Romania, Cezar, 4

Earlier this week the Wiwi Jury—our international panel of music un-professionals—hopped in a caravan and headed to Romania to review Cezar’s Eurovision 2013 song “It’s My Life”. Did his operatic flourish earn a standing ovation? Or did we try to pull down the curtain before he left the stage? Read on to find out.


Bogdan: I love Romania’s entry this year because it’s a paradox and a riddle – just when you think you know what you are listening to, Cezar manages to surprise you with his voice. Love it or hate it, the song’s polarizing qualities will only work in Cezar’s favour, as the ones who hate him cannot give him any minus points, while the ones who love him can and will give him 12 points. “It’s My Life”, once you go past the novelty of the countertenor voice, is an addictive, classic Eurovision upbeat song, performed by an ambitious and confident guy who won over an entire country in just three weeks. Can he wow the rest of Europe in Malmö in three minutes? He surely can.

Score: 9/10

Cezar OuatuWiwi: “It’s My Life” is definitely original and daring. Unfortunately it’s also excruciating to listen to. I feel like someone has taken shards of glass and cut up my eardrums and then poured salt all over them. Even if you dropped the register so he didn’t sound like he had sucked on helium beforehand, it would still be a bad song. But I have to admit that Cezar, who we spoke with at Eurovision in Concert, is passionate about his song and a real performer. I give him two points for bringing something new to Eurovision and another two for taking such a big risk. It’s Cezar’s life and he can sing a bad song if he wants to. (P.S. Please don’t say I am anti-Romania. I played “The Balkan Girls” at my wedding, and I was a huge supporter of Mandinga last year).

Score: 5/10

Vebooboo:  In the history of Eurovision, Romania is probably my favourite country. ‘Let Me Try’, ‘Balkan Girls’ and so many other quality entries. I know a ton of our Romanian readers will hate me for saying this, but I simply do not like this song. I think it’s great to test the boundaries of ‘normal’ in Eurovision, and having a male opera singer sing an upbeat song in theory seems a great way to do just that. Two problems, though. First, Malena Ernman tried in 2009 and flopped. Second, and more important, Cezar’s voice does not have the power to sing this song. He gets lost amid the beat because at a higher vocal register he simply cannot carry the same weight.  And that’s where I get confused – why sing something in a register that naturally doesn’t let you belt out the notes?? Sorry, people, but this ain’t my cup of tea. You can send me hate mail.

Score: 3/10

Mr Häggkvist: I know that many, many, many people like this song, but I’m sorry I’m not part of that group. The mix of opera vocals and pop music isn’t new (Sweden 2009), and this song is just weird in a bad way. BUT… at least this is not forgettable. After you listen the first time, you won’t forget “It’s my life…”

Score: 3/10

Deban: I love Cezar! After interviewing him in London, it’s easy to see why. He’s charismatic without being apologetic. This characteristic seeps through in his interviews and performances. No doubt, he showcases a polarising entry in this year’s contest. However, what’s Eurovision without controversy? “It’s My Life” celebrates in equal measure all the things you love and hate about the contest in three minutes. His soprano is infectious, his stage act is atrocious, but at the same time, this opera star doesn’t give a damn! “It’s His  Life”, and whether you love it or loathe it, this contender will bring lots of DRAMA to Malmö.

Score: 8/10 

Romania, Cezar, 2Alexander: Romania seems to have the most polarizing entry of the year, with half of the people loving it and half hating it. The first time I heard “It’s My Life”, I too thought it was a bit weird. However, it instantly started to grow on me, and I actually rooted for this to win Romania’s national selection. It came as a pleasant surprise when it actually did, as I thought Luminita Anghel was the favorite! Cezar is an excellent countertenor (much better than Krassimir Avramov), and anyone who thinks his singing is “gay” or whatever is clearly clueless about opera. The song itself is quite dynamic, and I really enjoy the bridge in particular. The lyrics are generic, but then again, the same could be said for most of the entries. I for one am rooting for Romania to qualify to the final.

Score: 8/10

HK Dick: I have to give Cezar a lot of credit for being able to keep the falsetto going for almost three minutes which must be a huge strain on the vocals. I also rather like the dance track that goes with the song. However, put the two together and you have three minutes of unintentional hilarity that surely the judges must have seen. If he had kept the verse in normal voice then the chorus in falsetto (a la “La Voix”), then we may have had a decent track. Cezar will be long remembered in Eurovision history and has something to add to his bio when doing am dram productions of Dracula the musical in years to come…

Score: 4/10

The Wiwi Jury Verdict: 5.71/10

You can see the latest reviews and standings on the Wiwi Jury pageYou can also listen to all 39 entries on our contestants page.

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Sorin
Guest
Sorin

Excuse, me, I’m Romanian, and I hope we loose badly this year. Originality aside, that song is too powerful for his voice, and I just hate it. Anouk has a good voice and though she can sing quite strongly, she is doing a hypnotizing performance on a lower tone that goes just brilliantly with the musical score. That’s maturity, not like this gifted but green almost singer like , almost man like person with delusions of grandeur.

Momo
Guest
Momo

Is this a joke? Cezar is punking us, right?

Leon
Guest
Leon

Falsetto in ESC will attract a few votes but I fear the majority will stick to mainstream material. It will be interesting to see how they package the production on the night.

