The Wiwi Jury — our in-house team of music unprofessionals — is reviewing and rating the 37 competing songs in Eurovision 2024. Next we review Moldova, who have chosen Natalia Barbu with “In The Middle”.

Have we given her a middling score? Read on to find out!

Natalia Barbu – “In The Middle” (Moldova Eurovision 2024)

Review: Natalia Barbu – “In The Middle”

Jonathan: Natalia sings of being “In The Middle”. And funnily enough, that’s exactly where her entry lands for me on a numeric 1 to 10 scale. The instrumentation in the post-chorus is quite interesting and the strings create a nice atmosphere throughout. Unfortunately, the overall structure of the song ends up flatlining, providing little reason to listen beyond the first half. As a result, it all feels rather “average” – hence the average score.

Score: 5

Ruxandra: Natalia possesses a powerful voice that can elevate any song. This strength is particularly evident in the live, where she truly shines. However, there are areas that require improvement. There’s a noticeable lack of harmony with the backing vocals, which instead of complementing the lead performance, detract from it. The ending feels somewhat abrupt too. Natalia deserves praises for her impressive high notes, which she executes flawlessly. Additionally, the violin part adds a nice touch to the song, and hopefully it will be nicely integrated into the staging.

Score: 6.5

Georgia: While the song holds some nice ethnic and instrumental vibes, there’s room for improvement in its live performance. It tends to feel a bit repetitive and lacks some depth overall. The staging in the national final feels a bit outdated. Unless there’s a memorable addition to the staging that surprises viewers, I don’t anticipate this song making a strong impression on either televoting or the juries.

Score: 3

Lucy: Moldova this year have Natalia Barbu’s “In The Middle”…which is exactly where it sits for me. It isn’t bad at all, and the do-do-do-do-do-do-do-doooo hook is catchy. Natalia’s voice is gorgeous with this song too, it’s so well-matched. The violin section is stunning, and if she brings it into her staging again, it’ll look marvellous. But other than that, I don’t know what viewers are meant to pick up the phone for here. The verses just go by without much to say, and at no point am I thinking “oh wow this needs to be in the final!”. It’s somewhere between OK and Good. It’s fine, it’s nice. That’s not a good thing for success in Eurovision.

Score: 6

Moldova Eurovision 2024 ranking

In the Eurovision 2024 Wiwi Jury, we have 17 jurors but only have room for four reviews. The remaining scores are below:

Antranig: 8

Cinan: 6.5

Deban: 4.5

Pablo: 5

Ron: 5

Scarlett: 5.5

Sebastian: 2

Simon: 2.5

Suzanne: 6

Tom: 6.5

Tomas: 4.5

William: 4.5

Youyou: 4

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 2 and a high of 8.

Wiwi Jury verdict: 5.00/10

What do you think of Moldova’s Eurovision 2024 entry? Share your own score and review for Natalia Barbu’s “In The Middle” below!

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Briekimchi
Briekimchi
26 days ago

As soon as “Obosit” was withdrawn from the national selection, it was clear which song was going to be Moldova’s representative in Malmö. Moldova tends to favour big-name, and particularly, returning (well-funded) artists when it comes to Eurovision in recent years. I made peace with “The Middle” at quite an early stage in the “selection” process. Since first being released, it has undergone a few revamps, and they’ve fixed a number of the lyrical issues. Not all of them, maybe they should’ve started with the first line, but there is a dialogue behind the words, as simple hopes and fears… Read more »

Vivian
Vivian
27 days ago

How humorous that a song titled “In The Middle” ended up with a score of exactly 5.00, and… that matches the score I would give this entry too. It’s just there. Natalia is a decent performer, but the overal concept of this entry feels like it needed more time in the oven.

I would’ve given this a 5.5, but the opera voice ticks me off too much to give it that advantage, so like I said, it’s a 5/10 for me. It’s just like the title says. It’s mid.

