The Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of music unprofessionals — are re-assembling to celebrate the 2010s. Today we move to the only participant to have two songs in this jury, and it’s time we looked at his second and most recent effort. Sergey Lazarev from Russia, it’s time to take centre-stage again, this time with “Scream”.

There were rumours of Sergey’s big return in early 2019, with fans going wild for the possibilities. Some wanted to see Mr Lazarev take the trophy that they believe belonged to him in 2016, whilst others were just excited to see what other tricks he could pull off staging-wise. When it was confirmed, the fandom went into meltdown, and we were ready for whatever was produced.

What nobody expected particularly was an emotional ballad, so drastically different to his previous attempt, “You Are The Only One”. “Scream” is powerful and raw, with more focus on the vocals of Sergey and the connection the audience can have with him. His possible staging was one of the biggest talking points before the rehearsals, and when we finally saw it, we were not disappointed. More stripped back than before but still completely epic. In a contest where fans didn’t necessarily expected him to match his previous attempt (though bookies disagreed), he managed to come third again, with a strong televote score. Which of the two tracks did the jury prefer? And is he our favourite of the decade?

Sergey Lazarev – “Scream”

“Scream” reviews

Robyn: With all the twists and turns of the 2019 grand final results, it’s easy to forget Russia slipping into a well-deserved — but not totally expected — third place. Like Sergey’s 2016 entry, “Scream” always felt like a calculated Eurovision entry — but this time aimed at the jury vote. That combined with the super ambitious staging make it seem a bit cold and calculated. However, Sergey is still a talented vocalist and super charismatic performer who elevated “Scream” and made it personal.

Score: 7/10

Jonathan: My journeys with Sergey Lazarev’s Eurovision entries have been polar opposites. Although “You Are the Only One” grew on me going from studio to stage, “Scream” did the reverse. Despite a strong vocal delivery and some mirror trickery, perhaps the most important factor was missing – an emotional connection with the audience. Whether that’s down to the wide camera shots destroying any chance of intimacy, or Sergey not completely feeling the emotion of the English lyrics (as he might have done if singing in Russian) is up for debate. Unfortunately, while his 2016 performance will likely be remembered for years to come, Sergey’s 2019 attempt may not achieve the same legacy.

Score: 7/10

Luis: “Scream” is a perfectly respectable piece of musical theatre that went too far at Eurovision. While Sergey’s vocals are undeniable, the song itself is just epicness for the sake of it. It didn’t feel overacted or anything, but you could clearly see Sergey was playing a role. There’s nothing wrong with it because he was nailing his character, but it was the story he was telling what I never really connected with.

Score: 6.5/10

Oliver: While many expected and hoped for something akin to “You Are the Only One”, I was somewhat relieved that we were to see a new side of Sergey, especially since we were promised some epic staging. Upon first listen, I was rather indifferent to the song and dismissed it a little too early, however, there was something about it that drew me back. Listening to it more carefully, I realised how emphatic and emotive the musicality of this song was — especially the final minute. While the staging may not have been as memorable as Sergey’s previous entry, “Scream” will definitely remain as a euphony for me and I am so glad that Sergey was given a chance to show another side to his musical style.

Score: 9.5/10

Kristin: I was expecting a total bop along the lines of “You Are the Only One” and so was less than impressed when “Scream” was finally released. But somewhere along the way, Sergey grabbed ahold of my heart and once I read the lyrics as well, I was completely sold. “Scream” has that epic feel about it but in a different way, and combined with Sergey’s vocals and tearjerking lyrics, this was a slam dunk. Will it age well? I don’t know, but right now, this song  definitely deserved its placing and more so. Also, never ask me to criticise my beloved Sergey — it won’t end well, for I am biased as hell when it comes to him and not ashamed to admit it!

Score: 9.5/10

Barnabas: “Scream” is clearly the better of the two Eurovision songs by the Russian superstar. It didn’t have all the acrobatics and visuals of his previous entry, but, in turn, the song was more meaningful, had more depth and epicness within. Sergey showcased another powerful demonstration of his performing skills, and while he didn’t pull a Dima Bilan, he can only be proud of what he achieved.

