Monty’s Eurovision Countdown Part 25 – Moldova

A darkly humorous social media meme depicted the Grim Reaper morbidly processing from door to door of a lineup of previous Eurovision contestants attempting a 2024 comeback as each was unceremoniously knocked out of their respective national finals. Names like Margaret Berger, Keiino, Il Volo, Mahmood, Konstrakta, Let 3 and The Roop all fell by the wayside, leaving Natalia Barbu as one of only two returnees for 2024. Our 2007 Moldovan artist joins 2010 alumnus Hera Bjork, and both will attempt to qualify from the first semi-final. Like Hera, Natalia may have her work cut out for her.

Lyrically, In The Middle is a(nother) tale of boosting your own confidence, raising your wings, finding strength – that kind of thing. Musically it has some dramatic strings and elements of folk music. I like it a lot.

The national final performance saw Natalia flanked by similarly dressed women stood in formation as they sang along and played the powerful string parts on violins. It reminded me in a way of the famous video for Robert Palmer’s Addicted to Love where the singer is flanked by supermodels, only Natalia’s version centres a woman rather than a man.

Seven PointsThe performance is striking, but by opting to use the violins as props necessarily renders the performers rather static. They add in some armography, breaking up the tableau, but it remains on a singular level and struggles to make any significant impact. It’s a shame as I do think the song itself has some pleasing qualities. I’m not writing off a qualification, but In The Middle has certainly centred itself in the zone of songs that could go either way. A repeat of or improvement of her 10th place in 2007’s final seems unlikely.

 

Photo: Mihai Turculet/EBU

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