Eurovision 2022 top 40 countdown #32: MOLDOVA – Zdob și Zdub and Frații Advahov – Trenulețul

Ding ding! It’s all aboard the Chișinău-Bucharest express with some real Eurovision veterans. This will be folk punk band Zdob și Zdub‘s third time at the contest representing Moldova, with their appearances stretching over three different decades: 2005, 2011 and now 2022. 2005 was in fact Moldova’s very first time at the contest. They are joined this year by Frații Advahov who are a folk band made up of two brothers.

Zdob și Zdub are definitely cementing their place in Eurovision history – on top of being a country’s debut artist, they brought us Moldovan madness and quirkiness on stage (their two previous entries have included a drumming granny, ridiculously tall hats and a musician on a unicycle). Their 2022 entry, another hi-tempo folk rock song, may well bring a train onto stage in some form (as indeed that is what their song this year is about).

This is a curious placing in my top 40 in that this was originally much much higher based on the official Eurovision video embedded here. It’s a fun, uptempo folk pop, extremely catchy and with a really positive message. It was, in my view, being very underrated by the fandom. Then came the live preparties and the release of a revamp/different version of the song which, having gone on the official Eurovision album, seems to be the final Eurovision version of the song.

It’s this new/final version of the song that has resulted in this lower placing – as I just don’t feel it has the ooomph, pace and power of the original and it brings out the guitar rock more than the folk than it did. Ironically, their energetic live performances seem to have warmed more people to the track, just as it has gone down mine.

All that aside, I do wish them good luck – they are more than capable of putting in a memorable live performance with quirky and chaotic staging that will make them stand out. I’m not sure they will quite match their 6th and 12th places they have achieved previously, but I think this may well surprise many and qualify for the final. Moldova are tilting back to the rest of Europe (and away from Russia) with this entry (after the Kirkorov years) and that is very much to be welcomed.

Moldova in the Eurovision Song Contest

First entered: 2005

Appearances (this year): 16

Best result: 3rd in 2017

2021’s result: 13th

Flag of Moldova

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