Bună seara Europa și bună dimineața Australia!
Tonight is the Semi Final of Romania’s “Selectia Nationala 2017″, which means we will find out the 10 finalists battling for a chance to represent the country at Eurovision Song Contest this May!
So sit back and relax, and let Eurovision Ireland’s blogging duo James and Bogdan #JAMDAN entertain and inform you. Feel free to tell us what you think and give us your opinion about tonight’s show!
You know the drill: Just refresh this page to get our comments and points of view.
15 singers will perform tonight, but only 10 will qualify for the Final of Selectia Nationala!
The acts competing tonight are:
1. Elize & No Stress – ”Fara Bariere”
2. Cristina Vasiu – ”Set The Skies On Fire”
3. Tudor Turcu – ”Limitless”
4. Ramona Nerra – ”Save Me”
5. Instinct – ”Petale”
6. Eduard Santha – ”Wild Child”
7. Emma & Tavi Colen – ‘We Own The Night”
8. Zanga – ”Doua Sticle”
9. Ilinca & Alex Florea – ”Yodel It!”
10. Alexandra Craescu – ”Hope”
11. Maxim – ”Adu-ti Aminte”
12. D-lema – ”Adventure”
13. M I H A I – ”I Won’t Surrender”
14. Ana Maria Mirica – ”Spune-mi Tu”
15. Xandra – ”Walk On By”
#LIVE ROLLING BLOG starts HERE
JAMES: Buna seara tuturor! Nearly show time in Bucharest, so take your seats and get ready for some fantastic potential Eurovision songs!
BOGDAN: Good evening everyone, and welcome to Selectia Nationala 2017!
JAMES: We have on stage a percussion band called SuperChill, who are opening the show for us tonight
BOGDAN: All of tonight’s contests are on stage singing a medley of Eurovision songs, including Euphoria
JAMES: Fantastic song, still one of my favs!
BOGDAN: Ilinca and Alex give us their rendition of Heroes from Sweden 2015!
JAMES: They are our heroes tonight… not that we’re biased 😉
JAMES: This is a really nice idea, I’d like to see this in more selections – or many even as an interval act at the contest!
BOGDAN: Ukraine, if you’re reading along, it was our idea first! 😛
JAMES: Some of our readers are saying the TVR link isn’t working, so if you’re having trouble try this link instead
BOGDAN: Mihai singing Rise Like A Phonenix!
JAMES: Can he rise from the ashes of last year’s 3rd place to win tonight?
BOGDAN: Let’s see!
JAMES: Dan Helciug welcomes us to Selectia Nationala 2017, and introduces us to our host tonight, Iuliana Tudor
BOGDAN: Now we’re being introduced to tonight’s jury, made up of Paula Seling, Luminita Anghel, Ovi Jacobsen, Adrian Romcescu and Andrei Tudor
JAMES: Paula, Luminita and Ovi are of course no strangers to the Eurovision stage!
BOGDAN: And all 3 of them know what it’s like to be on that stage too!
JAMES: Paula and Ovi have done it twice!
BOGDAN: Ioana Voicu will be hosting the Green Room tonight, looking quite stunning in yellow
JAMES: Tonight’s running order. 15 songs, but only 10 will make it to next week’s final
BOGDAN: Elize & No Stress up first, singing ”Fara Bariere” or “Without Barriers” – although we both thought at first it was Minnie Mouse!
JAMES: She even has the ears!!
BOGDAN: For anyone who doesn’t speak Romanian, this will be lost on them very quickly
JAMES: It’s not a bad song by any stretch of the imagination, I quite like it, but it’s the kind of ditty that’ll get lost on a Eurovision stage
BOGDAN: For their fun and energy, I give them a 7
JAMES: The same from me too, was a great song to start us off tonight!
BOGDAN: The judges are given their thoughts now. Ovi likes it, especially the chorus!
JAMES: We have quite a few songs tonight, so only a bit of feedback before song #2
BOGDAN: Lovely postcards of Bucharest
JAMES: It’s an amazing city, I really recommend it!
BOGDAN: Cristina Vasiu wants to ‘Set The Skies On Fire’ next – and we have it on good authority she’ll be doing a Eurovision first – LASER SHOES!
JAMES: Now that we have to see!!
JAMES: The composer of this song also did Spain’s Quedate Conmigo, in my humble opinion one of Spain’s best EVER!
BOGDAN: I like it, it was one of my favourites from the first time I heard it. 8.5 from me
JAMES: As a ballad, it might seem a bit samey for Eurovision fans, but it’s a strong ballad and has a lot of potential. 10 from me
BOGDAN: One of the jurors said he wished he had composed this song!
