The Wiwi Jury — our in-house team of music unprofessionals — is reviewing and rating the 37 competing songs in Eurovision 2023. Next we review Estonia, who have chosen Alika with “Bridges”.
Do we want to join Alika on the other side of the water? Read on to find out!
Alika – “Bridges” (Estonia Eurovision 2023)
Review: Alika – “Bridges”
Dayana: Alika is an incredible singer and I’m sure she will hit all those notes at Eurovision, just as she did in the Estonian national final. I’m not a big fan of ballads, but “Bridges” gives a sweet nostalgia of early 2010’s entries. It has a memorable chorus, great lyrics and a nice melody that just perfectly fits Alika’s voice. The more I listen to “Bridges”, the more I like it.
Deban: Whilst there is no doubt that Alika’s vocal expression uses tonal shifts and resonance to optimum effect, one critical factor remains unchanged, her song is languid. Music experts may have judged this differently, but as they’ve been banished from the semis, I struggle to see the televote appeal here. Alika’s voice is phenomenal, but “Bridges” reads like loud and louder on snooze.
Antranig: “Bridges” is an entry that has quietly gone under the radar, but there is some serious quality here. Alika’s vocals have a mysterious undertone beneath the big notes and “Bridges” has an almost urgent characteristic about it as the song builds towards a huge crescendo. My only concern about the song is that I feel juries may appreciate it more than a televote, which could be a problem in the new voting format. “Bridges” is a journey and if Alika can build some bridges to the grand final, the jury may push her significantly up that leaderboard.
Kristín: Estonia, what have you done? You could’ve been edgy and different and driven the crowd completely wild, but instead you opted for a generic and boring ballad, guaranteed to put people to sleep. Why, oh why? But I will give credit where credit is due, for Alika is a star and is definitely shining brighter than the dull-fest she is performing. Should Estonia qualify, and I’m not saying that’s entirely impossible, it will be because Alika is a powerhouse and I know that she will give her all and more on stage and hopefully shake things up, because unfortunately they need a good shaking.
Samuel: When I think of Estonia, I think of a piano that plays itself and not a lot else. Alika strikes me as a talented and engaging performer, but “Bridges” for the most part fails to impress me. That is with the ironic exception of the bridge of “Bridges”, which builds nicely and complements Alilka well. As ballads go, “Bridges” isn’t bad, but it might need more than a self-playing piano to hold my attention next time.
Estonia Eurovision 2023 ranking
In the Eurovision 2023 Wiwi Jury, we have 20 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 2 and a high of 7.5.
Wiwi Jury verdict: 5.83/10
What do you think of Estonia’s Eurovision 2023 entry? Share your own score and review for Alika’s “Bridges” below!
I’m sorry but giving it a 2 is just very, very wrong. It deserves WAY more than 5,83. I’m sorry, not sorry
This song is counting on people to connect to the emotions of the singer. Alika has great vocals followed by heavy breathing. Unfortunately I don’t connect with the song at all. It seems to me like a good vocal show-off. Would have probably made it through for sure with jury support alone. Televote would be less rewarding.
The singer is bigger than the song her. Saw the live performances. She’s great. But the song … Ugh
She’s got a great voice but this song is so bland. The high note at the end is incredible but think people will have been put to sleep by then. Non qualifier for me
The fact that wiwi jury gave this beautiful song the same score that Michael Rice’s Bigger than Us and Sarah McTernan’s 22. Unbelievable
That 2 review is pathetic, when you review a Eurovision entry you don’t take into account other songs in the NF that it beat you look at the song on its merits, don’t let bias of your favs not winning get in the way ( I wanted Tuju to win Eesti Laul for example but that doesn’t come into me reviewing bridges because that’s stupid)
plot twist: somehow, when Alika is supposed to perform, it will be Meelik who appears ???? huh??? Yesterday, I saw Meelik on the street. He looked at me as if I had horns
I feel like this song could’ve been a contender in 2008-2010.
It’s a hard NO from me. It’s like some countries just want to show up instead of actually compete. When you come with a song as inaccessible as this, don’t be surprised when you end up placing quite low.
Why such a considerable downvoting? Face the reality: this song is average.
