The Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of music unprofessionals — continues to rate and review the 41 songs that had been selected for Eurovision 2020. Next up, we take a look at Australia‘s act Montaigne, who won Eurovision: Australia Decides with her song “Don’t Break Me”. Did we give her a break? Read on to find out!

Montaigne – “Don’t Break Me”

“Don’t Break Me” reviews

Esma: Montaigne’s “Don’t Break Me” is a well-produced, unique pop song that stands out in a year where male ballads dominate the competition. Montaigne’s performance at the national final might be considered quirky but I’d rather call it extraordinary. She might be dressed as a clown, but she ain’t no joke. Both visually and aurally Montaigne is giving us a taste of all her talents. Montaigne is a fierce competitor and I’m sure this queen from Down Under would have stolen the hearts of many Europeans.

Score: 8.5

Florian: While the performance at the national final could come across as slightly odd and out of this world, “Don’t Break Me” is a strong song whatsoever. Its striving verses swiftly lead into a spot-on chorus that gives further texture to this song. Montaigne’s voice goes well along and overall, it perfectly evokes the fractured relationship throughout the song’s progression.

Score: 7

Ron: “Don’t Break Me” is nothing we haven’t heard before yet it’s still quite a good pop song with some great lyrics and good production. The live performance, however, really throws me off and makes it hard for me to concentrate on the song. When I first heard and watched it I really didn’t like it but after listening again I was much more positive, as I could ignore the visual performance.

Score: 6

Sebastian: “Don’t Break Me” is a masterclass in pop production perfection, combined with a singer that epitomises uniqueness in vocals and presence. In a year where pop isn’t a priority, Montaigne delivers a level of indie-pop that stands out from the pack. Despite the amazing one-take of the camera work, the performance can be polished, and the song needs a little growth to give it oomph. But these small critiques can be easily polished.

Score: 8.5

Tom: This is simply an excellent pop song. I fell in love with “Don’t Break Me” when I first listened to it on YouTube. It’s beautifully sung, passionate and would have been catnip for juries. Now, despite my high score, they would need to shave off some of the wildness on stage. Montaigne’s voice struggles and you start forgetting that she is actually singing. Lose a lot of that, calm it down a tad and you would have had a potential top-five song, minimum.

Score: 9

 

Montaigne – “Don’t Break Me” rankings

In the Wiwi Jury we have 22 jurors but only have room for five reviews. The remaining scores are below:

Angus: 7

Antranig: 8

Åri: 8

Barnabas: 7

Bernardo: 6.5

Calvin: 8.5

Deban: 8

Jonathan: 9

Lucy: 9

Luis: 8.5

Natalie: 7.5

Oliver: 6

Pablo: 9

Renske: 7.5

Robyn: 6.5

Tobias: 5.5

William: 8.5

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 5.5 and a high of 9.

Wiwi Jury verdict: 7.73/10

What do you think of this song? Share your own score and review below!

See all our Eurovision 2020 reviews and rankings

55 Comments
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Josh Sterling
Josh Sterling
10 months ago

I will give a 8.5/10 for this

ESCFan2009
ESCFan2009
10 months ago

Australia – 9.5/10 (4th/41)

Mr X
Mr X
10 months ago

Australia 3/10

Colin
Colin
10 months ago

AUSTRALIA – As all Australian entries, Don’t Break Me is a well produced pop song. As many of them, it’s also well written and performed by someone who can connect with the content. It showcases the fragility and strength is Montaigne’s voice as she depicts her struggles in a one-sided relationship. I think it has all the right ingredients to make a big impact on stage. Even if the first live left space for some improvements, I can see the artistic value here and in Montaigne as an artist. I am looking forward to seeing her again next year. This… Read more »

Purple Mask
Purple Mask
10 months ago

I am very biased on this one, as I have been a fan of Montaigne for a while. But I will try to be objective. The music is actually surprisingly circular and uncompromising. The key is stuck in F minor and barely develops harmonically beyond four chords. Instead, the interest comes in the loud percussion, the surprise stop/start moments of the song, and an extremely emotive melody. I find the “I love you” repeated three times in Verse 2 to be especially memorable, as are the additions to the melody towards the end of the song. But it is the… Read more »

