Following an unexpected disqualification in 2016 due to non-payments of debt, Romania’s chances in Eurovision 2017 were low to say the least. Since entering the competition in 1994, its highest placing was third, set in 2005 and 2010. Nevertheless, from the beginning of rehearsals in Kyiv, twitter and the media at large were aflutter over the country’s selection for the competition.
What was it about Ilinca Bacila and Alex Florea that ignited the passion of Europe? Yodel-rap.
Yes, Yodel It! their enigmatic mixture of yodelling (almost unheard of in Romanian culture) and rap (again an uncommon Romanian genre) stole the hearts of twitter and media like. From their swift progression through the Romanian preliminary, Ilinca and Alex have yodel-rapped their way from Tel Aviv to London in preparation for the Kyiv competition. Combine this outlandish yet danceable combination of genres with the duo’s ability to woo the crowds and press in Kyiv on and off the stage, and it almost seemed like Romania could have gone all the way. Sadly, while the song breezed its way into the finale, Yodel It! could only manage seventh place in the Grand Finale, scoring a respectable 282 points.
The song embodies the weird and wacky style of song making which led Finnish hard rock group Lordi to victory in 2006 and led the infamous The Grannies from Buranovo (google it, you will not be disappointed) to a (unjust) second place in 2012. Although Yodel It! did not break the Romanian Eurovision drought, it will forever live on in the hearts of fans and think piece articles on the best of Eurovision.