In an entertaining Saturday evening show, the Moldovan Eurovision entry was chosen tonight. The TV viewers, together with a professional jury, picked Aliona Moon as their favourite act for Malmö, where she will sing a powerful love song.
Aliona Moon's real name is Aliona Munteanu, and she is no stranger to the Eurovision stage: She was a backing vocalist for Pasha Parfeny in the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest. This time, the two artists have changed roles: Pasha Parfeny wrote Aliona's song A Million, and he is her backing musician, playing the piano.
Cătălin Josan and Evelina Vîrlan were the hosts of the show, with reports from the green room done by Lucian Dumitrescu. The competition was kicked off by Cristina V & Glam Girls and their cheerful uptempo song Celebrate. Next was a piano ballad performed by Boris Covali, who seemed to be an early favourite already.
Several more note-worthy performances followed later on, like Cristina Croitoru & Karizma's powerful duet - would they be able to convince the public and the jury? Or would they prefer the smooth jazz atmosphere of Anna Gulko's song?
Probably the most energetic stage act was shown by Doiniţa Gherman, who sang a captivating folk-rock song. The final song, Aliona Moon's touching ballad A Million, was penned by last year's Moldovan representative Pasha Parfeny, who was playing the piano along with her.
In the interval, the Belarusian representative in the 2013 Eurovision Song Contest, Alyona Lanskaya performed her entry Solayoh for the Moldovan public.
A 50/50 combination of televoting and the verdict of an expert jury decided tonight's winner. This is the final result (in order of appearance, televoting+jury points in brackets, winner in bold):
Cristina V & Glam Girls - Celebrate (1+0=1 point)
Boris Covali - Runaways (12+8=20 points)
Cristina Croitoru & Karizma - Never Fall Again (8+7=15 points)
Svetlana Bogdanova - Conquer My Heart (0+2=2 points)
Nicoleta Gavriliţă - Freaky Thong (4+3=7 points)
Aurel Chirtoacă - Iartă-Mă (2+5=7 points)
Irina Kitoroagă - L.o.v.e. Love (0+4=4 points)
Anna Gulko - Somebody Else (0 points)
Vitalie Negruţa - You'll Be Mine (3+6=9 points)
Cristina Scarlat - I Pray (7+10=17 points)
Doiniţa Gherman - Planeta e un rai (5+1=6 points)
Tatiana Heghea - A Brighter Day (6+0=6 points)
Felicia Dunaf - Codename Felice (0 points)
Aliona Moon - A Million (10+12=22 points)
A short interview
Right after she was selected as one of the finalists, Aliona already spoke to Eurovision.tv and explained the story behind her song.
When we asked Aliona how the influence as a backing vocalist last year influenced her decision to try again this year as a lead singer, she stated: "The experience as a backing vocalist on the Eurovision stage was a good school for me. For the first time in my life I stepped on such a big stage as it was in Baku, and also for the first time I was a part of a contest organized by such a professional team. I got more self confident about my possibilities. Of course it inspired me to live this experience one more time, but at a higher dimension - as a lead singer."
So, how did this change of roles, with Pasha Parfeny acting as the composer of the song, come about? Aliona explains: "This idea appeared first as a joke after last year's rehearsals in Baku: Pasha was going to write a song for me and to be my back vocalist at this time. But after a while Pasha did come with a song for me, and his girlfriend Yuliana with the lyrics in Romanian. I fell in love with this song at first listening, and in a short time with a common effort they translated the lyrics into English. This is how a joke changed our roles: now I am the lead artist and Pasha is my composer and producer."
Of course, Aliona has a special message for all her fans and supporters too: "I want to thank all the people who support me and help me to go further, who write me encouraging messages, who believe in me. Also I’m looking forward to meet again all my friends I made at ESC 2012, and I hope we will have this opportunity."
Watch it again!