Despicable Annie
Despicable Annie
28 days ago

I really like this song, but I can see why it didn’t grasp many fans’ attention. Shame, because Fight was my winner in 2007.

Danni
Danni
29 days ago

Omg her score is EXACTLY “in the middle” I am screaming

Iván el Conquistador
Iván el Conquistador
28 days ago
Reply to  Danni

Perfectly balanced, as all things should be.

Jessie
Jessie
29 days ago

She is good vocalist but not sure about song.

Héctor
Héctor
29 days ago

I always like to have past contestants back, but it’s sad when they do it with a worse song. I get artists evolve and develope but “Fight”, her entry in 2007, stands as one of my all-time favourites (well, at 59th place, but there a lot of songs I’ve grown attached over these years). Natalia tries to give “In the Middle” a extra layer of artistry to make it outstand and, in fact, it works. Without that staging this will be lost in May. However, I don’t really think it’s enough. Moldova have the best record in turning boring songs… Read more »

Anonymous91
Anonymous91
29 days ago

even AI write better songs than this honestly, and trust me AI can come up with some seriously good fun cheesy songs if i ask them too doesn’t matter which language either

Antananarivo
Antananarivo
29 days ago

Moldova 5,5/12

Jonas
Jonas
29 days ago

I’m sorry, zero stars.

Stian F
Stian F
29 days ago

Finally Moldova isn’t sending a dull westernised ballad or a novelty style entry or entry with a novelty sidekick…i appreciate that «In the middle» is an easy listen straight forward folksong eventhough it doesn’t make the roof blow off. I find this to be a very good song, but I have to admit that in this year of 2024 the song is not competative at all unfortunately. In any other year I would have ranked this much higher probably, but 2024 has so many more interesting entries. I love the staging of the song as I find it very classy,… Read more »

GojoSatoru
GojoSatoru
29 days ago

The violin part is the only listenable part of the whole song.

Vjera Brdar
Vjera Brdar
29 days ago

This falls into the I-don’t-even-remember-how-it-goes category.

Camellia
Camellia
29 days ago

37th place – Moldova
I’m sorry but this is the worst song this year. Even though the violins are pleasant and the melody in itself as well, Natalia’s voice is annoying. The chorus is too repetitive and it gets to a point where I can’t stand it. Unfortunately this song will be my toilet break.
I can’t see this qualifying even with the best staging possible, considering it’s public vote without juries. If this somehow qualifies, it will be the joke of the decade.

Marlinken
Marlinken
29 days ago

If this (dreadful song) were sung by Loreen, wiwibloggs and the gays who comment here (cos’ there are no straight people on this forum) would be falling over themselves. Do better.

GojoSatoru
GojoSatoru
29 days ago
Reply to  Marlinken

Wrong.

Stian F
Stian F
29 days ago
Reply to  Marlinken

Yes I believe you are correct… different goggles for different artists. It is always like that! So Many amazing songs that never become world hits and then Beyonce or Taylor Swift releases a mediocre song and they become world hits…the name of singer had a lot to say for a songs chances of success.

Gosh
Gosh
29 days ago

What a contested battle between Moldova, San Marino and Ireland for most annoying track and voice of the year. At least this one has some pieces of a nice melody.

sparkling points
sparkling points
29 days ago

It would be soooo nice if Moldova qualified from semifinal 1!! What a happy thought <3

ANDREW BROWN
ANDREW BROWN
29 days ago

The staging in the National Final really lifted this song. Is it a winner no, but i do enjoy watching how its performed.