Preuss
Preuss
10 months ago
Reply to  Purple Mask

You know, judging from her previous work, she can be much more creative and unique than a standard mid-tempo pop song like “Don’t Break Me”. I think I pointed this out earlier in the season as well, that perhaps there was a mismatch between singer and song in the sense that Montaigne’s always doing something crazy and creative on stage, and I’m in the opinion that “Don’t Break Me” really doesn’t need that although the staging plans they had for this one was pretty interesting and absolutely very Montaigne. Hopefully, she might be able to do something more “crazy” next… Read more »

Héctor
Héctor
10 months ago

Very underrated in fan polls, if Sia was singing it would be a hit. “Don’t Break Me” was my favourite since it was released and only “Repondez-moi” topped it. Curious how she choose to sing the later in for the Eurovision Home Concert. I’m glad she’s coming back next year. 2. Australia – Montaigne – Don’t break me (8) 4. Romania – Roxen – Alcohol You (8) 11. Italy – Diodato – Fai rumore (6.75) 13. Cyprus – Sandro – Running (6.75) 14. Belgium – Hooverphonic – Release Me (6.75) 16. Ireland – Lesley Roy – Story of my Life… Read more »

Bella
Bella
10 months ago
Reply to  Héctor

“If Sia was singing it would be a hit” –> There’s a flaw in your reasoning: Sia would never sing this, specifically because it is not a hit.

The studio version was ok and I actually saved it on my playlist, but the live version during their national final was very amateurish. I would assume they would have changed everything for the actual ESC and make it more polished (we’ll never know), but the performance she gave during Australia Decides was unlikely to qualify. It was cringe-worthy, her vocals were not good and kinda messy too.

Polliu
Polliu
10 months ago
Reply to  Bella

Blah Blah Blah It’s a song that Sia would sing in the past with the similar percussion throughout.

Teddie
Teddie
10 months ago

Awesome track

Shin
Shin
10 months ago

Been listening to it since it was released! Definitly a top 10

mentos
mentos
10 months ago

Love this song

Marq
Marq
10 months ago

Totally agree with the score. One of their best songs since Sound of Silence.

Lisa
Lisa
10 months ago

So happy she’s coming back next year. This song is in my top 4 this year.

Jackson
Jackson
10 months ago

8/10 . Love it

sam
sam
10 months ago

a 7.73….? really? for this? i mean, its not awful but its definitely not deserving of a ranking over 6. very basic lyrics, shaky vocals, and weird staging. probably australia’s worst effort to date

Kristy
Kristy
10 months ago

Top 5 for me. Love the song and artist

Kim
Kim
10 months ago

Watched Australia Decides at home ( the Gold Coast) and started yelling at the tv . The audio was so bad on the night . Montaigne sounded like she was mumbling, Vanessa Amarosi sounded like she had a head cold and Casey Donovan sounded like she was having an asthma attack . The others didn’t sound much better. After the first 2 songs I realised it was the audio on the show and not my TV . Unfortunately that live recording is the entry video. I’m hoping they sort themselves out for 2022 at the convention centre . Well let’s… Read more »

Lewis
Lewis
10 months ago

Am I the only one that can hear The Chainsmokers Dont Let Me Down when I listen to this? It is a good song and entry but I did feel slightly underwhelmed when I heard Australia chose this. Perhaps it’s because I feel like it is very familiar. I would give this 7.5/10 and definitely think it is top 10 worthy.

Polliu
Polliu
10 months ago

My top 2 this year. LOVVVVVVE IT. I still remember I got goosebumps listening to this for the first time.

Preuss
Preuss
10 months ago

Positively surprised by the high score. In a year where mainstream/generic songs are in the minority for once, this really stood out. How well it would’ve done, would’ve depended on the week in Rotterdam. As long as they would’ve avoided Sabotage-Baptiste, I’d be happy considering her hot mess in 2018, because these DNA songs need strong staging to stand out, otherwise they’ll just fall in the middle of the road. Overall a top ten would’ve been a good result forAustralia this year,

ESCFan2009
ESCFan2009
10 months ago

It’s a high quality pop song with an atmospheric instrumental and some great lyrics (“you thought I was elastic, but maybe I’m just made of glass”). The performance made sense and the “one-shot” was amazing, but it all made the lyrics less appealing to the viewer. Although, we know what masterpieces Australia is able to stage if they want to (cough, gorgeous 2019, cough). “Lessons Of Love” was my NF winner, but Montaigne would have made Australia proud and I hope her 2021 song will be as amazing as this year. 9.5/10 and my 4th of 41.