LMao the REALITY is it’s a quality song. your OPINION is it’s an average song. Learn the difference, please
Very comfortable in my bottom 5. I just can’t; it’s not for me. Alika has an INCREDIBLE voice, probably one of the best alongside Blanca, Marco, Remo, and Loreen, but the song is not up to it. Her voice is not enough to give this song a soul.
I respect the effort, but I’m not a fan.
I feel like this is a ballad for the sake of being a ballad. The instrumentation is nice, the build is good, Alika’s vocals are impeccable… Technically there should not be a single thing wrong with this. Still, we’ve seen things like this before. While it was my favorite from Eesti Laul which in my humble opinion was kinda lame this year, it still doesn’t really blow me away as much as I’d like.
It’s a 6.5/10 for me. I’m hoping for good staging that can do this entry justice, and Estonia’s an easy qualifier in May
Just like some songs are upbeat only to be upbeat.
I don’t like it, but dude…3,5? 4? You can’t be serious
I really love “Bridges” and I felt immediate connection with the song. Alika’s voice is smooth and beautiful and the live performance feels like a story being told that creates an almost immersive experience. Studio version is not equally strong, but thankfully I watched the live performance first and the same will be the case for million viewers in May. It’s a solid 9/10 and 9th in my ranking this year. I will be very sad if it doesn’t qualify to the final given that it’s televoting only. If it goes in the final this can very easily be in… Read more »
The jury will like this but the public will more than likely deem it forgettable- it’s really a well written song- but it gets lost in the pack.
No way this is rated much lower than Denmark. Questionable…
My number 2 of the year, can’t believe Wiwi have ranked it so low
Totally agree with you. Remember in the National finals most of their favourites then never made the cut to get to this stage so take their reviews with a pinch of salt
That’s why it says ‘music unproffesionals’. It’s my winner.
ok song, but the fake piano thing is a cliché esc-2010 style, hope it won’t be in liverpool but probably will
don’t hope it will be nd it’s not just the fake piano it’s historical piano
I respect this entry, but I fail to connect with it. I like it better in the beginning, when it’s purely a piano-driven ballad, but the rest of the instrumental sounds a little uninspired to my ears. Alika’s vocals are evidently very good, though in my opinion she overdoes the drama a bit. The way she keeps stretching “briiiiiidgeesss” for example, almost sound like a parody when the climax comes It doesn’t help that the lyrics are quite vague about the feelings she’s fighting to convey. 6.5
Today, we have one review where you’re far more generous than I am, and one where I’m far more generous than you are. Pretty constructive and concise comments, Sabrina.
Thanks, Colin. 🙂 You may had noticed already that for me most of the entries this year are members of a huge so-so group, so expect to see many countries getting grades between 5.5 and 7… Sometimes I like them, but there’s nothing special about them musically (Malta, for example), sometimes I appreciate the effort but I’m indifferent to the final product (Estonia). I guess Tibor said something similar, but he front group is smaller than mine.
*his front group. (I miss the editing button)
It’s slim pickings this year, isn’t it …
And I also want the edit button back. Perhaps this will work if we repeat it often enough.
On the other hand, there isn’t much to dislike either. I have a clear top 4, a clear bottom 4, a relatively small 2nd tier that I like but would lose at least 5 positions each on a stronger year and the rest is a big group of “OK, this is fine, but I won’t ever feel the rush to listen to it after May 13th”.
I agree, there’s only one song that for me has no redeeming qualities and six more I constantly skip, because something about them annoys me personally.
At the top of my ranking, I have a clear top five of songs I have added to my music library and a sixth one that might still join them.
But I’m not complaining, national final season has on the other hand been exceedingly generous.
Lyrically, that “vagueness” might be part of the problem with the song not really connecting with a lot of people. I’ve said with other entries that overly-simplistic, broad lyrics can cause problems in elevating a song, but, maybe here, you’ve got the opposite issue where such opaque wording leaves an audience a bit confused as to what exactly Alika is actually going on about.
