We’ve finally come to the last round of the Wiwi Jury – Moldova Edition. It’s time for our in-house panel of music unprofessionals to offer their frank opinions on the last five competitors in the Moldovan semi-finals: Doinita Gherman, Kitty Brucknell, SunStroke Project feat. Michael Ra, Miss M, and Anisoara Volinschi.
21. Doinita Gherman – “Inima fierbinte” (Fiery heart)
David: This is Suzy again, and I mean that in a good way. It’s charged up and makes you want to move and that works well. It’s not good enough yet to win, but with some work and inspired staging it could be.
Robyn: Like fellow national competition stalwart Sasha Bognibov, Doinita just gets better every year. “Inima fierbinte” has a great spirit and Doinita gives a fiery performance. But given how tight the first semi-final in Vienna is going to be and how the similar “Quero ser tua” didn’t work out for Suzy last year, I’m not sure that Moldova would get far with a song like this.
Anthony: I loved her “Energy” from last year’s national final, but sadly it didn’t go on represent the country. So Doinita Gherman returns this year with the uptempo Latin pop I’m familiar with. She’s basically Moldova’s answer to Suzy with “Inima Fierbinte”.
Sami: A little dated and we have heard this many times before – it’s so 90’s. But it always make you move. Her vocals are great and there’s nothing really bad to say about this song.
Kristin: It’s not common to hear a Latin swing in Romanian… but Doinita makes it work somehow. This is a happy tune and brings out the “shake yah booty” feeling. Thank you Doinita! I had enormous fun listening to this.
Liam: There seems to be some Latin flavour over in Chisinau and I like it. This song could go either way, but if it sways the way I want it to go, “Inima fierbinte” will do well!
Francheska: The song is “Spice Up Your Life” meets “Quero ser tua”, and I mean that in the worst way. As much as I am for diversity in Eurovision, this fails as a pop song and even more as a Latin song. Homegirl needs a revamp, dance lessons, and a better wardrobe. I may like this, provided I was inebriated.
Patrick: This tune makes me dance, and that’s always a good sign! First I thought the Romanian language wouldn’t work with the sunny dance music from Spain but IT DOES! Doinita might not have the strongest voice in the world, but she delivers it with gusto and that’s what counts. The mixture of Moldovan rythmns and the Spanish dance music is perfect! Well done!
Wiwi Jury Score: 6.93/10
22. Kitty Brucknell – “Remix”
David: Yet another female soloist with an upbeat catchy tune. Kitty Brucknell is quite good, but nothing stands out in her performance. With some fine tuning and good staging however, I think this could be a lot better.
Robyn: Kitty stood out at the live audition by coming prepared with a great costume and some stage moves, something missing from a lot of other performances. “Remix”, written by “Rise Like a Phoenix” author Charlie Mason, isn’t the greatest song, but Kitty puts on a good show, giving it more energy and character than a lesser performer would.
Anthony: Kitty came to the live audition looking like a long lost member of girl group Dolly Style from this year’s Melodifestivalen. And I could imagine the scenario when the judges were deciding: “Remix” – safe and easier to perform live, or “Yearning” – adventurous with the risk of overdoing it.
Sami: I watched the British X Factor when Kitty was in and I absolutely hated her. It felt like she didn’t have her own style and was copying others instead. I don’t know if this is Kitty’s own style either, but it really fits her better. She looks very awkward on the stage at times, she doesn’t sound that good either and the song is little cheap.
Kristin: I’ll probably get loads and loads of hate-mail for this, but there is nothing there… Her voice is shaky, the song is mediocre and that wannabe Lady Gaga performance leaves me yawning. Sorry Kitty, don’t think Moldova is your land of opportunity. This is not your breakthrough.
Liam: This song is a pathetic attempt at a club banger… “Yearning” was much better. Sorry.
Francheska: The chorus is awful, her dancing does not work, and to top it all off the hair looks schizophrenic. She can’t even rock the vocals enough to compensate and really make the verses good. All this hype for nothing.
Patrick: I’m still sad that “Yearning” didn’t come through but “Remix” is a good alternative. The sound is great and the lyrics, well the usual dance words! Kitty can’t sing so well live… Sadly she has a run-of-the-mill voice which is lacking during the high notes. She is memorable of course for her looks, but you could mistake her for a drag queen who takes her job really seriously. She doesn’t convince me though.
Wiwi Jury Score: 4.25/10
23. SunStroke Project feat. Michael Ra – “Day After Day”
David: Repetitive and uninteresting song. The guy has a good voice but if you’ve heard the first 15 seconds of this song, you’ve heard the entire thing.
Robyn: The current trend for dance songs with an instrumental chorus is an awkward mix with Eurovision, but here’s one way of getting around it – bring in Epic Sax Guy. It makes things more interesting, but overall the song is nothing special. When the pop sax is no longer a novelty (Melfest star Eric Saade has it all over “Sting”), “Day After Day” is no improvement on the SunStroke Project’s offering from 2010.
Anthony: I loved both of their entries and I’m glad SunStroke Project is through. “Day After Day” is a far cry from their 2010 Eurovision entry “Run Away”, but it’s still brilliantly catchy. And of course, it just wouldn’t be complete without the legendary Epic Sax Guy doing what he does best!
Sami: Sure, it’s much worse than the amazing “Run Away” and I also preferred “Lonely”, their other entry this year. This is still one of the best songs in the national selection. His voice is simply amazing and who could not love Epic Sax Guy? One of my favourite Moldovan candidates for Vienna.