Adam
Adam
10 months ago
Reply to  ESCFan2009

It’s also one of my favorites this year but, funnily enough, I find the “you thought I was elastic, but maybe I’m just made of glass” quite jarring for some reason…

Jo.
Jo.
10 months ago

all I gonna say is that Australia dodged a bullet this year…

Escvegi
Escvegi
10 months ago

How overrated ??

Tibor
Tibor
10 months ago

This is my runner-up for this year. Great voice, good composition, albeit more mainstream than most of Montaigne’s other work. I think I remember that she said in her interview with Sebastian that the collaboration with the songwriters wasn’t the easiest one, I guess they tried to make her more palatable for a mainstream audience, and she didn’t like it. Judging by the result, they reached a good compromise. I never got the criticism of the staging, it’s a great choreography and the single shot was really effectful. Moreover, if a song is good, the singer can stand on the… Read more »

Fys
Fys
10 months ago

So Alcohol you is worse than a so heard “pop song”?
For me it’s a mediocre song that is lost between other 40 entries. Also the live performance was so weak.

5/10

Sanscemo
Sanscemo
10 months ago

I don’t know how to judge this song. I like the studio version, I’d put it high in my ranking, then I think about her struggling with that clown outfit and I’m like… GUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUURL.

Lily
Lily
10 months ago

Such a fanwank, this entry is like Greece 2019.

Ashton
Ashton
10 months ago
Reply to  Lily

Greece 2019 was stunning and should have finished higher. I’m taking that as a compliment towards Australia. 🙂

ESCFan2009
ESCFan2009
10 months ago
Reply to  Lily

Greece 2019 was my 2nd place, so I’ll take the compliment as well 😉

Jo.
Jo.
10 months ago
Reply to  Lily

Better Love >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> this song

Lily
Lily
10 months ago
Reply to  Jo.

True that, Jo

Emily
Emily
10 months ago

Middle of the road and rather forgettable, for me. It’s not the best Australia’s put out, but it’s not the worst either. I didn’t have it as a qualifier though, but if the contest went ahead it probably would’ve anyway.

Talentina Monetta
Talentina Monetta
10 months ago

There’s nothing indie about this imo

Skiwalko
Skiwalko
10 months ago

“Don’t Break Me” is a very solid pop song. There’s nothing particularly unique or surprising about the composition, it may even seem a bit safe compared to other Montaigne’s songs, but it’s still very pleasant and entertaining. In my opinion staging is one of the best parts of the performance – the master shot makes it more impactful and cohesive, Montaigne’s expressive dancing and singing adds emotions where the song sounds a tad bland and her clown outfit is memorable and matches the personal story told in the lyrics. It’s not the best Australian entry ever, but it’s high quality… Read more »

Odysseas
Odysseas
10 months ago

The first Australian song i love so far. A massive indie-pop production! The lyrics are meaningful, even though the message is common. Don’t care what everyone says but i actually liked the nf staging it was suitable for the song and the style of Montaigne. So happy for her being back next year!!
Overall: 9.6/10 (3rd)

Dawid
Dawid
10 months ago
Reply to  Odysseas

Either indie or pop… It’s an oxymoron.

Kosey
Kosey
10 months ago
Reply to  Dawid

I am not sure that I agree with you. Perhaps going by the strict definitions of the word, then indie and pop are oxymoronic, but then by those definitions, you would never hear an “indie” song at Eurovision, since by definition they would not be voted for (as not “popular”). I think it is now accepted that “indie-pop” is it’s own genre – started by bands like Blur and Oasis where “independent” bands became the popular mainstream sound. It now refers to that mainstream pop production that has a bit of quirkiness, and as such I think describes Montaigne quite… Read more »

Kosey
Kosey
10 months ago
Reply to  Dawid

They are not oxymoronic unless you apply the strict dictionary definitions of the words. In a music context, indie-pop is absolutely a bona-fide genre in much the same way as pop-rock or pop-punk

Kosey
Kosey
10 months ago

11. Australia – 8/10- a gentle, almost haunting, beginning leads into a solid production which feels modern throughout. The pounding drums build nicely into an impactful chorus. The song offers a striking vocal and interesting lyrical content with a number of interesting lines. I have not contemplated elasticity in this manner before and I love the line, “every time I try to explain it, you think that your pain is more important,” it is so true to my experience. It all makes the emotion feel somehow more heartfelt, more real, at least to me.

