In the latest of the ‘what if?’ series, we will journey to Moldova, where I’ll debate whether ‘O Mie’ would have done better in it’s original language of English. Of course, Aliona performed the song amazingly either way, but would it have taken the country into the top 10 had it stuck to the English version?
Aliona (not to be confused with Alyona Lanskya, her rival from Belarus) entered the Moldovan national final as one of the dark horses and of course, she had experience in competitions like this, as she was one of the backing singers for Pasha Parfeny when he represented Moldova in Azerbaijan. Parfeny returned the favour and played the piano for the singer while she wowed the crowd with the song, then known as ‘A Million’ and easily won the contest. The song was a strong contender for the title because it had everything: a stunning singer with a fire dress, a spectacular key change, and the performance was just fantastic. Moldova meant business and they knew it, and a plus for them was that they were the last country to select the artist, so they could check out the competition and pick the greatest artist they had; Aliona. It looked like the fans liked the song and thought it would do well and, well, it did! For those who have never heard the English version, here it is!
However, a mere two days after the song was selected to represent Moldova, TRM released a statement saying that the song would be changed into the Romanian language, and so the song would be renamed ‘O Mie’. The Romanian version sounded more ethnic than the English version, and there possibly was an over-usage of the suffix ‘-oi’ in the song, but it sounded just as good, if not, better than the English version of the song. The song’s official music video was released on Parfeny’s Youtube channel just before the Contest in Sweden and has over 200,000 views! Back to the competition and as we all know, Moldova qualified for the final from the semi-final and was drawn into the first half of the final, which basically spells it out that you’re not going to win, a topic partly covered in James’ article about Germany being drawn in the first half (that article is just under this one, but do finish this one first!). This prophecy was fulfilled, but Aliona did finish in a very respectable 11th place, equaling Pasha’s final result one year before.
So the Romanian version of the song did fairly well, but what about the English version? Well, before the whole change of language, fans were happy with the English version of the song. Sadly though, once ‘O Mie’ was being used instead of ‘A Million’, fans forgot about the song and were more interested by ‘O Mie’. There’s some disadvantages to having the song in Romanian, as many of the English speaking countries wouldn’t understand what the lyrics are about. Had the song been in English, these countries (i.e. the UK and Ireland) would have given the song some points, though Ireland did give Moldova three points in the final. Even if those countries couldn’t understand the lyrics, Aliona performed both version spectacularly well.
Either way, I feel that both songs would do very well with their final results, but I think that the English version may have finished a little lower than its Romanian counterpart, due to the fact that most of the Eastern European songs finished on the right hand side of the scoreboard (with the exception of Azerbaijan, Russia and Ukraine).
What would be your opinion if ‘O Mie’ was kept in English and not performed in Romanian?
Seth Wezendonk from the Netherlands: I liked the Romanian version more, but personally I didn’t care that much, the song was still amazing!
Haris Karas from Greece: English at least made it interesting.
Daniel Cortizas Vázquez from Spain: I didn’t like the Romanian version, the English one had better rhymes and it was built better.
Eirik Finbak: I liked the Romanian version best.
The fans’ views are more leaned towards the English version, but the Romanian version of the song was also very well received by the fans as well. Aliona performed both songs very well, plus the performance of the song and the dress may have also contributed to its success. In summary, the song was amazing to fans, who thought both versions were brilliant and that’s probably one of the main factors to its reasonable success.
What do you make of the opinions and which version of the song do you prefer? Feel free to drop us a comment below!