Moldovan singer-songwriter Sasha Bognibov is best known for his annual entries in Moldova’s national selection O melodie pentru Europa (17 songs to date), but lately attention has been on him from another corner of Europe. Sasha recently auditioned for X-Factor Ukraine – and the judges weren’t too impressed with his performance of “My Lesbian Girl”.
The Moldovan artist was introduced with a video segment, including the controversy around his older songs, but Sasha also spoke of his admiration for Michael Jackson.
The ‘Everlasting Boy’ walked on stage and immediately the three judges — Hardkiss singer Yulia Sanina, Quest Pistols singer Anton Savlepov and Ukraine’s national final producer Konstantin Meladze (fourth judge Andriy Danylko aka Verka Serduchka was absent) — didn’t seem impressed by him.
Sasha performed his song “My Lesbian Girl”, which had been his entry in Moldova’s O melodie pentru Europa in 2013. Sasha considers it to be a positive song in support of the LGBT community. During the performance the show cut to shots of the audience who seemed shocked by the tale of a man in love with a gay woman.
The judges weren’t happy, and wanted Sasha to leave the stage. He refused, resulting in judge Anton and two security guards escorting Sasha off. So much drama!
Was the audition really that bad?
We reached out to Sasha Bognibov to get his side of the story and discovered it was the usual case of an X-Factor audition tweaked for added drama. “Everything was cut in such a way that it differs from reality,” he told us.
Sasha also suspects that the direction of the audition had been determined before he even sang. He observed, “it was clear that they had sheets of paper with the instructions, and somebody talked to them before my appearance.”
Despite the shocked reaction shown on camera, Sasha says in reality the studio audience reacted well. After the episode screened, he received some criticism, but many people have been supportive and are defending him.
But the most important question is will Sasha participate in O melodie pentru Europa 2017? He says he will try to, and also has his sights set on Romania (well…) and other countries, where possible.
It doesn’t really feel like Eurovision season has started until we hear the new song from Sasha Bognibov, so let’s hope he gets creating soon.
Sasha Bognibov auditions on X-Factor Ukraine
Sasha Bognibov has given us more details of his X-Factor experience:
“I would like to add that before my performance I had been going to X-factor by bus for 11 hours, then it took me an hour and a half to reach the destination in Kiev, and I also spent about 6 hours waiting for the invitation to the stage. When I came to the stage, Yulia met me with the words “Oh, my God, horrible! Why are your eyes red?” I didn’t even manage to approach the X sign and say hello. But, as you can see, my eyes weren’t red. Of course, they cut everything. By the way, in that show the voice is recorded separately as well, so it’s very easy to make it sound better or worse. And they made me sound worse besides all the dirty tricks.”