Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of music unprofessionals — is in Romania, reviewing the 12 semi-finalists of Selectia Nationala 2016. They are now about to meet Irina Popa, whose song “Letting Go” replaced the Romanian version “Lasa-ma, eu te las”. Did she make a good choice? Or is our Wiwi Jury letting her go? Let’s find out!
Irina Popa – “Letting Go”
Irina Popa – “Letting Go” reviews
Antranig: I love seeing songs being performed in languages other than English but I could not connect with the Romanian version of this song. The English is not a drastic improvement, but it is definitely a step in the right direction. I think she’s a talented vocalist, who could do well with a different song next year.
Bogdan: Much better, as that commercial goes. “Letting Go” may be the same song as “Lasa-ma, eu te las”, but the English lyrics stab deeper and stir emotions I didn’t know I had. “Our love was like a jail”, Irina wails, and I believe her. Her voice is simply stunning, one of the few nice surprises in the Romanian selection. And even if she doesn’t win Selectia Nationala 2016, I want her to come back.
Deban: The power of the English language helps in driving this ballad to a much wider audience. Irina’s delivery is compelling. Her voice conveys much emotion. Although “Letting Go” is lacking in candy and joy, she serves authenticity — and that’s what really matters.
Luis: “Letting go” it’s a bit dated, but it allows Irina to showcase her fantastic vocals. Those are definitely the stand outs in this act, because the song itself passes quite unnoticed. It’s just another melancholic piano ballad, so unless the staging gives it a “wow factor”, I’d save Irina for another year. This voice deserves something much better.
Robyn: This has quite an old-fashioned sound, but I’m really drawn in by the melody and the expressiveness of Irina’s voice. The English lyrics mostly work well, but I always pause at the line “I was not your mamma” because it sounds like it’s referencing a “yo momma” joke. But Irina soon draws me into the emotion of the song.
William: Her voice holds pain really well. It’s smoky and powerful, yet somehow very vulnerable. The song itself doesn’t do much for me. The melody isn’t compelling enough to make me want to download it or even rip it off YouTube. That said, I could see this soaring live with her standing centre stage beneath a spotlight. It’s a respectable effort for Irina.
In the Romanian Wiwi Jury we have 12 Jurors, but only space for 6 reviews. The remaining scores are below:
The highest and lowest scores are removed before calculating the final score. We have dropped a low of 3 and a high of 8.
Wiwi Jury Score: 6.4
The sole semi-final of Selectia Nationala 2016 will take place on 4 March in Baia Mare. An expert jury will select four songs to advance to the final, while televoters will save two more acts. The winner will be chosen by 100% televote on 6 March.
Do you agree with Wiwi Jury? What do you think about Irina’s song? By the way, don’t forget you can vote for it in our Romania 2016 poll!