Moldova is one of the more recent newcomers to Eurovision, but has definitely made an impact with some very stand out approaches to staging and costumes and exuberant performances by both singers and dancers. So, I’ve not found this top 5 too difficult to do!
5. Eduard Romanyuta “I Want Your Love” (2015, 11th place in semi-final, 41 points)
Maybe a bit of a controversial one this one – there were criticisms at the time that Ukrainian Eduard had bought his way into the Moldovan contest but I think his eventual win was perfectly legitimate and he only narrowly missed out on a place in the grand final. It’s a catchy pop song, with some cheeky costumes and dancing, all well suited to Eurovision!
4. SunStroke Project and Olia Tira “Run Away” (2010, 22nd place, 27 points)
Sunstroke Project (and Olia Tira) finished lower in the placings than one might have remembered but this was the launchpad for “Epic Sax Guy” becoming an online phenomenon. The actual song itself is an uptempo Eurodance number – plus the customary Moldovan flair and quirkiness for staging, costumes, props and performance!
3. Pasha Parfeny “Lăutar” (2012, 11th place, 81 points)
Pasha had made more than one attempt to represent Moldova at Eurovision and finally was successful in 2012 in Baku. Another catchy Moldovan number with some quirky and energetic dance choreography, it did well, almost reaching the top 10 in the grand final. Pasha went on to write next year’s Moldovan entry (sung by one of the backing singers/dancers here) which also finished in 11th.
2. Nelly Ciobanu “Hora din Moldova” (2009, 14th place, 69 points)
This was a tough one – had I made this top 5 before the 2017 contest this was the certain no.1. It’s an exuberant turbo-folk song (one of my favourite Eurovision genres) and the title translates as “Dance from Moldova” and dance Nelly and her backing dancers most certainly do. I really enjoy this one!
1. SunStroke Project “Hey, Mamma!” (2017, 3rd place, 347 points)
SunStroke Project came storming back to the contest this year (though they got through from the Moldovan national final by the closest of margins) – this went on to exceed everyone’s expectations in how well it did, becoming Moldova’s most successful entry to date. Maybe it shouldn’t have been such a surprise – it’s an uptempo, tongue-in-cheek, very catchy electronic pop song that is very slickly produced and performed. And of course Epic Sax Guy was given a prominent role in the performance. Enjoy the official music video as well – it’s a funny one!
So, the major omission in my top 5 were either of Zdob şi Zdub’s entries – I appreciate how quirky and different they are but they have never been my favourites in terms of the songs and genre. But do let me know if you disagree!