Wiwi Jury: Moldova’s SunStroke Project with “Hey Mamma”


Salut! The Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of music unprofessionals — has landed in Chisinau. We’re ready to have some delicious ciorba — a sour but nourishing soup — to go with Moldova’s funky Eurovision 2017 entry — “Hey Mamma” from SunStroke Project. Are we ready to thrust our hips like Epic Sax Guy? Or is it better to put the sax down and eat instead? Read on to find out…

SunStroke Project – “Hey Mamma”

About SunStroke Project

SunStroke Project is made up of violinist and songwriter Anton Ragoza, saxophone player Sergey Stepanov and lead vocalist Sergey Ialovitsky. Together with Olia Tira, they represented Moldova at Eurovision in 2010 with the song “Run Away”. They only managed to reach 22nd place, but their performance went viral globally thanks to Stepanov’s energetic thrusting on stage during his saxophone solo, which earned him the nickname Epic Sax Guy. “Hey Mamma” marks the band’s second time representing Moldova at Eurovision, after winning the national selection O melodie pentru Europa 2017 in February.

“Hey Mamma” reviews

Kristin: Sunstroke Project (heart emoji). This is pure delight through and through. Funky beat, mandatory solo from Epic Sax Guy and Sergei’s amazing vocals give this song an edge that cannot to be found anywhere else. “Hey Mama” is entertainment with a capital E, and the boys look super relaxed and just ready to goof around and have fun, and as always, they simply ooze charm and stage presence. This is a slam dunk. BOOM!

Score: 9.5/10

Zakaria: It’s been seven years since Epic Sax Guy conquered the world with his epic dance and it’s so satisfying to see him back, along with Sunstroke Project, with yet another crazy and entertaining song. “Hey Mamma” is fun, infectious, instantly catchy and will certainly get everybody dancing in the arena and at home. This should give Moldova their first qualification in four years — and deservedly so!

Score: 7/10

Chris: “Hey Mamma” is enjoyable: what more can it really ask for? This clearly isn’t a Eurovision winning song — but it’s doubtful SunStroke Project have any intention of that. The use of Epic Sax Guy actually feels very clever: you can’t not have him, he has a chance to shine, but doesn’t dominate. Moldova could yet make a pleasant splash on the final leaderboard.

Score: 6/10

Deban: Sunstroke Project has dated very badly. Their continuous use of the Epic Sax Guy is abuse of a one-trick pony. Their sound doesn’t travel beyond their landlocked republic. As I rush to put other songs on repeat, “Hey Mamma” gets played in full solely for critiquing purposes only.

Score: 3/10

Robyn: SunStroke Project have solved the modern pop dilemma — what to do on stage during the instrumental pop drop. The solution is to give Epic Sax Guy a solo and all is good. “Hey Mamma” is a catchy modern dance track and this Moldovan trio brings entertaining dance moves and plenty of joy to their performance. I’m not sure if they’ll qualify from semi-final one, but they’ll surely get everyone bopping.

Score: 7.5/10

William: Contemporary and on-trend, “Hey Mamma” balances crazy and mainstream to great effect, creating a real earworm of a tune that could make the most uptight listener undo his collar and tap his foot. The saxophone against the electro backing sizzles and the lead singer’s vocals balance sexiness and vulnerability perfectly. As he begs his mother-in-law for a bit of peace, you can’t help but cheer him on. Witty, catchy, infectious — this deserves a spot in the top ten.

Score: 8.5/10

Sami: I am so happy to see Sunstroke Project back. Sadly, the song is just not as good as their entry from 2010. Still, this is one of the best and by far the most entertaining act this year. The song makes you dance and puts a smile on your face. It is a bit cheap — and that might put the juries off — but I hope the televoters send enough votes Moldova’s way so we see Epic Sax Guy and the crew in the final.

Score: 9/10

Steinunn: This is Moldova in a nutshell. Crazy lyrics that make no sense, weird dance moves and an infectious song hook. Thank the lord that the outcome is good. It’s far from being the best song in this year’s competition, but it sure is one of the most entertaining. Sunstroke Project seem like guys that don’t take themselves too seriously and they will most definitely show us how to have a good time on stage. Plus they have Epic Sax Guy. Enough said.

Score: 7/10

In our Wiwi Jury, we have 38 jurors but only room for eight reviews. The rest of our scores can be found below:

Anastas: 6.5/10

Andy: 4.5/10

Angus: 6/10

Anthony: 8/10

Antony: 5/10

Antranig: 7/10

Bernardo: 7/10

Bogdan: 7/10

Dayana: 8.5/10

Edd: 7.5/10

Erdi: 3/10

Forrest: 7/10

George: 5/10

Jacob: 8/10

Jason: 7/10

Jordi: 6/10

Josh: 7/10

Jovana: 5/10

Luis: 7/10

Marek: 6.5/10

Matt: 6/10

Mikhail: 5.5/10

Natalie: 4.5/10

Padraig: 7.5/10

Patrick: 5.5/10

Renske: 8.5/10

Rezo: 6/10

Sinan: 8.5/10

Stanislav: 9.5/10

Tobias: 5/10
















Before calculating the average score, the highest and lowest scores are dropped. This is to remove outliers and reduce potential bias. We have removed a low of 3 and a high of 9.5.

Wiwi Jury verdict: 6.67/10

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

See our current Eurovision 2017 reviews and rankings