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Thursday, 10 April 2014 13:14

ESC 2014: An In-Depth Review of Moldova

It has become customary for the editorial board to engage professional individuals from the music industry to assess the songs competing in the Eurovision Song Contest as presented to the European Broadcasting Union during the Heads of Delegation Meeting. Martin Isherwood, Deo Grech, Stano Simor and Matt Mercieca from the United Kingdom, Malta and the Czech Republic have been entrusted with the first semi-final, comprising of sixteen songs and set to take place on the 6th May 2014 at the B&W Hallerne in Copenhagen, Denmark. Making use of the running order and thus moving onto number #11, we catch up with Moldova (TRM) who will be represented by Cristina Scarlat and the song Wild Soul composed by Ivan Akulov to the lyrics of Lydia Scarlat.

Cristina was born on March 3rd, 1981 into a family with traditional music roots. From an early age, music was Cristina’s constant companion. She plays piano and violin. Cristina’s first education was a chorister and a conductor. But her vocal abilities motivated her to continue her studies as a vocalist. In 2006, Cristina graduated from the Moldovan music conservatory. Throughout her career as a singer, Cristina gained a great experience by competing and winning prises in a wide range of festivals and contests, including the International Festival of Arts Slavianski Bazaar in Belarus.

Being one of the most powerful voices of Moldova, Cristina is also a lead singer of the Presidential Orchestra. Cristina is the mother of two children and a loving wife. At her age of 33, she is regarded as one of the most strong-willed and determined women of Moldova due to her amazing ability to successfully combine career with family. Representing Moldova in the Eurovision Song Contest is Cristina's most persistent dream. This year, after two previous attempts (in 2013, Cristina came 2nd in the pre-selection), Cristina Scarlat finally won the national competition and has the chance to live her Eurovision dream.

Ivan Akulov composed Cristina’s Eurovision entry Wild Soul. He was born in 1985 in Chisinau, Moldova. Ivan started to write music already as a teenager. Ivan discovered his talent as a composer as a young teenager and continued developing his skills by collaborating with various Moldovan and international artists. Lidia Scarlat is Cristina's 23 years old niece. She graduated with a First Class Media Arts degree at Royal Holloway, University of London, in the UK. Despite being a film & TV professional, Lidia's music and rhetorical skills have been highly appreciated on numerous occasions. In 2013, Lidia was the official Teleradio Moldova's live commentator of the Eurovision Song Contest. Lidia has been writing lyrics for her aunt Cristina for over 5 years.

Moldova, a country which almost boasts a perfect qualification record in nine participations, with only one failure, that coming at the hands of Geta Burlacu and the song A Century of Love which had only garnered thirty-six points to finish in twelfth place. Three other entries through barely scraped the barrel, finishing in tenth place in the semi-final, before going onto achieving upper to lower table results. In 2013, it was all about Aliona Moon and her fluorescent dress, which stole all the attention, to achieve eleventh place, ranking just outside the top ten for a second consecutive year. Moldova is a country which brings a lot to the table especially considering the low budget that they have at their disposal.

Professional Critics Voice their Opinion

Rating: 48%

Martin Isherwood: 'Mercy I have no feelings of mercy, Destiny left me so empty.'  Like a rock song without the rock.  A bit Bond theme like. All a bit dark for Eurovision.

Deo Grech: This is interesting. The lyrics are daring and original. It's a pity that the diction is far from perfect. This entry's chances will surely soar if the singer fixes her heavy diction. Looking forward to watch the stage performance as I guess that we are in for an artistic this song lends itself perfectly for something out of the ordinary.

Stano Simor: Nice, strong deep voice fits very well into "James Bond" style song. Dubstep feelings sliding track from floods 20 years old into musical style 2014. Refren endured by arranging more support. Strong chorus that has a very good chance to impress the public in Denmark.

Matt Mercieca: I'm getting a little bored starting my reviews with DICTION! DASTINY [sic], this song really REALLY bugs me, just isn’t working for me! SOZ!


Published in Editorials

Almost all of the participating countries in this years' Eurovision Song Contest have made their entries known to the public at large exclusive Italy whose entrant Marco Mengoni is yet to reveal his respective entry and Moldova who are hosting their national final this evening. It has been quite an intriguing season with a number of favourites finishing in a close second or sometimes third place as opposed to outsiders and dark horses which swept the board with victories this time round. Sweden is ready to host the international competition and indeed, thirty-nine (39) countries will be sending in their entries to the European Broadcasting Union on Monday during the Heads of Delegation Meeting.