Exactly. Comparing “Bridges” to the now also reviewed “Due Vite”, while the first isn’t clear about the emotions it’s trying to transmit, the second is very clear about them. Even if I’m not connecting with the Italian song either, I can understand what are the feelings behind it and when Marco performs it I can sense what’s moving him. Both the songwriting and the delivery seem much more sincere and well crafted. While when I watch Alika perform, I appreciate the vocal skills, but in a more objective and distanced way.
she is the best singer among all the contestants.she can easily sing a primitive Christmas carol and it will always be great and not boring
ESTONIA – In a year with not that many ballads, this gorgeous classical piano-based number stands out in a good way! The composition is sophisticated and builds smoothly to a very powerful crescendo. The song is structured in a way that it rises and falls in all the right places, thus feeling quite grand. The staging is simple, yet effective. Alika’s fantastic vocals give it an additional flair. I understand that there’s a certain ”coldness” there, and that can be an issue in building bridges towards the audiences. Still, I find the sheer elegance and instrumentation of this enough to… Read more »
I think some lyrics are very good, but they are too padded. “There is always time to get back on track” is an important and reassuring message for anyone to hear. That should be the headline of the song, not the bridges metaphor. Keep it simple. I’m not sure I even understand exactly what she means.
Paul Simon’s “Bridge over troubled water” does it better, but that’s a high bar.
Extremely high bar indeed! Love that song!
I think that ”bridges” are a metaphor for connecting and branching out. She’s ”building the world of bridges” where she’ll create new opportunities and relationships instead of staying closed to new ideas.
Is it okay to use two metaphors for the same thing? Is she tearing down walls, or building bridges? Pick one.
I’m being harsh, I know, but it’s a contest after all.
I personally don’t see the two in odds. Walls = being closed up. Bridges = being open. If anything, they are antitheses, which enhances the metaphor. But even if one would use two metaphors for the same thing, it could work depending on the song.
I suppose you’re right. I saw them both as “overcoming obstacles”. I still think it’s a bit of a stretch to call them poetic, though, they’re not very original.
Very pleasant review to read, as always. 🙂
While my opinion slightly differs from yours, this is a song I have managed to appreciate more over time and now wish to see qualifying. This is a very solid entry for Estonia, although, I must say, not my favourite in Eesti Laul (that would be Lighthouse or Venom).
There’s a ballad that has grown on me even more than this one, though, and managed to go into my top 3. Right now, Bridges is my #15.
Was already quite prepared for you to still feel favourably about this entry and you’ve written well about the aspects of the song that continue to appeal to you. I could actually get onboard with some of the adjectives used here such as “elegant” or “poetic” if the song was delivered a bit better by the performer. But, as it is, I don’t personally pick up on those things. It’s a bit sad really.
I think your assessment of it being a safe top ten song is incredibly optimistic though!
The lyrics do not hold my attention, I can not follow the story and do not have any reason to care. Nice instrumentation and mood, but not for me.
I appreciated it much more at the star of the NF season tbh. It may have got a bit lost among other entries and, certainly, it doens’t help there were two other songs in Eesti Laul that would have been arguably better on making an impact on the Eurovision stage. Anyway, I still think it deserves better than that score.
Estonia makes it into my top 15:
15. Estonia (6.75)
17. Australia (6.75)
23. The Netherlands (6.5)
25. Malta (6.5)
28. Iceland (6.25)
30. Denmark (6)
I love this song and I don’t care what people say. I’ll vote for it in SF2.
I wish this song stopped at 1:07. The beginning is so wonderfully soft and dreamy – I mean, who doesn’t love a good “ooooh” and “aaaah”? There’s just the right amount of mystery and playfulness – the melody slowly entices you in and then suddenly tiptoes to the “there is always time…” part. A misty landscape of open questions unfolds before the listener. Who is the protagonist? And where are they going? It’s by all means a promising start. But the song doesn’t stop at 1:07. It methodically builds up the momentum “slowly every step”. Unchained Alika opens up to… Read more »
Your second paragraph is a very perceptive and insightful pointing out of what’s going on during that period of the song. Well-written, Skiwalko!
I keep it short and simple.
I have zero connection to it, but expected a higher ranking than others already rated.
I think this is definitely a bit harsh, especially if you compare the rating to the ones on other songs this year.
My number 29. Even though she was my favorite in Eesti Laul, she got lost among the Eurovision competition.
32. Alika – Bridges – 5/10 (Estonia) – a perfectly presentable piano ballad which Alika throws herself into with appropriate gusto. I’m not sold on the “ah-ah’s” or the “breeedddgggeeesss” and it all feels like something I have heard about three million times before.
