The Wiwi Jury has now reviewed 16 of the semi-finalists of the Moldovan national selection O melodie pentru Europa (you can find the rankings here). Today, our in-house panel of musical unprofessionals have listened to the next four songs, performed by Vera and Diana Popa, Julia Sandu, Domenico Protino and Lidia Isac. Is there a winner among them? Let’s find out!
Vera and Diana Popa – “Faith”
David: Starts out really boring. It shouldn’t be so, because the tune is pleasant and their voices are good. But the end result is uninteresting. Toward the end, it picks up and develops, but mut most people will have nodded off by that point.
Robyn: Why is this a duet? Vera and Diana are both good singers, but there’s no chemistry between them. It’s like there weren’t enough songs to go around so they were forced to share one. Unless there’s something specific in the lyrics, this song would be so much better performed by one singer.
Anthony: Sorry girls, but I just don’t have much faith in your entry sadly. It’s basically a ballad, a very slow-paced one. Slightly reminiscent of “Deila Den Agapo” from this year’s Eurovision Song Project in Cyprus, and even that has more pizzazz. Your live audition turned out unconvincing for me.
Sami: Is this in English? I have no faith in these girls! The song is boring. They don’t even sound that good and at times they are way too shouty.
Kristin: First of all, I could not understand a word they were singing. And they both seem incredibly bored on stage. And despite my best intentions, everytime I listened to “Faith”, I found myself fading away and starting to think about if Man Utd will ever see their former football glory again. Goodbye girls, and thank you for trying.
Liam: This song’s introduction sets it up to be a beautiful ballad. Unfortunately, the vocals sound like two dying cows trying to alert their grazing friends nearby.
Francheska: The opening can be read two ways: simple or positively boring. I personally think that its simplicity is refreshing, but I have serious issues with the chorus. I seriously expect a televangelist gospel choir to pop out of nowhere to dish out the rest, but alas, it continues to be a borefest. And where ballads usually succeed, in the last verse, this one falls flat for overcompensating for an unmoving song. Complete “meh” entry.
Patrick: These two chicks don’t match! Diana fell in a make-up-box and dressed herself really cheaply, while Vera seems uninterested. They have strong voices but there is nothing special about them. I miss the point where I could say WOW.
Wiwi Jury Score: 2.68/10
Julia Sandu – Fire
David: It’s upbeat and catchy, and…repetitive. Once in a while, it moves to something way different, then boom, back to the repeat.
Robyn: A generic dance song with really tired rhyming (“fire”/”desire” – really?), sung by a girl who looks too young to get away with adult sexytime lyrics like “You set my body on fire”. It’s all a mess, made even more frustrating because, at the core of it, Julia does have a good voice.
Anthony: Julia Sandu really is on fire during her live audition and she nailed her vocals with ease. The chorus from “Fire” sounds reminiscent of the original Corona version of “The Rhythm Of The Night”. It all adds up to one poptastic entry!
Sami: The lyrics are so cliché, but the song is fine. With a little work on the vocals and the production, it could turn out to be a very strong entry for Moldova. Not in this shape, though.
Kristin: “Fire” and “desire” rhyme? No way!! But Julia is a bubbly performer, and the song has potential. A dance club hit in the making. I don’t exactly want this to represent Moldova, but I would definitely blast this on a girls night out.
Liam: This is a pathetic attempt at a remix of what seems to be a 70s disco tune. NEXT!
Francheska: This screams club hit, and could put Vienna into a dancing craze! It’s very Euro-Club, uplifting, and overall contagious! Hopefully, she will give her vocals some TLC so that she doesn’t butcher this song, but this beat sets my body on fire!
Patrick: Julia is the living proof that time-machines do exist. She obviously came here from the 80s. Two liters of hairspray, one kilo make-up, and a ton of weird clothing. Oh and a weak voice. Damn, the song could be soo catchy but her voice destroys everything….
