After the live auditions on the 17th of January, 24 acts advanced to the Moldovan semi-finals on 24 and 26 February. So it is time that Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of musical unprofessionals — listened and reviewed all of their songs. We start today with four semi-finalists in random order: Carolina Gorun, Vitalie Todirascu, Edict and Mihaela Andrei. The other 20 acts will follow in due course.
1. Carolina Gorun – “Sublime”
David: It is a very pleasant, catchy tune. I enjoyed listening to it and it all worked well. But nothing in it reached out and grabbed me. This won’t make it out of the semi-final.
Robyn: The song is a sexy, loved-up disco number which should be delivered by a sexy disco diva. Carolina is an adequate singer, but she comes across like a schoolteacher on a date. The whole package isn’t there.
Anthony: Despite the name of Carolina’s song suggests so, it’s not quite “Sublime” unfortunately. It’s got the bopping catchiness to it, but it sounds slightly dated for a pop song. And is it me or did Carolina Gorun nick a couple of Mariya Yaremchuk’s “Tick-Tock” lines?
Sami: It’s made by a Swedish team and you really can hear it. It sounds international, but it’s not very well produced. She sounds nice and with little rework it could be a great dancefloor hit.
Kristin: I’m semi-OK with this, good voice, good rhythm, but maybe a little bland though. I’ve listened to it a few times, and it doesn’t stick. It’s forgotten after about 5 seconds.
Liam: I’m loving the synth and I’m loving the voice! Yet Carolina doesn’t seem to have a stage presence when performing. She looks uncomfortable singing this tune onstage. Not to mention, her pronunciation is weird in parts of the song.
Francheska: Carolina sounds more overproduced than a Big Mac. Yet, at the same time, it’s supposed to. It’s mainstream club music. It’s supposed to be very synth-pop-y while not necessarily having powerhouse lyrics. I could see it on a cheesy workout album half-off on iTunes, but not anywhere else.
Patrick: It’s simply horrible. Like, really, why does she try to sing when she can’t sing? I mean those dull, cheap and boring lyrics… “Tick tock tick tock” is so familiar but I really dont know where I know that from *sarcasm*. The song is as bad as her English pronounciation.
Wiwi Jury average: 4.50/10
2. Vitalie Todirascu – “Tu singura” (Only You):
David: An amazing voice and a really good song. This can do very well – with the right staging. With the wrong staging it becomes a bathroom break. So yes, really good, but very dependent on how it’s presented.
Robyn: This performance has the feeling of a recently dumped guy drowning his sorrows at a karaoke bar. The song lurches between miserable mumbling and belted big notes and feels really under-rehearsed.
Anthony: How this ended up in the semi-finals I do not know, and whoever thought it was a good idea should be ashamed of themselves. Vitalie’s live audition had the charisma of a cruise ship singer and his song clearly didn’t do him any favours either. A forgettable one, and certainly dull as dishwater.
Sami: Oh my god, this is so boring! The whole arena would fall asleep during this song, if it were selected for Vienna, but I’m quite sure that even Moldovan people aren’t that crazy. Next, please!
Kristin: What a voice! A combination between Goran Karan and Vlad. I probably come off as a hopelessly romantic old fart, seconds away from crying into my Luke Perry t-shirt, but I like this. Yes, I do!
Liam: This is a song you would see in a place of great sorrow or serenity, like a memorial garden or a natural wonder. Unfortunately, Eurovision is nothing of the sort, so I think Vitalie should look into getting some gigs in a quiet place, not try out for Eurovision.
Francheska: This sounds like elevator music had a baby with a bad 1980s ballad. It’s dated and past its expiration date. I have no doubt that Vitalie is talented, but he got a terrible song. The end is a bad attempt at losing previous momentum, and it sounds like the theme song for my babushka’s soap operas. #YallneedJesus
Patrick: I’m not impressed with this. I don’t speak Romanian so I can’t judge the lyrics, but it sounds like a love song loaded with drama and sadness and of course a big voice. It’s not my cup of tea and I think many people will see it like that as well!
