Done! The submission period for O melodie pentru Europa 2017— Moldova’s national selection — closed today at 16:00 CET. Broadcaster TRM has revealed that a total of 40 acts submitted songs. This is a new low for Moldova, after 47 songs in 2016, 50 in 2015 and 68 in 2014. Nonetheless, some very familiar names are in the mix that give us life and hope. (Although none of them is M I H A I.)
As we have already mentioned, 2014 runner-up Boris Covali and 2010 winners Sunstroke Project have submitted their bids. Other familiar names from previous selections include Valeria Pasa, Diana Brescan, Sasha Bognibov, Max Fall, Maxim Zavidia, Rodica Olisevschi, Emilia Russu, Che-MD, Valentina Nejel, as well as every Boonika’s favourite crooner, Tudor Bumbac. Surprises might come from newcomers like Ethno Republic & Surorile Osoianu, Sasha Letty, THE ONE, Marks & Stefanet, and Olea Rosu. However, things will be more certain on Saturday, 21 January, after the live audition, when we will also know whether TRM will stage a semi-final one day ahead of the national final scheduled for 25 February.
Until then, let’s listen to some of the songs that left an impression (of one kind or another) on us.
Valeria Pasa – “Freedom”
After being the jury’s favourite for the past two years, the 2015 and 2016 runner-up is back for another chance at representing Moldova at Eurovision with “Freedom”. It’s not a ballad, for a change, but it’s still rather dated and uneventful. It could be lifted by a great live performance and a revamp, though.
Diana Brescan – “Breathe”
One of the memorable visible acts in previous years, singer Diana Brescan returns in 2017 with “Breathe”, a power ballad that highlights her vocal prowess and propensity for drama.
Sasha Bognibov – “Stop The Liars”
Moldova’s favourite emo act Sasha Bognibov is back in 2017 with another anti-establishment song, “Stop The Liars”. We can’t wait for his live performance on Saturday. Slay, Sasha!
Marks & Stefanet – “Join Us In The Rain”
Ukrainian/German singer Maria Marks joined Moldovan Andrei Stefanet for the Broadway duet “Join Us In The Rain”. Apart from the disappointing end, where it sounds like they ran out of ideas, it’s a pretty decent song.
Valentina Nejel & Sergiu Punga – “Ne-a fost iubirea un joc”
Another duet, this time 100% Moldovan, sees last year’s hopeful Valentina Nejel joining forces with Sergiu Punga for another duet. “Ne-a fost iubirea un joc” means “Our love was a game”.
Tudor Bumbac – “Intr-o zi de iarna”
Speaking of games and laughs, watch out for Tudor Bumbac on Saturday: his stage presence and voice are surely to leave you in stitches. His song, “Intr-o zi de iarna” (One a winter’s day) is equally side-splittingly entertaining. Tudor is one of the reasons we love Moldova’s national selection, which always takes itself very seriously despite of the raw material.
Max Fall – “If I Could”
We know Max Fall from last year’s selection. In 2017, he submitted a solo bid, “If I Could”, which a welcome rock song in a sea of pop tracks. Hopefully his live performance will be livelier than this playback.
Sasha Letty – “I Believe”
Another interesting bid comes from Sasha Letty (real name: Alexandra Druc), whose song “I Believe” is one of the more dancey tracks in competition.
Cerkoo & Rodica Olisevschi – “It’s Not Fair”
Arguably the most modern song in the selection, “It’s Not Fair” benefits from Rodica’s dreamy vocals and DJ Cerkoo’s current sound. If Rodica manages to overcome the stage fright that prevented her to make her mark last year, this could surprise.
The live audition will take place on Saturday, 21 January, starting 12:00 CET. The live auditions will be broadcast on Moldova 2 website. The expert jury is supposed to select 14 songs for the semi-final. However, if the jury decides so, the 24 February semi-final will be cut and only the national final will be staged on 25 February.
What do you think of Moldova’s song submissions? Is Moldova likely to return to the Grand Final? And will you be watching the live auditions on Saturday?