Score: 8.5/10

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

William: 7/10

Antranig: 6.5/10

Pablo: 4/10

Angus: 7/10

Lucy: 8/10

Sebastian: 4/10

Bernardo: 7/10

Deban: 7/10

Calvin: 3.5/10

Edd: 7.5/10

Lukas: 7/10

Florian: 7/10

Steinunn: 7.5/10

Natalie: 7/10

Julian: 9/10

Katie: 8/10

Tom: 8/10

Charlotte: 6/10

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 3.5 and a high of 9.5.

Wiwi Jury verdict: 7.09/10

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

So dramatic. Playing it on piano is epic. One cover example here: https://youtu.be/h-beiv_rvZU

The final Eurovision performance might have suffered a little from camera-work, but Sergey’s performance was outstanding. More of this sort of entry from Russia would make perfect sense to me. (Sorry Polegend.)

Joe
Guest
Joe

Love Sergey in any capacity.His showmanship always on point.

Briekimchi
Guest
Briekimchi

My favourite amongst the songs that did well this year. I do like something dramatic! Showed off the versatility of Sergey as a performer, his voice and they did a surprisingly good job with the staging.
I know it wasn’t very popular on here but then again, nothing Russia ever does is.

Dalth
Guest
Dalth

Meh it came 3rd because it is Russia very lucky to do that well. Same problem as his last entry in 2016, cheesy and fairly average song with all the bells and whistles added on to the stage performance to disguise the fact its not very good.

Lars
Guest
Lars

No one was talking about it during the Eurovision week and I am surprised it reached 3rd in the end. I like Sergey and the song but something does not sit well about it in the scoreboard.

Dice
Guest
Dice

I personally loved it, and while I prefer the Russian version released after the contest, “Scream” is amazing and deserved the 3rd. 10/10, #3/42

esc1234
Guest
esc1234

If it wasnt perfomed by Sergey, it would be a huge flop. He is the only reason why it got top 3.

Preuss
Guest
Preuss

I mean, I don’t think this entirely did well “because it’s Russia” – it was a very good performance. Russia can do bad, like last year with poor Julia who was used as a pawn in a cruel game. I’m more in the belief that it matters who you send, not which country the artist represent as I immediately knew that Sergey would get a lot of televote result due to his popularity. And having a diaspora can help if you’re able to mobilize them, which I can imagine that Sergey did – and not just because of his name.

Sabrina
Guest
Sabrina

It was a professional performance, but also a very cold one. Sergey delivered great vocals, especially in the final, and the bridge’s melody had the potential to generate a great Eurovision moment… but the whole thing left me with the feeling there was a lot of drama going on without much substance to justify it, given the superficial lyrics. I agree with Jonathan, the wide camera angles killed any chance of intimacy.

Joe
Guest
Joe

Kirkorov is never gonna win Eurovision with his little spectaculars. Just tantalizingly close, over and over again.

Sabrina
Guest
Sabrina

I feel Eurovision has been constantly moving further away from Kirkorov’s musical style (which makes me glad, because I’m not into any of the songs he brought to the contest), so he’ll need to find a new plan.

Jonas
Guest
Jonas

Not even Shady Lady?

Sabrina
Guest
Sabrina

Well, “Shady Lady” was a fun entry. But it’s not something I would listen to in my day to day life, you know? I feel the same about “My Lucky Day”, though the Ukrainian entry was much better musically.

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

Hi Sabrina. I think we have to assume that the lyrics aren’t necessarily thought of in English as the first language. Even if they are written that way first, I have always read them as being “interpreted”. I hope that makes sense.
Another thing: Song lyrics do not necessarily have to be good poetry in order to make a good song (although it sometimes helps). 🙂

Sabrina
Guest
Sabrina

It makes total sense to me, Mask. But in that case, why not to send the song in Russian? Sergey would possibly connect better to the material, his fans would keep loving him and the final result (not in terms of position, because it already did better than expected, but of performance) could be different. I guess our backgrounds say a lot about our (minor) disagreements about this and other entries. The same way you value a melody that would challenge you on a piano, I value lyrics with meaning and good imagery. But I can be OK with basic… Read more »

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

Indeed, that’s all fine. I think this song might have been written in English to begin with (correct me if I am wrong), and is somewhat open to interpretation lyrically.
Is there a russian version of the song? This might be interesting to listen to.

