Looking back at Moldova’s history at Eurovision, it’s clear to see that the nation loves a bit of novelty. Some of their best results have come from the more upbeat, fun entries which often feature memorable stage shows. Continuing in that trend is Zdob și Zdub, who are returning for their third participation at Eurovision, this time alongside Frații Advahov. They will perform ‘Trenulețul’ in the first semi-final this year.
Song and Vocals
Guess who’s back back back again? Zdob și Zdub returns for the third time, but they are always a welcome act at Eurovision. They achieved one of the nation’s best results on debut in 2005, and returned in 2011 to achieve 12th place. Regardless of the song, it’s clear that the group has the right level of energy and charisma to charm Eurovision audiences.
The lyrics of Trenulețul sum up the style of the song – ‘folklore and rock and roll’. Frații Advahov add an extra layer of folk-goodness, differentiating this track from Zdob și Zdub’s previous entries. It’s still not totally clear which version of the song the group will bring to Eurovision, with multiple iterations in existence. The later versions of the song have more rock elements, but I personally prefer the original with the folk instrumentation at the forefront. I think regardless of the version they bring to Eurovision, it will have the ability to win over audiences very quickly. The melodies are catchy – I can’t tell you how many times I’ve caught myself singing the chorus on repeat.
Performance and Act
The group has valuable experience at Eurovision, and they know how to deliver a memorable performance. There are a lot of opportunities for staging with this song. Could we see big props? It’s certainly a possibility, but the beauty of Zdob și Zdub is that they could just be on stage themselves and it’s enough to entertain.
Regardless of which version of the song the group takes to Eurovision, Zdob și Zdub are very likely heading to the final. It’s hard to say how far they will go in the final and whether it will reach the heights of their previous two entries, but honestly, I would not be surprised if they at least matched their 2011 result. This is a totally charming and catchy televote magnet.
Song and Vocals
This group knows how to write a song that stands out at the Eurovision Song Contest. The song is pure fun and a strong cultural influence of the native country (and Romania). The composition was slightly altered, with a bit more guitars, at the national final in Romania. I’m curious to see whether they keep that in Turin or stay closer to the sound in the official video. Deciding between those two, I like the original best.
Performance and Act
Zdob și Zdub are natural born performers, even though the years are starting to count and the energy and youthfulness of their previous Eurovision entries, let alone the 2005, is not there anymore. This song focusses on folklore more than ska-punk, so that’s okay. And based on 2005 and 2011, I expect they will have something fun and remarkable as a surprise in the visual act in May.
For me Moldova is a safe bet as a qualifier for the final. With the right staging it could even sneak up to the top-10 perhaps? I say that with a question mark because I doubt whether the jury will judge their act as a gimmick and some of them might vote it down. I expect a high televote for Moldova again, as they have had with their fun and gimmicky entries in recent years before.
Average Score: 6.5/10
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