Reports emerging this evening suggest that only 47 songs were submitted to Moldova‘s national selection for Eurovision 2016.
Ukraine’s Eduard Romanyuta controversially won the 2015 edition of O Melodie Pentru Europa with “I Want Your Love”. He failed to bring Moldova to the grand final in Vienna, and now it seems his legacy continues. Submissions are down from the 68 received last year. However, TRM has announced that they need to verify some e-mail entries, so the final number is subject to change. Meanwhile, let’s take a look at some of the stand-out names from the entry list.
Perennial trier Sasha Bognibov has entered two songs — “Alone” and “Insane”. Yeah, we know, the jokes write themselves, but the latter is worth a listen. It sounds better than the emo/shoegazing “Alone”. However, with lyrics such as “We will fight against corruption”, which we misheard as “We will fight against the Russians”, Sasha’s second bid will probably be disqualified for breaching EBU rules which state that “no lyrics, speeches, gestures of a political or similar nature shall be permitted during the ESC.” Too bad. But 12 points from us for his “quixotic valiance”!
She’s tried twice before to represent Moldova at Eurovision. Could it be third time lucky for Felicia Dunaf? It’s certainly her best effort so far. “You And Me” has all the ingredients to be a winner, in Chisinau at least. The only question mark? “You And Me” feels like the twin sister of Naughty Boy’s “Runnin’ (Lose It All)” — or is it just us?
As we predicted, Sandy C entered the Theory-produced “Weak For Love”. However, a recent performance on Moldovan TV was (ahem) weak. Hopefully Sandy polishes it up before the live auditions on 19 December – that is if she makes it through the jury cut on 10 December.
Newcomer Rafaella’s entry resembles a Christmas carol (does she know that Eurovision is broadcast in May?). Saying that, her vocals on “Hours Lost” are reminiscent of ABBA’s Agnetha Fältskog. They have a crystal clear quality which, if reproduced at the live auditions, could be enough to propel her to the semi-finals.
Andrei Ionita was a sensation on The X Factor Romania, receiving rapturous applause from both the audience and judges for his performance of the patriotic “Canta cucu”. He is trying to recreate the same success with “Lie”, but the fact that the song is an adaptation of existing folklore and not an original creation should see him disqualified. Not to mention the rap parts, which are virtually unbearable if you don’t speak Romanian.
Doinita Gherman, always a finalist, but never a winner, returns with “Irresistible”. The dynamic number mixes a modern pop sound with traditional elements and is a shoe-in for February’s final.
Fellow 2015 finalist Lidia Isac is back with “Falling Stars”, a powerful song written by the team behind Polina Gagarina’s “A Million Voices”. The Swedish-Russian production aims to steal the show and is also a certain qualifier for the final.
Katherine and Litesound
This year, foreign artists are not allowed to compete by themselves. However, duets with foreign artists are permitted. Eurovision 2012 stars LiteSound from Belarus have teamed up with Katherine (Ecaterina Cojocaru). Their ballad for peace, entitled “Imagine”, isn’t a bad effort and we can see it advancing beyond the O Melodie semis.
And last but not least, the 2015 runner-up Valeria Pasa. “Save Love” is a very strong ballad and, we suspect, the most likely to win outright. Channelling a younger Polina Gagarina, Valeria seems set to make amends for last February’s defeat to Eduard Romanyuta.
Other known names include Natalia Barbu (who represented Moldova at Eurovision in 2007), Pasha Parfeny’s pet project DoReDos, tenor Vitalie Todirascu, Rodica Aculova (finalist in Romania last year), and Valentin Uzun. The list of candidates is available on the TRM website.
Before the live auditions on 19 December, an expert jury will internally select the songs that will qualify for that stage. Only 24 will advance to the semi-finals.