The Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of music unprofessionals — are re-assembling to celebrate the 2010s. In this decade, we’ve seen some of the most iconic performances of all time, including many props and epic gimmicks to aid their success. However, potentially no one will ever live up to the extremes of the challenging performance Sergey Lazarev delivered in 2016 for Russia with “You Are The Only One”.
After Måns Zelmerlöw won Eurovision in 2015, interacting with a projected boy in a dark scene to reflect his lyrics, Russia must have thought “hold my vodka”. Sergey Lazarev — a known showman in his homeland — came to Stockholm already pretty high with the bookies, but once the press had seen what the delegation had prepared, he was almost sure to win. Not only was Sergey interacting with his screen, but he was climbing on it, jumping and leaning on blocks built into the screen.
There was even an incident in rehearsals where he’d fallen off one of the blocks, but he managed to pull it round to perfection by the semi-final, and inevitable grand final. In a tense voting sequence, where the juries weren’t as kind as expected, it became clear Sergey had won the televote. Sadly it just wasn’t enough to win, or even overtake Dami Im from Australia in second place. However this will be a show that is talked about for decades to come. Do the Wiwi Jury still have this as their number one like it was back in 2016, or are we over it?
Sergey Lazarev – “You Are the Only One”
“You Are the Only One” reviews
Pablo: This is SUCH a fun entry to revisit, mainly because it’s such a picture-perfect performance, a crystal clear live with an iconic usage of props. This was a time when many fans were tired with Russia’s balladry, so when Russia decided to send an uptempo number, they did not hold back. Does the entry hold up as well as it did in 2016? Not perfectly, but this was a statement of what Eurovision could do at its finest: pushing the envelope on technology and artistry to unseen levels. Delegations should aspire to try with this much desire.
Jonathan: [Insert witty/overused thunder and lightning remark here] Despite being a catchy and polished pop offering, I didn’t initially have “You Are the Only One” near the top of my 2016 ranking owing to its slightly dated production. However, now comparing amongst the best of the decade, there is no denying that Sergey Lazarev’s live performance in Globen arena is one of the most spectacular we have ever seen (and may ever see) at Eurovision. The ability to deliver vocally and enunciate the lyrics while doing all that movement is not something to be taken lightly. Although a connection with the audience is perhaps missing, Sergey proved that he is a true performer.
Luis: “You Are the Only One” was already dated by the time it came to Eurovision. However, rather than being off-putting, Russia’s 2016 entry felt like a total pleasure, with no guilt at all. Sophisticated and ultra-cool staging saved this track, which could have perfectly gone unnoticed as another filler song for one of Sergey’s albums. Did it all come down to staging with this song? Clearly not. It had that slightly dated feel that grabbed audiences of all demographics, from the newly addicted people to the bombastic Eurovision of the 2010s until the old school schlager fans.
Barnabas: What happens when Russia tries to win Eurovision the Swedish way? Well, it might feel a bit over the top. Sergey is an amazing performer, as the whole performance of his was a joy to watch. Yet the song just seemed too cliché (musically and lyrically) and manufactured for the contest, despite being one of the catchiest tunes ever at Eurovision. Sometimes trying too hard ends up in a defeat.
Steinunn: It took my a while to recognise the appeal of this song. Back in 2016 I didn’t like it, or at least I told people I didn’t. I was pretty sure that it was just another pretentious factory-made pop production that was trying to be something much more than it was. But in the end I just had to get off my high horse and admit (mostly to myself) that this was a banger. Sure, it’s not a revolutionary piece of music but in the end of the day you don’t need to be Beethoven to be entertaining. Plus Sergey ticks in all the boxes when it comes to be a great performer.
Charlotte: “You Are the Only One” was my favourite entry of this year. I love a good, catchy pop song. To this day, I keep using the sentence “Thunder and lightning, it’s getting exciting” for things I’m very excited about! The big, interactive screen that Sergey used during his performance was super innovative. My attention did not shift once watching his performance and I’m easily distracted.
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 6 and a high of 10.
Wiwi Jury verdict: 8.11/10
What do you think of this song? Share your own score and review below!