Mia
Mia
10 months ago

Wow this one looks overrated to me. It remains mystery to me why put focus so much on that over the top and sloppy performance when you have pretty much decent song? I think choreographer shouldn’t engage her so much in dance routine, it’s obviously not her thing, she’s losing her breath and looks scared and distracted that she will forget the moves, poor thing. Maybe when I connect with lyrics it makes sense, but still not giving good impression overall. It doesn’t help either that I find clown aesthetic off- putting and creepy. I suppose there would be changes… Read more »

Briekimchi
Briekimchi
10 months ago

When you first hear it (especially earlier on during this NF season), the quality and professionalism of the production makes it seem a lot better than the song actually is. The verses are pretty cool but the chorus is slow and plodding. Lyrically, it is also a little bleh. Then, we have to consider the live performance that was not staged well nor sang well. I think it sits above the really bad songs this year but not by that much and should be ranked below songs that have a little more heart. In the end, it is a cold,… Read more »

Colin
Colin
10 months ago
Reply to  Briekimchi

Interestingly, I have an impression that this song comes quite sincere from Montaigne’s personal experience (or someone close to her who inspired her). I wouldn’t call it cold and soulless. Your criticisms towards the staging (and parts of her pitch in live) certainly stand their ground. For staging alone, I was sure Vanessa or Jaguar would win. I was happy that it was Montaigne, as her song was my 1st in the NF (even if most songs had virtually the same ratings).

Briekimchi
Briekimchi
10 months ago
Reply to  Colin

Not wanting to get too abstract here but I do agree with you, to an extent. Interestingly, you brought up the NF and even though Montaigne was my #2 there, both Didirri and Jaguar came up with songs that had that something obviously personal to them that give you a chance of really getting those top places at Eurovision. I do believe that the experience of the song is personal and genuine to Montaigne but I don’t think it necessarily comes across that way and it could just as well have been the case that she had had the song… Read more »

Colin
Colin
10 months ago

Australia is the hardest song for me to rate alongside Latvia and Georgia. All three for different reasons, of course. Australia certainly has a strong song, even if bit rough around the edges. It’s my outlier and might or might not end-up on my playlist. It’s too bad we’ll never know how the final staging would have looked like, but I am happy Montaigne will be back next year with a lot of time to think about something epic.

Ashton
Ashton
10 months ago

I love my country’s song this year. But when I see the staging (especially since I was a dancer for a decade and a half), I just want to cringe. The song is really great, though, and if my country could transform KMH’s staging from a meh into a showstopper, I reckon they could have made Montaigne’s amazing. Can’t wait to see what she brings next year.

Briekimchi
Briekimchi
10 months ago
Reply to  Ashton

I was also quite positive that once the delegation got involved that they’d take away from of the more questionable staging choices that Montaigne, as an artist, had made. I think you’ve got a good singer but I hope her song is a little bit braver next year as I thought “Zero Gravity” (even though I didn’t like the song) was a bit more interesting and less-of-the-same from Australia. “Don’t Break Me” is far too comfortable and samey for you guys to get a much better result.

Ashton
Ashton
10 months ago
Reply to  Briekimchi

I agree. I am a huge fan of Montaigne, and her other work is so much more eclectic and indie and out-there than Don’t Break Me, so I was a little bit disappointed when it first came out (though it’s still a good song). For some reason, I feel like Montaigne didn’t have enough creative freedom (though I could be wrong). Just look at the songwriters: Montaigne is there, but also DNA, an Australian duo that has been involved in literally every Australian entry in Eurovision apart from 2015. Every single one apart from Guy. I think that’s why some… Read more »

Pedro
Pedro
10 months ago
Reply to  Ashton

Were DNA involved with Zero Gravity also? I thought they weren’t.

Ashton
Ashton
10 months ago
Reply to  Pedro

I just checked and I was wrong about that. They were not involved in KMH’s entry. However, that’s one of Australia’s only out-there and different entries, so that kinda further proves my point haha

Colin
Colin
10 months ago
Reply to  Ashton

Zero Gravity ended-up 3rd on my list last year. 🙂

Purple Mask
Purple Mask
10 months ago
Reply to  Ashton

Thanks for sharing that you were a dancer; that gives you a different perspective on choreography to most of the rest of us here. I’m a singer and songwriter, but I am quite terrible at dancing. 😀
I actually liked the craziness of Montaigne’s routine at “Australia Decides,” so it is interesting to read otherwise from a former dancer.

Pablo Nava
Editor
10 months ago

My favorite song from Australia in their ESC run, period

Paul
Paul
10 months ago

Classic juries favouring Australia!! In all fairness it’s quite a good song but not sure it’s 7.73 good