Yesterday Constantin Cobilean was named as one of the 14 acts competing in the semi-final of Moldova’s national final O melodie pentru Europa. But his place in the competition has been thrown in to doubt with the revelation that his entry “Mama” was previously performed on the Russian X Factor in 2015.
At the live audition for the Moldovan national final, Cobilean impressed the panel with his heartfelt performance of the Romanian-language “Mama”. They gave him a place in the semi-final in February where he is due to compete against 13 others for the eight spots in the grand final.
But fans noted the similarity between Cobilean’s “Mama” and a Russian version of the song performed on the Russian X Factor in early 2015. The song was performed by the singer Artur Best, an Armenian contestant who wrote the song himself.
The X Factor performance was broadcast in March 2015 — long before the Eurovision 2017 deadline of 1 September 2016. This would make the song invalid for entry into Eurovision 2017.
Best’s manager confirmed to Moldovan media that Best had made an agreement with Cobilean for his version of the song. At this stage it is not known whether Cobilean knew the song had previously been broadcast.
The case has an ironic parallel with last year’s Anna Book saga. Fans noted that her song “Himmel för två” was a Swedish version of Moldovan singer Felicia Dunaf’s song “Taking Care of a Broken Heart”, originally entered into O melodie pentru Europa. Book was disqualified from Melodifestivalen 2016. Is the same drama about to affect Moldova in reverse?
Moldovan broadcaster TRM is yet to comment on the situation.
What do you think? Should “Mama” be disqualified from the semi-final? Which song should take its place? Share your thoughts below!