Moldova will be one of the five countries to decide their entry for Tel Aviv tonight, as ten acts fight for the slot at Eurovision 2019. Which of the songs do we feel should be that lucky entry? Let’s see what our team thought of the finalists…

Aurel Chirtoacă – La cinema

David – 1 – “Alright, so Aurel does something else at the cinema than I do, I normally just sit down and enjoy the movie, instead of making love there. Lyrics are poor… constantly telling me “I made love at the cinema”, alright dude I got it already. Plus, it sounds like such poor love as well, to these rather old and sad tunes, so I’m rather lost… I think non-Romanians might enjoy this more, since they won’t understand the lyrics.”

James – 6 – “Is the Moldovan theme to the Amazon show Bosch? This is an odd one for several reasons. Are the lyrics about making out at the cinema, or a metaphor for looking at your own romance through the lens of a moviegoer? It’s an interesting jazz number, but it seems more like a segment of a longer song than a song in its own right. As a mood piece it works, but not as a standalone Eurovision entry.”

Sean – 8 – “This is certainly unique, I’ve not heard anything quite like this in a selection so far. It has a film noir aura to it, and Aurel’s atmospheric jazzy ode to film oozes quality and passion. I wasn’t expecting this to be in the Moldovan selection, but what a welcome surprise package this could be!”

Total – 15

Vera Țurcanu – Cold

David – 3 – “We have this upbeat and funky music going on, and Vera is just singing about her sad love life. What?! I’m left confused, so you want me to dance and enjoy this song, or listen to your suffering? I’m honestly wondering about this mix, so I don’t know what else to say.”

James – 6 – “Oh no, a break up song. The backing track itself is actually not half bad, with the lead into the chorus and the chorus itself having a bit of kick to it after a slower, sultrier verse. So what the hell are they doing putting break up lyrics on top of it? If Vera tossed out the “Cold. You make me feel so cold. Standing on my own. All alone” lyrics and replaced them with lyrics about chasing down a feckless wannabe lover, for example, such as Andrea Hola’s “Give me a Hint,” this would be a far better song.”

Sean – 6 – “I wish this was in a language other than English, at least for the verses. The accent is too thick to be able to pick out some of the words, but at least in the chorus this is better. On to the song, Vera’s “Cold” is a angsty drum and bass number with all of the modern production techniques of added noises and vocal yelps here and there to bolster the song. It’s good but not quite impressive enough to earn higher marks.”

Total – 15

Marcela Scripcaru – Meteor

David – 3 – “It has a promising start and hopefully she can deliver it vocally. I do always like me a good power-ballad. It’s all about the music on this one, because the lyrics becomes unimportant as the song goes on, and I just don’t pay attention to what she is saying, but then you figure out that the song isn’t really taking off anymore.”

James – 7 – “There’s something off about Marcela’s vocal tone that makes it seem an off match for this song. The synth and bass at the chorus made my coffee ripple, which is a good indicator that this will suit a large auditorium and makes it a standout moment. The meteor metaphor is also a little clunky, as I’m not sure the lyricist knows how meteors work. With a couple tweaks, this could be a strong candidate for Moldova.”

Sean – 5 – “This is pleasingly retro, like a forgotten 2014 semi-final entry in Festivali i Kenges. Kudos for the native language and for basically not sticking with convention, as this is a decent three minute exploration into 90s funk rock with a sassy female lead. I don’t think it’s strong enough for Eurovision but these little nuggets of enjoyment are why we follow the national finals.”

Total – 15

Siaj – Olimp

David – 5 – “I like the old school style of rock we have here, and I’m actually happy for it to be in Romanian, but even if it’s in the local language, it sounds more like she’s singing “Oh, I’ll be the best” rather than some proper lyrics. It becomes more like she is just saying things, rather than singing, and decided to add some sounds, to look like singing.”

