Eurovision 2016 Entry: Moldova — Lidia Isac — Falling Stars

After several fun entries in the first half of this decade, followed by a couple of disastrous ones, Moldova hopes to right the ship with “Falling Stars.”

Country: Moldova
Song Title: “Falling Stars”
Artist: Lidia Isac
First Semi-Final: Position #3
Last year’s entry:I Want Your Love” – Eduard Romanyuta (DNQ – 11th Place, SF1)

Moldova’s 2010 entry remains a near-perfect example of what Eurovision is (or should be) about — and not just because it spawned an internationally-recognized meme, Epic Sax Guy. For the next two years, they continued providing the sincere, unironic weirdness that helps make the annual song contest a joy. More recently, Moldova has hit a rough patch, finishing in complete last place in 2014 and failing to qualify for the Grand Final last year. By hitching their wagons to Lidia Isac, can they reach the stars once more?

I’m trying hard to like this song, but it’s not compelling for me, and I can’t quite pinpoint why. It’s too generic and too mid-90s, I suppose, and even with a dance-break chorus, just seems flat. This song could also have real pitch problems. Although Isac did a pretty good job during her live national final performance, she’s not completely nailing it. Perhaps an awesome visual design would help elevate this entry on the Eurovision stage, but between the national final and the official video embedded above, I’m not seeing much creativity or inspiration on that front either. After a fun start to the decade, it’s sad to see Moldova sink into mediocrity, but here we are.

A bigger problem, perhaps, lies outside Moldova’s control: they’re in the first semifinal. The good news is that they’ll perform right after Greece, an entry many of us believe to be near the bottom of this year’s contest. The bad news? There are seven other female-fronted entries in this semifinal, almost all of which are better than Moldova and have the added benefit of performing later. Also, Russia (the overall favorite to win the contest) performs in this semifinal, and between them and other very strong entries (Estonia, Hungary), there may not be many spare votes available for the former Soviet republics.

The bookmakers are also skeptical of this entry; in the past weeks, odds to win have slipped from 250:1 to 300:1, tied with nine other countries for worst in the contest. I’m not sure the song is THAT bad, just mediocre. I do agree, however, that if it qualifies out of this semifinal, it will do so by the skin of its teeth and end up near the bottom of the pile.

Eurovision Song Contest First Semi-Final
May 10, 2016

ArmeniaAustriaAzerbaijanBosnia & HerzegovinaCroatiaCyprusCzech RepublicEstoniaFinlandGreeceHungaryIcelandMaltaMoldovaMontenegroNetherlandsRussia
San Marino

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