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 The Netherlands’ Jeangu Macrooy, who was set to represent the host country with his song “Grow”. Did we embrace his emotional journey? Read on to find out!
Jeangu Macrooy – “Grow”
Antranig: Jeangu is a fantastic performer but “Grow” is just a bit too tame. It feels personal but it also feels like he’s holding something back. This is definitely a song which would’ve grown with the live performance which unfortunately won’t be seen. However, Jeangu will undoubtedly do The Netherlands proud in 2021. I just ask for his next entry to be a bit less polished and a bit more raw and emotional.
Deban: Grow’s personal message resonates deeply with me on a visceral level. The stripped-back feel of the track his hard-hitting, and yet, manages to keep drawing one in. Jeangu Macrooy’s uses his voice as an instrument to educate, and his breathy soulful delivery to shift emotions within the listener. Not many vocalists sound better than their nearly-perfect studio versions, but Jeangu does. The authenticity here is him: He wrote, arranged and produced “Grow”, and it is obvious — the rawness and energy embedded here can’t be replicated by anyone else.
Esma: The Netherlands strikes again! I am very glad The Netherlands breaches the curse of host countries sending disappointing acts. “Grow”, as the title inadvertently suggests, takes a long time to grow onto its climax, but once it does, it grasps you. It’s wonderful ballad in which, very cleverly, all the beauty of Jeangu Macrooy’s talent is combined. Jeangu sings effortlessly, but it nevertheless fascinates. The lyrics of “Grow”, about getting older but never really getting wiser, touched me. “Grow” is a very intimate song which left a deep impression on me.
Lucy: The beginning of “Grow” sets the tone for the whole song, despite it being so quiet. The song is simple but beautiful, and we really get to witness Jeangu giving us a sermon preaching about life and emotion. The song just builds and builds higher to the peak where it’s almost like the listener can reach enlightenment. With simple staging, this easily would have ended up surprising on the scoreboard – I wouldn’t have minded putting a bet on it coming top three, despite being a home entry.
William: It’s the highs and lows that make you grow. That’s one of the many lessons hidden in Jeangu Macrooy’s Eurovision 2020 song “Grow”. The slow-built ballad sits at the intersection of dark soul and gospel. At times it’s so pared back that it seems naked: Jeangu’s rich voice is completely exposed. Thankfully he shines in these moments, showing just how strong a vocalist he is. The lyrics suggest his travels haven’t always been easy, and the clean production brings that pain and struggle into sharper focus. Sincere, raw and completely authentic, this song isn’t just to be heard, it’s to be felt. It hits you like a tonne of bricks straight to the heart.
Jeangu Macrooy – “Grow” rankings
In the Wiwi Jury we have 22 jurors but only have room for five 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 3 and a high of 10.
Wiwi Jury verdict: 7.03/10
What do you think of this song? Share your own score and review below!
I will give a 8.5/10 for this
The Netherlands – 7/10 (22nd/41)
it’s a very beautiful song with a strong vibe, i don’t think it would’ve slayed the scoreboard but it’s amazing regardless
He’s a really talented artist and has an impressive deep voice. The song is also good but for some reason I get bored at times. I’m used to listen to slow songs so I don’t really now what it is. I’m glad we have songs like this one in the contest though. It elevates the quality. 1. Switzerland – Gjon’s Tears – Répondez-moi (9.25) 2. Australia – Montaigne – Don’t break me (8) 3. Malta – Destiny – All My Love (8) 4. Romania – Roxen – Alcohol You (8) 5. Spain – Blas Cantó – Universo (8) 7. Bulgaria… Read more »
This is a joke… Ranked that high?…. I don’t even find my words, LOL
So the Wiwi jury thinks the Netherlands is worse than Israel? Or Russia? REALLY?!?!? The show aspect may be important but at the end of the day ESC is still a SONG contest. Some honourable members of the jury appear unaware of this.
