Song Title: “Wild Soul”
Artist: Cristina Scarlat
Semi-Final: First, Position 11
Last year’s entry: “O Mie” – Aliona Moon (11th Place)
Moldova is one of my favorite countries in the Eurovision Song Contest. Their entries usually feature enticing instrumentation, clever lyrics, and a sense of whimsy. These elements usually mix to create hypnotizing stage performances. Perhaps the reason I am disappointed with “Wild Soul” by Cristina Scarlat is that the song lacks all these elements.
Much like Lithuania’s entry, this song has been overproduced.1 It’s as if we should be equipping ourselves for a boss battle before engaging with this song. Overwrought and over the top, I can’t find anything to latch onto with this entry. I agree with Ben’s observation that the song is “a similar mishmash of disparate2 elements that I can’t quite piece together into a coherent whole.” And to top it off, there is an unearned keychange3 which is probably my biggest pet peeve in any pop song.
Despite my annoyances with Cristina Scarlet’s song, I don’t think all hope is lost. Moldova does a brilliant job with their stage presentations, and that can carry a song quite far. I HATED Romania’s entry last year for many of the same reasons, but that entry finished in the top half of the field. Norway’s entry last year also had the overwrought/boss battle vibe and they finished in fourth. Wait a minute…is Moldova going to win?
Outside of my specific biases toward the song, the general roadblock Moldova faces in the first semi-final is its place in the running order. Starting with Ukraine in slot 9 with Belgium following in slot 10, there’s a chance things on stage may be…uncomfortable? I kind of get why the producers chose this order in terms of flow, but the content of the songs may lead to a lot of this:
In my initial ranking of the first semi-final, I had Moldova in 11th. With the number of former SSRs in the semi-final and Europe’s apparent taste for entries like this4, I think Moldova might get in. I just wish I could be more excited about it.