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🇲🇩 Road to Malmö: Moldova

We can not wait for the Eurovision Song Contest in Malmö. Therefore, we have a closer look at one of the contestants every day. Today: Moldova.

Natalia Barbu

Natalia Barbu, born on August 22, 1979, in Bălți, then part of the Moldavian SSR, USSR, has firmly established herself as a versatile artist in the Moldovan music scene. Daughter of esteemed musician Ana Barbu, Natalia has blended rock and pop genres with her heritage of folk and stage music. Her early collaborations with Trigon on jazz-folk projects set a creative foundation, which evolved as she penned the lyrics for most of her songs. A pivotal moment came in 2006 with a contract from Cat Music Records (Sony Music) in Romania, marking her entry into a wider European market.

Her single “Îngerul meu” soared to No. 1 in the Romanian Top 100, cementing her popularity. In 2007, her Eurovision entry “Fight” achieved a commendable 10th place finish. Embracing change, her 2012 single “I Said It’s Sad” showcased a major style evolution, topping Moldova’s Airplay charts. Esquire’s “sexiest woman alive” title in 2015 further celebrated her appeal. Returning to Eurovision in 2024 with “In the Middle,” Natalia Barbu continues to be a prominent figure in Moldova’s cultural tapestry.

Etapa națională

The national final in Moldova is called Etapa națională. Usually, the contest starts with an audition round, broadcast live on Moldovan television. 32 songs were submitted this year. However, two (a.o. Aliona Moon) withdrew before the contest and one was disqualified. Eleven songs headed to the final, which was won by Natalia Barbu. It was not an easy match: Natalia received the most votes of the jury, while Valeria Pasha won the televote. The rule in Etapa națională is that, in case of a tie, the jury winner goes to Eurovision.

Moldova in the Eurovision Song Contest

The first Moldovan entry for the Eurovision Song Contest was “Boonika bate doba” by Zdob şi Zdub in 2005. It was the first of 3 entries by this band in total, and reached a 6th place. The best scoring entry so far for the country was “Hey mamma” by Sunstroke Project in 2017. They were 3rd. Also Sunstroke Project took part before, in 2010. With “Run away” they became famous: the sax player and his solo became the ‘epic sax guy’.

The Bookmakers

Currently the betting odds for Moldova are not too positive: a 36th place for Natalia Barbu. But we all know that  everything still can change until the very moment of the voting.

The song

And this is the song:

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