Chișinău calling – ESC 2013 Moldova pre-selection (O Melodie Pentru Europa)

This is it! The last one!! The 27th and last of the national finals took place last weekend to decide yet another national representative to the Eurovision Song Contest in Malmö in less than 2 months time. Cutting it fine, with only 2 days before the deadline for entries, Moldova chose their song.

Moldova are relatively new to the contest, joining the fun in Kiev’s 2005 contest, and have performed reasonably well since then. They’ve only failed to qualify once, despite three close calls qualifying 10th in their semis. However, once in the final, Moldova is making a habit of hitting above their weight and usually ending mid-table. They’ve had two top 10 finishes, but are yet to break the top 5. Could it happen this year? Either way, they often send memorable entries!


Two semi-finals divided up the 24 entries, with 12 making it to a the final, where a 50/50 jury & televote system decided the champion. Annoyingly I couldn’t find videos for them all though, bah! I could find Irina Kitoroagă’s “L.o.v.e. Love” anywhere either… odd!

Anna Gulko – Somebody Else

This sounds quite nice, a very floaty happy acoustic folky track (I’m so articulate…). I can imagine swaying along to this one anyway, it’s just got that sort of rhythm to it.

Not very romantic though, is this supposed to be her cheerfully confessing to her boyfriend that she loves someone else? A bit dismissive really. Her voice is lovely though. It’s not a real standout track, but it’s certainly decent.

Felicia Dunaf – Codename Felice

Not the best codename, Felicia, isn’t it supposed to be different to your normal name? She’s hiding from the bad ways, after all.

It’s a decent attempt at a vaguely contemporary pop music, though a bit of a strange choice of subject matter. Her mother dies if she dares? It sounds like she’s singing “Codename for lice”. If I didn’t understand the language, this wouldn’t sound too bad. It’s just an odd song! Decent though, the production sounds quite polished!

Cristina V. & Glam Girls – Celebrate

Oh I get a music video for this one? Fun! That girl has a LOT of hair! I love this, especially the manic array of ‘glam’ girls. That blonde one has a scary look in her eyes.

This wouldn’t seem out of place at Melodifestivalen (though, maybe Andra Chansen if we’re being realistic). It’s cheesy Europop but it’s pulled off well, and crams in several Eurovision cliches, and even some Joey-dancing! What’s not to love?

Svetlana Bogdanova – Conquer My Heart

Boo, no music videos, just a dour lady frowning at your soul for 3 minutes. It’s quite a surprisingly lavish orchestral affair, not unlike Garbage’s Bond theme “The World Is Not Enough”. It’s got that sort of grand feel to it, very dramatic.

The vocals are big, but a little monotone in places. Maybe a little bit of vocal gymnastics would have paid off there. It sounds great in the studio version anyway. I could imagine this being spruced up for the Eurovision stage; a striking dress, some dramatic lighting, done!

Doiniţa Gherman – Planeta e un rai

Oh finally, a performance video! Wow, am I pleased I found this, she looks suitably insane. I don’t know what she’s dressed as, a slutty cheerleader Wookie? The song is manically uptempo, she just about keeps up.

She knows how to party, though she doesn’t get much time to catch her breath. She pads things out a little with shouty “yeah!!” notes, but this is quite pleasant. For the layman, I think the idea “Moldovan Eurovision Entry” would probably conjure up some insane folky stuff like this.

Tatiana Heghea – A Brighter Day

Dour ballad time now, and with some troubled angel wings as a backdrop, very emo! She seems to have mounted a shower scrubber on her shoulder, but she works it.

Oh wait a second, this is going all dancey, who saw it coming? Much better, there’s even some frantically jumping dancers. This isn’t bad at all really. The higher tempo does limit what she can do with her voice a bit, but fear not, there’s a slow middle-eight were she can start lining up those glory notes!

The key-change is a bit clunky but I think she deals with this one pretty well. The last minute really makes it I think. Well done!

Aurel Chirtoacă – Iartă-mă

Another official music video, aren’t we spoilt? He’s looking pensive on the beach, there are flashbacks, staring mournfully out of a rainy window. Love this emotion! I’m hoping for a full-on power ballad.

