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!
Quintessentially Eurovision! Great singer, fantastic show and just the proper amount of cheesiness. This was my absolute winner, no doubt about that. But the juries were unimpressed, at least in their marks. Jurors marks are visible for everyone to see on the internet and many jurors simply do not want to be associated with Russia’s wars in Abkhazia, Georgia, Donbass and Russia’s annexation of Crimea. Had Sergey represented France as “Serge Lazarois” he would have slamdunked it. He would have won with a landslide.
Edd gave this song 7 and only 3.5 to Sound Of Silence. You need to get your ears checked.
whack song with good visuals, dassit
Cheesy, dated pop with absolutely empty lyrics. Relied solely on Sergey hotness and staging. Musically it’s pure sh_t
OK, just coming back to this: nobody rated this song lower than a 6? Really? People were handing out lousy scores to Amar pelos dois and Grande Amore but nobody had the heart to rank this one lower than a 6? This is the great equalizer?
And yes, I say this as someone who gave it a 6.5, but that was a gentleman’s 6.5. I wouldn’t put it top fifteen for that year.
2 words: stolen victory
The Azerbaijan post was yesterday…
Great performance and vocals, but the song has no redeeming qualifies whatsover aaide from it being catchy. Does not deserve this high result like at all. Yeah its an 8/10 for me, but when you’re talking about averages, 8,11/10 is faaaar too high.
Based on the song alone, this score is way too high.
Sergey is such a pro. Doing all those moves and singing live at the same time takes a lot! The performance was entertaining and the visual effects very expensive and well done. But I agree with the things Skiwalko, Reverb and Joe said here. There’s a lot going on (I can feel Sergey’s relief when he gets to the end), but no connection between elements. While “Heroes” told a story and allowed Mans to connect with the audience, to my taste “YATO” fails on both aspects. Of course it doesn’t help that I never liked the song.
Controversial opinion: I don’t think the staging was that good. In my opinion staging should be somehow connected with the song – convey its message, present its mood, add another layer to its meaning, whatever. And as such, “YATOO”‘s staging fails to do its job. To me it feels more like a circus act – it’s so distracting from the song, that it becomes the main focus instead. It’s not “You Are The Only One”, it’s “Sergey doing stuff on the stage”. And while at times the effects used here are indeed kinda impressive, it’s no match for “Heroes”‘s staging,… Read more »
It’s impossible to connect the stage show to the lyrics when the lyrics are meaningless.
To be totally honest, I never got the song from the first time I heard it. It felt too dated, and in the live performance it felt to me that the visual gimmicks were too distracting – surely there were better songs that could have won the televote over YATOO
As a person who worked a while in a studio that creates video mapping for shows, I can tell that his staging was what we called “cool mapping effects”. Which means there’s no script to follow, just do something cool to look at. And that’s how it looked like, 0 story telling or connection to the song. I remember when he was asked about the meaning of the staging he mumbled something very unconvincing about “finding your one”.
The biggest problem here is not the song. It’s the production! How can you not see that this is a waste of screens and pyrotechnics? There’s zero narrative. It’s an exaggerated presentation of “technological” staging. Felt cringe the first time I watched it. Feels cringe now. The same happened to Chingiz this year. Everyone was raving after the rehearsals but the result was overblown, tasteless and laughable. Sue me!
Would the song do anything to you if you watched the performance with your eyes closed?
Not to me.
1944 was blast and I’m happy it won.
I’m soo happy that this bland pop song did not win that year. If it had won that year, I honestly wouldn’t have seen any difference between Heroes and You are the Only One.
Not my winner, yet it deserved to win imo. It got 361 points from televoting. Huge score. I can’t ignore that. Every single country voted for him.
Jamala is my personal winner that said. Both were great
He received 38 televote points more than Jamala. It came from Russia’s huge diaspora. Russia gets at least some diaspora points from almost every single country.
Ehm? Jamala received 323 points and Sergey 361… It’s not like a 100 pointsh difference.
Then, Norway should have won this year as well, or?
A great song in a year of great songs. I wouldn’t have been upset if it had won and I wasn’t upset that it didn’t. So many professional and solid performances this year and this was the most so. You just have to admire the professionalism and work ethic of a performer like Sergey.
