The Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of music unprofessionals — continues to rate and review the 41 competing entries of Eurovision 2019. Next we take a look at Romania, where Ester Peony has “On a Sunday”. Do we also see things happening for her on a Saturday? Read on to find out?

Ester Peony – “On a Sunday”

“On a Sunday” reviews

Lucy: This was my initial number one in the early stages of song releases, but it’s managed to stay in my top three now we have all 41 songs. The hook of “pay-ay-ay-ay-ay” is so good and it sticks. The beat of those drums brings you in and doesn’t let go, and the video to accompany the track is as haunting as the song itself. This is art, and Romania’s best effort in many years. I can’t see this not bringing them back into the final.

Score: 9.5/10

Angus: Sunday is meant to be a day of rest, but listen to “On a Sunday” one too many times and a sleepless night lies ahead. Romania has a whole world of good things going for it this year. Ester, for starters, is entirely captivating and has a killer vocal at her disposal. Add on top “On a Sunday” — itself at different times an ethnic ballad, electropop banger, flush with stuttering synths and entrancing beats — and you have a powerhouse package on your hands. Normally I turn in the opposite direction of darkness, but in this instance I want to embrace it.

Score: 8.5/10

Kristin: “On a Sunday” is quite a moody song. It delves into several genres, such as R&B, soul and blues and Ester Peony is definitely determined to do better than The Humans did last year in Lisbon and she just might do so, if the staging is right. She has a nice voice and is clearly passionate about what she’s doing. However  for me, the song falls kind of flat. It’s not bad by any means. It’s just sort of middle-of-the-road and leaves little impression. But if Ester nails the staging and live performance, she might change my mind. Until then, I’m rather unimpressed.

Score: 5/10

Deban: Ester Peony’s delicate voice offers an interesting counterbalance to this tragic narrative. The core theme here is unrequited love, and a painful breakup. Unveiling a vision of beauty whilst recognising the trauma of love,  the gritty soundscape here is set in Dracula’s castle. Sophisticated in tone and packed with artistic merit, this entry will hopefully launch the career of an emerging star, and place Romania on the left side of the final scoreboard.

Score: 8/10

Josh: “On a Sunday” is a strong song that tells an emotional story that draws you in, and Ester’s voice just oozes an innate unique charisma. You feel her pain and longing, hoping her man comes back to her one day. While some may say this is a boring song that stays on one level for too long, the driving beat and Ester’s masterful vocals take us for a three-minute ride that you almost can’t believe happens. The guitar instrumentation sounds almost country-western or ripped from the sound track of a Western movie, but the driving synth beats take this into a whole other realm. Don’t underestimate its potential!

Score: 9.5/10

Robyn: “On a Sunday” wasn’t even on my radar earlier in the year but lately it’s become an earworm that’s proved impossible to shift. Ester brings a cool, almost jazzy quality to the song, mixed in with gothic electronic sounds. The song promises to bring strong staging to the Tel Aviv venue and there should be no question of Romania making the grand final this year.

Score: 8/10

In the Wiwi Jury we have 30 jurors but only have room for six reviews. The remaining scores are below:

Anthony: 7/10

Antony: 3/10

Antranig: 6.5/10

Barnabas: 8.5/10

Bernardo: 6/10

Calvin: 8/10

Chris: 6.5/10

Essi: 7/10

Florian: 8/10

Izhar: 6/10

Jack: 5/10

Jonathan: 6.5/10

Julian: 7.5/10

Luis: 6.5/10

Lukas: 7/10

Mikhail: 7.5/10

Oliver: 10/10

Pablo: 5/10

Renske: 7/10

Ron: 7.5/10

Sebastian: 6.5/10

Tobias: 3/10

William: 9/10

We have removed the highest and lowest scores prior to calculating the average. This is to remove outliers and potential bias. We have removed a low of 3 and a high of 10.

Wiwi Jury verdict: 7.04/10

What do you think of this song? Share your own score and review below!

See all our Eurovision 2019 reviews and rankings

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Alex
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Alex

Guys chill. Just because this song ranked higher than some of your favorites doesn’t 100% reflect their placing in ESC 2019. Eye Cue got a 7 last year, yet placed 18th in their SF and Romania, which got a 4, placed 11th in their SF.

Loin dici
Guest
Loin dici

But, seriously, it’s only less than a month from the semifinal and we are still in debate about the Romanian selection? Good God, get a grip, girl.

Unrelatedly, Ester got 6 as her running order, consider her safe for qualification before the first rehearsal. After each rehearsal, then we can holistically review each entry since that’ll be their full package.

