Eurovision 2016

#ROMANIA: Happy Ziua Națională


It’s Romania’s national day today, so we at Eurovision Ireland wish the country all the very best wishes, and hope they’ve been celebrating in customary fashion.

This gives us an ideal opportunity to have a look at Romania’s participation in Eurovision, since the first attempt in 1993. Yep, 1993. As you may know, there was a pre-selection in Ljubljana, in order to select a song for Millstreet. Romania was one of the four countries that sadly missed out on the three places up for grabs. But here’s ‘Nu pleca’ from 1993, by Dida Drăgan. A unique performance.

Romania had a bit of a purple patch for a couple of years, and there was even the danger of them winning. In 2006, knee-high Mihai Trăistariu entertained us in Athens, and broke with tradition by singing part of his song in Italian. It was an accomplished affair, and he managed a fourth place with Tornerò.

As you’ll know, broadcaster TVR had a few problems in 2016. They went ahead and picked a song, only for it to be disqualified some weeks later. Ovidiu Anton was missed in Stockholm by those who were there, and a little sing-song was organised , fronted by neighbours from Moldova. We couldn’t live this one out, so here is Ovidiu in the Romanian national final.

Romanian performers have used their fair share of gimmicks. From fake rocks and giant record turntables, you have to say that they’ve been entertaining. This next song is from a duo who’ve sung for their country twice. The handy gimmick was a double-ended transparent piano that caught fire, in line with the song title. Paula Seling & Ovi achieved a third place in 2010 with ‘Playing with fire’. Was it a surprise or perfectly justified? They would come back with more keyboard-related high-jinx in 2014.

Before the last song, I’m picking the first ‘proper’ participation in Eurovision. It was in what was the home of Eurovision in the 1990s – the Point Theatre in Dublin. Dan Bittman had an interesting preview video in which he burst out of a giant condom (find it online if you don’t believe me). In the interests of decency, here’s his live performance in front of Dublin’s skyline. Or is it?

To finish, here’s Romania’s song from 2005. This equalled the best finish, and kept up with the interesting gimmick theme. It did have something for everyone, whether you have an interest in a good tune, or what you might want to buy from a nearby hardware establishment. Since I’ve seen this, I’ve never look at angle-grinders in the same way again.


Are your favourite Romanian songs among these? If not, which is your favourite Romanian song?

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Author: John Stanton

Source: Youtube, Eurovision Ireland

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