The Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of music unprofessionals — are reassembling to celebrate the 2010s in all its glory. Today we head to Bucharest to review Romania‘s Paula Seling & Ovi who are “Playing With Fire”.
Someone grab an extinguisher, this place is on FIIIYA! Long before “Miracle” was brought to us in 2014, Paula Seling & Ovi gave Romania its second top-three result ever with smouldering looks across a double piano, serving us sex and sass. The upbeat pop banger is still adored by Eurofans across the continent, and it’s impossible to forget Paula’s pleather catsuit.
Romania may not have the best fortunes in the last couple of years, but they didn’t hold up a 100% qualification until 2017 for no reason. Can the jury take the heat? Did Paula’s famous high notes have us coming back for more? Read on below to find out!
Paula Seling & Ovi – “Playing With Fire”
“Playing With Fire” reviews
Pablo: I’m gonna cut to the chase: this is perfection. The magic this entire package exudes when I first watched it then still holds after ten years. The duo’s vocals are on point, their chemistry even more so, and it’s one of those performances that are truly original and never-before-seen; a perfect balance of voices, special effects, attitude and uniqueness. This is the song that hooked me to Eurovision, and for what is worth, I think it should have won it all right there and then. Of my best of all time.
Sebastian: “Playing With Fire” captured exactly what this decade’s sound and feel was all about. It was tactfully over the top with its piano, while Paula and Ovi’s chemistry was electric. Listening back – “Playing With Fire” has not stood the test of time aurally. But it sure does transplant me back to the start of this new decade, and should usher a return to the power pop duets that are so now sorely lacking at Eurovision.
Calvin: Am I the only one thinking about Will.i.am and Fergie whenever I see Paula and Ovi? “Playing with Fire” is the perfect example of a radio pop song that worked on the Eurovision stage. Their chemistry is amazing and we don’t even have to talk about the transparent double piano. It seems like only the background singers couldn’t enjoy the song as much as I did.
Edd: Throw together Ovi’s Scandi songwriting abilities, Paula’s glass-shattering vocal abilities, and that iconic siamese piano, and you’re on to a winner. The song may be a dated cheese overload, but that’s certainly not to say it’s not enjoyable — and the key to its success was that the song had personality and the duo had hot chemistry. I imagine, if it were to compete in the 2019 contest, it would bomb in the jury vote and fail to make the top ten. But I cherish the days where these kinds of songs triumphed.
Natalie: Romania’s best ever entrant to Eurovision certainly left a lasting impression. It’s sassy, the chemistry is amazing and it is held together by that killer electronic beat. It was during a time when electronic music was owning the charts, so it was a very contemporary, sweet entry. Paula’s vocals never really sold it to me though. The third verse could have been much more than just her highest notes possible. Still, a beautiful gritty song performed perfectly, and a very deserving third place.
Tom: That catsuit though. I remember loving this song from the first listen and it didn’t disappoint live. Paula and Ovi’s vocals were on point, the joint piano gimmick worked and the pyros (and the catsuit) elevated the song to another level. The only thing I didn’t think was necessary were the feathery women in the back — strip them away and just make it solely about the relationship between Paula and Ovi (and the catsuit). Other than that, Romania’s best song in the last ten years. *mic drop*
In the Wiwi Jury we have 24 jurors but only have room for six reviews. The remaining scores are below:
| Oliver: 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 6 and a high of 10.
Wiwi Jury verdict: 8/10
What do you think of this song? Share your own score and review below!