Eurovision 2017 Entry: Romania — Ilinca feat. Alex Florea — Yodel It!

It feels like Romania has what it takes to "Yodel" their way to the final, but can Ilinca and Alex Florea crack the Eurovision top 10?

Ilinca feat. Alex Florea will represent Romania at the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest in Kyiv, Ukraine (Photo: Andreea Zamfirescu) Ilinca feat. Alex Florea will represent Romania at the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest in Kyiv, Ukraine (Photo: Andreea Zamfirescu)

Country: Romania
Song Title: “Yodel It!”
Artist: Ilinca feat. Alex Florea
Second Semi-Final: Position 6
Last year’s entry: “Moment of Silence” – Ovidiu Anton (DNQ – It’s Complicated)

Romania always seems to bring the drama to Eurovision, whether it’s an opera singer, holograms and circle pianos, or a song that’s about social issues like migrant workers.  And then last year, they were the drama, when Ovidiu Anton was denied the chance to perform in the second semifinal when Romania was forced to pull out due to non-payment of debts to the EBU.  They’re back this year, with a song that brings enough energy to make up for last year’s last-second benching, Ilinca and Alex Florea’s “Yodel It!”:

I’m slightly confused by the crediting of artists here1, but overall I like this song.  It’s upbeat and energetic, even if the yodeling reminds me a LOT of “Cowboy Sweetheart”2 at times.  I find the lyrics more than a little generic – it’s very “Love Love, Peace Peace” in tone and message, but there’s more than a little truth in that joke and Eurovision success.

The performance for this is…fine?  I can’t think of anything I’d add or remove for the Eurovision finals (other than Alex’s weird dread man bun and getting Ilinca a dress that doesn’t look like a repurposed Sexy Leprechaun’s Hat costume).  Romania’s definitely lucked out with a Second Semifinal placement – the first semifinal is stacked with enough killer entries that this could get pushed out of the running, while the second is a little more open in the running.  They’re performing right between Malta and the Netherlands, both of whom have differently-toned entries that will help everybody stand out in the running.  I think Romania has what it takes to make the finals with this, but if the first semifinal is as strong as I think it is, they may get pushed out of the top 10 in the finals.  This is competent, but you need to be more than competent to win.

Eurovision Song Contest Second Semi-Final
May 11, 2017

AustriaBelarusBulgariaCroatiaDenmark • Estonia
FYR Macedonia • Hungary • IrelandIsraelLithuaniaMalta • Netherlands
NorwayRomaniaRussia • San Marino •  Serbia • Switzerland

  1. Alex is featured, but seems to be doing more singing that Ilinca over the course of the song.  Yes, she’s handling the titular yodeling, but it still seems backwards  
  2. Side note: I once took part in a county fair talent show where a full FIVE people were singing Leann Rhimes’ take on “Cowboy Sweetheart”.  It was one of those things that goes funny -> sad -> funny.  

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