Moldova would have qualified for the Grand Final of Eurovision 2020 - hear me out
Okay. Bare with me. I swear I'm not delusional, I've just had too much time to ponder the non-events of Eurovision 2020. Jump with me into a long-winded analysis of why I honestly believe Moldova would have been in the line-up on Grand Final eve and potentially scraped into the coveted Top 10.
I have to flash my credentials first and say I have a knack for picking a roughie to make the final - I've made money on 'Flashlight' qualifying in 2017, 'Nova Deca' in 2018 and more recently 'Like It' in 2019, all with pretty dire odds before their selective Semi Finals. To be fair I also thought 'Mercy' would win Eurovision in 2018 and 'Amar pelos dois' was destined to be a non-qualifier. Moving on...
Natalia Gordienko won a strong year of O melodie pentru Europa (the Moldovan selection process) with the entry 'Prison'. Aptly titled for the current world climate but probably not what the powerhouse song writing team of Dimitris Kontopoulos, Philipp Kirkorov and Sharon Vaughn had in mind at the time. If those names sound familiar (they should) you might know they had a hand in hits such as 'Shady Lady', 'You Are The Only One', 'Scream', 'This is Our Night', 'Hold Me' and 'My Lucky Day'. They have a knack for delivering quirky, catchy Eurovision entries that are full of charm with a good whiff of Eastern and Mediterranean fun. A televote classic combination.
If the mirrored-hand-glove-thing didn't impress you that's okay, almost nothing from the National Finals in Moldova look like the finished product at Eurovision. Have faith! Kirkorov was working closely with Gordienko and the Moldovan team - it wouldn't be Eurovision without his hand in at least one performance. With that in mind - there was all the potential for another creative performance to emerge to the likes of 'My Lucky Day'.
There is a nostalgic element to 'Prison' - it harks back to a time gone by in our contest that many people still are craving for. It might not be the most contemporary music or have the stratospheric vocals of a 'Zero Gravity' (absolutely no offence to the lovely Natalia), but what it delivers in buckets is good old fashioned fluff, fun and enough cheese to make someone lactose intolerant.
You can't deny there is a market for these type of entries. Just look at 'Higher Ground', 'That's How You Write A Song', 'Hey, Mamma!', 'It's My Life' and 'Yodel It!'. The creativity of the performance made them. 'Prison' had all the drama of a power ballad but with the time-change of a banger - drawing on this uniqueness with striking visuals really could have made an impact with the televoters. I am picturing a mixture of Dotter's mirrors from 'Bulletproof', Farid Mammadov's backing dancer writhing around and Eric Saade smashing out of his glass cage of emotion with the lighting show from 'I Feed You My Love' all in a blender and hurled up on Natalia. I can dream.
As for the juries - yes. It could've struggled, especially in its current form. I think with a proper revamp and better meshing with her backing vocalists she would have gathered more than enough to see herself into the final. Not to mention out of the two she is in the more forgiving Semi Final with the other female ballads mostly residing in Semi Final 1.
In conclusion - I won't say it's a slam dunk that Moldova would have made it, but what I can say with confidence is this was flying right under the radar and has more potential than many gave it on first glance.
What do you think? It's no surprise I'm a bit of a fan but I love to having discussions about our blessed contest - hit us up on @aussievisionnet at Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram.