The Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of music unprofessionals — are re-assembling to celebrate the 2010s by reviewing every podium finisher throughout the decade. Today we turn our attention to Korean Australian star Dami Im with her heartbreaking power ballad “Sound of Silence”.

It was only Australia’s second attempt at Eurovision glory, with their first entrant Guy Sebastian managing a top-five place. But Australia came back even hungrier for success. In announcing X Factor Australia winner Dami Im as their entrant, they showed Europe they meant business, and that they weren’t taking their renewed place in the content lightly.

Dami’s huge vocals and gorgeous staging filled the stage and took home the runner-up position in the 2016 contest, winning the jury vote to boot. Do the Wiwi Jury still love this song three years later, or are we praying for silence?

Dami Im – “Sound of Silence”

“Sound of Silence” reviews

Antranig: In 2016, Sergey Lazarev was defeated by two divas who are undeniable vocal powerhouses. The difference is that one had a deeply personal and meaningful song and the other’s heart beats to the sound of silence… and a whole bunch of other utterly meaningless lyrics. Don’t get me wrong — “Sound of Silence” is a very good song but I feel zero connection between Dami and the words she sings. That’s why “Sound of Silence” is not as extraordinary as the wonderful woman singing it. As an Aussie, I’m really proud of her regardless.

Score: 7.5/10

Sebastian: Cue perfect vocals, a dress to die for, and staging which accentuated a distinctly average ballad. And therein lies the weakness to “Sound of Silence” — it’s a nothing-lyrically song, that was somehow made meaningful by the ultra-talented Dami Im. Her silvery embellished dress squeezed blood from every stone, to create a performance worth remembering in Eurovision history. Easily one of the best vocals of the decade, and a testament to the team down-under who can make miracles happen.

Score: 7/10

Calvin: What a voice! The song itself is not spectacular but the way she performed it on stage elevates it beyond any level we’ve seen before. The mixture of the rather shy looking Dami and her absolutely killer vocals make it even more amazing. Whoever gets no chills listening to this is dead inside. It wasn’t enough for her to bring the trophy home, but Australia is one of my top calls for victory in the coming decade.

Score: 9/10

Luis: If I had all the money in the world and wanted to become a singer, I would no doubt hire Dami Im as a particular singer. What this woman did in the Globen stage was out of this galaxy. She took a rather plain and ordinary pop song and transformed it into an anthem. “Sound of Silence” wasn’t particularly on my radar before Eurovision, but as almost every juror in Europe, Dami converted me to her religion. Somebody bring me a giant glitter cube!

Score: 8.5/10

Lukas: Dami Im is one of the best vocalist we ever had at Eurovision and to this day her performance stays one of the most iconic ones. When the first time the song was released it was kind of boring at first but when Dami performed it lived she made me a huge fan of her and the song. Australia could been an amazing winner that year and her second place overall is well deserved.

Score: 9.5/10

Natalie: Dami! Seriously, as a song goes I didn’t really get into it. It’s very repetitive, generic and cold, and I didn’t play it that much listening up to the contest. Jamala’s song and Sergey’s song were much better. As a performance…. Oh my gosh, what an absolute slayage. I watched The X Factor Australia, I knew what she was capable of, and she surpassed my expectations and then some. Dami nailed it, her vocals were perhaps the best we ever saw on the Eurovision, and did Australia so proud. I’m glad Jamala won, but this performance will forever have a very close place in my heart.

Score: 9.5/10

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

William: 10/10

Pablo: 8/10

Robyn: 8.5/10

Angus: 8/10

Lucy: 6/10

Jonathan: 8.5/10

Bernardo: 8/10

Deban: 7.5/10

Oliver: 8/10

Kristin: 9/10

Edd: 3.5/10

Barnabas: 7/10

Florian: 10/10

Steinunn: 8.5/10

Julian: 10/10

Katie: 7/10

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 10.

Wiwi Jury verdict: 8.14/10

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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Saney
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Saney

I always felt like this was overrated. It’s good, of course, but still bland and boring. Sergey was much better. But still, Dami Im and her song were much better than Jamala

Peters
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Peters

Oh Dami~ My ultimate queen of Eurovision. She can sing a telephone book and slay. That’s how amazing she is.

khan
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khan

3.5? I’m sorry but what the hell is Edd smoking?

TRENT
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TRENT

Love your comment – really made me laugh! Agree!

Havok
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Havok

I know right. Back in 2016 Edd predicted Australia would place 25th in the jury. He also didn’t think it would qualify. Even though Australia won the second semi! Dami would get a 10/10!