Emily
Emily
29 days ago

35) Moldova – Ehhhhh, I normally at least *like* Moldova’s entries, but this one is just not one I ever go back to. I love Natalia’s voice and I like the strings, but nothing else about it captures my interest. Sorry, Moldova, and better luck next time. 3.5/10

Purple Mask
Purple Mask
29 days ago

“In the Middle” translates surprisingly well to the piano. The key of G-sharp minor is divided up into its harmonic and melodic variants. (I could say it’s somewhere “in the middle” of the two scales.) The result is an extremely sincere, deep and moody piece of music that has uses sharp edges to inspire us to be happy through a period of darkness. When I hear this song, I am reminded of my mother trying to tell me “everything is going to be okay” while something very bad is happening outside. The harmony contains some of the sharpest-sounding chords in… Read more »

Leo M
Leo M
29 days ago

It’s a fine song but very underwhelming compared to what Moldova usually send. There’s just at least 10 better songs in their semi so I can’t see them qualifying

Anonymous91
Anonymous91
29 days ago

only one great sensational breakthrough coming from Moldova this year, pro dancer sweetie Anastasia ”Nastia” Stan at lets dance germany

Eyal
Eyal
29 days ago

Moldova almost won the show, they were so close. They surprised the fans. now suddenly they come up with this. The performance is just something we could expect 10-15 years ago. A group of girls with violins, everything is symmetric… it’s OK, but I think the composer needs to watch recent ESC editions and to know better.

Lewis Smith
Lewis Smith
29 days ago

I like this. Is it safe? Yes! But I don’t find it unpleasant. Its quite an easy listen and I often find myself drumming along to the chorus (do-do). I’m happy with this, but I’m no under no delusion that this will qualify… there’s a chance but it is slim.
Score 7.5/10

Ari
Ari
29 days ago

This has to stay in the semi imo. Natalia already qualified from the semi final of death coming 10th out of 27, leaving behind many much better colleagues. It can happen again but let’s meet in the middle – this time it shouldn’t happen.

Ari
Ari
29 days ago
Reply to  Ari

It’s also rather stunning that apparently nobody thought about revamping this after it won to make it at least a little … something or anything.

Anonymous91
Anonymous91
29 days ago
Reply to  Ari

why bother? since this year it is all about Croatia, Netherlands, Italy and Switzerland anyway

such a horrible esc year, and very predictable

Fatima
Fatima
29 days ago
Reply to  Anonymous91

You forgot France

Anonymous91
Anonymous91
28 days ago
Reply to  Fatima

not gonna jinx france though, i have a soft spot for Les Bleus

sav001
sav001
27 days ago
Reply to  Ari

The song has been revamped for Eurovision

Eurofan
Eurofan
29 days ago
Reply to  Ari

The comment is so terrible, omfg… This may not be the best song but stating that “it has already left the better songs behind, so let’s not go for this this time” is just so out of tact

Jo.
Jo.
29 days ago

right in the middle?

Anonymous91
Anonymous91
29 days ago

2025 those who need to sit one year out and get their entry selecting capabilities together are: Malta, Georgia, Moldova (we won’t miss them if they continue sending plastic generics like these)

Dominic
Dominic
29 days ago

MOLDOVA – A few months ago, I made a joke post about the Moldovan NF bingo card, and one of the points was the former representative winning again with a song at least slightly above the general NF standard. Since that pattern repeats a lot, it wasn’t a particularly bold prediction. Still, it came true, as did many others from that list.  By now, we know that Natalia Barbu can perform. The song also has its upsides: the calming vibe, the competent instrumental, and the nice message of encouragement to the younger generation.  Yet, there are three major issues for… Read more »

Ari
Ari
29 days ago
Reply to  Dominic

The only message I read in these lyrics: “Listen your mind” and get a language tutor.

Dominic
Dominic
29 days ago
Reply to  Ari

Of course, sometimes the lyrical content, both in songs and poetry, can do some contractions just for the sake of the rhythm. Wouldn’t be the first time it happens. Yet, it’s obvious that some of the songwriters who write Eurovision entries (mostly) for Eastern Europe aren’t totally fluent in English (also, see: Ukraine, once it comes out). This might be either of these cases, but yeah, it badly misses a *to*. 🙂

Purple Mask
Purple Mask
29 days ago
Reply to  Dominic

Did you make a “joke post” about the Moldovan NF and were not threatened with certain “consequences” in a formal manner. (You may remember this once happened to me. I hope it hasn’t happened to you.)

