Moldova‘s broadcaster TRM may have chosen to host the live auditions for O melodie pentru Europa 2018 in a karaoke venue, but the 27 acts that competed in front of the jury took the competition seriously. In the end, 16 finalists were chosen by the national jury led by Nelly Ciobanu, and the semi-final was axed by TRM.
After Pelageya Stefoglu’s disqualification, the 27 remaining acts performed their songs in front of a red curtain, on the stage of the Karaoke Concert Hall Atrium in Chisinau. Their goal: to walk in the footsteps of SunStroke Project and make it Eurovision.
The jury was headed by Nelly Ciobanu, who famously represented her country at Eurovision in 2009 with the iconic “Hora din Moldova”. The acts were judged on the basis of vocal prowess, without the help of live backing vocalists or stage gimmicks.
The live auditions were broadcast by TRM via Facebook and you can watch the entire event here:
After the live auditions, there were live discussions among the jury members and the organising committee about axing the semi-final altogether, due to the low turnout. A whole 24 hours after the live auditions started, a decision was announced to eliminate the semi-final on 22 February altogether and instead send the 16 qualifiers directly to the National Final on the 24th.
O melodie pentru Europa 2018 — Finalists
According to TRM, the acts chosen by the jury to meet in the National Final on 24 February were, in alphabetical order:
- Anna Odobescu – “Agony”
- Anna Timofei – “Endlessly”
- Bella Luna – “Moments”
- Che MD – “Inima-n stanga” (Heart To The Left)
- Cobilean Constantin – “Numai Tu” (Only You)
- Doinita Gherman – “Dance In Flames”
- DoReDos – “My Lucky Day”
- Felicia Dunaf – “Alien”
- Ilia Soroceanu & Dasha DaGro – “Minds & Veins”
- Lavinia Rusu – “Altundeva” (Somewhere Else)
- Nicoleta Sava – “Esencia Del Sur” (Essence Of The South)
- Ruslan Tsar – “Come To Life”
- Sandy C & Aaron Sibley – “Once Upon A Time”
- Tolik – “Broken Glass”
- Vera Turcanu – “Black Heart”
- Viorela – “The Gates Of Love”
Apart from eliminating the semi-final, there were no other surprises. DoReDos remain clear favourites to win the whole thing with “My Lucky Day”, Doinita Gherman was in her usual perky form, and Tudor Bumbac was his clueless (but endearing) self.
Last but not least — despite being first to perform — Sasha Bognibov failed to advance on his 19th attempt to represent his country at Eurovision. We’re sure that we’ll see him try again next year!
The 16 finalists will now face off in the National Final on 24 February. There, the winner will be crowned by a 50/50 combination of jury and televote.
Did you watch the live auditions? Who impressed you the most? Let us know in the comments!