JAMES: High praise indeed!
BOGDAN: But they also noted that her nerves and emotions seemed to get the better of her. Paula wants more voice control and power. But they’re happy she got over the cold she had, which we feared might have sabotaged her audition
JAMES: They must have liked that one, they all wanted to say something!
BOGDAN: Very true! Tudor Turcu and ”Limitless” up next. He’s tried to represent Romania at least twice before
JAMES: 3rd time lucky? Let’s watch…
BOGDAN: Is he wearing his grandmother’s coat?!
JAMES: Big leather boots and a knitted cardigan… bit of an unusual combo!
BOGDAN: I wish more from the song, it lacks a little something…
JAMES: I think the choice of costume is distracting from what is trying to be a rock anthem
BOGDAN: With a voice like his, he was definitely born to sing rock.
JAMES: Agreed. I want to like it, but I’m unconvinced… 5 from me
BOGDAN: 7.5 from me. The judges say they wished he gave it a more rock edge. And also wished Tudor’s mum a happy birthday!
JAMES: La Multi Ani doamna Turcu!
BOGDAN: Adrian says he was too nice, and should have been more aggressive!
JAMES: Over to Dan in the Green Room, chatting to Elize
BOGDAN: Ramona Nerra wants us to “Save Me”, up next
JAMES: We’re busy writing the blog my dear, you’ll have to wait!
BOGDAN: She said earlier that she’s singing in a slightly lower tone so as not to shout so much
JAMES: Sorry, I don’t think it’s working… still very shouty
JAMES: I like her Candy Crush top!
BOGDAN: It’s definitely a dance track. I liked it more now than I did at the auditions. I’ll give it an 8
JAMES: It has the potential to be a good dance track, but I feel she needs to control her voice a little more so she doesn’t scream so much. 6 from me!
BOGDAN: Luminita warned that it’s high pitched song, and if Ramona stresses it too much in Kyiv, it’ll strain her voice too much.
JAMES: Sounds like Ovi agrees. They like the idea of the song, but the consensus is she’s at the limit vocally and it shows
BOGDAN: But they all agree it’s a good song too – and seem to think we’ll see her in the final
JAMES: I think so, would be nice to see a more controlled version of the song
BOGDAN: “Petale” up next from Instinct – a beautiful Romanian language song about betrayal and hurt feelings
JAMES: So not a comedy then? 😉
JAMES: Interesting gimmick with the whole clockwork thing – works well with the song
BOGDAN: I think I’d prefer it without the machine gimmick, I don’t think the song needed it – shame the smoke machine did a Georgia 2015 and went a bit crazy
JAMES: It gets a 10 from me, very memorable performance and a lovely sound. Bogdan?
BOGDAN: 8 from me and a clap *claps*
BOGDAN: The judges like the sincerity in the song and harmonise really well together
JAMES: They do work well as a duo, unlike other pairs we’ve seen in recent selections!
BOGDAN: Eduard Santha is going to sing Wild Child now… this could be an interesting one… for interesting, read weird 😛
JAMES: Why a techno flute solo? Because it’s Eurovision…
BOGDAN: I like his style
JAMES: I like their stage presence, he’s owning that stage!
BOGDAN: It’s trying to be very modern and a bit folky at the same time, and I’m not sure if the public is ready for this kind of thing
JAMES: I agree, but the audience seem to love it!
BOGDAN: 7.5 points from me – I didn’t expect to like it, but I did!
JAMES: 6 from me
BOGDAN: I think the issue with the song is that it takes over half the song for it to grab you
JAMES: Paula enjoyed it – she called it her guilty pleasure!
BOGDAN: Ovi reckons they’re the best so far!
JAMES: More hi-jinx in the Green Room, catching up with the acts who’ve already performed – they really like the clockwork pair Instinct!
BOGDAN: Iuliana, our host has just said that the jury tonight will vote in the same style as Eurovision, giving out 12 points, 10 points, 8, etc…
JAMES: Quick recap now of the show so far.
BOGDAN: They’ve announced that everyone who votes in the final next weekend will be entered into a draw to win a car
JAMES: Vote for a Eurovision song AND win prizes! Can’t say fairer than that!
BOGDAN: We’re on a quick break here, but check back soon!!
JAMES: And we’re back!
BOGDAN: Emma & Tavi Colen are up now, with ‘We Own The Night”
JAMES: Lithuania were waiting for this night, now Romania own it!
BOGDAN: This song was really popular in the poll were conducted here at Eurovision Ireland
JAMES: I can see why, it’s classic Eurovision!
BOGDAN: It certainly has some good elements to it!
