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Photo Credit: Eurovision.MD

After going through the live auditions and winning the final of Etapa Națională 2024, Natalia Barbu has won the right to represent Moldova at Eurovision in Malmö with her song ‘In The Middle’. In this article, find out all you need to know about the pop and rock star right here, and her journey to Eurovision 2024!

Early Career and Success

Born on August 22nd, 1979 in Bălți, Natalia Barbu is a pop and rock singer who plays the violin.

She first began to have success when she signed a three-year deal with Cat Music Records (Sony Music) which is one of the leading record labels in Romania. One of her songs ‘Îngerul meu’ (My Angel) was a number hit in Romania for 11 weeks!

Eurovision 2007

Natalia Barbu took part in Pentru Eurovision 2007 with her song ‘Fight’ amongst 33 other competitors including 2005 and now 2011 and 2022 Moldovan representatives Zdob și Zdub and 2010 singer Olia Tira. Funnily enough, they were the other two acts who qualified for the super-final where the final three had to perform their song in an audition to a jury, where she emerged victorious.

Under the then Eurovision rules, because Moldova didn’t finish in the Top 10 at Eurovision 2006, Natalia had to fight (excuse the pun) her way through the Semi-final with 27 other countries for 10 spots in the final. Arguably, making this one of the toughest semi-finals for someone to qualify from.

‘Fight’ was a pop rock number that featured a lengthy violin intro and powerhouse vocals during the dramatic climax of the song.

When asked why the song was called Fight and what the theme of the song was in an interview with EurovisionLive, she said:

Fight, we fight every day, you fight every day, I fight every day. It’s like what we have inside. We fight for love, we fight for close friends, for parents, for something very important for us, for somebody very close and this is life, we fight every day!

Natalia Barbu, EurovisionLive

During the live semi-final, Natalia put on a great performance and against the odds qualified for the final and finished in 10th place scoring 91 points, narrowly beating 11th-placed Portugal by 3 points.

Natalia was drawn to perform last in the grand final and she replicated the success that she had in the semi-final and once again finished in 10th place scoring 109 points which was a great result for the small nation and became Moldova’s second Top 10 Eurovision result.

After Eurovision

Over the coming years, Natalia worked with different producers such as Radu Sirbu who produced her song ‘I Said It’s Sad’ which she described as a major style change for her. The song went on to become a Number 1 hit in Moldova.

While working with the same producer, she attempted to try out for Eurovision again, this time for Romania with the ballad ‘Confession’ but unfortunately she missed out in the semi-finals finishing 13th out of 16.

Despite the result, she still had a long and successful career in Moldova and Romania and continued to release music such as her most recent album in 2021 called ‘La Capatul Cerului’.

Etapa Națională 2024

On December 26th, 2023, Natalia Barbu was revealed to be one of the 30 artists to be on the shortlist for Etapa Națională 2024, Moldova’s national final once again with her song ‘In The Middle’. Her song is more of a pop number than her previous Eurovision attempt, but it contains her trademark violin and a catchy hook.

The first round of the National Final was a live audition where she performed her song in front of a jury. She went on to score the most points that round and safely qualify for the live final.

For the final performance, she was joined by four other ladies dressed in identical clothing and hair as backing singers. While remaining relatively still for the duration of the song, she and her singers each had a violin and clapped their hands in unison during the chorus. It was unique and made an impression on the five jurors who all awarded her maximum points.

The televote put her in second place, where Natalia received half the votes that televote winner Valeria Pasha had. Due to the tiebreak of both Natalia and Valeria, as per the Etapa Națională rules, should a tie happen, whoever does best with the jury is the winner and therefore, Natalia was the winner!

Photo Credit: TRM

Eurovision 2024

Natalia Barbu will be performing in the Second Half of the First Semi-Final where she’ll be joined by 14 other countries competing hoping to be a part of the Top 10 qualifiers that make it to the final. Moldova has qualified for the final every year since 2021, can Natalia continue the streak?

We wish Natalia Barbu and the Moldovan delegation the best of luck in May! Are you a fan of her song? Let us know in the comments!

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