“breeedddgggeeesss” is exactly it. I just can’t with it, at all.
For me, the Eurovision ballad has moved on from what this is and is something more dynamic and interesting. This just doesn’t offer that much.
The last 15 seconds are very impactful… but there is another 2:30ish prior to them that’s just… fine.
Perfect piano heaven. Every note of this song is crafted for the pianist to effortlessly play at home, so of course I adore this song. Alika’s super-talented voice has hints of jazz and blues anyhow, so she has a great showcase here for that sound. Before the song even starts properly, there are a couple of introductory arpeggios across two chords (C minor and F minor), which set the scenery for a serious trip through emotional depths. Verse 1 plants us into the dark and dramatic C minor key, and almost immediately the piano guides the melody by having the… Read more »
I’m glad I’m not the only one who loves this song, Purple. I see that Ari and Thanos also have an appreciation for it. It’s in my top 10. 🙂
This song is so underrated by Wiwibloggs. You didn’t even make a reaction video to Alika’s live performance @ Eesti Laul final!
inability to recognize a diamond. check how vocal coaches rate this song
Vocal coaches love a vocal exercise, nothing new, but what about the songwriters…
I think this could follow a more recent trend of a fairly respected entry but not a favourite being right at the top of the jury vote very unexpectedly. I think she could be our Tamara Todevska or Cesar Sampson. Without seeing any possible changes to the staging she does seem less televote friendly though. I think the biggest battle could be getting to the final in a televote only semi in the first place. Although I think she will. When she’s there in the final I think she’ll do very well. As for the song I think she’s got… Read more »
37th out of 37 for me
Solid entry, flawless strong singing. In my top 10. Will do the Tamara-Todevska-effect in final. I will call for her, if she delivers as expected.
OK Ollie would have been good too i admit. Esti laul was a tough sélection this year.. But i still think she could nail it the night of the show
It’s definitly a little bit dated… But it bring me back to the end of the 90s when i was obsessed with these kinds of ballads… I love it and i would rank it top 12 … Come on admit it : at least it s well done..
Imagine ranking this lower than Denmark LOL
Why should this song be ranked higher? What is the redeeming factor that makes this entry more quality except for that the whole song offers s grreat vocal excercise for Alika although a boring one?
She doesn’t rely a ton of autotune and vocal modulation, it isn’t monotone, isn’t “junior” and TikTok focused, isn’t sung by someone pretending to be 16, and she can actually sing live
When your review includes a sentence about an entry’s placing, you’re reviewing an entry’s potential and not the entry itself. When your review includes a sentence about the outcome of a selection (X would have been better!!!), you’re reviewing a country’s choice and not the entry itself. I get that everyone has favorites, but if you’re not able to let that go the minute the choice has been made, you should honestly make a decision between (a) not reviewing any song chosen through a national final or (b) not watching any national final. I know that people prefer Ollie (here)… Read more »
although this was definitely a good choice from eesti laul, i just can’t connect with this song. the lyrics aren’t bad, but they feel a little generic imo. however, alika’s voice is amazing and i have a feeling the staging for this is gonna give me chills! 6.5/10
What on earth do y’all in Wiwi juries smoke and where can I find it?
This is seriously among the best entries of the competition and it’s not even in my Top3 of Eesti Laul! I also think Ollie would be a better choice but this just so good at its genre. Beautiful vocals, great production, emotion and drama without them being all over the place too. Everything is at the volume it should be. Get new ears babes.
Rating: 9/10 (4th)
funny but true 😀
So pompous and melodramatic, Alika performs this in a way that feels like she just wants to hammer the listener’s head with the song, quite an exhausting perfomer and this is just a typical, by-the-numbers ESC ballad, I really can’t stand the choices of the Eesti Laul, almost always picking the lame, safer songs over the actually interesting ones, I sincerely hope they’ll be getting poor results from now on until that attitude changes.
Mezing / megusta / MEDAIGUAL / meh.
I really can’t bring myself to believe in what she’s singing. All the ingredients (vocals, lyrics, arrangements, staging) are good separately, but once they’re together it sounds bland, bordering pretensious. My 35th overall, only above Israel and San Marino.