Wiwi Jury Score: 5.25/10
Domenico Protino – Let Me Fly
David: Uninspiring male soloist. Yes, that always works so well in Eurovision! Very unimaginative and nothing special at all in the singing or instruments.
Robyn: There’s a strong Americana sound here, which vaguely reminds me of Kid Rock. The song flips between sassy verses and an uplifting chorus, but seems to be missing some sort of anchor to hold it all together. Domenico is great, though.
Anthony: Italian stallion Domenico Protino stood out with his charisma and stage presence during his live audition. He delivered it vocally and his performance was a delight to watch. “Let Me Fly” is a feel-good indie pop song and the guitar strumming makes it infectiously catchy.
Sami: He should work on his English pronounciation a little. The song is bland, you don’t mind listening it for 3 minutes but you wouldn’t vote for it or listen to it again. That’s not a good thing in Eurovision.
Kristin: You can’t have a decent ESC unless there is at least one Italian stallion, can you? With that said, the grunge rocker in me REALLY wants to fly with him, but there is one foot stuck to the ground. Still waving my arms like crazy. There is a 90’s pop/rock hook in there, but unfortunately I don’t see Domenico advancing any further with this. (Nice jacket though!)
Liam: “Let Me Fly” is a guilty pleasure. It is a very enjoyable tune that I could listen to on repeat. It has its flaws, but could easily be fixed if it gets the ticket to Vienna.
Francheska: If he wants to fly, I have to ground him. He’s trying to do country music with cliché 1990s instrumentals in the background. It literally combines my two least favorite things: boring country and boring dated pop. Good lord, have mercy!
Patrick: This is okay – nothing breathtaking but it’s fine. He has a good voice and the melody is pretty good, although it seems so dated for me. This could do really well in Chisinau and maybe even be in Vienna. Oh and BTW, somebody should recommend him a good hair-dresser in Moldova!
Wiwi Jury Score: 5.31/10
Lidia Isac – I Can’t Breathe
David: She’s got it. This needs work, but her voice grabs you and holds your attention. The song is good and moves along well. And you’re enjoying it the whole way through.
Robyn: This is an above average dance-pop song, but if it is selected to represent Moldova, the media will point out that, depressingly, “I can’t breathe” was the slogan recently used to protest the death of American man Eric Garner, who died from a police chokehold last year. And let’s face it – anyone who can belt out a song like this has no trouble breathing.
Anthony: I saw her live audition and, my word! She absolutely blew me away with her flawless vocals! First impressions count and Lidia became an instant favourite of mine. One of those songs that actually sound better when performed live, but I’m not keen on the studio version Lidia used at her live audition.
Sami: She sounds absolutely perfect and she is also stunning, but the song is a little dated. I hope she brings some dancers with her to the semifinals to fill the instrumental parts on the live performance. Overall this is one of the songs which could win in Moldova.
Kristin: Again I’m having a 90s flashback. Apparently that decade is a thing in Moldova. Which is positive for me, as I am, after all, a child of the 90s. But those breathing exercises in the middle need to go. Now. It’s cheesy and adds nothing to an otherwise decent dance track.
Liam: The beginning of the song reminds me of Alexandra Stan’s “Mr. Saxobeat”. This song is haunting, something I could not use to describe a lot of Europop.
Francheska: Well, clearly Moldova saw how popular “Mr. Saxobeat” was and decided to pointlessly put in a saxophone. “Does this song need a saxophone?” “No, but Americans seem to know us for Epic Sax Guy and Alexandra Stan from next door so LET’S JUST DO IT”. That aside, it’s a typical wannabe club song, trying desperately to make people dance but not succeeding. Unfortunately, Lidia cannot dance to save her life. Cliche wording and tired elements aside, it’s not bad.
Patrick: She looks like a lovely Eastern European doll dressed like an Aeroflot stewardess. The song itself is stunning! Damn, I already lost my hope in the final for Moldova, but she could deliver this amazingly with just a bit more training and a good vocal coach! It might be dated, but I don’t mind it here actually – I LOVE IT!
Wiwi Jury Score: 7.37/10
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.