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Eurovision 2009: Moldova

May 3, 2009

READ REVIEWS: Semi-Final One | Semi-Final Two | Grand Final




This came across well in the vast arena partly because of the crazy atmosphere the song promotes and because singer Nelly has a fantastic pair of lungs on her. A simple and satisfying song. 



I’ve never been to Moldova but if I did it would be this song I’d jump up and down excitedly when I heard played on a crackly radio gaffered to the back wall of some dingy cafe in the middle of a small Moldovan market town. It strikes me as Moldovan even though I’ve absolutely no knowledge of what Moldovan music is. What it does it conjurs up a stereotypical image I have of eastern Europe, that’s what it does. 

More than though, I’m struck by Nelly’s continuing assured performance. She is one of only a few singers who can successfully pull off a major trot around the vast Eurovision stage and deliver a song without even a suggestion she’s out of puff. Clearly she has stamina in addition to a reliable voice. I like the look of the stage and – because I’m a crusty old Eurovision fan who always rather liked the unusual sounding songs from the past – the sight of the costumes and the animations behind the dancers doesn’t make me think “this is yet another ethnic effort”. 

My concerns now are how a voting audience will react to it. I have the benefit of having considered it a little more because I love the programme. A fairweather viewer/voter could be considerably harsher and dismiss it as soon as they walk on to stage. The costumes in that scenario could be the clincher. So keep your eyes open on Thursday 14 May to see whether this one makes it to the Final. I hope it does. And if it does, a major round of applause should go to Nelly’s backing singers too – they’ll possibly be out of shot on the night but they certainly won’t be out of mind. Their contribution is undeniably vital. 


I make no bones about this. I do rather love Moldova’s song this year. What I’d original dismissed as ethnic bollocks has grown on me solely because of tit infectious sense of fun and Nelly’s brilliant voice. Her’s is the first of a couple of good singers in the second semi-final and whilst the stage presence runs the risk of ruining the overall look (I’m thinking costumes setting the wrong tone here), I want it to do well because it strikes me as very honest. 



It would be really easy to dismiss this song if the first few seconds of the national selection performance gets transferred to Moscow.

It screams the kind of ethnic performance we all know drunken, ill-informed fly-by-night Eurovision viewers consider as nationalistic nonsense. If you happen to attend a social occasion where you witness this, do please take them to task. Quote me if you like. Be sure to give them the URL of the blog.

And yet, Nelly Ciolbanu’s performance of Horo din Moldova has something incredibly special going for it. It’s rousing, engaging and fun. It features people who having ridiculous amounts of fun doing what they’re doing. They believe in what they’re doing. And that belief permeates. It has made me listen to it three times already.

Nelly has a powerful voice too and I am prepared to put money on my assertion that she will be the only performer on the night of the second semi-final who will give a faultless performance (by which I mean spot on diction and intonation) should she find herself hopping around as energetically as she does in this video. She may also find herself more successful than others connecting with the massive crowd in Moscow.

I may not understand the lyrics and may justifiably believe I would think twice about donning the costumes the dancers wear, but the song makes me want to tap my foot. It makes me feel included too. And the idea that something as raw and honest as this might do good (like at least one of Moldova’s contributions in the past has done) then I’m more than happy to throw my weight behind it.

Good old plucky Moldova. Nice work indeed.

  1. Chris permalink

    I enjoy this too, but it’s against my better judgment. It’s all in the orchestration, dance and show, which are all jolly entertaining but if you break it down a bit, I don’t actually think there’s a lot in the way of “song” in there. But it’s three minutes of fun. And dozens of “rrrrrrrrrups” and “hey heys”.

  2. nasos permalink

    i completely agree with you in everything. right up to moment i heard this song i run into my pc to find it …
    it deserves the victory

  3. Lily permalink

    Amazing performance! The song is still in my ears ..

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