The Wiwi Jury — our in-house team of music unprofessionals — is reviewing and rating the 39 competing songs in Eurovision 2021. Next we take a journey to North Macedonia where Vasil has “Here I Stand”. Did we stand by his song? Read on to find out!
Vasil – “Here I Stand”
“Here I Stand” reviews
Jonathan: There’s a balance between showcasing vocal talent and retaining an emotional connection with the listener. While a song may be crafted for a live performance that delivers the WOW vocal moment, you run the risk of the polished production removing some of the underlying raw emotion. Vasil clearly connects with “Here I Stand” himself and it’s touching to see. However, despite being a fan of theatrical ballads at the best of times, the studio cut of “Here I Stand” currently leaves me feeling indifferent – hence the bang average score.
Robyn: Vasil is a super talented singer — easily the best in Eurovision 2021 — and he’s made that the focal point of his 2021 entry. And that’s the problem. “Here I Stand” comes across less as a song and more as a three-minute showreel, a chance for Vasil to spotlight his impressive vocal talents. While “Here I Stand” is ostensibly about the devastation Vasil felt when Eurovision 2020 was cancelled, the song doesn’t have any hooks that will keep it lingering with listeners. “Here I Stand” feels more like a song for the singer than for Eurovision viewers. I’m giving points solely for Vasil’s flawless vocals.
Kristín: “Here I Stand” is the song to put in the middle of straight-to-DVD of *insert any Disney movie ever*. I see it! The protagonist is standing alone on a dirt road, he/she has pissed everyone off, everything is falling apart and now it’s time to make things better by belting out the theme song. Yes! With that said, I kind of like this song. It’s a cliché á la mode song but yet there is something charming and true about it. Vasil’s genuine sincerity shines through and that definitely gives an otherwise plain song a much needed boost. I just hope that it won’t be overproduced once it hits the stage in Rotterdam, because it’s about raw emotions, and that alone should be the main centrepiece. Otherwise it could simply get lost and forgotten, and I don’t want that for Vasil. He is a diamond and must be protected at any cost. With any other singer, this would go directly to the “meh” file, but Vasil brings that extra kick to the table and lifts “Here I Stand” just above the average.
Oliver: Vasil is the protagonist in his own exuberant Off-off-off-Broadway autobiographical show. “Here I Stand” is high camp right from the get-go. That’s glorious. But the energy is wasted on tired clichés and tropes. The lyrics are corny, the structure is messy and the chorus is lacklustre with no real hook. This song sounds like an overzealous superfan tribute to Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat — minus any kind of sing-along quality that makes those cheesy Andrew Lloyd Webber tracks remotely enjoyable. Even if Vasil nails the live vocal, North Macedonia seems destined to stay in the semi-final this year.
Pablo: This is… a lot. “Here I Stand” is a wall of sound that can overwhelm the unprepared. What wants to pass by as theatricality and a musical number can make oneself feel like they just came out of a brawl. Strings! Voice! Instrumental! Choir! Notes! Pathos! It borders on pomposity, and I find the instrumentals mismatched with the lyrical rhythm, making the final product feel like West End chaos. The silver lining for North Macedonia would be that this track could be pretty hard to overlook as long as the volume is cranked up to eleven.
Vasil – “Here I Stand” rankings
In the Wiwi Jury we have 24 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 1.5 and a high of 7.
Wiwi Jury verdict: 4.05/10
What do you think of this song? Share your own score and review below!
Yeah… this is nearly my last place too. I’ll enjoy it as a part of the semi, but I just can’t imagine voluntary listening to it otherwise.
Vasil is a super talented singer — easily the best in Eurovision 2021 —> ehhhh what the…??? the best in ESC 2021? Seriously?
I think the wiwi team is trying to be nice to Vasil. Yes, he’s talented but definitely not the best. We have many talented artists this year…Barbara, Manizha, James Newman, and the list goes on.
Anyway, the song is really boring, a toilet break. He had a much better song last year.
