Zdob şi Zdub is "So Lucky" in Moldova!
Moldova burst onto the Eurovision scene back in 2005, when ethno-punk band Zdob şi Zdub stormed their way to a 6th place finish with “Boonika Bate Toba (Grandmama Beats the Drum-ma)”. Their performance was not only memorable for their catchy hooks and Anthony Keidis-lookalike frontman, but also for the fact that they brought in the Boonika herself to beat the drum live on stage in Kiev! In fact, due to the six-person limit on Eurovision performances, one of the official band members relinquished their spot on stage to give Lidia Bejenaru her moment.
Zdob şi Zdub entered the Moldovan National final this year with their folk-influenced rapcore song “So Lucky”, and ended up winning a nail-biter of a preselection, beating runner-up (and fellow ESC alum) Natalia Barbu by a single point after Jury and Audience scores were totaled up. So, how did the boys from Chişinău top themselves? Well, if Boonika’s unavailable, how about bunch of pointy hats and a girl on a unicycle?
I can almost feel how divisive this entry is going to be among Eurovision fans…some people are going to proclaim this the “ESC Party Anthem of 2011”, and others are going to scream “Where’s the singing? Where’s the music? This is chaos!” A third group will remember that this is the country that brought us all “Run Away” and all of its epic awesomeness last year, so they’ll roll their eyes, shrug their shoulders, and embrace Moldova’s unique qualities. I’ve got one foot in Group One, and one in Group Three. Zdob şi Zdub have made their careers on blending rap, punk, rock, and ethnic sounds into a big, chaotic pile of entertainment, and considering the success that they’ve had, they’re obviously making people happy out there! This is going to be a true wildcard on the ESC stage…Romania’s voting in their semifinal, so that’s a big boost for them, but fans are generally going to either love or hate “So Lucky”. What do you all think?
Oh, and just as a side note: I can’t remember the last time we’ve had so many returning Eurovision participants in a single Contest, but in 2011, we’ve got Lena, Dino Merlin, one of Sigurjón’s Friends, and now Zdob şi Zdub! Not only that, but Dana International is in the running for Israel, and a number of other previous participants took part in national selections with no success…is this some sort of record?