Ciao a tutti! There may as well be a little Italian in this post, since I kind of promised it last time via a very easy clue. Si, si, I had intended to cast my spotlight onto Italy today. But let’s just say it wasn’t coming together, like a pasta dough with too much flour in it. Not that I’d know, never having made a pasta dough in my life, but hey – I watch cooking shows on TV. So I’ll keep working at it until it’s ready to be premiered in public, and go for the country known in 2013 as the lucky last to choose their entry instead.
O Mie by Aliona Moon (why aren’t they sticking with A Million?) will be Moldova’s 9th ESC entry, and for me it’s up there with the best of what they’ve sent, ignoring that pesky language switch. Apart from one or two blips, I think this country has kept up a certain standard of unique awesome-ness over the years they’ve participated. If you can’t remember what you had for breakfast, let alone Moldova’s eight-year contest history, here’s a refresher, complete with my picks of the best and worst from that back catalogue.
MOLDOVA: THE STATS
2005 – Boonika Bate Doba by Zdob şi Zdub
6th – 2005
Top 10 finishes
Top 10 success rate
Top 5 finishes
Top 5 success rate
Wooden spoons (last places!)
Semi final qualifications
Qualification success rate
My favourite entry
Fight by Natalia Barbu (2007).
This was the first Moldovan entry I was really familiar with, and at the time I was obsessed with it…and kind of obsessed with her leather outfit as well (and the hood! What a hood!). Though I’ve left the cut-out cowhide love behind, I’m still a huge fan of the song. It’s all drama and epic violining (which Moldova has a penchant for, apparently) and my giddy aunt, is it the perfect motivation song for a workout! I listened to it on the treadmill the other day, and I swear I lost five kilos in those three minutes alone.
I can’t help also mentioning Hora Din Moldova by Nelly Ciobanu (2009). If you can sit through this without throwing caution and most of your dignity to the wind in order to leap up and dance like Loreen on steroids, then I fear for you, because you are not a normal person. This is 110% irresistible.
My least favourite entry
A Century of Love by Geta Burlacu (2008). Isn’t this everybody’s least favourite offering from Moldova? Excepting those few who can’t see past the horrifying staging of Loca to enjoy it as a guilty pleasure song, of course. As much as I hate to disparage anything from the jazz genre (‘cause of my nickname and stuff) this is jazz gone oh-so-wrong. Plus, Geta’s voice is unusual to say the least, and even though she could clearly hold a tune it was impossible to make out what she was singing. And the staging? Don’t get me started.
More of the memorable
Boonika Bate Doba by Zdob şi Zdub (2005) – the original and the best, in terms of results at least. Moldova made a stunning debut with this number, and made an entire continent say ‘aww!’ when they caught sight of that drum-beating grandmamma rocking away in her chair. Adorbs.
Loca by Arsenium & Natalia Gordienko (2006) – oh yes, this was memorable…in the same way that a particularly pungent trash bag is memorable.
Run Away by Sunstroke Project feat. Olia Tira (2010) – the act that introduced Epic Sax Guy to the world deserves thanks. Great song too.
So Lucky by Zdob şi Zdub (2011) – ZsZ recaptured almost all of the charm of their first Eurovision foray in Düsseldorf. Is it wrong to wish they’d brought the granny back to do some tutu-clad unicycling?
Laŭtar by Pasha Parfeny (2012) – ethnic, effortless fun that puts a smile on my face every time.
Their best stage show
Boonika Bate Doba. Yeah, the granny was the main drawcard of this performance, and if artists are going to continue to choose props based on their song titles then I would really like a song called 100 Metres of Bubble Wrap to go to the contest ASAP. But it was the energy and stage presence of ZsZ themselves that made their time in front of the cameras so enjoyable for us.
Their best costume/s
Laŭtar. This goes out to Pasha’s backing posse, the dresses of whom I have no words to describe. Apart from these words: I WANT. These are works of art, people!
Their best vocalist/s
Natalia Barbu. I think singing in English did her a disservice if we’re talking about her vocal chops. But that spectacular high note before the last chorus and the show-stopping end note are more than enough to convince me of classically-trained Nat’s prowess.
Speaking of this song and English, I have to ask (even though it has nothing to do with singing ability) – what is WITH the line ‘itch people will gnaw our wishes no more’? Not only is it nonsensical, but it’s disturbing. Is there some kind of spray I can get to fend off those itch people? I prefer my wishes sans teeth-marks, thank you very much.
What’s your top (or bottom) song from Moldova? How do you think they’ll go this year?