Skiwalko
Guest
Skiwalko

There is, here you go:
youtube.com/watch?v=qZ_fLwtP0JU
Just in case, the song is called “Krik” and it’s easy to find it on YouTube.

Sabrina
Guest
Sabrina

Do you know if the original is the Russian one or if they translated from English, Skiwalko?

I actually think the lyrics are pretty direct, Mask. I just don’t think they sell the drama as well as the melody, which I learned to appreciate with time.

Skiwalko
Guest
Skiwalko

It’s different, apparently the English translation is as follows: We won’t be able to stay longer/ And won’t be able to forgive/ In our broken world/ Nothing can be saved/ Letting go, not loving/ but how can the heart/ forget it all? / Your lies/ are like a step into abyss/ You will not see my tears/ but from the emptiness echoes/ My scream x3/ Many different stories/ will reveal the whole truth/ But at what a price/ if we’re no longer together/ Letting go, not loving/ but how can the heart/ forget it all?/ Rain inside/ you will hear/… Read more »

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

Thanks for the translations.
These are sadder lyrics. Almost suicidal actually.
They go well with the music too. It’s a positive reaction from me.

Sabrina
Guest
Sabrina

I like the Russian lyrics better, because I think they do a better job on expressing why he was so despaired. Both are overdramatic, but there’s a difference between seeing someone having a breakdown and understanding what’s the pain about and seing someone screaming without knowing why. 😛

By the way, I see similarities with Morland’s song for Norway this year. Morland’s lyrics were more nuanced, but they carry the same despair feeling. I guess I’m a cynical and you’re a romantic, Mask! haha

Sabrina
Guest
Sabrina

Oh, and “from the emptiness echoes… my scream” is a killer line. Much better than loud tears.

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

Well Sergey “screams” nicely, unlike AWS for example. 😀

Sabrina
Guest
Sabrina

His singing was on point! I’m not a fan of both Sergey’s entries, but the guy is really a pro. And showed a lot of versatiliy. AWS’ screams were also on point, just on a totally different lane. 😀

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

Thanks Skiwalko. 🙂
Perhaps it could have worked in either language – that is usually the sign of a strong song.

Kris
Guest
Kris

Vocally its nice, but the rest of aspects of this entry are forgettable and dull

Polegend Godgarina
Guest
Polegend Godgarina

scream came alive with its live performance, which sergey served excellently. otherwise a subpar track with zero replay value that didn’t chart anywhere

Skiwalko
Guest
Skiwalko

We’ve all seen this performance before. I don’t mean it literally, but there’s just nothing original, interesting or groundbreaking about it. “Scream” is another typical, uninspired ballad with, at times, laughable lyrics and boring, gimmicky staging. The only redeeming quality of this act is Sergey himself, who showed off here his solid, pleasant vocals and impressive charisma and acting skills, but the rest already faded away from my memory and Russia’s 3rd place finish remains a mystery for me.
6/10 (#27 in 2019)

Ioa Ioa
Guest
Ioa Ioa

Probably the most forgettable 3rd place. I dont dislike it it’s just too generic and forgettable.

Engin
Guest

Calvin and Pablo have no taste and they don’t know about the ‘ideal types & notes for each genre’ I saw that most of you are unprofessional. (I am a music blogger in Turkey who writes critics for newspapers)

pepe
Guest
pepe

So just like Calvin and Pablo you are someone with a laptop and an opinion.

Creupoplité
Guest
Creupoplité

Everyone is complaining about his 3rd place but I can’t think of something to replace it… (i liked some songs more, like Spirit in the sky, but don’t think they should be top 3)
For me, 3rd place is well deserved ! One of the few that I still listen to this days !

Joe
Guest
Joe

Truth be told, I actually like it better than “You Are the Only One.” The staging is still kind of cheesy, but this gave him more of a chance to let his vocals shine. I was surprised by how much I got into it. I’d give it an 8/10.

Eurovision Online Contest
Guest

Such a dud song for a great singer/performer 😉 He needs to come back with a better song

Idan Cohen
Guest
Idan Cohen

When are Milim/Rak Bishvilo coming up?

Skiwalko
Guest
Skiwalko

(Unfortunately) never, cause those entries didn’t come top 3. The only Israeli entry that managed to do that this decade was Netta’s “Toy”, which was already reviewed. But to be fair, usually each year there are songs far more worth reviewing than those from the top 3 (look at the title of this article).

