Elena Gheorghe, or Elena, as she is more commonly known, is one of Romania’s best Eurovision exports—and she’s keeping busy. After echoing throughout the summer with the ballad “Ecou”, she has recently released a new video, which has garnered more than two million views on YouTube in just three weeks: “Pana dimineata” (Till morning).
Alright. Let’s break it down. So 28-year old Elena joins a bunch of teenagers, pretending to be one of them, and goes camping to celebrate the end of high school. She changes countless outfits, donning a tutu dress that she stole from a “Toddlers & Tiaras” pageant to perform for her “colleagues”, as CGI fireworks light up the night sky. At the end, they watch a homemade video, remembering the four years of high school. Oh, and she flirts with at least three presumably underage guys!
The lyrics are as inane as the video, speaking of having fun with your significant other until the sun goes up. Although JJ’s text is as cliche as the rest, the presence of a female rapper in a Romanian dance song kind of makes the song a little less forgettable.
Don’t get me wrong: I liked Elena on the Eurovision stage (although her song “The Balkan Girls”, reinforced the notion that Romania is part of the Balkans, which is incorrect, and was snubbed by the rest of the Balkans anyway). And I loved her during the Mandinga years (“Soarele meu” is my favourite Mandinga song ever), but I don’t like her new musical direction. It makes her seem totally devoid of personality and she gets lost in the crowded Romanian pop music scene. Her simple songs sound like they were written by a twelve-year old girl for a twelve-year old boy and it’s rather embarrassing. Yes, Elena, I know you wrote “Don’t grow up, it’s a trap” at the end of your video, but please don’t get stuck in your (pre)teens forever. Pretty soon, you’re going to be 30 and it won’t be cute anymore. I’m afraid it is time to grow up.
And yes, the former Eurovision’s Next Top Model winner is quite popular in Romania, as the YouTube views, the Facebook likes and her heavy radio presence attest, despite the simplicity of her songs and the sheer puerility of her videos, so I admit that she might be doing something right. Or perhaps there are more twelve-year olds on YouTube than I thought?
What do you think? Am I wrong to dismiss the preacher’s daughter? Or should Elena indeed reconsider her musical direction?
Bogdan Honciuc is a Romania-based correspondent for WiwiBloggs.com. You can follow him on Twitter @stingovision.