Love love peace piece
Guest
Love love peace piece

Hahahaha! That’s all I have to say.

Héctor
Guest
Héctor

I want to try what you guys have taken while reviewing this one. Just joking. But I don’t really understand how a dull, bland and unisteresting song like this one gets a 7.04. Taking the resuls Croatia and Latvia got last year with better songs in the same style, I don’t even think Romania is a qualifier.

Romania is in my 37th place.

3. Greece (8.5)
5. Lithuania (8)
8. Portugal (7.75)
13. Armenia (7)
14. Austria (7)
15. Hungary (7)
24. Latvia (6)
26. Belarus (6)
28. Finland (6)
29. Serbia (6)
30. Russia (5.75)
32. Poland (5.75)
33. Ireland (5.5)
34. Denmark (5)
37. ROMANIA (4)

Melina
Guest
Melina

Boring. I’ll join the 3/10 points-jurors.

Lloyd
Guest
Lloyd

This song is SOOOOO BORING!

oli
Guest
oli

Really? I am quite shocked about this score. This is one of the few songs which I don’t remember anything about, even the chorus…

Matthew
Guest
Matthew

The Pay – ay – ay – ay is really not that good a hook at all, and whilst it will stick with some after one listen, it’s not the kind of catchy hook that’s getting people voting for it. This has a shot at qualifying because of the Romanian diaspora in the televote, but if a country like Ireland sent this it would be going nowhere.

Julian
Guest
Julian

Judging by already months of front stage exposure, the Romanian response to the song is very close to 0. And rest of Europe response is half an inch higher. To qualify this song would need a wow-wow-wow element from the staging and a love from juries Romania never had. In itself the song and the singing has bottom list written all over it.

Darren
Guest
Darren

We already knew how the wiwi guys feel about this one..despite their impartiality.
Anyways, the song for me is just there. I don’t love it, but I don’t hate it. I hope the staging in Tel Aviv won’t just be Ester standing there giving out to the audience (ala Franka and Laura Risotto) I don’t want to feel assaulted while I’m trying to watch ESC. Good staging though will make this qualify I think. Romania have qualified with much worse. 6/10

Una
Guest
Una

Darren, Ester will be accompanied by two male dancers (one of them extremely good looking with an amazing jaw line) and Alexandru (with the guitar). There will be two backing singers but it’s unclear to me whether they’ll be on stage or somewhere off the main stage. Franka had 2 backings and Laura something like 4 I think off the main stage.

Darren
Guest
Darren

Cheers for the clarification Una 🙂
Franka and Laura really annoyed me last year with their staging. These angry women made me feel like I was responsible for their problems haha

Whisker
Guest
Whisker

I am in love with this song, I can listen to it all day long. I am though a bit worried about the marine life visual effects if they do them for the stage performance. I read here IIRC there will be no drummers? I loved the drummers during the national final, the song welcomes rhythm/beat. I don’t know, that should be incorporated somehow, at least in my mind. I am not saying I know better. But still, it’s my #1. I changed my top several times already – other than my #1, that is.

Una
Guest
Una

They *will* keep some of the visual elements from the video. And no place for drums unless the dancers will use them somehow. My #1 as well!

An American ESC Fan
Guest
An American ESC Fan

Romania is my 5th this year. I can already smell the downvotes from the grand ol’ USA as I type, but I really love this song. It’s relatively catchy, dark, it has a nice instrumental, and it’s sung by a really good singer. I hope this qualifies next month! I wish good luck to Ester and all of Romania 🙂

Una
Guest
Una

That’s so nice of you 🙂 Thing is that people that dislike the song are affected by the fact that their favourites lost. There’s a degree of irrationality there and lack of emotional intelligence. Tastes differ widely but there is a big difference between being subjective and being objective.

blondboybc
Guest
blondboybc

For me, it’s just an average song. Nothing special, impactful nor memorable. Borderline qualifier in an arguably tougher semi. Wasn’t my favourite in Romanian final. 6/10

Tibor
Guest
Tibor

This has really grown on me. At first, I found “On a Sunday” rather uneventful and since I’m not too keen on western guitar saloon style, I didn’t give this the attention it probably deserved. The dragging beat is nicely complementing the melody and the narrative. I think I’d even enjoy this song more, if her voice was a little deeper and had more gravel to it, I could imagine this being sung by the likes of Jess Glynne, or even by someone like Marianne Faithfull – the edgier the better. On the other hand I really like the higher… Read more »

Una
Guest
Una

Tibor, I also like Ester’s pitch towards the end of the song! My interpretation is the following: she uses the singing rather than words (which are also sung but sorry, I have no idea how to explain this!!!!!) to convey the pain and grief and sorrow. And the falsetto in the highest pitch (not a specialist here, maybe I am using the right technical term?) is for conveying her emotions almost as if she was crying. Technically I think that is more difficult to convey, rather than just singing words. So an extra point from an unprofessional fan. LOL.