Kristin: Yes, yes, yes, YES!! Oh that voice!… Welcome back Sergei, please, don’t ever leave me again… And Epic Sax Guy’s moves!… It’s all sending shivers of satisfaction down my spine. “Day after Day ” is not as strong as “Run Away”, but is still a pretty damn solid number. SunStroke Project to Vienna!
Liam: Great to see SunStroke Project with such a mature song compared to “Run Away”. I loved “Run Away”, but I’ll admit that it wasn’t the best thing SunStroke Project could bring to the table. Good to see that they’re doing that this time around!
Francheska: Sunstroke Project’s attempt to break way from its viral success with “Epic Sax Guy” went surprisingly well. They have not lost their integrity over these five years, sticking to the new electronica while keeping the sax. I don’t even mind the repetitiveness since it’s done quite well. And no, none of this was influenced by the leader singer’s gorgeous face and leather jacket. None of it! What are you talking about?
Patrick: Ah there he is… Epic Sax Guy! This tune is really modern and people will love it – but “Run Away” was 1000 times better than this. Sergei has a great voice which suits the melody perfectly. The only thing I would criticize is that it’s quite repeatitive without many words and there’s too much instrumental… Not sure how this would do in Vienna.
Wiwi Jury Score: 7.81/10
24. Miss M – “Lonely Stranger”
David: This is good. It starts off slow and picks up with a great melody and a voice that insinuates its way into you and without your realizing it has grabbed you and you’re flying along with the song.
Robyn: A song inspired by the death of Robin Williams, performed by a diva with a big voice? Sounds like it should be cheesy and depressing, but somehow Miss M delivers a heartfelt and sincere performance, easily one of Moldova’s best this year. But there’s a fine line to avoid crossing into the land of cheese.
Anthony: Miss M’s emerging as one of the favourites and it’s not hard to see why. Reminiscent of Moldova’s 2007 Eurovision entry “Fight”, it has the gradual build-up of Aram MP3’s “Not Alone”, before the song explodes into life around the 1:40 mark. Miss M definitely has vocals to boot as well!
Sami: A haunting start and that grows into something more. I like it a lot. She also sounds amazing, although at times her singing turns way too shouty for my ears.
Kristin: My first thought about this song was: “Oh Lord. Am I ready for an over-the-top emotional tribute to Robin Williams?” The answer is “Yeah, almost”, but Miss M is indeed a diva! With the right staging, this could skyrocket. I like this. I like Miss M. And I miss Robin too.
Liam: Many people would argue that Miss M is Moldova’s only hope. I’m happy to say that I will be standing with that army on the night of Moldova’s selection. This song starts off as a delicate ballad, but then builds up to a fierce yet beautiful rock anthem. Loving it!
Francheska: Oh good lord no! The introduction and cliffhanger at the end confuse me greatly, and the song did not progress smoothly or naturally. Please don’t send this to Vienna. PLEASE MOLDOVA, FOR YOUR DIGNITY!
Patrick: She is such a young and beautiful lady but she’s dressed like a granny… Her voice is quite good and the song is… let’s say it’s good but nothing special at all. I’m really not sure how I can rate this: She is good and the beginning is nice, but when the rock kicks in, I feel lost between two different songs. I’m confused.
Wiwi Jury Score: 6.81/10
25. Anisoara Volinschi* – “Vocea inimii” (Voice of the heart)*
David: So I started playing this and just 10 seconds in my dog whined in pain and ran out of the room. I concur. Just horribly painful.
Robyn: This is the song the judges deemed to be the worst of the best, or the best of the worst. And it’s just very average, a by-the-numbers ballad. Anisoara has a nice voice, but the song is nothing special.
Anthony: With Anisoara reinstated in place of Edict’s unexpected withdrawal, I think Moldova may shoot themselves in the foot with this one. It’s like France’s Eurovision entry, but with less impact. Not forgetting Anisoara is up against Raby in the ballad category from the first semi-final.
Sami: The song is very boring and forgettable, Moldova can do better ballads than this one! She sounds nice though.
Kristin: This has a nice hook and Anisoara’s voice is good. But it doesn’t leave much. It’s something I would listen to while trying to sleep, which isn’t a bad thing, it just doesn’t demand your attention from the get-go. It’s a fairly good ballad though, and I wish Anisoara all the best.
Liam: I struggle to even realise what this song is… Sorry Anisoara, but I’m not enjoying your song at all.
Francheska: Let’s ignore the very obvious issue of the schoolgirl uniform, and focus on the song. Again, another dated late 80s/early 90s ballad, which did not even try to change at the end. The only way I can dignify this is by pointing out the consistency of Anisoara’s vocals. Besides that, tough tomatoes.
Patrick: I can’t handle the fashion explosions in Moldova – I mean LOOK at her. By the way, the song is a bit like her look – underwhelming and it hurts. The Romanian language is usually beautiful, but this sounds so dull and weird here. It’s a ballad, the average Eurovision ballad which fails in every NF – I hope the same will happen with “Vocea inimii”!
Wiwi Jury Score: 2.75/10
* Edict, who qualified for the semi-finals with “Our Star” (and got an average of 4.18/10 in our Wiwi Jury) withdrew from the contest. They were replaced by Anisoara Volinschi and her song “Vocea inimii”.
The semi-finals of Moldova’s national selection O melodie pentru Europa will take place on 24 (TOMORROW!!!) and 26 February. The winning act will be chosen during the National Final on 28 February.