Singer: Lucie Jones
Song: Never Give up on You
Performing: Final Auto-Qualifier
Memorable Line: “Now see how far you’ve walked, the mountains climbed, the oceans crossed”
Chances: Probably won’t do so well – Somewhere in the 20s.
Link: United Kingdom 2017
Rating: 6 personal journeys (out of 10).
Where to start. First of all, I do not hate this song. It is positive and heartfelt. Unfortunately, it is also kind of boring. There is build up, but no huge payoff. You listen to this song expecting a WOW moment, and you end up being disappointed.
One problem with the song is that Lucie belts pretty much all the way through. This means there is no real rise, no exciting moment for cheering and joy. It’s all very one-note, flat, and ultimately very forgettable. And unfortunately, while belting is sometimes exciting, Lucie’s notes are a bit breathy and sometimes seem a bit off pitch, at least in the live version. In a song like this, the singer has to be perfect on every note, or else the whole song falls apart.
But ultimately, the biggest sin of “Never Give Up On You” is that Lucie feels kind of empty and passionless. Songs like this really rely on the singer’s ability to connect with the audience and sell it. Consider Jamala last year – her song was not amazing, but she poured her whole soul into the performance and it really came across on stage. Lucie, on the other hand, feels like she’s rushing through the notes, going through the motions, and adding “sang at Eurovision” to her resume. If she can’t channel some sort of passion or intensity, the audience will be able to tell.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy this song. There is nothing wrong with it at all. In fact, it’s one of the better UK entries in recent years. But is it a winner? Certainly not. No one will even remember it by June of this year – I just listened to it before writing this, and I have already forgotten it.