Moldova is one of the most successful countries in the Eurovision Song Contest having managed to qualify to the final on six occasions whilst being directly qualified on another occasion from a total of eight participants thus far. Last year the country was represented by Pasha Parfeny with the song Lautar, considered to be a dark horse by many and indeed lived up to it's expectations, qualifying in fifth place and ultimately achieving the second best result for the country by virtue of eleventh place. This time round, the national selection entitled O Melodie Pentru Europa 2013 was open to foreign songwriters and indeed, several of the tracks that made it through to the final this evening are very much reflective of this element. The show which is set to commence at 19:00 CET can be watched through the official website of the Eurovision Song Contest

The Show (Part 1)

And the show just started. From the first impression it seems that the performers have a really small stage to perform on though it is a nice stage! The audience looks quite looking forward for this night since they are already screaming and shouting and cheering for the opening act which is a rock song with many dancers on the stage called Jazz Dance! The presenters Cătălin Josan and Evelina Vîrlan are now on stage. The male wore an everyday outfit whereas the female decided to wear a bright yellow summer-ish dress. The arena is very small as we got a shot from behind the audience which is really small also but very entertaining.

Lumian Dumetriscu is now on the screen from back-stage and he's talking about the social feeds they have online including Facebook. Just before the acts sart coming up, both the presenters are talking where the Moldovan people can listen or see the show live and they are giving us all the details to vote, all the numbers we need for tele-voting. The juries are being presented to us including many Moldovan music involved people and communication talking people. Let the show start! Hope we have a great national final, which is the last for this year's final season!

Cristina V & Glam Girls - Celebrate

First act, Christina V & Glam Girls. The girls have a pretty nice background! They are all wearing black, white and blue which makes them united! The song is called Celebrate and they are saying the same word too much in my opinion. The vocals are not always 100% on pitch. The audience seem to like it since they are already screaming and cheering! It is an enjoyable song in the Eurovision, a pop-dance song with the use of good vocals. I personally don't think they'll do good in Malmo though.

Boris Covali - Runaways

Next up is Boris Cavoli with Runaways. He is wearing the usual suit for men which actually looks good on him! The background is pretty nice for this one too. His voice is not so impressive up till the first chorus and the song is sounding to me like one of the 90s and won't be liked that much today since this is not a very much entertaining song. His vocals got really better from the bridge onwards and is sounding so good with the song, but still I don't think that overall this could be a winner.

Cristina Croitoru & Karizma - Never Fall Again

The next act is Cristina Croitoru & Karizma singing Never Fall Again. Started out really relaxing and already liked her voice so much. A blonde and a brunette wearing similar dresses just different colour schemes, the brunette on the brown-ish side where the blonde is on the blue-aqua side. The voices blend together so much and are amazing me how good this sound. The background screens are showing a person dancing which is quite distracting from the whole act. The backing vocalists are also doing a great impact on this song. Favourite one so far.

Svetlana Bogdanova - Conquer My Heart

Next act is Svetlana Bogdanova singing Conquer My Heart. Finally, a full stage having the singer, musicians and backing vocalists up on stage all together. Svetlana's hair is so nice and the colour is so impressive. The diction is not perfect for sure. She is wearing a blind-fold which reminds me a lot of last year's Lithuanian entry. She is wearing a black plain dress and she is stable in one place, not moving at all. Her voice is really good, not missing any notes. The song is a bit too old for this time and era in music. Thought it would be better.


We have a green-room connection again! Lumian is meeting us with the acts, talking with the Glam Girls & Christina V right now. Sadly enough, they are speaking in any language I can understand or talk so I can't understand anyrhing what they are talking about.

Anyways, the green-room is so nice, enery act having their own table and drinks and what they want to do in their area as it seems to me. As I am understansing, every act is saying why people have to vote for them and saying the tele-voting numbers themselves. Whereas all the other contestants who performed, it seems that Svetlana Bogdanova is really serious and not one who jokes around too much. 

That won't do well with the Eurovision spectators as everyone sees the character of the singer(s) also. Back to the main stage and the presenters reminded everyone how to vote. Show is now continuing!