Btw, i like him, he seems to be a really nice guy.
Most people do not like this song, but I sincerely like it and if it has a good performance, as Vasil said, North Macedonia can be in one of the higher places, I hope. But we still have to wait until the first rehearsals or the semifinals to have a final opinion. No insults
For me 9.5/10
Oh my if I look at the comments his song seems to be the black sheep this year. People relax. Let’s wait what all the artists bring to the stage. That’s were chances are being increased or fall flat on their face. So far in this semi I could see a path to the final for every song…
Wiwi Juries’ current TOP 24 Ireland (7.7) Cyprus (7.45) Finland (7.34) Ukraine (7.32) Russia (7.18) Sweden (7.14) Greece (6.82) Croatia (6.75) Azerbaijan (6.57) Israel (6.45) Latvia (6.34) Belgium (6.16) (=) Czech Republic (6.16) Serbia (6.09) Albania (5.89) (=) Norway (5.89) Spain (5.34) Germany (5.14) Estonia (5.07) Austria (4.89) Denmark (4.84) (=) Slovenia (4.84) Portugal (4.32) North Macedonia (4.05) My personal TOP 24 Greece (My 4th) Ukraine (My 7th) Belgium (My 10th) Finland (My 11th) Estonia (My 12th) Russia (My 13th) Serbia (My 14th) Cyprus (My 17th) Czech Republic (My 18th) Ireland (My 20th) Albania (My 25th) Azerbaijan (My 26th) Israel… Read more »
“You” was, in my opinion, amongst the worst songs last year; artificial and pretentious. “Here I Stand” might be even worse. Vasil seems to be a nice guy, but I just can’t connect with him or his songs. He has a voice but that’s definitely not enought when the song is boring, bland and uninteresting. The music is just there but has nothing one can hold on to. I get it tells his story but I don’t think people will like it in this form. There’s no way North Macedonia is qualifying. 2.5/10 North Macedonia takes my last place this… Read more »
There is a chance he could proceed to the final , most of all the other songs are not big ballad types . I really can’t see a final 10 selected with no big ballad . Never happened before , there has always been a ballad or two selected:) not saying he will qualify , just that he could possibly have an advantage here if he nails it in the semi final . It’s all about standing out in a sea of great songs .
no way, it is not memorable at all. Romania and Belgium will get the slower songs vote.
NORTH MACEDONIA – Some people have issues with musical theater songs by default, but I love this dramatic genre when done right. The issue here is that this particular song gets too saccharine, without being self-aware of the fact. This just feels very honest and emotional to Vasil himself, and thus, it removes it from the cheese factor it might have benefited from. I don’t feel comfortable finding this funny, so what is left is an awkward silence. Structurally, I cannot help but feeling that it goes up in some places it should have gone down, and vice versa. Lyrically, it… Read more »
What are your favourite musicals?
Stage—Cabaret, West Side Story, Les Miserables, Miss Saigon, The Lion King
Film—The Sound of Music, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, Sister Act
Animation—Beauty and the Beast, Coco
Cloud Atlas isn’t a ‘musical’ but the music made for the film version, and the way it works to tell the story, is very beautiful to me.
What are yours Jonas ?
Sweet Charity, Chicago, Cabaret, Gypsy, The Producers, Assassins, Follies, Sunday in the Park with George, Sweeney Todd, Into the Woods, Nine, On the Twentieth Century, Mame, Merrily We Roll Along, The Scottsboro Boys, West Side Story, Wonderful Town, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, The Band’s Visit, Billy Elliot…
Most musicals I saw are from the movies or televised shows. My local theater likes to show opera and comedy more. Favorite ones: From the darker ones – Les Miserables, The Phantom of the Opera, Sweeney Todd From the lighter ones – Most Disney Renaissance films, like Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, Aladdin, The Little Mermaid, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Mulan. And contrary to popular opinion (among internet critics, although box-office numbers speak otherwise), I mostly really liked the live-action adaptations as well, except for The Lion King (which should get a chapter of its own on… Read more »
I like or love most of the ones you’ve mentioned, some of my other movie favourites would be – Hairspray, Evita, The Wizard of Oz, The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, Singing in the Rain, Grease, The Rocky Horror Picture Show…
I’m sorry to say that, but this sounds so self-indulgent to my ears. It’s clear how much passion and hard work Vasil put on it, but the result is the musical equivalent of planning your dream wedding reception without having in mind that part of the goal is to give a good time also to your guests. It’s actually weird that something so personal, grandiose and ambitious sounds at the same time so empty. Maybe the live performance will connect some dots. I’m not confident though. 3/10
North Macedonia 1/10
No structure whatsoever. A mess, melodically speaking. And everything seems very prefabricated, from vocals to attitude. Nothing seems super organic.