Tibor
Guest
Tibor

I think you’re right, the higher pitch at the end is surely used to correspond with the lyrics and to portray the growing sense of despair. Ester seems to have a naturally very high pitched voice, I’m not noticing a falsetto until the very end. Until then it’s all in chest voice, if I’m hearing that correctly, which only adds to the intensity in this part of the song. 🙂

Nicolas
Guest
Nicolas

Is there a recap somewhere of the songs rated so far ?

This song sounds much better in live. I don’t like the studio version. Too much artificial effects on her voice.

Nicolas
Guest
Nicolas
NickC
Guest
NickC

I love this one. Ester is simply a sublime vocalist. The song gives me tingles. I feel her pain, her emotion, her desperation down on my spine. How funny wiwi announced the scores of my two favourites, Greece and Romania the same day.

Colin
Guest
Colin

Yeah! Actually we have three strong songs reviewed in a row – Portugal, Greece, Romania! All of them are in my Top 12.

NickC
Guest
NickC

Portugal is all yours brate.

Sabrina
Guest
Sabrina

Same here. 3 songs that I deeply enjoy. I’m already expecting a sacrificial lamb coming next. 😀

Colin
Guest
Colin

If it’s Montenegro, I’ll have evenly distributed points on my current list. 🙂

NickC
Guest
NickC

That is a very sad case, indeed.

Sabrina
Guest
Sabrina

I think it’s a tasteful and harmonious song. We’re having a bunch of dark songs recently in the contest, but this one excels by adopting a bluesy approach, not only in the way the guitar and the vocals punctuate it, but also in the “consuming pain” vibe. I love how Ester performs it with all her body, especially her arms. Using a haunted house to illustrate a haunted relationship was a fun idea. I like how she also becomes a character in this gloomy scenery. But they must refine the visual effects, otherwise it may look too silly. 8/10

Una
Guest
Una

Sabrina, it seems that they will keep the visual effects. My hope is that they will do an awesome job out of it. I’ve there is a lot in the store in Tel Aviv from a TV state-of-the-art technology point of view and I am so curious to see the live show. There’s input from the technical teams in Tel Aviv, not only from the artist and delegation so my hopes are very very high.

Sabrina
Guest
Sabrina

They already have the difficult part figured out, since they have a clear concept. I hope they’ll now focus on improving every particular aspect of it.

Una
Guest
Una

Yes. But the one thing that I would focus on would be Ester’s facial expressions. They were awesome and amazing in the Romanian semifinal – a bit more neutral so to speak, not so much in the national final when she made some grimaces that came across off-putting.

Anna
Guest
Anna

I would lile it more if it wasn’t for all the ‘uh’, ‘ah’, ‘eh’ and other similar endless sounds. I find them very irritating. And 7.04 is too much I think. For me it’s a solid 6/10.

Gorilla716
Guest
Gorilla716

The fact that this got a lot of 8s and 9s is surprising given that everyone hated it when it won Selectia Nationala. Personally the song does nothing for me and it’s telling that the bookies currently don’t think it’ll qualify.

Colin
Guest
Colin

Actually, On A Sunday was mostly in people’s top 10s of Selectia nationala, so very little people hated it. Until it won, that is, but that hatred was mostly due to the way it won, rather than the song itself.

Una
Guest
Una

It’s not like everyone hated it. Most people liked 2 songs, performed by 2 of the most known names in Romania. They voted for the names, not the songs, and the loss of their favourites led to irrational hatred towards On a Sunday, a complex song altogether with near perfect delivery of a very talented, hardworking, versatile, complete and enthusiastic artist that is Ester.

Adriana
Guest
Adriana

This song will do very well with the jury.

Thoiro
Guest
Thoiro

Romania has lost the direction. Their last good effort has been Yodel it. And that’s much said. This is not going through.