Purple Mask
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Purple Mask

Coincidentally a couple of years before this song came out, I wrote a song about a long-distance relationship that was very loud and stompy. All of the feelings expressed were basically of an image on a computer screen, so the music reflected that calculatedness of the interaction. The song got set aside because none of my friends liked it. Then in 2016, I heard “Sound of Silence” by Dami Im and thought: “this sounds familiar.” 🙂 Of course, Dami Im’s performance is a million times better than anything I could ever do. This entry was very well done, and were… Read more »

Jonas
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Jonas

The theme of your song sounds a little like Kate Bush’s Deeper Understanding…are you familiar with this song?

Purple Mask
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Purple Mask

I wasn’t, until just now. 🙂
Thank you for sharing that.
Wow, that’s astonishingly modern for something written in 1989! Very impressive. It is a much more electronic sound than I went for, and the music video is wayy ahead of its time!

Briekimchi
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Briekimchi

Huge fan of Dami Im but giving her “Sound Of Silence” to sing is like asking Van Gogh to paint your house walls. It’s mediocre, Aussie-pop that’s better left in their JESC entries but to be fair, Dami dragged it up to a level it had no business reaching.

Krzysztof
Guest
Krzysztof

The 2 performances of “Sound of Silence” during the contest basically made me fly to Australia 3 times in following years just to attend a few concerts and no other performance in Eurovision since I started watching it in 1994 made me do such crazy thing. 10/10

Frysk
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Frysk

Don’t like the song. Sledom did anyone scream so loud silence…

James
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James

Belt

Sabrina
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Sabrina

A basic ballad with undeniably great vocals by Dami Im, despite the fact there’s too much belting for my taste. The whole entry was very respectable and tasteful (I love her dress!), but also quite cold (I still think she spent too much time sitting on that box). As I said in the “1944” review post, I ended up without a clear favorite in 2016 (It was supposed to be you, Croatia!) and rooted for Australia during the voting segment, though nowadays I came to terms that Ukraine was a better winner for the contest.

Purple Mask
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Purple Mask

Just on the coldness: I find it difficult to write songs about lacking something without it coming across as cold. In “Sound of Silence”, Dami is singing about being alone and far away, so yeah the music is going to be cold because there is literally no-one there. Does that make sense?
What’s amazing is how Dami adds so much emotion and power to the performance. She’s a real star.

Sabrina
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Sabrina

It makes total sense (and by the way, I don’t have problems with the lyrics here, they’re simple but effective). So maybe “cold” shouldn’t be the word for that. My point is that it was one of those performances I admire more than engage to. Not that I can’t feel the pain of a long distance relationship, but I always felt the performer was carrying the other elements, you know? In any case (I always hear William’s voice when I type this), I agree that Dami In is a star. 🙂

Polegend Godgarina
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Polegend Godgarina

to me it all felt very cold n artificial n i guess that’s why it didn’t connect very much with the public. still perfectly executed just lacked emotion

Skiwalko
Guest

“Sound of Silence” was out of my radar the whole pre-contest season. I thought it was very safe, emotionless and basic, an entry that would normally finish on the right side of the scoreboard. Boy, did Dami Im prove me wrong. Once she started singing, she cast a spell on me, that kept me glued to the screen the entire performance. One of the best vocals in the Eurovision history, truly a-ma-zing. She wasn’t my No. 2., but I was more than happy to see her coming second.
7.9/10 (#10 in 2016)

No name
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No name

Imagine giving this bland trash anything higher than 6. Literally the most overrated esc song ever

Joe
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Joe

Also, for what it’s worth, my top ten of 2016:
1) Ukraine
2) Netherlands
3) Georgia
4) Australia
5) Bulgaria
6) Armenia
7) Cyprus
8) France
9) Belgium
10) Austria
Honorable mentions: Bosnia and Herzegovina (come back someday!), Hungary, Iceland, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Montenegro (good year for hard rock that I may very well be the only fan of!), North Macedonia, Norway, Poland, San Marino (always in my heart, of course, but he glowed up big-time this year), Serbia, Spain (yes, really), and Sweden. Good frigging year.