Nicoleta Gavriliţă - Freaky Thong

Nicoleta Gavriliţă is up next singing Freaky Thong. Strong song as from the beginning. The background screens are so colourful, as the song says freaky. The singer is wearing an everyday outfit. and the backing vocalists also. The backing vocalists and the singer are forming a triangle everyway. The singer has a powerful voice also and weirdly enough she's looking like Cher Lloyd. With this song I would like to see a more entertaining performance, it's too toned down for the song. She uses her voice a lot like Christina Aguilera's which is beautiful. An act to look out for.

Aurel Chirtoacă - Iartă-Mă

Aurel Chirtoacă singing Iartă-Mă is up next! A male after many many females performing. The stage looks at its best where Aurel is sitting on a small table clad in all black. He sat up as from the first note he sang though. A woman came in walking and went out again, don't know why this is done. Aurel is now sitting at the piano, does that mean the piano was playing on its own before? A different lady came in again. And now as Aurel woke up from the piano the other lady is back in dancing! Aurel has got great vocals, I really do like them! But the song is really really boring so I don't think this will do it.

Irina Kitoroagă - L.o.v.e. Love

Irina Kitoroagă with all her L.O.V.E Love on stage! the first notes are not on pitch. She had feedback already. She has dancers with her which in my opinion are not dancing styles whivh contribute the song. She is wearing a white dress, dancers are clad in pink and black and the backing voaclists are all in black. Is it only me or you see too many things going on also? This song is an enjoyable one but her voice is still like a baby's voice. Near the other confirmed acts this won't stand out for sure. Not impressive at all.

Anna Gulko - Somebody Else

omebody Else is the next song sung by Anna Gulko. I love how the stage looks as from the first secong I've seen it. A full band on stage! Anna is shining on the stage being the only one wearing a shining yellow dress. The song is a bit boring from after the chorus onwards. She haven't missed a note. This song just needs a good arrangement and it would turn out a lot better. She has fire on stage, which I don't know why since there isn't much of a climax.

Vitalie Negruţa - You'll Be Mine

Vitalie Negruţa singing You'll Be Mine is the next act for tonight. A great song sounding from the beggining, let's hope this will get this competition better! I would change the dancer's costumes for sure. The song does not have a good arrangement for sure, it's still not full! Although this is a really enjoyable song. His voice is nice but not the best for sure! A solo spanish-guitar part by an old man which is not original from last year's Russian entry. The song is really enjoyable nearing the end! One to look out for.


And we are back in the green-room with Lumian interviewing the acts who just sang after the first interval. Nicoleta and her team seem to be really hyper, they'rea ll cheering and have balloons with number 5 on them. Irina is telling all the viewers to vote number 7, which means her song L.O.V.E Love, which wasn't quite impressive. Lumian just sat down with Anna Gulko and her band. He is interviewing her ending with the only one word I could understand 'Extraordinay!'

As Lumian is talking to Vitalie, I noticed how much his clothes are fancy (Vitalie's). Could have worn better for this extreme occasion. Lumian sits down seeing a Facebook Feed and the comments on the page 'Orange'. We are back to the main presenters in the arena. The presenters are saying that there is not too much time left to choose their song for Malmo! Let us continue!

Cristina Scarlat - I Pray

Cristina Scarlat is up next sinigng I Pray. WOW! Great stage, great outfits and started out really good vocally! She has four dancers with her who are really sharp and really good. She has got a big voice! This is a really good song in this national final, I'm sure this will do well! She didn't miss a note. Cannot stop looking at this performance. Awkward ending though! But really really strong! This will do well.

Doiniţa Gherman - Planeta e un rai

Doiniţa Gherman singing Planeta E Un Rai is up next for this final! Is this carnival? Those were my first three words. I think she might need to call a designer because she is not dressed good and her hair seems like just woke up. The song is enjoyable though and she can sing! I'm not sure if the costumes are representing any heroes by any chance because everyone got a different one. In the final choruses she missed some notes which are really noticeable. The song is one of those which gets you up to dance, but you stay down because she scares you. This is the only one who Thank You right?! Nice song, bad visual.

Tatiana Heghea - A Brighter Day

Tatiana Heghea singing A Brighter Day. Tatiana is wearing a beautiful dress and the background screen is making her look like she got wings. The song started out really really nice. And frankly, continued really nice in another way. She can surely arrange her diction. After some time it gets a bit the same and you're kept waiting for that big thing to come. And there it is! Started from a soft ballad and ended to a pop song, what a good combination! Another one to look out for. The competition is getting better.