But Feker Libi is amazing
i will have to adress Esma when she said: Host countries sending weak songs… cause that was not true, especially portugal 2018 O Jardim. Which was only last because people were voting against slower songs because of the comments of salvador sobral. Other then that. WOW AMAZING SCORES!!! Gotta give it to my country for (bar Tijntje Oosterhuis) really giving it self that kick in the butt and sending nothing short of AMAZING ENTRIES. Grow was a great song, but i think Jeangu will give us something magical next year!!! I’m so happy he is back next year!! let’s hope… Read more »
How people can vote against songs?
And Salvador didn’t make people to vote or not for whatever song.
People in Portugal particularly.. they gave 10 to Italy and 8 to Germany in 2018.
And that year.. Portugal imo kind of selfsabotage themseves when they had Diogo to be their host and sadly they had all that drama.
One of my absolute favourites – this would have been fantastic live and as such i could see another sneaky top 5 for Netherlands
A true masterpiece! By far my absolute number 1…
So boring, this would have scored zero points on the televote side.
Yea, in your universe.
I have to admit that i expected something worse from the Netherlands. The song is really good, it could be a jury top 10 but I’m just unable to bond with it. I don’t feel anything during these 3 minutes unlike many others.
Overall: 1/10 (36th)
This is the other song of the year (along with Looking Back) that can make me cry on command! The first two minutes are intensely relatable in the struggle of growing older and coming to terms with … well, everything. The last minute (combined with the images in the music video) take those same sad lines from the start and turn them into a positive and hopeful thing – “the more I learn, the less I know” becomes a statement of power rather than one of weakness!! This song really resonates with me, and I love it a lot. 🙂… Read more »
I have to give a shout-out to Deban and William here. And frankly to many other online jury alternatives. Whether it’s the Austrian ‘Kleine Contest’ or EuroJury, there seems to be a pattern with regard to The Netherlands. ‘Grow’ could have been a big jury hitter. And if they were creating some staging magic a la ‘Calm After The Storm’ or ‘Arcade’, then it could have gotten around 65 well deserved televoting points too. Resulting in a very respectable TOP 7 spot on home soil (the best home nation result since Sweden 2016). I would have loved to see how… Read more »
Also another thing that I wanted to point out is that I kinda see why the host country gets neglected at ESC almost every year. When you get to host the competition the focus mostly shifts to ‘where are we gonna host it’ ‘who’s gonna present it’ and what is gonna be the slogan and logo, instead of it being about the song and singer. I genuinly felt that our entry was kinda pushed into second place behind us hosting it all.
It’s just the way it is and I don’t see it changing any time soon – hosting the contest will always be the main focus. I still think Jeangu got a fair share of news compared to other acts (for example, so far, there have been 13 articles on Wiwibloggs dedicated to him). Curiously, it’s also the 3rd time in the last 10 years that a host entry is my favourite (“Taken By A Stranger” and “O Jardim” being the other two).
I really like our entry this year, it’s very personal and emotional, and it would have definitely stood out between some of the other male ballads this year. His voice is magical, and I’m super glad a Surinamese person is representing us this year (as a half Surinamese and half Dutch guy myself). This song just feels a bit crammed, like it should have been 30 seconds longer. The ending really seems cut of for no reason…And I honestly doubt that it would have done well with the televoters, sadly. I hope we get to host Eurovision in Rotterdam in… Read more »
It is a great and emotional song, and he is an excellent performer (he was the stand-out, for me, in the 3rd episode of Eurovision Home Concerts). I agree that the song is slow to build, which I don’t really mind, but the bigger issue I have is that the song ends too abruptly. Every time I watch the ‘grow’ music video, I think my internet connection has went down and the video is buffering, only to realize that the song has actually ended. I think a slightly quicker build-up in the song would have allowed for a more impactful… Read more »
That ending is a metaphor for ESC 2020 ending 😛
I don’t know if I’m overanalyzing (probably), but, for me, the ending has a purpose. I think that he is still growing and that’s why the song ended up being so abrupt. The last line is ‘I grow’, for a reason – the process isn’t finished.
I think the same, that’s why the song looks unfinished, it’s great idea to write song like that.. I see similarities with “Alcohol you” ending, the version before rewamp ofc, rewamp is made to look more eurovision-ish.