Wiwi Jury average: 3.25/10
3. Edict – “Our Star”:
David: What is this doing here? Uninspiring & bland.
Robyn: Edict seem like a likeable enough trio, but “Our Star” is such a dull song. It’s full of lazy rhyming and cliched lyrics and ends up becoming really monotonous. This is not a song that’s going to stick around.
Anthony: After having to refresh my memory of last year’s national final, “Our Star” is a far cry from “Forever”. Unfortunately it’s a step backwards and I preferred their predecessor. Although this year’s attempt sees vocals from the female lead singer of Edict sound vaguely reminiscent of Lorde.
Sami: She really needs to work on her pronounciation and she also needs to find her own style instead of copying big stars. However, I don’t really have anything too bad to say about the song. It’s a nice pop song, maybe not the catchiest, but it’s listenable. The guy should sing the entire song, though.
Kristin: This is not doing it for me. She desperately wants to sound like Adele or Lorde, but fails horribly, and the song is just a big MEEH. Next, please.
Liam: Loving the piano solo at the beginning. Unfortunately when the voice comes in, the first thought that comes to my head is Tove Lo. I don’t want to be thinking of another artist when a song comes on, I want to be something that I can pick out as them, not mistake them for someone else. Nevertheless, a nice song.
Francheska: It’s passionless and the singer is trying to emulate a vocal style that is ultimately not suited for her. The last thirty seconds, however, have some promise (provided there is a reworking, and it better be serious). Other than that, I am completely unimpressed.
Patrick: It’s not bad as I thought when I heard it the first time. She has a noticeable voice, as does the male background-singer. The song is a bit random though – it’s not really recognizeable, nothing special and will probably end up in the middle-field in the final.
Wiwi Jury average: 4.18/10
4. Mihaela Andrei – “About Love”:
David: I feel like I’m listening to a 15-year old teeny-bopper. And not in a good way. Absolutely no reason this should still be in the contest.
Robyn: Mihaela has a lovely, clear voice that reminds me of Aliona Moon. She’s a confident performer and the song has a contemporary sound. “I feel like a 15-years-old girl”, she sings, echoing the sentiment of Moldovan ESC stalwart Sasha Bognibov.
Anthony: Mihaela may be singing “About Love”, but that’s exactly what she’s doing if, like me, you’re into the category of classic dance track party bangers. Mihaela has a very sweet voice, which actually works very well with the song. This is bound to make me get up, rave and par-tay!
Sami: It makes me dance, which is alway a good sign! She’s not hitting all the notes and it really needs a big show around it, but I think it’s one of the best songs in the Moldovan selection this year.
Kristin: A decent dance track indeed. The more you listen to it, the better it gets. If she works a little better on her English, she will make it to a 7, but until then, it’s only a 6 from me. Sorry, Mihaela — but you still rock.
Liam: Loving this song. It has the outcome of a Cedric Gervais remix of a Lana Del Rey song. “About Love” sounds like it was meant to be a ballad, but the production geniuses behind it have turned it into a dance track. I LOVE IT!
Francheska: I’d vote for this song if it had the instrumentals only. The intro is nice, the song’s strong throughout, and it’s very good as dance/workout music. Mihaela’s vocals actually don’t bother me that much: they’re not great, not terrible, and they’re meant to be kind of cheesy. She has a bit of an Ariana Grande vibe, but I can forgive that. For the sake of the instrumental.
Patrick: My opinion is a bit divided. The sound and the song itself are not bad at all, “About Love” is catchy, but not memorable. Her voice is not really impressive as she sounds like a karaoke girl, and especially the high notes are horrible! I’m really not sure about this song, but we will see what happens after more rehearsals and with a good staging!
Wiwi Jury average: 6.87/10
What do you think? Do you agree with our Wiwi Jury? Sound off below!