Well…that was a fun eight-or-so hours, wasn’t it?
For those of you who’ve been asleep since about 9pm CET last night, you have just missed quite possibly one of the strangest viral moments at Eurovision national finals seasons in recent years.
It all started when Moldova released the 29 acts and 30 songs (Sasha Bognibov having submitted two) that had been submitted for its Eurovision selection process (the method of which is yet to be decided). Auditions are due to be held in Chisinau on 29 January, and eurovision.md posted audio files of all the submitted songs, itself fairly late in the day.
One of the songs came from an unknown artist called Misscatylove, and was titled Intro. Fans and social media hawks alike might have been forgiven for thinking they were listening to a washing machine at the end of its spin cycle for a minute and a half (like Iveta Mukuchyan did in LoveWave for Armenia in 2016 but without a crescendo to a chorus).
It’s fair to say things took off quite quickly. The YouTube video reached tens of thousands of views overnight, and countless memes sprang up on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, many insisting that Misscatylove had already won Eurovision 2022, and many also incorporating Natalia Gordienko’s 2021 Moldovan entry Sugar, itself a popular meme.
The official Eurovision Wikipedia page was even edited for a few minutes by one rogue fan to have Misscatylove as Moldova’s 17th representative.
Unfortunately (and I use the term loosely) for them, it was too good to be true. Within hours of the audio file being posted on eurovision.md, it was removed, and Misscatylove dropped out of the running.
Rumours started spreading about the reason for this. One popular idea is that Intro doesn’t contain any lyrics, therefore blatantly going against EBU rules about songs needing words. Secret Garden famously got around this in 1995 by adding two verses to their classical string number Nocturne to win for Norway.
However, according to the artist themselves, there is one line of heavily-distorted spoken word that can be heard from about the 30-second mark. I haven’t found it, but apparently it’s there.
Another theory is that Misscatylove was actually a child (indeed, one former music video for a song called Friends might have suggested this). However, while the real identity of Misscatylove is still fairly mysterious, according to their Discord server, they are a non-binary post-avantgarde artist living in Manchester, and they have insisted that it was their decision to withdraw due to difficulty travelling.
They also hinted that they are working on a new song for next year’s national finals season, aptly titled Outro. It will feature the line: “Your love is fading away like an outro of a song”, and lyrics in Romanian.
If this is successful or not, and if any of this is true or not, it’s fair to say that Misscatylove has gained more publicity in the space of a few hours than most Eurovision artists can dream of even after the Grand Final, and this will be a moment for the annals of ESC fan history.
Meanwhile, Moldova’s longlist for 2022, which contains JESC 2012 representative Denis Midone and 2005 and 2011 Eurovision representatives Zdob si Zdub, will be whittled down following the 29 January auditions, either through internal selection from the broadcaster or a live national final on 5 March, which would probably, like Romania, take the name “Selecţia Naţională”.
Who is your favourite act at Moldova’s selection this year? Did you want to see Misscatylove on stage? Let us know in the comments and on social media.