The chorus doesn’t quite live up to this promise though. It’s got the sad dramatic vocal, but it’s a little flat. It’s got shades of “Unbreak my heart”, but just without any of the elements that made it a hit.

After a rather unconvincingly extended glory note, it really nails that key change, well done. Not a winner though, a bit dated.

Nicoleta Gavriliţă – Freaky Thong

The world is a worse place for not having a performance video for a song called “Freaky Thong”. It proceeds just as much as you expect – electro-rock Gaga production and talk of having fun on a Friday night. I love that muttered bridge of “I only want the perfect one-night stand so…”.

So she just wants to find some hot piece of ass to show her freaky thong to. Who said romance is dead? This is a pretty decent bit of trash pop, especially if Germany are seeing fit to send Cascada this year. I’d be surprised they haven’t released a song like this already!

This would be a bit of a hot mess at Eurovision, it would be amazing! I want to see that performance!

Vitalie Negruţă – You’ll Be Mine

More turbo-folk to kick off the top 5. This really isn’t that bad, it’s like Moldova’s fabulous turbo-folk entry from 2009. He’s fallen for a gypsy girl, who I can only assume is doing some crazy 60mph dance routine with a colourful dress and some long sleeves.

It’s quite infectious, even if it’s nigh-on impossible to get a grip on the melody. There’s a little breakdown/breather, but that just leaves it open for another catchy chorus. Totally baffling but a lot of fun!

Cristina Croitoru & Karizma – Never Fall Again

At least I have performance videos for the top 4 songs. Though frankly I could deal without having to see these two bellowing at me. Were there any words in that first minute? Just “WHoooaAAAaahhh!!!”

They may have climaxed a little prematurely, with the eventual first verse being totally dull. Then it’s on to more bellowing. This is a bit of a waily mess, they’ve certainly got strong voices but the song just doesn’t work.

Cristina Scarlat – I Pray

Let’s hope third place is a bit better. Talk about putting her men on a pedestal, she’s got them all up there! This sounds like a by-the-book ballad, what does it remind me of? Something from the theatre I think.

This is a bit morose, isn’t it? She’s got a big voice, that she demonstrates on some pretty huge notes. The chorus is vaguely memorable, but that’s about all I take from this. Nothing particularly special about it, no matter how many acrobatic dancers they throw at it.

Boris Covali – Runaways

Second place Boris won the televote but lost out by virtue of the juries. This is a decent performance and a half-decent song. But will people really remember it? He’s a good singer, and certainly more likeable than the parade of shouting women I’ve just endured. He’s very smiley.

It’s a bit of a boyband song, but it has a good middle-eight and a competent key-change. There’s not much to criticise really, but it just doesn’t do a lot for me. It would have been fine for an entry

Aliona Moon – A Million

So this is it, the final song for Malmö, and the winner of a fairly mediocre national final. But she’s in a pretty dress, a crazy necklace and hair that means business. I struggle to remember Moldova sending a big ballad before, and I think this could do pretty well.

That melody in the chorus is tricky, but she navigates it with ease. Wow, this really picks up in the final minute, she even pulls off a key-change MID-SENTENCE without it sounding weird. The flames on her dress, although they are a bit of a rip-off of Azerbaijan’s dress last year, still work effectively, I hope they do something cool like that.

A really good entry there, possibly Moldova’s best to date. Should at least qualify, and I think is their best chance of having a top 5 finish yet. The only fly in the ointment was the announcement a few days later that she will be performing in Romanian rather than English. Non-English entries might struggle to have the same widespread impact, but it doesn’t stop good results, even though you have to go back to 2007 to see a foreign-language winner. Best of luck, Moldova.


1 Comment

Filed under Eurovision, Malmö 2013, Music, Reviews

One response to “Chișinău calling – ESC 2013 Moldova pre-selection (O Melodie Pentru Europa)

  1. Pingback: Road to Malmö: Aliona Moon – “O Mie” (Moldova) | Verbal Diarrhoea

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