WATCH: Romania’s Ilinca drops new single “Amici” ahead of Second Semi-final

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She’s the yodelling star who’s helping to carry the hopes of Romania at Eurovision 2017. And just hours before she is due to take to the stage in Semi-Final 2, Ilinca released a brand new single — the power ballad “Amici” (Just Friends).

In the dramatic video accompanying the song, her Eurovision co-star Alex Florea plays Ilinca’s love interest. Bank on that established chemistry, y’all!

Amici is in Romanian and Ilinca sings that she wants to say good-bye forever to a cheating ex. She doesn’t want to be friends anymore — and we don’t blame her.

“I want to run, I want to cry, I want to curse, I don’t want to be here, I don’t want us to be just friends,” she sings, and the pain in her voice is apparent.

A far cry from the joyful “Yodel It!”, the video is equally dramatic. Alex plays the part of Ilinca’s ex-boyfriend; at one point, he appears to have no eyes. It’s a striking metaphor, which alludes to the fact that he doesn’t see her anymore.

Ilinca herself proves that she has strong acting skills. Gone are the smiles from the “Yodel It!” video. In “Amici”, she plays the part of the heartbroken girlfriend very convincingly, showing a range of emotions — from initial happiness to sadness, anger and desperation.

Musically, the song is very strong, too. The heavy content of the lyrics is supported by a downtempo melody, which takes a dramatic turn in the chorus. The production is sleek and very layered. But the best asset of “Amici” is Ilinca’s voice: her sadness seems real and her desperation is palpable.

Ilinca is much more than a yodeler, y’all: the Romanian singer is an accomplished and complex singer in her own right and, on this track, she shows growth and evolution. She has a nice musical career ahead of her!

A semi-final surprise

Ilinca’s label Cat Music decided to surprise both Ilinca’s fans and the singer with an early release of the video, which was supposed to be dropped after Eurovision. Ilinca told us:

I was in my hotel room in Kyiv and my mom was listening to “Amici”. I was like, how come. Then she told me that Cat Music launched the song before the semi-final, as a surprise. I am both happy and excited. “Amici” is a track that is very dear to my heart, even though it should a different side of me. I would like to thank my team, Alex, and everyone who keep supporting me!

Ilinca feat. Alex Florea are ready to take on the Second Semi-final

Last night, Ilinca also proved that she is determined to be taken seriously as an artist. At the Jury Semi-final, both she and Alex delivered one of their best performances yet, and the entire Romanian delegation is very excited about tonight’s show.

Nothing may come out of the cannons, as the stage cleanup would take too long. But the yodeling, rapping, and Ilinca and Alex’s undeniable chemistry are sure to entertain both the crowd in the arena and the international audiences at home.

What do you think about Ilinca’s new single “Amici”? Are you shipping Illex? Let us know in the comments!

Read all of our Romania Eurovision news here