JAMES: On of the judges said this has the potential to be a big hit!
BOGDAN: It’s a 7 from me
JAMES: I’ll go for 8 – I think this could do well in Kyiv
BOGDAN: Another Romanian song up now, with Zanga’s Doua Sticle – Two Bottles
JAMES: I remember in Skopjefest in 2014 they did a similar staging idea with puppets
BOGDAN: It’s definitely memorable, and Ovi likes it too!
JAMES: If staged in the same way in Ukraine, would definitely be memorable. I liked the music, but not the song, if that makes sense… think I’ll give it a 6.5
BOGDAN: 8 from me
JAMES: The moment we’ve been waiting for, and that you’ve been waiting for too!
BOGDAN: It’s time for Ilinca & Alex Florea to…
BOTH: ‘Yodel It!’
BOGDAN: I’m singing along!
JAMES: This is just so different and it shouldn’t work on paper, but it really does. No wonder it topped our poll!
BOGDAN: It really works as a performance, no effects, no gimmicks, just them
BOGDAN: Paula says there are more complex songs tonight, but that this one stands out and that’s what counts at Eurovision!
JAMES: That it does!
BOGDAN: 10 points from me
JAMES: 10 points from me too – Romania has something quite special here
BOGDAN: Back to the Green Room for a moment now
JAMES: Song #10 up now, Alexandra Craescu singing “Hope”
BOGDAN: Another singer hoping (see what I did there?!) that a red dress will equal victory!
JAMES: Worked well for Lucie Jones and Timebelle… slightly less well for Tayanna…
BOGDAN: Sounds a little dated
JAMES: Sounds like it’s straight out of a Disney movie!
BOGDAN: Can’t fault that voice though
JAMES: Oh definitely, she can sing beautifully!
BOGDAN: Reminds me a bit of Celine Dion
JAMES: Hopefully that’s a good omen for her
BOGDAN: 7 for me… too dated a sound
JAMES: I’ll give it an 8 – it’s lovely, but it is a bit cliched
BOGDAN: Ovi says her voice always sounds like she’s in the studio
JAMES: Paula also likes her voice, but not the song
BOGDAN: Boyband Maxim up now with ”Adu-ti Aminte” or Remember in English
JAMES: Romania’s answer to No Direction… oops, sorry, One Direction 😉
JAMES: I’m immediately put off by the fact they’re dressed like that…
JAMES: A Eurovision institution!
BOGDAN: I preferred the studio cut to this… it looks so forced and unnatural on stage. 5!
JAMES: I agree with you about the staging, looks so wooden and stiff. But I must admit, I like this version of the song more than the studio version. 6 from me.
BOGDAN: The judges are saying it’s a medium song, not too energetic, but not too slow
JAMES: I think that’s what I struggle with too, feels like it should be faster or slower… it sounds strangulated at this tempo
BOGDAN: D-lema are next and inviting us on an Adventure!
JAMES: Eurovision is an adventure!
BOGDAN: I discounted this song earlier in the contest, but now I’m beginning to change my mind…
BOGDAN: Everywhere I go I’m a stranger, life is an adventure – a song for you James!
JAMES:Hahaha! I like it! Mentions a lot of countries – hoping to get votes from them by naming them?
BOGDAN: It’s a pleasant enough song, but lacks that climax that makes a Eurovision hit
JAMES: While I like the idea of the song, I must say it is quite flat and repetitive… shame…
BOGDAN: 6.5 from me
JAMES: 7.5 – would have been higher if it had a real hook
BOGDAN: Luminita says Eurovision is competition that unites people, it doesn’t matter what language they speak, so long as they are entertained
JAMES: Mr Tornero up next, M I H A I telling us “I Won’t Surrender”! I quite like this one!
BOGDAN: I like it too, let’s see what it looks like on stage…
BOGDAN: Apparently like a matador! But that voice! He has the voice to carry a ballad like this!
JAMES: Romania could do worse than sending this song to Kyiv
BOGDAN: Possibly one of the best ballads tonight
JAMES: Shame he seems quite disconnected from the audience and cameras with his eyes closed…
BOGDAN: 8 from me. Luminita called him extraordinary!
JAMES: Adrian said Mihai has nothing to prove, as we all know he has an amazing voice. No arguments here!
BOGDAN: Ovi congratulated Mihai for taking the feedback from the judges to strengthen the verses of the song
JAMES: Ana Maria Mirica singing ”Spune-mi Tu” next, our penultimate song tonight!
BOGDAN: Or she might be singing Tell Me, we’re not sure if she’ll sing in English or Romanian tonight
JAMES: English it is!