FYROM
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FYROM

The juries loved this because ebu told them to vote for it, cause they wanted Australia to win. That way they would have a reason for keep letting Australia participating, and we all know ebu loves to have Australia in eurovision cause they give them a lot of money

Preuss
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Preuss

Oh yeah, I don’t think there’s any similarites between «Sound of Silence» and «Proud» right, so the juries this year were ordered as well to vote for North Macedonia (F.Y.R. of Macedonia) in order to let Tamara win

Alex
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Alex

North Macedonia didn’t have a 110 points lead over the 2nd with juries like Australia had in 2016 or Sweden in 2015 tho

Preuss
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Preuss

Well, to be honest, you can’t blame Sweden 15, Australia 16 and Portugal 17 for the fact that the other countries coming 2nd or 3rd didn’t score consistently better with the juries to match their scores. I mean, Russia, Ukraine, and Bulgaria got a lot of points and jury love. If the EBU are so desperate for an Australian win then why didn’t they instruct the juries this year to vote for Kate, the act that by many were considered to be Duncan’s toughest competitor that night? I’ve already pointed it out, but popera doesn’t do that well with the… Read more »

Polegend Godgarina
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Polegend Godgarina

i usually don’t believe conspiracy theories but they were so blunt bout it that year… y’all remember jon ola sand’s shooketh face n stutterin when he announced the televotes were ready, knowing ukraine was gonna host ? lmfao clowns, so happy it backfired

Joe
Guest
Joe

I think he’s just in a perfectly shaking and stuttering state. I try not to buy the conspiracies unless they’ve definitely for-sure been proven right.

Darren
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Darren

Being honest, I didn’t like the studio version of this, and I was still feeling weird about Australia even participating at this time, however, when Dami arrived in Stockholm and absolutely delivered one of the most amazing vocal and staging performances of the 10s I began to soften. This is one of Australia’s best entries so far, along with Guy in 2015 and Kate in 2019. Truth be told, France or Bulgaria where my winners in 2016, simply because I like that genre of music, they where somewhat ethnic and they where considered underdogs in the years previous. But if… Read more »

Preuss
Guest
Preuss

To be honest, this should’ve won, but am I mad that Jamala won? No. Everything about this entry was beautiful and perfect, and I really thought she were going to win for sure after the jury-votes so my suspicions that Australia had a disadvantage in televote hit my brain there and then, so I really don’t think there’s ever been a novelty factor of them competing. That being said, I wouldn’t rule out Dami returning one day as she still seems interested in Eurovision – perhaps she’ll join «Australia Decides» one day.

Mr. Vanilla Bean
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Mr. Vanilla Bean

Truth be told, I actually wanted this to win back in the Eurovision week of 2016, OUT OF THE TOP 3! As soon as it became evident that it was only going to be between Russia, Ukraine and Australia, I was a very unlikely supporter of Team Australia, simply because I found both Russia and Ukraine so awful. The song “Sound of Silence” is of course also very dire and emotionless, but Dami Im elevated it so much in the live performance, I particularly enjoyed how she sang the second verse “You’re not here, it never makes sense”. Great work,… Read more »

yodenman
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yodenman

Sorry to go off topic but still eurovision related. UK fans of junior eurovision can watch the Welsh contest to find their representative on SC4. I’m sure this is a BBC channel so it should be available on iplayer. To get back to this post. I wanted this to win because it was a good pop ballad… pure and simple. I couldn’t connect to 1944. It leaves me cold and slightly irritated by her vocals.

Jo.
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Jo.

Overrated piece of cheese.

Davve
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Davve

Should have been the winner that year

Sally
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Sally

Absolutely. If you go and watch Dami on youtube -the woman can sing any style of music better than most professional singers can sing even one.

Currently grooving on Super Love. Silly song but a brilliant fun video.

James
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James

I had the privilege of watching Dami Im perform live when she had a concert at a small intimate venue here in Manila. All I could say is that she’s really, really good!

And yes, there were Eurofans present, both locally, and from abroad (one came all the way from Sweden):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kvzJNbvVEqg

Kosey
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Kosey

Here we go. Wow, what a performance! What a visual! A song that builds and builds and then delivers – Bang!
For me, this should have won in 2016. It is the perfect universal 3 minute performance. It should have beaten 1944 because there are only a few people in the world who have experienced or can understand the immense pain of what Jamala is singing about, and if you think you can feel it, you are pretending and virtue-signalling.
But tell me who hasn’t felt the searing pain of loneliness?

Tibor
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Tibor

2016 was a very risk averse, rather unoriginal edition (perhaps understandably after what had done well in 2015). “Sound of Silence” is the perfect embodiment of this fact: very slick, very well produced, competently sung, but ultimately not that interesting. It is a very solid, respectable entry, but it feels slightly manufactured. Even the title is borrowed, when I heard it for the first time, I immediately thought: Simon & Garfunkel (some titles are just taken, people). The very flat structure of the 2016 competition made it all the more possible for a song like Jamala’s to emerge from this… Read more »

cassius
Guest
cassius

True, 2016 was not so good as some people say.

Tibor
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Tibor

I wouldn’t put it like that (and therefore I didn’t ;)). It wasn’t a bad year, by any means. It just was a lot of the same, it lacked originality.

cassius
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cassius

…so it was not so good year. Talented singers with mediocre songs.