Una
Guest
Una

Having followed Romania throughout the years I am confident that they got their direction just now. on the occasion of Selectia Nationala 2019. I think that until that edition TVR went with the flow, with some sort of inertia, banking on previous success. And big names won the selection based on televote. Biggest names or most popular artists. Even if the 2018 edition celebrated a big milestone in the country’s history, the quality of the show was bad, with a focus on quantity rather than quality. Things changed in 2019 with only 23-24 entries for two semis, heavier input from… Read more »

Briekimchi
Guest
Briekimchi

Kinda backed yourselves into a corner with this one.

Rimig
Guest
Rimig

I am generally not a huge fan of the Romanian entries, but I have to say that I quite like this song. It does not fully thrill me, but I can really appreciate its dark gothic vibe (reinforced by a good video). Ester does a really good job and she maches the song very well. Although I tend not to like songs based on “hey hey hey’s” or “ay ay ay’s”, in this case it actually works really good. Romania is this year my number 12 and I would be dissapointed if they didn’t qualify. 2. Greece (9.0/10) 8. Russia… Read more »

Jo.
Guest
Jo.

I used to like it more, now it just sounds boring to me. It’s an “ok song”. I think she will struggle with the public vote outside the diaspora zone, but the juries might push it to qualification.
6.0/10.

Skiwalko
Guest

By the way, why didn’t this review come out on Sunday? Missed opportunity, Wiwibloggs.

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

Well it wasn’t September either. 😉

Whisker
Guest
Whisker

Yes, I can’t stop crying.

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

I was asked to do an in-depth analysis of this song, but unfortunately I cannot write the review for reasons that I’m not able to publicly reveal at this time. Notably, Una has pretty much already revealed all of the positive aspects of the song (well done Una), so all that I have left to write about are the negatives, which I don’t want to do. Very basically, I think this song is in a 12/8 time signature (or it might be 6/8) – it contains some jazz references, drum n’ bass, and “horror soundtrack” moments. My overall feeling from… Read more »

Whisker
Guest
Whisker

Ester lived in Canada for some time.

Loin dici
Guest
Loin dici

Stays at my playlist, one of the darkest tracks with one of the most successful running order in the competition.

ESC LOU
Guest
ESC LOU

This is a border line qualifier for me. I don’t really like the ayayayyay parts of this song < lol, or this music video. HOWEVER it's catchy, it's stuck in my brain, and I know lots of Eurofans like it so i'd give On a Sunday 6.5/10

Una
Guest
Una

Yeah, highlighting Romania as a freaky religious and homophobic country with a representative having made political propaganda in a referendum on a sensitive topic – being below 18 years old and a US citizen. She only got the Romanian citizenship in 2019 according to the young lady herself.

Skiwalko
Guest

Guys, it’s been (exactly) 2 months already! We don’t need to go back to that.

GUEST
Guest
GUEST

Unfortunately, I can’t understand the love for this one

Whisker
Guest
Whisker

Easy, tt’s a matter of taste.

Una
Guest
Una

My favourite song of the year, solid #1 since I had heard the playlist with the selected songs in Selectia Nationala. Before seeing any stage performance and without having a clue who the Ester Peony was. One random interview with an Irish Eurovision site was all I had. No appearances in tv shows, nothing. Just consistent performance in the semi and the very different look in the final. Near perfection – I will take one for the team and keep it positive. Things I like about this song: Ester makes this song, essentially, with all credit due to Ester and… Read more »

Skiwalko
Guest

Wow, lots of respect (Divaz say hi) for writing such an in-depth analisys!

Una
Guest
Una

Thanks Skiwalko. But I didn’t understand the reference to Divaz?

Skiwalko
Guest

“Give me a little respect”. Still have this song in my head. 🙂

Una
Guest
Una

Awww, that’s so sweet.

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

Well done Una, for a fantastic review. 🙂

Una
Guest
Una

Thanks a lot Purple Mask 🙂

Colin
Guest
Colin

ROMANIA – Winner of one of the strongest national finals is unsurprisingly a very good song! It can seem quite linear, but it has so much going on behind it. Let’s start with intense lyrics and Ester’s natural theatricality to convey that edgy feel. It has elements of Jazz and Country subtely interweaving next to an atypical chorus with a hook of a repeated “hey”. Most songs couldn’t sustain that form, but here it surprisingly works. It’s unnerving, but fascinating watching her plot and shift between being ominous and vulnerable. It may feel long and aimless at times, but it… Read more »

Skiwalko
Guest

In fact, we have freaking ton of girls singing about their (ex)boyfriends this year:
– Romania
– Belarus
– Latvia
– Serbia
– Cyprus
– Greece
– Armenia
– Ireland
– Moldova

hi guys
Guest
hi guys

William and deban for how long are u gonna pretend u really like this song??

