After we reviewed Carolina Gorun, Vitalie Todirascu, Edict and Mihaela Andrei‘s songs last time, the Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of musical unprofessionals — now has set its eyes and ears on four other acts competing in the semi-finals of the Moldovan selection O melodie pentru Europa. Stela Botan & The Cadence of Heart, Raby, Dana Markitan, and Marcel Rosca all want to sing at Eurovision, but for now they have to face us. Who will soar and who will flop? Read on to find out…
5. Stela Botan & The Cadence of Heart – “Save Me”
David: Yet another deep uplifting tune, good female voice, and nice song. And yet again, nothing special about it, nothing memorable, nothing that grabs you. Very talented singer, but this is not a winner.
Robyn: This is the sort of song that would show up on the soundtrack of a “Twilight” film. But gothic melodrama is fine, and Stela performs the song really well. It just doesn’t quite have enough appeal to make it a winner.
Anthony: It’s a power ballad from Stela & co. that packs one heck of an emotional punch. Wonderfully deep and meaningful, the rock guitar adds that extra richness to it. The more I listen to Stela’s oozing sultry vocals the more I fall in love with it. “Save Me” is the one to watch out for this year.
Sami: It has a strong chorus, but there’s really nothing that would make me want to listen to it again. Her voice sounds quite stuffy. It would need something in the actual live performance to stand out from the rest of the songs.
Kristin: This has a dangerous hook. Her voice is very strong, and like Sami pointed out, the chorus is strong as well. The song has all the potential of being the power ballad. With the right staging, she could reach the standard of Aliona Moon’s “O Mie”.
Liam: The delicacy that Stela & The Cadence of Heart create in the verse is beautiful. When it reaches the chorus it becomes so much stronger. I love both the delicate and strong parts of this song. It will not win, but I do like it.
Francheska: It’s positively haunting (in a good way)! It’s melodramatic, soulful, and the contrast between the verses and chorus makes me fangirl! It can be staged really well, and do what very few heavy rock songs have been able to do at Eurovision: succeed.
Patrick: “Save Me” is a stunning song! It’s impressive – the chorus is so strong, the melody is so dramatic. The girl is lovely, she can sing even if she’s not the best with the high notes. Her voice is rough and sometimes even sexy! If they revamp it just a little bit they could do really well in Vienna! Well done!
Wiwi Jury Score: 7.75/10
6. Raby: “Hero”
David: Oh wow. This is super good. Grabs hold of you and never lets go. This could make top 10 in the final.
Robyn: I was going to dismiss this as another wannabe Disney ballad, but then a strange thing happened. The lyrics… they moved me. As cheesy as the song might seem, there is a kind of naive beauty in there and Raby’s sincere performance is heartwarming.
Anthony: Raby sang her entry beautifully at her live audition, so it’s no surprise she made it to the semi-finals. However, I fear for Raby because it’s down to the song itself. “Hero” is an endearing ballad which oozes class, but I fear this would end up getting lost at Eurovision.
Sami: What a strong voice she has! But she definitely needs a better song than this Disney-style ballad. There are already better ballads chosen for Eurovision 2015 than this, so if Moldova were to choose Raby to represent them, it would struggle to qualify.
Kristin: She is so much better than the song. “Hero” isn’t bad, not at all, but it doesn’t leave much with me unfortunately. It’s a middle of the road ballad. Not bad, not good, just…there.
Liam: Read the title and you instantly think of the Swedish entry to 2008. (Charlotte Perrelli was robbed, by the way!) However, this song is so much more fragile. I won’t deny that it is beautiful — I do like it. I just wonder if a Disney type song really belongs in Eurovision instead of on the soundtrack to “Cinderella” or “Frozen”.
Francheska: Euro-ballads are an art form. There should be angst, personal anguish, and a sense of empowerment. You know what we get out of this? Bupkis. BUPKIS. I’m not moved, and I feel that Raby may have a potential career singing this song at Evangelical churches in the middle of Kansas. No sense of theatricality, movement, or catchiness will make this song die, so we may as well kill it Old Yeller style.
Patrick: “Like a star, like a herooo…” oh wait! This is the pure ballad that adorns every national selection. Raby is quite a good singer, with impressive vocals, but this song just doesn’t fit her and that makes me sad. This song won’t be a hero for Moldova, I’m afraid.
Wiwi Jury Score: 5.12/10
7. Dana Markitan: “Love Me”
David: I should really like this — beautiful voice singing a somewhat haunting melody. But I found myself drifting off as she sang. For another contest maybe, but in Eurovision you need something that has people charged up.
Robyn: Just think how much more powerful this performance would have been if Dana had directly addressed the camera while delivering the line “I’m begging you to love me”. Instead she sings it hunched over on her boyband stool, eyes shut. That could all be improved, but will it?
Anthony: “Love Me” is a very sweet song which sounds a tad Disney-esque, and brings out Dana’s vocal range elegantly. Sadly, this lacks impact for a ballad and gets lost very easily. The chorus feels limp and hearing those two words “love me” several times does become repetitive.
Sami: The song really needs to get re-produced, as it sounds cheap. It’s also quite dated and would be better suited as a bedtime lullaby than for the big Eurovision stage.
Kristin: It would benefit hugely if they would change the lyrics back to Romanian. The broken English ruins it a bit for me, although Dana gives it power and feeling.
Liam: This song is full of things that we have seen before, yet I love the instrumentation. Unfortunately Dana’s vocals ruin this song. I think I would rather have her sing a eurodance song.
Francheska: First thing’s first, how do eyes tell the truth? Since when do eyes speak? Yo no entiendo. Anyhow, it’s too simple and schmaltzy. We’ve heard nearly every love cliché on the planet, and Dana clearly needs to reevaluate her behavior if she feels that she isn’t showing enough love. Love us, and please stop this atrocity.
Patrick: Do I hear cats crying? Oh wait, it’s Dana Markitan! What a poor song and what poor commitment from her. It’s sad that this song is so poorly written, because I can see potential. A NO from me.
Wiwi Jury Score: 3.68/10
8. Marcel Rosca – “Feelings Will Never Leave”
David: He’s got a superb voice, with a great range. It’s a decent song. With some improvement it could do very well.
Robyn: Marcel does a decent job at some early 2000s R&B, while dressed like an appliance salesman. Is he a diamond in the rough, in need of a sexy makeover and some cool stage moves? Maybe, but the tired song is the thing most in need of a makeover.
Anthony: Is Marcel the Justin Timberlake of Moldova? Despite the name this pop ballad suggests, my feelings edge towards a hit-and-miss for this. Not the worst of the lot, but my concern is whether it’ll have that spark to make an impact.
Sami: He looks like a popstar, he sounds like a popstar, and he needs a song worthy of that. This may not be it. It’s something that we heard in early 2000’s on every radio station. I’m looking forward to seeing it on the big stage instead of this small audition room.
Kristin: What a dull song… It could be so much more, but instead, it sort of hangs around and doesn’t really go anywhere. And Marcel needs to turn it up a notch. He has that X factor, a certain charm about him, but seems shy to let it out. Come on Marcel, make me believe you’re a star! I know you can do it.
Liam: Much like Niutone’s entry in Georgia, this song belongs in a classy bar in an urban metro area (that I will be staying far, far away from.) This song is nothing special and would be easily forgotten on the Eurovision stage.
Francheska: This sounds like it belongs in an adult movie, to be completely blunt. It’s old-fashioned, Marcel’s vocals make him sound like he just hit puberty, and there is no real emotion. This is a cheap song that belongs in a cheap movie.
Patrick: Meh. Another bad song with a bad voice and a bad melody. Forgettable. NEXT!