This is the kind of all-style, no-substance stuff specifically designed for Eurovision alone that I can’t really connect with. It’s not silly enough to be stupid-fun and it’s too sincere to take seriously. He’s a good singer, but I just couldn’t connect with the song and presentation at all. You could do worse, but you could also do a lot better (like Australia and Ukraine). 6.5/10
You took my words. I would call it artificial, songs and shows tailor-made for Eurovision. The staging was impressive, but it wasn’t sincere and felt too cold.
It’s ok, but definitely not a winner.
This one is unashamedly over-dramatic and a lot of fun. The lyrics are silly, but the cross-rhythms are catchy and the key change in the third minute is very effective. The production was a wow factor and was obviously designed to win. Sadly for Russia this was the year of Jamala and Dami Im, so it came third.
Also, there were those male backing dancers. I just thought I would mention them. 🙂
Quite a solid entry overall; it’s just a bit silly with the lyrics.
What would be a cross-rhythm, Mask? Parts of the instrumental going in different directions?
Pretty much throughout the song there are cross-rhythms caused by triplets that are spread across 2 beats. So the melody puts three notes into two beats, and that creates a 3-2 cross-rhythm. (Thunder and lightning, it’s getting exciting.) To demonstrate, grab a friend and get them to clap two times evenly apart, and then while they keep on doing that for a minute, clap yourself three times over top of them over the same time period when they clap twice. The result is: a cross-rhythm. 3 into 2. 🙂
Got it, thanks. 🙂 I can see how it makes the song catchier. It brings some urgence also, like an accelerated heart beating.
The song was okay but I wasn’t impressed with the live performance. While it is indeed a visual spectacle and Sergey was no doubt giving his all while still keeping his vocals tight without any untoward incident, all it did was hide how much of a Eurovision-by-the-numbers “You’re The Only One” really was.
the song is total dated euroschlager trash. but that epic performance actually managed to save it from total oblivion (I would even put it into my 2016 personal top 10). not good enough to be a winner and would have scored much less televoting points had it been representing any other post-Soviet country (Belarus, Moldova, Armenia, etc.).
I actually enjoy the SONG. It’s my playlists. I love Sergey as an artist. This is not his best song, yet worst song. It’s a catchy pop song, good one. He has a brilliant voice and charisma too. I would pick this over 1944 anytime!
I’m sitting on the ground in a park, it’s still crap from up here.
I can’t believe they are paying native English speakers to write such god-awful lyrics. It’s so painfully unoriginal, so bland and uninteresting that I don’t even know what else to say about this song, there’s nothing there. Kirkorov in a nutshell.
at the end of the day, Nicky Byrne’s “Sunlight” was written by native speakers as well
But Sunlight didn’t finish top three. It didn’t even qualify.
This performance is a visual treat. It is slick, captivating, innovative, well-performed, and gripping from start to end. The song itself is your typical catchy pop song, but the staging just gave it an artsy feel. If I were trying to sell Eurovision to someone who does not or has not watched it, this would be one of the first videos I would show them.
it’s a bit “kitchen sink” though. what was the point of “Super Mario” and flying on a 8bit Asteroid? Might have looked good for some 80s synthpop throwback, but for Sergey’s euroschlager…
It’s a “Show” that people will remember but not the song though.
Am I right: The highest score so far??? This even surprises me and I hope that at least Loreen will do her magic to take over the first place, because “YATOO” is in my eyes not even close to be worthy enough to win. It is a cool pop song, yes, but the song itself is rather basic and it was all about the show. One year after Mans! One more thing: this is no artist or country bashing, as y’all know how much I love “Scream”. This is just good pop, but nothing more. 7.5/10
My bet is
1) Amar Pelos Dois
Guarantee Euphoria will be top
Amar Pelos Dois can’t lose, not that I’m a big fan.
It’s gonna lose, some wiwibloggers hate APD with passion.
Lazarev is John Legend wannabe, but he doesn’t have the right song writer or the right muse.
I remember at the time thinking this was all about gimmicks for gimmick’s sake. The visuals were impressive but bore no connection to the song, and I couldn’t help but feel it was a soulless copy of 2015. It was still better than the eventual winner that year though.