The song hits for the last minuet the first 2 are bland and boring even then the song struggles to be noticeable it gets lost in a sea of ballads 5.5/10
Host countries tend to have it difficult to reach another top result due to their recent victory, but this song would have deserved another top 5 (at least) for The Netherlands. It was the song that surprised me the most: drawing from an apparent simplicity, it builds up to such a sophisticated masterpiece proving how a three-minute song can precisely make you ‘grow’ as a person, draw your attention to a life-long experience and reflect on your past, present and future. Congratulations The Netherlands, you did it again!
I really don’t care what for negative reactions I’m gonna get but this is my winner. Just a simple song and sometimes that’s more than enough!!!
Nice soulful song. Its only problem is that it takes a lot of time for it to reach its climax and its buildup is kinda boring sometimes. Nevertheless, Jeangu has an amazing voice (shown at Eurovision Home Concerts) and is capable of much more next year!!! My top so far: 1. Switzerland 2. Italy 3. Romania 4. Bulgaria 5. Croatia 6. United Kingdom 7. Norway 8. Lithuania 9. –-10. Denmark 11. Russia 12. Australia 13. Albania 14. Finland 15. Israel 16. Ireland 17. Moldova 18. Estonia 19. The Netherlands 20. Malta 21. Belgium 22. — 23. Poland 24. Georgia 25.… Read more »
10/10. This would be the jury dark horse in Rotterdam, I feel. They would lose their minds with ‘Grow’ – an authentic, sophisticated and sincere track. The instrumental is so simple, but it’s so captivating. And it’s joined by a beautiful timbre and genuine and personal lyrics…. It’s a masterpiece, for me.
Sadly I think it wouldn’t be jury winner, they would go for more safe tracks as usual.
I also don’t think it would win – it’s not radio friendly enough -, but I think that this could have been in their top5. And that would be impressive, I think, especially considering that the televote would give, in my opinion, a disapointing result to Jeangu.
“Grow” has gathered considerable high scores yet it is dragged down by a few 3s and 3,5s. It honestly feels like the dismissive, spiteful reaction you have towards something that you just don’t get. There’s undeniable merit in a well-constructed song like that even if it doesn’t resonate with you personally so I would like to know what the Anguses and Olivers think about it. For me, Jeangu’s song was the standout of the season in so many levels and, given the right staging, I could see him and Destiny topping the jury vote for different reasons. I cannot wait… Read more »
Just outside my top five. I can’t believe I’m seeing 3s in the Wiwi jury, just ridiculous. It’s such a class act. Jeangu’s got those sneaky good vocals and that presence that allowed a slow-build song like this to really take off. The final minute is just so good. The only worry I’d have about this would have been the staging. The Netherlands have had some issues with this in the last few years but yeah, the possibilities were endless. I’m not saying they could’ve won again with this but I really wouldn’t have minded if they had done.
My winner of 2020. One of the most beautiful songs I have ever heard, not just including Eurovision songs
My personal winner since the moment I heard it for the first time. I can’t think of a Eurovision entry, whose lyrics resonated with me more than “Grow”‘s. They striked me right at my heart, and maybe it will sound a bit stupid, but it was as if Jeangu was singing about my life and what I’ve been through. After my first listen I was simply transfixed, not having expected that much beauty and wisdom. This song lovingly combines different moods and styles, going from a spiritual, meditative beginning, where Jeangu’s exposed vocal slowly draws you in, to the upbeat,… Read more »
Really well written. Thanks 🙂
Thank you very much 🙂
Really pleased for you Skiwalko that you found a song that feels like it is speaking directly to you. I have the same with Ulrikke’s Attention. It is such a great feeling to have a song connect with you that way, so I’m really pleased you’ve had that experience!
I’ve also noticed the similarities between your review of “Attention” and mine (and we both were underwhelmed by each other’s favourite, which is also interesting). It’s indeed great to have such song. There were a few entries this year I could connect with (e.g. Bulgaria or Finland), but “Grow” has really stuck with me.