Dominic
Dominic
29 days ago
Reply to  Purple Mask

Thankfully, it did not. I did it in a place where the organizers either didn’t see or didn’t care. Anyway, it was a prediction post, of course done in a humorous way, but in fact around half of it came true – from the names of the (past/future) participants to the types of songs they’ll be taking. 🙂

Dida
Dida
29 days ago

Karma will hit for Natalia, for the unjustice TRM has done to Valeria Pasha on their national final. Just look at it, Moldova is the last on every poll, betting odds, and so on.

Anti Bejba
Anti Bejba
29 days ago
Reply to  Dida

Didn’t Pasha buy votes from some random countries?

The Voice of Reason
The Voice of Reason
29 days ago
Reply to  Anti Bejba

We don’t know that for sure and it wasn’t enough to tamper with the result.

Dida
Dida
26 days ago
Reply to  Anti Bejba

What random countries? Only Moldovan citizens inside Moldova could have voted at the televote during the national final. Valeria had over 4,000 votes, while Natalia a little over 2,000 votes. So Valeria got 12p from televote and Natalia 10p, while on the jury Natalia got 12p and Valeria 10p. It was a tie, both got 22 points. So even though it wasn’t mentioned in the NF rules anything about an eventual tie, the producers decided Natalia should represent Moldova this year. Though televoters clearly preferred Valeria, she has double votes than Natalia…

Anonymous91
Anonymous91
29 days ago

generic depressing snooze 0/10

Formatia Vele were robbed

Mikey Mata
Mikey Mata
29 days ago

Not the final average being in the middle HAHAHAH

Thanos
Thanos
29 days ago

22ND PLACE: MOLDOVA: My feelings are pretty mixed with this song. I certainly enjoy the violin part and the whole staging concept with all the violins and the camera angles can elevate the performance in Malmö. Yet I find the chorus annoying after a few listens and the beat is also too loud for me at specific points. The lyrics are also pretty basic in my opinion. The song had potential and I enjoy some parts of it but ultimately for me falls in the “very mixed feelings” category.

Kosey
Kosey
29 days ago

37. Moldova – Natalia Barbu – In the Middle – 4/10 – someone has to finish bottom and this year it is Moldova. I do feel bad because the song is not particularly annoying, it is competently produced and Natalia is a good performer. However, the lyrical message is quite confusing and does not seem to link to the energy in the music. As such, it is very hard to have any sort of lasting emotional connection. The song is on, it’s alright, it passes the time, but I do feel like there are so many of these middling tracks… Read more »

Dominic
Dominic
29 days ago
Reply to  Kosey

This is basically how I feel about it too, Kosey. It’s not a bad song at all, but because of the elements I will write about in my own review (the emotional distance of the message in the music is *spot on*), I also have it very low.

Armen K
Armen K
29 days ago

Wiwi Jury Ranking

Norway 7.67/10
Belgium 7.4/10
Greece 7.27/10
Spain 7.20/10
France 7.17/10
Czechia 7.00/10
United Kingdom 6.93/10
Denmark 6.80/10
Poland 6.6/10
Serbia 6.57/10
Cyprus 6.53/10
Slovenia 6.50/10
Georgia 6.43/10
Luxembourg 6.40/10
Australia 6.37/10
Portugal 6.30/10
Armenia 6.27/10
Ireland 5.97/10
Israel 5.90/10
Latvia 5.77/10
Albania 5.50/10
Estonia 5.4/10
Azerbaijan 5.33/10
Malta 5.17/10
Germany 5.17/10
Moldova 5.00/10
San Marino 4.97/10

Stian F
Stian F
29 days ago
Reply to  Armen K

So literally all songs are considered above average…except for poor San Marino…an above average year then.