Tibor
Guest
Tibor

Perhaps Padraig will continue his overview of every country’s entries of the last decade once he has the time again, then they will come up.

Idan Cohen
Guest
Idan Cohen

I didn’t know those articles are limited to the top 3. I thought the editors pick the songs they care about

Héctor
Guest
Héctor

7.09/10 and still overrated for me…

pepe
Guest
pepe

Isn’t it a bit early to judge the 2019 again.

asuma
Guest
asuma

It’s top 3 from each year 2010’s. Of course 2019 will appear.

pepe
Guest
pepe

But the 2019 ones are only a few months old. Usually it takes a little bit more time to judge the impact a song had.

asuma
Guest
asuma

I think it’s fair enough what Wiwibloggs does. It’s about 10’s. Maybe should have started with the first ones : 2010, 2011….but otherwise, what can they do? A decade is a decade.

KESC
Guest
KESC

One of the most undeserved places ever at the contest. That song should have barely reached the TOP 10. One of those rare moments where I have to agree with the juries.

Seeing Zero Gravity 6th places below this is a real CRIME!!

Teddy
Guest
Teddy

Agree except for Zero Gravity being low; that song deserved low.

KESC
Guest
KESC

Not with that staging and those vocals.

Kosey
Guest
Kosey

Who’s this Russian diaspora guy? I want to meet him if he is so powerful.

Jo.
Guest
Jo.

Boring and overrated to the max.

Idan Cohen
Guest
Idan Cohen

It was cheesy AF.

Idan Cohen
Guest
Idan Cohen

I wanna explain: This doesn’t feel authentic, it feels competitive and eurovision-y. I don’t like it when artists come to Eurovision with songs that are tailor-made to “score Eurovision” What didn’t we have there? -high notes – check -buzzwords like “screams”, “tears”, “pain” – check -cheezy staging – check -handsome male singer to appeal to the LGBT community – check -a power ballad starting with low notes and volume and finishing with high notes and high volume – check. it doesn’t feel like there’s something to take away from the song or performance. it started and finished on the Eurovision… Read more »

Mr. Vanilla Bean
Guest
Mr. Vanilla Bean

Whoever wrote “tearjerking lyrics” in that headline, thank you for making me chuckle on my bus ride. People in busses need to smile more. It’s so fitting to the lyric “swallow hard”, the best thing to come out of this entry because I still find it hilarious. Actually, I enjoyed Sergey’s performance quite a bit. I like blue, I like rain, I like tight, white clothes, I could totally ignore the song itself. Was it a success? I suppose it depends on how you look at it. A third place is good, period. But is it good for a country,… Read more »

123
Guest
123

Sorry but the song is realistically bad and sounds like an upgraded version of “The Dream”. People are just lowering their criteria cause it’s Sergey and Russia.

ESCFan2009
Guest
ESCFan2009

I love the melody and the emotions in “Scream”. The “Not so silent and innocent”-part is amazing! Sergey’s stage was stripped down in comparison to 2016, but still epic – the “shower” and the “9 Sergeys” 😀 “Scream” is one of the few entries I still listen to regularly and sing along to. I’ll award this with 9.5/10.

Tibor
Guest
Tibor

This only came third because of an overwhelming support from Russian diaspora, top 10 would have been digestible, top 3 was too much. In my personal opinion, this is better than his 2016 entry but still something that already feels forgotten a couple of months after the contest. But I’m the inverse Kristin, I always felt that I was biased against him, because I never liked anything he did, most notably “You are the only one”. I try to be objective, but sometimes it’s hard.

Saney
Guest
Saney

7.09 is low. I love it, it’s an epic masterpiece and Sergey is just beyond awesome

Saney
Guest
Saney

7.09 is low.

Kosey
Guest
Kosey

Whilst this was not one of my personal top 3 of 2019, I still think it holds its own when viewed amongst some of the other top 3s of the 2010s. Whilst I found the shower scene unintentionally funny, it was nevertheless a dramatic piece of work delivered flawlessly by an experienced professional performer. I have no qualms in this entry being included here and respect its quality.

Paul
Guest
Paul

Let’s be honest – this was lucky to come third