I can’t disagree more on this with Deban, and especially with Kristin. Yes, Estonia (rightfully, IMO) chose to send Alika, as one of the best ES singers in the last 10 years and absolutely the best by far this year, instead of a generic, bland, and weak rock song. Ollie is fine. I would enjoy his song as well, but as someone who listened to rock/metal all his life, that band is in a league with a garage teenage band that is learning how to play. That’s not edgy and different. It is a different type of “boring” and “we’ve… Read more »
I mean in all honesty, not to add fire to the Loreen debate but thats something that i’ve been questioning too. How is it that one song people consider not the most special/ alright but generic/nothing new (not everyone but there are several) that is elevated immensely by the performer is considered a potential winner and another where people have a very similar opinion of, consider a potential non qualifer? Like that doesn’t make sense to me.
Yep. I think it will show in the final, but I don’t want to hope. But yeah, like, ok Loreen is an icon in Eurovision and beyond of course. I didn’t like Euphoria that much either, but I see why it is so popular.
Tattoo is just an effect of the artist and her legacy. Rybak got to final with even worse song than this, luckily didn’t win. Loreen might win, but if that happens, this will be the worst winning song in 10 years. The worst after Azerbaijan in this century for me even.
That’s why, even if I feel bad saying it, undoubtedly people are being swayed by Tattoo because of the singer, even if they like the song, I don’t think it’d even be considered a winner if she didn’t sing it (I don’t want to be a “hater” but I genuinely think top 10 max for me). It’s not even bad but like I said, Loreen elevates Tattoo just like Alika elevates Bridges yet people have completely different expectations of them. I agree btw, Norway would not have qualified in 2018 if it wasn’t Alexander Rybak. His winning songis my all… Read more »
I really don’t like Spain, because I wanted Megara 🙂 Blanca’s vocals are not going well for me, and the song is kinda irritating, at least for me.
But, I appreciate it. Blanca as a person seems likable. We can say this is artistic, ethnic, showcasing many things, telling a story.
In that sense, I do appreciate it. I just don’t enjoy listening to it.
I have my doubts about Loreen! She won’t be able to use the same big screens in Liverpool. She has to change lots of things. With this in mind, I don’t see her as a winner! But Sweden is Sweden!
I’m genuinely shocked by this rating if i’m honest. I think Dayana and Antranig have hit the nail on the head tbh. Even if people aren’t ranking this extremely low in the rankings, I think the fact that some are considering it a potential non qualifier shows how underrated and imo under appreciated this song is. It’s no secret that televoters generally (and a large portion of esc fans) are more inclined to vote for mid/up tempo songs than a ballad (ofc they can also vote ballads) but I think it would genuinely undeserved for this not to qualify. I… Read more »
This is one of the worst Wiwi jury verdicts of all time. It’s not harsh words, I’m being utterly honest. Where some people see unoriginality, dullness and forced dramatization, I see a brilliant, powerful, beautiful ballad with serious emotion, hopeful, wise message and overall, a bright, spiritual trip through Alika’s powerful vocals and raw talent. To compare THIS genre with something purposedly over-the-top and loud like Ollie’s “Venom” is nothing but unfair. LOUD DOESN’T ALWAYS EQUAL GOOD, QUIRKY DOESN’T NECESSARILY TRANSLATE TO QUALITY. I personally believe this is the second best ballad of the year, right after Brunette’s “Future Lover”.… Read more »
I fully agree and at least Estonia’s song makes me feel something, while Italy, which will probably have a way higher score and result, falls flat for me and leaves me completely cold, but I guess every song hits different people in a different way.
I mean I couldn’t agree with this more i’ll be honest. People are entitled to like whatever genre of music they like but I have seen a pattern where Ballads with usually only 1 or 2 exceptions a year, where people automatically disregard it and call it boring. Like even for when I was watching the premier of the dutch entry, the song was like only on for 5 seconds and people were already slandering it in the chat for being a ballad. Like I think it’s so unnecessary and childish to automatically view songs like that. Sorry if it… Read more »
Was expecting this to be the highest ranked entry so far, didn’t expect you all to be this harsh. I personally like the song a lot (not in my top 10 though) and want it in the final.