It is interesting that we both had opposite reactions to what are ostensibly similarly-themed songs (deep analysis of a troubled soul, wanting to find a better way forward, etc). I am wondering if it might be an introvert / extrovert thing? Not terribly sure, but I wonder if Jeangu’s effort depicts how an introvert seeks comfort and Attention how an extrovert seeks comfort? One seems quite calm in its analysis of a mental state, quite analytical, and the other is more heightened, more emotional, in much the same way as different characters approach the world?
Interesting point Kosey, but too much generalisation I think, I’m an extrovert (ENFJ type precisely) but I like “Grow” as well as “Attention” maybe I’m something in the middle 🙂
Of course, it was a wild thought that sprung to mind, so not particularly well thought-through. I am trying to analyze why Grow doesn’t have the same effect on me as Attention. There is an insomnia vibe going on in Grow which I can’t connect with as I have little problem falling asleep! Also, the emotion (and music) seems really controlled, almost intellectual, which again I struggle with as mine are often all over the place and I need a song to express those emotions viscerally, which Norway does really well.
Now I see why you like Latvia with that emotions all over the place 🙂 Yes, I’m an night owl, but have no problems to fall asleep at the same time, well noted about that insomnia vibe in “Grow”..
It’s hard for me to say. I don’t think the songs’ themes are as similar as you described them (one is about the pain of being ignored by the person we love, and the other is about the acceptance of the process of growing up), but they do in fact represent the opposite ends of spectrum when it comes to expressing emotions, so you might be onto something. I think it all boils down to your personal experience. We all want others’ attention and we all face different problems growing up, but some lines and metaphors used in the song… Read more »
My personal winner since the moment I heard it for the first time. I can’t think of a Eurovision entry, whose lyrics resonated with me more than “Grow”‘s. They striked me right at my heart, and maybe it will sound a bit stupid, but it was as if Jeangu was singing about my life and what I’ve been through. After my first listen I was simply transfixed, not having expected that much beauty and wisdom. This song lovingly combines different moods and styles, going from a spiritual, meditative beginning, where Jeangu’s exposed voice slowly draws you in, to the upbeat,… Read more »
I love this. Very underrated by Esc fandom. Simple and honest.
I prefer by miles what Netherlands was giving us than what Malta (symphonix) was.
I know I’m in the minority as usual
Glad that this received decent score here, I think this is very underrated entry, one of the best ballads this year. I love its slow tempo, it correlates with introspective feeling and also dynamic ending which gives me feelings of strength and optimism, this song is so calming and soothing for me. Not that it’s similar, but somehow ending of the song give me vibes of Beyonce “Halo”, song which I adore and always make me emotional.. Unfortunately we will not see “Grow” on big stage, we could have that “wow” moment, not to mention how Jeangu is great performer.… Read more »
The song itself is already a winner.. no matter where it wouldve end on the board
An underrated masterpiece
29. Netherlands – 5.5/10 – this song is insanely slow to build, which in a way I quite admire for its boldness. There is a wise sage-like quality to the performer and performance which is as warm as a teddy bear hug. I appreciate that it tackles difficult feelings in a sympathetic way. But it all ends far too abruptly, just when the feels are building, the song exits the stage door. That might be deliberate to make it fresh and memorable, but it doesn’t quite work for me as I feel I’m left a little bit hanging and not… Read more »
I love the meaning behind this one, and it’s probably my favourite host entry in a long while. Jeangu himself is fantastic and I have high hopes for what he does in 2021.
Love this! He exceeded my expectations! Great voice and a really cool ballad (not a dated one). Glad he’s back.
I can’t decide if this is overrated or not. I would say it is more pleasantly surprising. It is a very relaxing song and I would give it about the same score. 7 from me. It is a very musically quality song.
THE NETHERLANDS – Soulful and sincere, this is a candidate for the most mature lyrics of the year. The Netherlands mostly consistently sends good songs since 2013, so I guess it comes only natural that their host entry would be a quality one. It’s a really relatable, introspective song. It comes off as very authentic as well. I love the blues/gospel elements in it. Structurally, it might be a tad too slow for a big instant impact, but still, if staged right, it could’ve got that *it* moment like Portugal did in 2017. I would wish if Jeangu comes back… Read more »