In a semifinal of overproduced uptempo songs i don’t see why this wouldn’t stand out.
I haven’t listened the song yet, but I’ll do it at the semifinal. I’ll be like an average Eurovision viewer in this case who first listens the song during their live performances on the stage.
Actually, if you do that, I suggest you stop looking at wiwibloggs and the odds (not saying that aggressively). If I were you I would watch the performances without knowing everyone’s opinions, without even listening to the songs or seeing the placement of a song according to the bookies, because that way you could be easily overwhelmed or underwhelmed by a song, only just because you expected something different and this could affect your view, actually. Just a friendly advice 🙂
Thank you. The thing is that I don’t care about wiwi reviews, odds and whatever. I just didn’t listen to the song, because when the video started with that fake interview of Vasil and it was too theatrical, I couldn’t bear it and closed the video. Yes I can listen to the audio version, but I don’t want to. What I’m saying – Vasil himself is impacting my perception of the song with his introduction and overall dramatism.
just no. my last. I hate his vocal. I hate the song. this is just genuinely horrible. no. just, no.
It’s a 5.5 from me but the live performance will definitely elevate it. I’ve seen clips of him performing and i was speechless. He knows his thing. I watched the wiwi interview too and he promises a lot, so yeah..i can’t really decide based on the music video.
this isn’t a song, it’s a vocal showoff that goes absolutely nowhere. second to last in my top
Funny that I can’t stand a song called ” Here I Stand “. It’s too overly dramatic for no reason and makes me cringe. I don’t like these ballads whose sole purpose is to show off vocal skills and this clearly seems like one.
I don’t think this can qualify.
This score is harsh. It’s not my cup of tea but as a competitive song, I don’t see how this is different than North Macedonia 2019. It’s a big voice ballad and you can’t question his big voice. This will clean up jury votes when they have to rank the songs which the televoters don’t do and then there will be the random Eastern Europe televotes. I can see this qualifying and some “fan favorites” staying in the semi.
if Georgia couldn’t qualify in 2017 then neither will this, given Georgia barely missed out because of a poor televote score with a much stronger song
In the second semi I’d believe it, but he has no hope in the first.
Ew, Tamara was kinda overrated but NO. Vasil CAN’T qualify over another masterpiece of semi1…
I think if Vasil had sent something like SudBina I would definitely be rooting for Macedonia this year, but I can’t seem to feel the same about Here I Stand. It’s really sad because Vasil is such a sweet person and talented vocalist, but in the song it comes off as too forced and too melodramatic. Still wishing him the best of luck though
One would think I copied ur review but I didn’t.
SudBina would be a perfect choice for Eurovision.
I think this year Vasil wanted to make us a delicious sandwich. He went to the most prestigious bakery in town, carefully picked the best type of bread they had to offer (you know, one of those expensive artisanal ones), meticulously crisped it up to the culinary perfection… and then he forgot to put something inside. For all its theatrics, orchestral wizardry and pageant of impressive notes, “Here I Stand” feels bland and uninspired, like a musical illustration of ‘style over substance’. It slides around all kinds of melodies and hooks without ever focusing on any of them like a… Read more »
Well, on my opinion this is the worst song in this year’s Eurovision song contest. Vasil is talented, but this song is very meh
16. North Macedonia: I am actually in the minority here as I actually like this song. It has a cosy and uplifting ballad feel and Vasil is a great singer. I wish them the best of luck!!