Felicia Dunaf - Codename Felice

Codename Felice sung by Felicia Dunaf is the next in line. The stage seems good, not amazing though. The singer's outfit is really nice! Orange and leather is a mix I do like. This song is a good one and can improve by a better arrangement. The dancers are good too and the backing vocalists are good also, though the outfits of the backing vocalists are not matching with the rest of the performers. The song is nice and she got a pleasant voice but I don't think she can do vocal acrobatics to do it better live. This is a good one also! Competition getting much better.

Aliona Moon - A Million

Aliona Moon singing A Million is the final act for today! Her dress, I love. The piano, I love. The song, I already do like a lot. She can arrange her diction though. Her dress is made out of lights like Sabina Babayeva's last year (Azerbaijan). The dancers are really good and the stage seems all together. She have a nice voice and a big one too. This is a really good song! With some arrangements, it may do well in Malmo. Final song for the night got the biggest applause. Amazing! Could win this to be honest.

The Show (Part 2)

We finished the contestants for tonight and the presenters are back on our screens reminding us we can vote for our favourites. In the end, it turned out to be a good competition between six songs. We're back in the green-room with Lumian and Christina Scarlat who said this experience was 'Superb!' As I am understanding, Lumian is asking her how this experience was for her and she seems to have liked it a lot. 'VOTE NO. 10!' Lumian said. He is now next to Donitia and are talking about several things which I can't understand.

She talks a lot, she doesn't want to stop talking at all. Lumian is now talking with Tatiana. They are both saying to vote for number 12 which is Tatiana's entry! Lumian is now near Felicia Dunaf and I must say this is something strange to see money in a green-room. Lumian is talking with Felicia's writer, composer and everything for this song! Lumian just sat near Aliona Moon and they saying that her dress is heavy , made of metal as I can get. Everyone who was involved on stage with Aliona is holding a paper saying 14 to vote for them. First votes are in and it seems that Boris Cavoli is first and following him is Aliona Moon.

Back in the green-room with Christina V & Glam Girls and Lumian. He just stayed near them to present Boris right?! Nice way to do things Lumian. Lumian and Boris are dicussing that Boris is already first from the tele-voting and Lumian is congratulating him. An applause from all the green-room ended the shots from green-room for now. Back to the arena! Boris got 36.49% and Aliona got 28.49% from tele-voting! This is an only music song which for me cuts my guts waiting for the results. Can we just skip this and see the results or a song which has lyrics please? This is boring.

Now Cornelia Stefanet is up on stage clad in a nice orange dress. She is singing with the same band, at least with lyrics. This is a really nice and relaxing song though! The song just ended and Cornelia is now singing Sirusho's entry for Armenia back in 2008 Qele Qele with the same band. She has done it perfect! Really good performance and voice. What a pianist that is! WOW, amazing ... Big well done! A male is now singing Nije Ljubav Stvar, the Serbian entry last year which ended third place! Cornelia Stefanet sang the Israeli entry for 1998. Now, another man is singing Fairytale, Norway's winning entry back in 2009.

They sang a duet finally which is Aysel & Arash's 'Always' the Romanian entry which did a lot of success in 2009. After this one we had Dima Bilan's Believe which won for Russia in 2008. And as a cheer up, we heard the most famous Eurovision song 'Waterloo' by Abba which won in 1974 for Sweden. We are back from a small interval! The presenters has just presented Belarus' entry wrong. They said Alyona will be performing The Rhythm of Love while she's performing Solayoh and is now performing it live in this arena. Belarus and Moldova will be competing against each other in the First Semi-Final. Alyona should really go for a hair-cut before the Eurovision.

Noticeably, this is a powerful song and Alyona's voice is really good! And we're back online with Lumian giving the tele-voting points and as expected Boris got the 12 points and Aliona Moon got 10 points. And the jury gave their 12 points to Aliona, and she is crowned the winner of the O melodie pentru Europa 2013. Aliona Moon will be representing Moldova with her song A Million in the First Semi-Final on the 14th May 2013. And now, to end everything Aliona Moon is performing A Million, the representative for Moldova in the first semi-final this year. Congratulations Aliona!