James – 6 – “This sounds like one of those funky alternative rock acts from the 1990s, sort of like a Moldovan pre-“Tragic Kingdom” era No Doubt. With the right staging this could be a fun retro act, but apart from a couple “oh ohs” there are no real stand out moments. There’s a slightness to it, so if it is on after something loud like Miki’s “La Venda,” this will be blown away. I don’t see too many judges and televoters giving many points here.”

Sean – 7 – “This is pleasingly retro, like a forgotten 2014 semi-final entry in Festivali i Kenges. Kudos for the native language and for basically not sticking with convention, as this is a decent three minute exploration into 90s funk rock with a sassy female lead. I don’t think it’s strong enough for Eurovision but these little nuggets of enjoyment are why we follow the national finals.”

Total – 18

Maxim Zavidia – I Will Not Surrender

David – 8 – “You can tell that Maxim is giving it all this time. Great beat, nice vocals, easy vocals, it’s all very professional, and maybe a bit too professional. It’s very likely we might see him in Tel Aviv, but I would be a bit sad, since I prefer his more joyful songs that he has had in the past, this is way too serious from his usual style, but of course it ain’t that bad.”

James – 8 – “This is slick. I don’t know why, but I think the song would work better with female backing vocalists singing the Romanian parts as the male ones detract from Maxim. Otherwise, it’s a decent self-empowerment anthem delivered by a smooth, charismatic artist. Of the Moldovan field, this is the one that has the best chance of bothering the Top Five in what is shaping out to be an odd year for Eurovision.”

Sean – 4 – “While this does sound like something authentically Moldovan, as far as pop goes anyway, it’s personally not my cup of tea. Maxim has one of these voices rather typical of the male Eastern European stars and probably live this will have a slick, polished performance to suit. It’s all a bit painting by numbers though, and feels too over-manufactured to create the ‘perfect Eurovision pop song’.”

Total – 20

Diana Brescan – Lies

David – 1 – “Oh loooooooooooooord… a dramatic ballad. Already, I’ve had enough. It’s very simple, me and ballads don’t go well together, and that’s why I always avoid them. NEXT!”

James – 9 – “Now this is how you do a break up song. Why? Because this is a “get lost, I’m over you, I’m moving on” variation. This one has an added twist in that she is taunting her jilted lover (“Tell me know, is it true you’ll miss me when I’m gone?”). Imagine the girl from the break-up song “The Bubble” in Norway’s selection sticking the boot into Adrian Jorgensen as he wails away. With the right staging this dark, brooding piano-driven ballad could do well at Eurovision. My personal favorite of the Moldovan selection, even if I suspect Maxim’s may edge this out in popularity.”

Sean – 5 – “Diana’s dramatic, sweeping ballad builds and falls apart in all the right areas, and the emotion she conveys is palpable. Once again though it’s a very generic attempt at a ballad like this and nothing new to our ears, even from Moldova. If it was in Romanian I could bump this up a little.”

Total – 15

Tinna Gi – Virus

David – 7 – “”“I hate you, but I can’t live without you”, okay… it sure does sound like she is infected with some sort of awkward virus. However, I enjoy the modern beat it has and it has some great lyrics. It’s a bit like a earworm, that slowly sneaks inside of you and then eventually it’ll stay there, for how I long, probably not that long, but it’s worth a chance.”

James – 5 – “Boring hip hop influenced pop. There’s no hook, nothing to distinguish it from any other radio song, Tinna Gi doesn’t do anything to stand out herself.”

Sean – 4 – “I started off hoping this would be something dramatic and dark, but in the end it plods along with no real impetus for three minutes. Might be worth a listen if you’re in the right mood for it but in the Eurovision context it’s all too flat and uninspiring. Another one that may improve with a live performance though.”

Total – 16

Lemonique – Gravity

David – 3 – “This is just all about the beat, this is a pure dance track. However, I’m not feeling it, since I’m getting some strange disco vibes, but not the good ones, like disco trying to be modern. Forget everything else, cause that just becomes rather pointless really fast. I could give it a few tries, before I get so bored and annoyed of it all.”

