After listening to the first 12 songs from Moldova’s upcoming semi-finals, (see the current rankings here), the Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of musical unprofessionals — moves on to the next four acts. It’s time for Cezara, Doredos, Eduard Romanyuta and Irina Kitoroaga to face our unforgiving jurors. Is any one of them likely to make the final? Let’s see…
Cezara – “Am devenit straini” (We Became Strangers)”
David: This has a beat that reaches out for you and she has a nice voice. But as the song went on it felt repetitive, just more and more of the same. If the song started as is but then evolved to be more, then we would have something. This could make it out of a poor semi-final, but not a competitive one.
Robyn: I love the structure of this song, how it starts off sounding like a delicate ballad but grows stronger and stronger, before erupting into a big, rock-inspired chorus. I can’t wait to see the live performance.
Anthony: Now I know why Cezara’s emerging as one of the favourites this year. She really is living up to the high expectations. She’s definitely made an instant impact for me with her gorgeously deep pop ballad. And if Moldova does send Cezara to Vienna, puh-lease keep the song in Romanian!
Sami: I love how the song grows and oh my god, her voice is so great. I kind of get Kati Wolf-vibes, but it’s fine. It really should stay in Romanian, if they choose to send it to Vienna.
Kristin: Well, damn. That was a surprise. I was expecting one thing, but got something totally different. Good job, Cezara! I can see this going all the way and like my fellow jurors, I’m begging Cezara to keep it in Romanian. English lyrics would completely destroy it.
Liam: This was a huge surprise! I love this song! Especially its instrumentation.
Francheska: FINALLY! A Romanian-language song I can get behind. A ballad that accelerates, lets Cezara’s vocals shine, and has an absolute crescendo. We aren’t going to be strangers to this song!
Patrick: This is really a good song! Cezara looks unremarkable but the talent behind her is great! This would sound bad in English. I just don’t like the guitar solo again (Seems like I hate rock) but all in all it’s strong and could win – Yes, this is Cezara and this is Moldova – VOTE!
Wiwi Jury Score: 8.37/10
14. Doredos – “Maricica”
Francheska: I should have known that this was going to be bad when my Youtube search autocorrected to “Doritos”. Nevertheless, I persisted, and I regret it tremendously. The trio is so awkward, I hate this fusion of country and electro, and hearing “Do you love me” a mind-numbing amount of times has not convinced me to even remotely like this song. The whistling thing is annoying, and I hope whoever Maricica is, she leaves them behind.
David: This picks you up and carries you along for a nice ride. With the right staging this could do very well. The song has a consistent refrain but it moves out of that often so it’s not repetitive.
Robyn: This is the one song that really stuck in my head after the live audition round, a perfect blend of traditional sounds and catchy pop. The problem is that in the audition performance, Doredos are seriously lacking charisma, looking like students forced to do this for a music class. But encouragingly, they’ve since found some pizzazz in the music video. Will they bring that style to the semi-final?
Anthony: Unfortunately, the stage presence on their live audition was on the iffy side, and they didn’t quite connect as a group. So while the song’s catchy chorus has got me hooked, a big improvement on their performance is needed if they’re to win me over.
Sami: Pasha Parfeny wrote the song, and it’s much worse than either of his last two entries. The lyrics lack imagination. They sound nice together, though, and the beat is killer. And if it wins, it means that Pasha might be in Vienna, which is one reason I’m getting behind this.
Kristin: “Maricica“ is catchy indeed, but it’s not Pasha’s best work. I think I would have ranked it higher if he himself had sung it (nothing biased going on, I swear!), because I feel like the trio isn’t connecting as they should and its a little too repetitive for my taste. But not bad. Not bad at all.
Liam: It’s a bit all over the place. But I won’t deny that this song has massive potential.
Patrick: Everything is wrong in that song! Nothing matches with anything else. They can’t sing let alone reach those high notes – it’s horrible to listen to and it makes me sad that Moldovan people have to listen to this in the semi… GOOOOOO AWAY!
Wiwi Jury Score: 4.93/10
Eduard Romanyuta – “I Want Your Love”
David: An OK song and his voice is decent. But it doesn’t grab you, not even a little. I found myself hoping it would hurry up and end sooner.
Robyn: This sounds so much like an Nsync or Britney track from 15 years ago. But Eduard has a great voice and he totally has the rockstar moves to make it work. Maybe the song just needs a fresh remix.
Anthony: We may not have Ukraine in Vienna this year, but they could be cheering on their very talented countryman Eduard Romanyuta. He’s kinda like the male Britney Spears of Moldova, charming looks and a fantastic performer with a brilliantly infectious pop song.
Sami: He looks a little creepy, but the song is great. When I first heard it, I thought it’s a girl singing. It needs a big show with dancers and backing singers, but it’s my favourite from Moldova’s selection this year.
Kristin: I felt I was watching some sort of Axl Rose look-a-like contest, where they’re obligated to sing some early Blues-que pop tunes. Very confusing! But Eduard’s voice is good and the song is semi-okay. I needed to listen to it several times before I could remember it, which isn’t a very good asset in a contest like this, when you want people’s attention from the get-go.
Liam: I like this song. It’s quite catchy and I enjoy every second of it.
Francheska: Ok, as much as “Berega” deserved to go to Dusseldorf in 2011 (don’t get me started me on this), and as much as he deserves an electric guitar more than those awful pants, I don’t mind the song. It’s an interesting take on 1990s/2000s boyband pop. It’s definitely catchy, and this R’n’B song is an interesting competitor in a year filled with pathetically dated entries. Eduard: get a haircut, get some appealing pants, AND GO FOR GOLD.
Patrick: He finds himself so coooool… The song is great and it could actually have a chance in the competition. Reminds me a bit of Max Barskih and yes, they are both from Ukraine. By the way, I don’t get why so many male singers have long hair these days, like it’s a new trend from Eastern Europe. Anyway, the song is good and he will place well!
Wiwi Jury Score: 8.06/10
Irina Kitoroaga – “I’m Gonna Get You”
David: A really catchy song. It got repetitive toward the end but it did have me bouncing along with it.
Robyn: It’s a fatal combination of weak lyrics mixed with a shouty singer. And when she sings “I’m gonna get you”, it ends up sounding like a threat. I want a musical restraining order against having to listen to this song.
Anthony: Imagine Dolly Parton singing some kind of 90s bubblegum pop and that’s pretty much what “I’m Gonna Get You” resembles. No disrespect to Irina, but unfortunately it does sound slightly dated and cheesy.
Sami: So dated, so boring and her voice is so annoying. I’m sure there would have been better songs than this somewhere in Moldova.
Kristin: Nope, nope, nope. This song bored me from the start, and how she seems to be singing through her nose was annoying as hell! And don’t get me started on the poor English lyrics. You will never get me, Irina, because I can definitely run faster than you on those heels AND I have a Rottweiler if needed!
Liam: Dated… The only word I could use to describe this. Not enjoying it at all!
Francheska: **Insert rant about how old this song sounds** Okay, now that that’s over, let’s get to business: the lyrics are so cheesy they belong in Wisconsin, and her voice is nasaly and just plain annoying. If she’s gonna get the victory, I may just quit Eurovision…
Patrick: My first reaction was: NOOO, NOT HER – as I remembered her from the live auditions. Damn, I can’t believe that she got the chance to be in the semis. I mean her voice is just bad, the song is dated, and the whole package is horrible. Naaaaah!
Wiwi Jury Score: 2.12/10
The semi-finals of Moldova’s national selection O melodie pentru Europa will take place on 24 and 26 February. The winning act will be chosen during the National Final on 28 February.