Loin dici
Guest
Loin dici

As long as that song exist, I guess. The song itself is good, no doubt.

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

Yeah it was never a bad song, and Ester is a good artist. It was just from a National Final where the audience vote vastly disagreed with the Jury vote in a very big way.

sarouan
Guest
sarouan

Why choose Ester when you know Laura Bretan could have reached top 5 !

keith mawson
Guest
keith mawson

yawn

Una
Guest
Una

Dear Father was not good enough. Had it won, Romania would have reached page 1 of international media for all the wrong reasons. That don’t have anything to do with the song. In a *song contest*.

Skiwalko
Guest

“Rigged scores accusations starting at 3… 2… 1…”
Not, but seriously. “On a Sunday” is a solid song, filling the gap of that “dark gothic” genre, like Ukraine last year or “Skeletons” in 2017. Tad repetitve, and Ester should learn how to control her arms movements, but I guess it’s memorable enough to get to the final. 7/10

Weißbrot
Guest
Weißbrot

Uhm, Telemoveis got a 6.72 and THIS is supposed to be a 7.04 now? Whatever you say wiwibloggs…

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

It is perhaps because of the divisiveness of the microtonality of “Telemoveis”. Sadly, some friends have told me they can’t stand listening to Portugal’s song because it sounds “out of tune”, and one even said that it makes him feel “sick”. 🙁
Or, are you suggesting that Romania’s song has been scored too highly?

Briekimchi
Guest
Briekimchi

I’m not even bothered about the higher average rating (honestly, I imagine a lot of people might give Conan a 1/10 or 2/10 to go along with those 10s) but what bothers me is the amount of jurors who gave Romania a 9+. It’s a pleasant song but come on…it’s not that exciting.

NickC
Guest
NickC

I have no connection to wiwibloggs, but I am ready to bet actual money that Romania will do better than Portugal.

Alican
Guest
Alican

When On a Sunday gets higher than telemovies….

ESCFan2009
Guest
ESCFan2009

I am honestly just talking about the song now, so for my review it doesn’t matter if it is from Romania or another country, sung by Bella/Laura/Ester… Only the SONG:
I love this! Mysterious atmosphere, charming, vulnerability combined with strength, playing with sounds (ey ey ey), really really strong entry! My 4th place overall! 9/10.

Kris
Guest
Kris

A decent effort and the staging at the NF really popped. Romania seemed to have better choices. The song is not very immediate though and may struggle with a lot of similarly themed songs in the semi. She is vocally good though. Like the dark edge. A 6.5/10. The running order with Similar themed songs around is bad , reduces half a point.There is diaspora but the NF drama seems to have irked them , another point lost. A 50% chance to qualify.

Loin dici
Guest
Loin dici

About the running order, the MYESC has shown the statistics of running order and 6 is one of the best numbers to qualify.

Kris
Guest
Kris

The effect of running order doesn’t depend only on the number you’re going at but at songs that surround you too! North Macedonia in Semi 2 going at number 17 should have been a great running order except it’s Not cause it’s between Azerbaijan(Turkish diaspora , pop song) on one side and Netherlands/Norway (pop songs ,fan favorites) on the other

keith mawson
Guest
keith mawson

Reminds me a lot of Black Velvet (the elvis song)

Weißbrot
Guest
Weißbrot

I’m sorry, but I wholeheartedly doubt that Dear father could have been any defining moment. Yes, it would have been a far better choice than this mushy, grey song, but it wasn’t a winner in my eyes.

Weißbrot
Guest
Weißbrot

I’m still VERY enthusiastic about the Netherlands as well as Italy and Slovenia. 🙂 (My 1st, 2nd and 4th place) But yeah I know what you mean. Maybe I’m a bit biased, because I’m not the biggest fan of Dear father myself. I can see the potential tho and at least it would have been a song many people have a strong opinion on.

keith mawson
Guest
keith mawson

I detest gushing religious songs so it was a no from me. bella was my favorite but Ester will do ok I Think. I like it. I’m not wild over it as much better stuff in the contest.

esc stan
Guest
esc stan

I like the song, but seriously? A 7? You’re delusional

Salvador Silva Gomez
Guest
Salvador Silva Gomez

Well, we all now. don’t we?

whatever
Guest
whatever

A 7 reallyyy????

ESCFan2009
Guest
ESCFan2009

I know right! I am also shocked that it is so low, because as you see in my comment above, I gave it a 9.0 😛 😛

Whisker
Guest
Whisker

Yes, me too. I gave it a 10.