It’s the time of year when the Post-Eurovision depression is in full swing, but there’s no better cure than to reminisce! Together with ESCDaily Editor, Dennis Van Eersel, we will be discussing each of this year’s competing nations – from their results to how we think they could improve in the future!
Predictions, Personal Scores and Results
Results: 13th place, Final
Did Moldova live up to expectations?
A: Yes, and also no. Sugar was one of my favourite songs leading into the contest, and I honestly hoped they played into that novelty of a song called ‘Sugar’. The music video was great, and I simply wanted a replication. Instead, we got a bland staging and lacklustre vocals. By the rehearsals, I was sure Moldova was ready for a non-qualification. Yet to my surprise, they made it into the final, and actually did very well in the final. In that sense, they exceeded my expectations.
D: The final result is kinda what was expected, but the way Moldova got to that result wasn’t. Each rehearsal they shifted in the list of the bookmakers more and more, because expectations were that Moldova would have come up with a stunning stage concept as they did in recent years before. Vocally, the performance by Natalia got worse as well, making them drop in the odds. So, yes, the end result was as expected beforehand, but not what was expected after the rehearsal week.
How do you personally feel about the song for Moldova at Eurovision 2021?
A: Moldova was one of the few cases this year where the live performance totally turned me off this song. The live performance relied way too much on ‘sexy vocals’ to the point where it just felt uncomfortable. I was a fan, but those days are over.
D: I personally really liked the song and played it a lot before the contest. I can’t say I looked back at the live performance a lot now that the contest is over, because I personally expected something completely different from it and especially the vocals were not what I wished they would be.
Could Moldova have done anything different?
D: To put it short: more focus on the vocals and less on all the movements and moaning. I think that could have helped Moldova in the jury vote, because despite not making the act too vulgar, the way Natalia performed still waved some red flags with the jury.
A: It’s interesting to comment considering the nation achieved results much higher than what they deserved. I think that Dennis hit the nail on the head – more focus on vocals. The visual performance was totally lacklustre as well, and I really don’t understand why they didn’t play off the music video. The music video was cliché, sure, but it was so fun and easily translatable to the Eurovision stage. Instead, we got a generic sparkly dress and neon lighting.
What can Moldova do to ensure success in future years?
D: It has become clear by now that Moldova has mastered the ‘gimmick’ and fun acts to the fullest. When they come up with serious songs, they usually swing and miss. A contrast to more ‘serious’ nations like The Netherlands, who only seem to do well in the low-tempo market. So the Eurovision-lover in me would wish Moldova would give us something different next year, but the professionals would say that they should stick with what they always do best.
A: Moldova loves a gimmick, so it’s actually surprising they didn’t use more of them this year when they had the perfect opportunity. It definitely is an interesting pattern emerging for Moldova, with the more serious attempts at the contest falling flat. As Dennis said, as much as we can wish for something more serious, chances are it won’t capture audiences as much as the gimmicks do, which is a shame.
Which was better, the live-on-tape performance or the actual performance?
D: Respect for Natalia for keeping a smile in the full three minutes in both performances. The back-up tape is very cheesy, with winks and additional sounds by Natalia, which made me laugh. And she held back for the long note at the end of the song. So in the end, the actual performance is the one I favor, despite the issues described above.
A: I also think the lighting from the back-up-tape was less flattering. It was a very similar performance, so it’s clear that this was their plan from the get-go. Overall, I think the Rotterdam performance was better for the reasons Dennis listed above!