Sunstroke Project were chosen by a 50/50 combination of jury and public votes after a close race with act number seven, Ethno Republic & Surorile Osoianu and Diana Brescan who finished third. The band were jubilant as they took to the stage for their winning reprise. It is the second time that the group will represent Moldova in the Eurovision Song Contest. Whilst SunStroke Project finished second with the jury, they topped the public vote and will take to the stage in Kyiv in May.
The participants of the final of O melodie pentru Europa 2017:
Lidia Isac, who represented Moldova in the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest with the song Falling Stars, performed a mini concert during the interval.
The return of SunStroke Project
SunStroke Project is a trio composed of Sergei Yalovitsky (vocals), Anton Ragoza (violinist and composer) and Sergey Stepanov (saxophonist). The group have participated in the Moldovan national selection several times over the years. In 2010 they won the selection and represented Moldova in the Eurovision Song Contest in Oslo with the song Run Away along side vocalist Olia Tira.
Following their appearance at the Eurovision Song Contest, Sergey Stepanov's saxophone solo went viral on Youtube. The video, which features his performance on a loop, notched up over 30 million views and spawned several copycat videos and parodies, which have also attracted millions of views.
Moldova in the Eurovision Song Contest
Moldova first entered the Eurovision Song Contest in 2005 when the contest last took place in Ukraine. Popular band Zdob şi Zdub represented Moldova in Kyiv with Boonika Bate Toba, starting a string of qualifications for the country. Between 2005 and 2013, Moldova only once failed to qualify for the Grand Final.
Since 2013 the country has failed to qualify from the Semi-Finals although in 2015 Eduard Romanyuta narrowly missed out when he finished 11th. Zdob şi Zdub's sixth place in 2005 remains Moldova's most successful result in the Eurovision Song Contest to date.