Trevor
Guest
Trevor

@ Vio – I kind of gave up on Mercedes when the accountants took over from the engineers in running the company. I’m an Alfa man (hence my predisposition towards Italy) but consigned to BMWs right now. My ears are permanently damaged.

Victory
Guest
Victory

I didn’t expect professional or objective comments on wiwiblogg. At the end of the day, you are just common people, with your own tastes and interests. I doubt about your power to influence voting people. If I like Malta, Ukraine or Germany, I vote them, no matter what you think/write. May be “It’s My Life” is not the best song in the contest, certainly it’s not the worst, but it’s for sure the most disputed one. That’s not so bad. 😉 You have to admit, that the original & daring (these words used by you can be found also in… Read more »

Vio
Guest
Vio

@Alexander – I am always serious when it comes to Cezar´s music, but thanks for your concern (I wonder why you should actually be concerned about this, hmm). @Sandra – everybody knows this poor Tazmanian is paid by one of the losers of the national selection – well, the world needs such clowns, too. @Trevor – your friend´s voice must have damaged something in your ears, you should have listened to him AFTER your encounter with Cezar. Anyway, it is good that the video had such an impact on you that you have made such a strong decision with regard… Read more »

sandra
Guest
sandra

tazmanian de moon is one of the losers of the national selection and is jealous of cezar, i think he is luminita anghel

Trevor
Guest
Trevor

I felt I knew what was coming when I listened to this, as a certain friend of mine has been singing it in a high falsetto in every public location we have recently visited, much to everyone’s amusement. Entertaining, charismatic, profound (in its own superficial way) and totally BONKERS. Pavarotti does disco. I’ll never covet a Mercedes SL ever again.

Emily
Guest
Emily

I don’t like this song too much, but I know that this will stand out in a semifinal of rather weak songs.

Vlad
Guest
Vlad

This is a forbidden fruit for me. I know i shouldn’t be liking it, but I do:)

ana
Guest
ana

nice reviews, honest and true.
I am Romanian and agree with all and with the points received 🙂
Nice to hear about that guy who had The Balkan girls played at his wedding 🙂
Thanks for the time you took to listen and review this song 🙂
All the best, u guys!

Alexander Green
Guest

Also, all of you guys (not just on this post but others) who have been criticizing the Wiwi Jury for their “crappy opinions” is a hypocrite. Unless you actually work in the music industry, then your opinion isn’t anymore valid than the Wiwi Jury’s 😛

Alexander Green
Guest

@Vio Relax and chill man, this is just a blog for fun lol. You’re being really biased about this, because you’re from Romania 😛

Emily
Guest
Emily

It wouldn’t be so bad if he kept his falsetto down an octave.
.

Vio
Guest
Vio

First of all, guys, please stop comparing Cezar with other artists (opera singers, you name it). He is UNIQUE, ok? Now, let´s see what the Easter Bunny has got for us (it is Easter night for all Romanians, look at me…writing comemnts on your blog! Happy Easter to those who celebrate it!) Wiwi Bloggs, I must say that from a certain perspective, I kind of love you all – I (have come to) understand that some of you do not like the song, but I do appreciate the fact that you give the due credit to the singer, to our… Read more »

aaaa
Guest
aaaa

Alex is right … 5,71 not 5,57

Sorina
Guest
Sorina

Alex, you are right: 5.71. Still Cezar definitely deserves a higher score.

Alex
Guest
Alex

I believe that the final score is 5,71. If I’m wrong, sorry. 🙂

sandra
Guest
sandra

we would also like if nathalie would spend the night with dracula and not disturb us once again

Nathalie
Guest

A very disturbing song.

I’d rather spend a night with dracula than listen to this one again.

Alex
Guest
Alex

“Unintentional hilarity” is probably the best way to describe this song, although I wonder whether it’s entirely unintentional. There’s not much I can say about it that hasn’t already been said. I don’t know whether to support it as a joke or to pray that the jury votes to keep it out of the final. The other three popera songs that have been in Eurovision since 2007 are all miles ahead of this one, but I would rather see Cezar in the final than Moran Mazor or Farid Mammadov!

sandra
Guest
sandra

in malmo he will sing just like that, he said already that, falsetto just in the chorus.congratulations Deban, for your objectivity, i liked your comment last year,too,about mandinga, i also didnt like it for the same reasons.as to z24 here, how this sounds cheap to you beats me, i think you are just being malicious

Pablo Nava
Member

“If he had kept the verse in normal voice then the chorus in falsetto (a la “La Voix”), then we may have had a decent track.”

This.

Pablo Nava
Member

Credit where it’s due. The man CAN sing, and it’s great taht he goes that high, I encourage amazing opera in Eurovision…

…But why in Romania did they give him that song? Falsetto and dubstep should never be together. It sounds like a bad mashup at times, lyrics are weak and music sounds cheap. Where is the country that blessed us with Playing With Fire?

I wouldn’t mind if he stayed in the semifinal, but everyone and their mother knows that’s not going to happen. It’s Romania, it performs last. Do the math.

Stephanie
Guest
Stephanie

Romania’s song is bad—but at least it’s original. Italy’s is so unmemorable. I can’t actually hum it and I just read that post. In any case, I’d rank this about 15, and I’d put Italy down at 20. And Spain LAST.

Jaz
Guest

The fact that this is ranked above Italy in your standings makes me want to vomit. But I will attempt to respect your collective right to rank it so.

For me, Romania has lost the plot this year. Not that that means they won’t do well…