James – 5 – “This one has two versions, and I am assuming the more modern club banger sounding “Official Video” is the one we’ll get. This seems to be a popular option, though it’d be a pity to send a generic banger over something with a bit more personality like Zavidia or Brescan’s effort. There’s nothing special to this, and it contains every cliched production trick to make this sound loud and contemporary.”

Sean – 8 – “Yes yes yes I’m going to sound like a hypocrite as this is generic as hell and the lyrics really aren’t good but I love it! Nothing wrong with a pure dance banger and with a little more fine-tuning and beefing up of this one it would be a great option for Moldova. Eurovision 2019 is turning out a little slower than we expected, so let’s have some fun!”

Total – 16

Anna Odobescu – Stay

David – 3 – “Hmm… I feared the song as it started, but it did grow a bit, but then it all just stops. It keeps the same tone and most of the beat throughout the rest of the song, and so it just begins to drag on. I hope she can deliver it vocally, since that could be the biggest plus, but otherwise we’ve seen this kind of stuff so many times already.”

James – 5 – “A generic ballad that could do with a modern refresh. The beat and the synthesizers cheapens the song, and Anna sounds like a classy singer who could do with a better backing track. Oddly, composer Georgios Kalpakidis has been responding to YouTube comments saying that there is a chance of an updated version, so hopefully he follows through on that, because this song needs it.”

Sean – 4 – “Anna has a powerful voice and she uses it to full effect on “Stay”, which harks back to many of the dramatic power ballads we have come to know from Eurovision over the years. Should it be the choice for Tel Aviv? Personally I think no, but there’s nothing inherently bad about this one, it’s just another uninspiring option.”

Total – 12

Che-MD ft. Elizaveta Ivasiuk – Sub Pământ

David – 9 – “The best thing about Che-MD, is how they always include traditional Moldovan music into their more rock-style, whenever they take part. Once again, they have a strong effort with them, and I gotta give them credit for sticking to their style. What bothers me the most… and I mean REALLY bothers me, is their pronunciation. They might sing in Romanian, but even I kinda struggle to understand some parts.”

James – 6 – “An interesting duet in Romanian on top of an alternative rock song with touches of folk. This may have worked better back in 2008 when Eluveitie’s “Inis Mona” wowed the metal scene with their blend of melodic death metal and Celtic folk (including a mind-bending flute solo). At the very least, for this song, they should bring the guitar more forward into the mix to give the chorus more impact. There’s a lot to work with in this song, and if a few details here and there are tweaked, you could have a Top Ten pusher like Eldrine surprisingly did for Georgia in 2011.”

Sean – 4 – “When I saw the promotional shot I thought “Ah, great, a rock band! That’ll be interesting”. But unfortunately this is just a wailing folky mess and I struggle to enjoy it. His vocals aren’t high enough, her vocals are too loud and the whole thing is a little cloudy. It’s not an awful song but the performance needs to be much better to work.”

Total – 19

So what did our three editors think overall? Let’s take a look at the rankings…

  1. Maxim Zavidia – I Will Not Surrender – 20
  2. Che-MD ft. Elizaveta Ivasiuk – Sub Pământ – 19
  3. Siaj – Olimp – 18
  4. Tinna Gi – Virus – 16
  5. Lemonique – Gravity – 16
  6. Aurel Chirtoacă – La cinema – 15
  7. Vera Țurcanu – Cold – 15
  8. Marcela Scripcaru – Meteor – 15
  9. Diana Brescan – Lies – 15
  10. Anna Odobescu – Stay – 12

It’s Maxim Zavidia and “I Will Not Surrender” that is the favourite of our three editors, but will Maxim be victorious by the end of tonight? We’ll find out soon!

Who do #YOU want to represent Moldova in 2019? Share your thoughts with us on our forum HERE or join the discussion below and on social media!

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