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”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
In the Wiwi Jury we have 24 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 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!