all, I’d say that smile wasn’t really… Read more »

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

A runaway winner from the moment I first heard the recorded track. Emmelie’s voice is a resonant alto-range serving of different types of music. Here she uses it for cinematic folk-pop, with tin whistles and lots of drums.
Then there is the live performance. Everything is here to make this a winner: the costumes, the bare feet, the choreographed connection between Emmelie and her whistle-playing man, and of course lots and lots of drums. Did I mention the drums?
Even Azerbaijan’s Sim Card-selling couldn’t beat this one.

Mr. Vanilla Bean
Guest
Mr. Vanilla Bean

Oh that was the sim card year? Foolish question. It was probably every year before as well until it got discovered, eh? The only entry they ever had that deserved its high place was “When The Music Dies”. It certainly dies when you have to cheat to win.

Jonas
Guest
Jonas

It’s still very galling that Azerbaijan got away with their shameless cheating. Running Scared should not be regarded as a “winner”, the history books should be changed to reflect that fact, much like Lance Armstrong’s Tour de France wins were stripped from the records. Of course, Azerbaijan don’t care about that – they do not and never have cared about the Eurovision, they got to host 2012 and spread their propaganda, that’s all that matters to them. Sad!

KESC
Guest
KESC

Propaganda? Wth are you talking about?

Jonas
Guest
Jonas

It’s quite simple. Are you not familiar with the definition of propaganda? The 2012 contest was part of an ongoing international publicity drive by Azerbaijan. They’ve doggedly pursued international events such as Athletics Championships, the Formula One Grand Prix, FIFA Euro 2020, even a bid for the Olympics – purely to promote the idea that Azerbaijan, as run by the undemocratic authoritarian regime, is a successful and modern country open for business. Propaganda.