The subject of this week’s Best of the Bunch is Moldova, a nation relatively new to Eurovision. They first made their debut in 2005 with Zdob şi Zdub, an act we will be discussing today although their later entry. The nation has had a mixed history at Eurovision, with some fairly respectable results over the years, but a few flops too! Like with all of our Best of the Bunch posts, we’re starting our journey in 2006, and continuing through to 2015. Once we’ve recapped all the songs between those years, it will be up to you to vote for your favourite or favourites if you have more than one!
In 2006, Moldova tried to carry on the success of Zdob şi Zdub the year previous, who (just for context) finished in 6th place. Because of that placing, the 2006 act Arsenium feat. Natalia Gordienko and Connect-R didn’t have to fight it out in the semi-final, they were automatically in the final. The song they performed was called Loca, and unfortunately they didn’t send the audience loco with their song, finishing in 20th place with 22 points.
The following year, Moldova had to fight for a place in the final, literally. Natalia Barbu performed her song called Fight. Many fans enjoyed the song, but that wasn’t totally reflected in her semi-final results, which only just let her qualify to the final in 10th place. In the final, coincidentally, she once again finished in 10th place with a total of 109 points.
In 2008, Geta Burlacu was the Moldovan representative at Eurovision with her more relaxed song A Century of Love. The stage performance featured a lounge and a teddy bear, so what could go wrong? Unfortunately, the voters weren’t overly impressed with the performance, although it wasn’t too far off reaching the final, finishing in 12th place in the semi-final.
The next year, it was up to Nelly Ciobanu to turn things back around for Moldova and get them back into the final! The song she performed was called Hora Din Moldova, which was an energetic and culturally inspired tune, which had no problems qualifying! Moldova went through at 5th place, and then finished in 14th place in the final with a total of 69 points.
In 2010, SunStroke Project and Olia Tira took to the stage with their song Run Away, which at the time, wasn’t noticed too much. It wasn’t until after the contest when Epic Sax Guy became an absolute icon across the world! Once again, Moldova was right on the edge of qualifying to the final, finishing in 10th place in the semi-final, and then in 22nd place in the final. (Fast-forward to 2017, and as many of you would know, SunStroke Project brought Moldova their best placing ever, 3rd place in the final!)
The following year, Zdob şi Zdub returned to the contest with their signature rock style. Their song this time around was called So Lucky, and featured in English rather than the mix found in their 2005 entry. Once again Moldova qualified in at 10th place, but then improved on that in the final, finishing just outside the top 10, in 12th place with 97 points.
In 2012, the job of representing Moldova fell into the hands of Pasha Parfeny with the song Lăutar. The song was upbeat and catchy, which is just what Moldova needed to continue their successful streak. That paired with an entertaining stage performance led to Pasha qualifying in at 5th place, and finishing in 11th in the final.
The next year, there was a bit of a role reversal, with Pasha’s backing singer Aliona Moon taking the lead, and Pasha acting as backing pianist on stage. Aliona performed the Romanian language song O Mie, and along with the fact that the song was spectacular, she also grew on stage! The tricks worked, with Aliona qualifying in at 4th place, and then matching Pasha’s previous result of 11th place in the final.
In 2014, Cristina Scarlat was chosen through a national final to represent Moldova with the song Wild Soul. In true Moldovan form, they chose to use various tricks and gimmicks to boost their stage show, and this year the main feature was Cristina ripping her hair extensions out – strange, I know! Despite that, Cristina ended up in last place in the semi-final with just 13 points.
Now to finish up our Moldovan Eurovision journey! In 2015, it was up to the controversially picked Eduard Romanyuta to rescue Moldova and get them back into the final with the song I Want Your Love. With yet another intense stage performance, it was impressive enough to reach the final, but once again it was a close call for Moldova. They finished in 11th place with 41 points in the semi-final, just one place short of a qualification!
Now it’s your turn to choose your Best of the Bunch!