Tibor
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Tibor

Well, in my opinion an unoriginal song is not necessarily the same as a mediocre song. But that’s just my opinion. 🙂

Polegend Godgarina
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Polegend Godgarina

i completely agree. lemme add that 2016 was mostly generic and outdated pop songs in english (only austria in the final had no english lyrics!) with zero commercial appeal, which helped jamala stand out.

Tibor
Guest
Tibor

Well, Pogo, I don’t know about _zero_ commercial appeal, but you’re right, it wasn’t the most current edition, either. All rather safe and been there, done that.

Sabrina
Guest
Sabrina

There’s a lot of 2016’s entries that I like, but I always have trouble picking a winner. Croatia had my favorite studio version, but crumbled. I also have a huge soft spot for Austria (I think it’s adorable, even if maybe too adorable) and Armenia (it felt like a sexy live music video). Ukraine brought artistry, Czechia ellegance, Latvia was very fresh, Italy very pleasant, Belgium was so much fun, France and the Netherlands were charming, Australia was solid. So I guess my favorite would depend on my mood on the day someone asks me about it.

Tibor
Guest
Tibor

Yeah, it’s different than in 2011. It wasn’t really a bad year, not the same boredom and bad quality as five years earlier. 2016 is strange, there are only two songs from that year I still occasionally listen to: “Lighthouse” and “Play”. Both were never going to win, so the only thing that was important to me on the night was, that Lazarev wouldn’t follow Zelmerlöw. Would I have been mad, if Dami Im had won? Not really, but I feel that Jamala’s victory gave this whole contest a different spin. And I liked that.

Sabrina
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Sabrina

“Play” was nice too, forgot about this one. And that’s exactly how I feel about Jamala’s win.

cassius
Guest
cassius

But you can’t sing along. I prefer Kate Miller-Heidke.

Joe
Guest
Joe

You think it’s easier to sing along to Zero Gravity?

cassius
Guest
cassius

Not like Kate, but yes. Dami Im is screaming.

James
Guest
James

Belting.

ESCFan2009
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ESCFan2009

Total slayage in all points. I won’t say anything else today. 10/10

Joe
Guest
Joe

Tonight Again opened the door for Australia’s participation. Sound of Silence kicked it down and proved that if they had a second chance at Eurovision, they weren’t going to waste it. The song is pretty standard pop, but there’s a humanity to it that comes through in Dami Im’s exemplary performance. No wonder the juries loved it so much: it’s as vocally on-point as anything I’ve ever heard at Eurovision and knocks me flat every time. It might’ve taken Australia a few years to hit these heights again (with another incredible vocal performance, no less), but they’ve prove quick studies… Read more »

Mr. Vanilla Bean
Guest
Mr. Vanilla Bean

I feel like there’s a big injustice with Kate’s placing in comparison, since you mentioned heights. None of the other Australian acts came even close to the heights Kate reached, both literally and figuratively. Not to mention that she even wrote her own song, which is far better than the sloppy seconds of DNA’s song shelf they had sent before her.

Joe
Guest
Joe

It was definitely a more earned 9th place, I think. Top ten with both the jury and the televote as opposed to the juries placing it high enough that even only picking up two points from the televote kept it in the top ten. Also: who thought “Don’t Come Easy” was good enough that year to finish fourth with the juries? Every year, there’s a jury head-scratcher, and that’s my big one for 2017, and nothing else really compares. Others I can think of are Malta in 2016 (I mean, it’s good, but it’s not THAT good, never got why… Read more »

Mr. Vanilla Bean
Guest
Mr. Vanilla Bean

The jury verdicts for Australia 2017 and Sweden 2018 are insane. I’m also with you on Malta 2016. It’s simple, it was hyped because of Ira. The song was nothing special, I liked the verses but the chorus was such a let-down and clearly, it wasn’t made for Ira’s voice who also couldn’t perform it properly. “Chameleon” was a fine song that wouldn’t have done worse than the one they gave herand I’m still waiting for an mp3 of the revamped version, which was partly performed in the NF the year after, yet inexplicably never released, even though it was… Read more »

Sally
Guest
Sally

In the case of Australia 2017 I think it had to be a case of a wide disparity between the jury show and the live final (where they are usually a similar level of performance) but since we only see the finals, I think a lot of people ended up baffled because the jury scores just didn’t match what we saw live where Isaiah was just overwhelmed by nerves and the bigness of the moment.

Azaad
Guest
Azaad

One of those songs whose strengths lie entirely within the singer. Of the five songs we’ve sent, this is the least interesting (excluding vocals), but everything that surrounds it? Amazing. I’ve never felt more patriotic.