BOGDAN: She took the advice of the judges then and switched language
JAMES: Lots of green… very Wizard of Oz and the Emerald City!
JAMES: She performs with gusto, but the song is a bit too ordinary for me. Doesn’t stand out for me tonight, and it has to stand out against 42 other songs in Ukraine. I give it a 5.
BOGDAN: The judges think it was a very energetic and charismatic performance. 7.5
JAMES: Last song of the night now, and maybe one of the favourites – Xandra and ”Walk On By”
BOGDAN: She is definitely one of the favourites on Social Media to do well tonight, good to see her back this year
BOGDAN: It’s a nice ballad, but a bit flat…
JAMES: She certainly has stage presence and knows how to command the attention of an audience
BOGDAN: Her vocals are brilliant, but the song itself is a bit forgettable in my opinion. I’ll give her an 8 for the voice.
JAMES: Agree 100%. 7
BOGDAN: Andrei Tudor reckons there are 4 songs in this contest that deserve to go to Kyiv and this is one of them!
JAMES: Ovi applauds her for singing a difficult song so well
JAMES: Dan and Ioana speak to the last of tonight’s contestants in the Green Room… Dan in Bucharest, not our Dan 😛
BOGDAN: So there you have it, 15 songs but only 10 will make it through to next weekend’s final… the question is, which 10?
JAMES: There are a lot of songs that deserve to qualify tonight, will be interesting to see what the judges think – especially as several judges are former Eurovision singers themselves
BOGDAN: Romania’s most successful Eurovision contestants to date too – 3rd place!
JAMES: Do we think there’s a singer here who could equal – or even beat – 3rd place?
BOGDAN: In my opinion, Yodel It! could easily make the Top 5
JAMES: I agree, I think Romania would walk into the final with that song, and charge straight into high end of the scoreboard
BOGDAN: We’re on a short break here, then it’s time to go back for the results!
JAMES: So hurry back – you’ve got about 5 mins!
JAMES: Am revenit in Romania!
BOGDAN: Your Romanian is getting a lot better!
JAMES: We’re in the Green Room now – they look excited but nervous!
BOGDAN: Ramona says that someone stole her likes on Facebook, she had more earlier!
JAMES: Well while she looks for them, we’ll watch the recap of all the songs
BOGDAN: While the judges deliberate, we going to watch a performance of the winner of Selectia Nationala 2016
JAMES: He might not have been allowed to compete in Stockholm, but he’s still a winner and a fantastic musician. Give it up for….
BOTH: OVIDIU ANTON!!
JAMES: We’re a little surprised to see Ovidiu back at Selectia Nationala, especially after everything that happened last year, but we’re glad he did come back for tonight
BOGDAN: He even wrote a song for this year’s selection for a singer called Miryam called “Escape” but it didn’t pass the audition stage
JAMES: Shame, it was a great song and one of the public’s favourites
BOGDAN: We had front row seats for Moment of Silence in Baia Mare and it was EPIC!!
JAMES: No wonder the crowd is going wild!! We know how amazing it is to be there!
JAMES: Anyone else notice he changed the words? “Your love is touching my soul” rather that “this hate is burning my soul”?
BOGDAN: Yeah, that’s odd…
JAMES: Still think this would have sailed into the Top 10 in Stockholm… such a powerful song and an incredible performance! Oh well…
BOGDAN: He has an incredible voice, puts a lot of power and emotion into it
JAMES: Ovidiu’s been singing for almost half an hour now, and is still giving it his all – how’s that for showmanship!
BOGDAN: And what a show it was! Back to the Green Room now – bet they’re all really nervous!
JAMES: The nerves have clearly gone to their heads, screaming nonsense…
BOGDAN: Too much waiting! But hopefully not too much more, we want the results!
JAMES: One last recap
BOGDAN: Here we go!!
JAMES: Ah, this brings back memories of Eurovision voting announcing every point… and lasting 3 hours…
BOGDAN: 12 points to Yodel It from Paula!
JAMES: And from Ovi!
BOGDAN: And Luminita!
JAMES: Clearly the Eurovision singers see the potential!
BOGDAN: The results are in!
JAMES: These 10 acts will advance to the final of Selectia Nationala next Sunday – CONGRATULATIONS!
BOGDAN: Congratulations to our winners, and commiserations to the songs that didn’t make the cut
JAMES: Thank you for reading along with us tonight!
BOGDAN: Multumesc! Remember to join us next week when we live blog the final of Selectia Nationala!
JAMES: See you soon!
BOTH: Thank you Europe, thank you Romania, thank YOU! Goodnight!
Author: James Scanlan, Bogdan Stefan
Source: TVR, Eurovision Ireland