”so dead, that the rigor mortis has already set in” I love your humor, Tibor! Never change. 🙂
Ah well, what can I say?? There’s something about Vasil, he’s probably a nice lad, but I dunno it’s like he’s trying to get sympathy for something the entire time. I wish he’d just be himself. Song wise, this doesn’t do anything for me and I’m sorry I wanted to like it but it’s just flat. We get this kind of song every year and they don’t really do well so I don’t see the logic as to why North Macedonia is sending a song like this and hoping it will be different. It’s so over dramatic and forced that… Read more »
Has Vasil ever mentioned Freddie Mercury as one of his favorite artists? Because this sounds really Queen-inspired to me and as a Queen fan, it makes me cringe. They probably wanted it to sound majestic, but it comes across as too pompous and exalted. It’s such a shame, because Vasil seems to be such a nice person and has beautiful voice, but this is just excess of form over substance to me.
I know that most of die-hard ESC fans don’t tend to be keen on musical theater, so I want to give an opinion as someone who usually really loves this genre. This is very weak. I’ll post my ”official” review with the rating later on, but here is my detailed opinion on why it fails, and how other songs of the similar style avoided these issues. Pick an emotion you want to mainly highlight. Is your song uplifting or melancholic? If both, it should progress from one to the other, not give mixed feelings throughout. The good example is ”The… Read more »
really enjoyed that! Thank you. Learned a lot!!
Thank you, Mark! 🙂 I really tried.
Thank you for these nice comments, Mr Vanilla Bean. 🙂 I enjoy in your reviews too.
This is incredibly insightful ?.
I love musicals, I do not like this song. The examples you gave are, except Agony, all from movies – written for movies, not stage musicals. They never need to be performed live eight times a week, which is an important thing to consider when writing them. Andrew Lloyd Webber never cared about this, but the best composers do – like Stephen Sondheim, who wrote one of my favourites for an actress that can’t really sing at all. Send in the Clowns, for Glynis Johns. I’ve forgotten what my point is, sorry. I suppose it’s that good songs are not… Read more »
Man, I never expected to see a genius like Sondheim mentioned in a comment section about whatever Vasil’s song is supposed to be. 😉
That’s why you’ve got to love the comments!
Ohhh Vasil, you let your emotions get the better of you. I really liked Vasil’s 2020 entry, but the 2021 song is so “OTT Broadway” that it hurts. Having said that, Vasil has the vocal capability to nail this, so never count him out in a live contest. The juries might love him. Just some musical notes (pun intended): The key raises from A major to C major (yes, that’s more than a tone higher). Also, right at the end of the song, Vasil stops on a lower G before blasting out a top C and holding it! (That would… Read more »
Oh, is Vasil in SF1? Oh dear. That’s gonna be an interesting night.
37) North Macedonia –
I don’t really have much to say on this one. Vasil seems like a really nice guy, but to me this entry can be summed up in one word: filler. You can feel the passion this guy has, but for me this ain’t it. 3/10
I don’t want to beat a dead horse so, I’m just gonna say that Vasil is diamond of a person and that I wish him luck, he’s going to need it.
The points just keep getting lower and lower…
It’s sad that Here I stand is such a lackluster song because Vasil seems like a very gentle and nice guy.
23. North Macedonia – Vasil – Here I Stand – 6/10 – I love a good melodrama and my goodness does Vasil crank this up to the maximum. Of course this entry is completely overblown, but the song wears its musical theatre extravagance on its sleeve and it is impossible not to be drawn into the magical lair when someone sells their product with such gusto. The cheese pours out of it as if it were a dairy but I don’t mind, Vasil can pile that cheddar on as thickly as he wants because he believes in this song so,… Read more »
Regarding the cheese part https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fDa3SA7sCjA