Salut! The Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of music unprofessionals — has landed in Bucharest. We are now boarding a train to the Carpathian mountains and humming along to the Romanian entry for Eurovision 2017 — “Yodel it!” from Ilinca feat. Alex Florea. Does it enhance or spoil the scenery? Read on to find out!
Ilinca feat. Alex Florea – “Yodel It!”
About Ilinca feat. Alex Florea
The two former singing competition alumni were brought together by Timebelle‘s producer Mihai Alexandru. He had written “Yodel It!” for the Swiss-Romanian band but ended up giving it to this fresh-faced Romanian duo. Ilinca Bacila, 18, achieved viral status in 2014 with her Voice of Romania blind audition. She went on to reach the semi-final of that competition. Similarly, Alex Florea, 25, advanced to the semi-final stage of the same show one year later. With “Yodel It!”, the duo won Romania’s Selectia Nationala 2017 and will represent the country in Kyiv. Their off-kilter and totally original performance, which melds Alpine realness with hip-hop, saw Romania shoot as high as sixth in the betting odds to win Eurovision.
“Yodel It!” reviews
Robyn: It’s the most unexpected combination — rock, rap, pop, R&B and yodelling — and yet it works. Ilinca and Alex each bring their own talents to the song and elevate it beyond the novelty of its genre(s). They have great chemistry and seem capable of delivering a fresh and enjoyable performance. Ilinca just needs to ditch the “sexy leprechaun” Halloween costume of the national final.
Chris: “Yodel It!” has all the hallmarks of terrible 2000s “joke” entries, yet it inexplicably works in the context of 2017. Why shouldn’t a rap-yodel-pop song work? The driving force behind why it works is 100% Ilinca and Alex, whose chemistry sells this one entirely. They genuinely look like they’re enjoying every minute of being on stage and that’s infectious. It’s not very Romanian, but it is very Eurovision.
Deban: There are many reasons why Timebelle rejected this song. Despite what many fans claim, there is no fusion here. It’s an overlapping menagerie of distinct musical genres. Individually, both Ilinca and Alex are solid performers, but collectively, “Yodel It” is an aggressive melting pot of hard rock and nonsensical wailing that is lacking in sophistication or musical reasoning. At best, I can only endure a minute of this.
Natalie: Ah, Romania – they’ve been looking very closely at Eurovision history to find what’s yet to be seen at Eurovision. Vampire countertenor? Yes. Circular piano? Yes. Act expelled due to broadcaster’s debts? Yes. Yodeller? No? Right then! I challenge anyone not to smile at this — it’s just pure fun. The backing instrumentation is light and cheerful to add to the happy mood. I was never a fan of yodelling and Alex is taking this song far more seriously than he needs to. But it’s still very entertaining. Love your comeback Romania. But it’s just not my idea of a great song.
Forrest: I’ll admit, “Yodel It!” is an interesting idea. A conversational duet with rap with yodelling is intriguing, but it unfortunately just doesn’t work. There’s too much going on as the song stumbles between its rap and yodel sections, while seeming to throw in some familiar pop sounds into the pre-chorus and chorus for good measure. My suspicion is the song was penned specifically with the yodel gimmick in mind, but a decent track failed to materialize around it.
William: When life has you down, don’t stress — just yodel! That inspirational message comes to life in Romania’s Eurovision entry, which has more character than a clown on an acid trip. Beautiful Ilinca schools us on Alpine tradition, serving pitch-perfect wails along with plenty of sass and attitude. Her soaring vocals work well with Alex’s hip-hop leanings, creating a bizarre but delightful mix that makes me smile every time. The backing track could be jazzed up a bit — at times it feels completely lacking. But ultimately this slays for its flair and originality.
Angus: Contrary to popular belief, yodelling has a place in pop music and isn’t limited to being an Alpine greeting call. Unfortunately “Yodel It” isn’t an example of yodelling working well in pop. The base stadium rock track has had one too many elements bolted onto it for it get off the ground. The rap would have been fine in isolation, or the R&B guest vocal, or the yodelling. But all together, the integrity of the song buckles under so many elements. This is attention grabbing, but for all the wrong reasons.
Bogdan: It may be a bit nonsensical for Romania to send a song about yodelling, but why not? It goes hand in hand with the #CelebrateDiversity slogan. Ilinca and Alex are charismatic, they have amazing chemistry, and they are competent singers. The song itself is fun, instantly grabs your attention, and is highly memorable — all necessary ingredients for Eurovision success. Hate it, love it, yodel it — you just can’t ignore it.
In our Wiwi Jury, we have 38 jurors but only room for eight reviews. The rest of our scores can be found below:
Before calculating the average score, the highest and lowest scores are dropped. This is to remove outliers and reduce potential bias. We have removed a low of 1 and a high of 9.
Wiwi Jury verdict: 5.69/10
What do you think of this song? Share your own score and review below!