Road to Baku 2012: Mandinga – “Zaleilah” (Romania)

Spanish typically isn’t a great language to perform in Eurovision. That picture is slightly skewed because typically that would make you Spain, who has a long and miserable history, particularly recently. So it’s a bit of a surprise to see Romania performing a Spanglish track. Spain auto-qualify for the final as one of the “Big Five”, but Romania are one of another big five, who have qualified for every final since the semi-final system came into play in 2004 (the other being Russia, Ukraine, Greece and Bosnia & Herzegovina).

While I absolutely love the Spanish entry this year, there’s a real chance that Romania might still beat them. After all, if ever there was a strong case for the effect of migrant workers benefiting certain countries, Romania would be it (though tell that to Poland…).

Romania have a hot/cold history in recent years, with a career-best of 3rd place in 2005 and 2010 (loved that one), but seem just as likely to tank at the bottom end of the leaderboard, indeed they only came 17th last year, a generous result for that one I think.

Once again they have resisted the urge to follow unexpected popularity of Romanian dance music in the European and American charts (think Inna, also that Stereo Love song). Perhaps there are shades of that here, but it’s more of a Mediterranean holiday track, with the Spanish influence, and some unexpected but pretty great bagpipes and military drums.

It seems they are a pretty big band in Romania, and they’ve already had a big hit at home. It’s a bit lightweight, the vocals aren’t really much to write home about, but it’s an infectiously upbeat track with a good mix of styles keeping it relatively mainstream.

They will need something good to stand out in Baku, and I doubt this will finish much higher than the teens in the final, but I don’t expect they will break their streak of qualifers this year at least.

Check out my Eurovision review hub thing, just click the tab thing at the top that says “Eurovision 2012”. It took ages.



Filed under Baku 2012, Eurovision, Music, Reviews

3 responses to “Road to Baku 2012: Mandinga – “Zaleilah” (Romania)

  1. Dinlo

    This song is so feel-good and instant, I can’t see it doing worse than last year. I wouldn’t be surprised with a top 10 finish.

  2. Pingback: Eurovision 2012: Semi-Final 1 preview | Verbal Diarrhoea

  3. Pingback: Eurovision 2012: Grand Final set-list & preview | Verbal Diarrhoea

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