Some of you may recall that last year I published a best and worst at Eurovision article for every country that was taking part in Eurovision 2016 with the exception of Australia who were only competing for the second time. So this year I will publish one for Australia and Portugal who are returning. Also I will revisit each of the other countries to see if last years entry has entered the best or worst hall of fame. Now that the National Finals season is finished and all songs for Eurovision 2017 have been selected we now have 5 weeks where we wait for the rehearsals to begin in Kiev. What better way to fill the time than to look back over the 61 years of Eurovision at some of the best and worst entries that countries have sent to the Eurovision stage. There were 43 countries going to Kiev to take part in the 2017 edition of our favourite musical extravaganza, until 22nd March when Ukraine authorities placed a ban on the Russian entrant Yulia Samoylova entering Ukraine. So it looks most likely that Russia will not take part and you can see our article announcing the news here. So we continue our journey with Romania who have never won the contest but have finished third twice. They have also been in the top 10 another three times. They have never finished last and have always qualified from the Semi Finals through to the Final. Their lowest finish has been 22nd. This has all been achieved in 17 participations. After selecting an entry for last year in Stockholm the EBU barred Romania from taking part due to financial irregularities. This was after Ovidiu Anton had been selected and had even taken part in the preview concerts in Amsterdam and London. You can check out the previous articles from last year in the best and worst series for Ireland HERE ,Spain HERE, Austria HERE, Bosnia & Herzegovina HERE, Iceland HERE, Belarus HERE, Denmark HERE, Georgia HERE, Germany HERE, Cyprus HERE, Finland HERE, Belgium HERE, Hungary HERE, Switzerland HERE, Ukraine HERE, Moldova HERE, Estonia HERE, Norway HERE, Italy HERE, Slovenia HERE, The Netherlands HERE, Armenia HERE, Azerbaijan HERE, San Marino HERE, Israel HERE, Albania HERE, Poland HERE, Serbia HERE, France HERE, Romania HERE, Russia HERE, Croatia HERE, Czech Republic HERE, Malta HERE., Macedonia HERE, Lithuania HERE, Latvia HERE, Sweden HERE, United Kingdom HERE, Greece HERE, Bulgaria HERE and Montenegro HERE. Also the articles for this year for Belarus HERE., Germany HERE., Hungary HERE., Austria HERE., Cyprus HERE. , Denmark HERE. , The Netherlands HERE. , Finland HERE. ,Poland HERE. and Australia HERE.
So this year Romania are represented by Ilinca ft. Alex Florea with the song ‘Yodel It! ‘. We will have to wait and see if it turns out to be more of a best or worst song for Romania but the overall reaction is fairly mixed so far. You can catch up on our recent article about them winning the Final to go to Eurovision here.
So last year Romania were meant to be represented by Ovidiu Anton with the song ‘Moment of Silence’. So how did Ovidiu Anton do in Stockholm? Well he didn’t even get to Stockholm because of the EBU decision mentioned earlier. Therefore I am unable to welcome him into the hall of fame as one of the best or worst entries for Romania.
So my selections for best and worst entries are based on a combination of actual results and personal taste. Now Romania have seventeen entries to choose from making the task a lot easier. There are some great songs from Romania over the years but I am struggling to pick out the three best. So I will highlight more good Romanian entries after I have picked three good and bad ones.
We only have to go back a short while to find our first song that is one of the best for Romania. The year was 2010 and we were in Oslo to see Paula Seling & Ovi singing the song ‘Playing with Fire’.
Now this was highly fancied to do well pre contest. Ovi who was based in Norway wrote the song along with some help from Paula. It won a landslide in the Romanian selection process. There was some controversy as it was argued that one of the song writers was not Romanian but it was proved that the man in question was only the producer. Paula is a very successful singer in Romania both before and after Eurovision. Ovi has had success in his adopted country Norway and has had a few attempt at representing Norway by entering Melodi Grand Prix. Paula and Ovi again went to Eurovision for Romania in 2014. The song finished 4th in the Semi Final then 3rd in the Final with 162 points. This equals Romania’s best result to date.
So moving along we look at one of the worst entries for Romania. We were in Istanbul in 2004 to see Sanda perform the song ‘I Admit’.
Now the song was an uptempo number in which Sanda wore a revealing black outfit and had semi clad dancers around her. Sanda has been singing since an early age and was also a teacher until her musical career took off. The song had pre qualified for the Final based on their previous years result but only finished in 18th place with 18 points.
So now we move back to look at another best of entry for Romania. We were in Kiev in 2005 and the performer was Luminiţa Anghel & Sistem with the song ‘Let Me Try’.
Now the song is a europop number and Luminita was backed by the percussion group Sistem. They used industrial waste drums as instruments as well as having lids on their feet and using grinders to create sparks. Luminita also played the drums during the instrumental parts. Luminita is a successful dance pop artist as well as a TV personality and politician. She tried to represent Romania again on another two occasions. The song finished 1st in the Semi Final but then only finished 3rd in the Final with 158 points. This was the best result at this point for Romania and was equalled in 2010.
Our next song that has to be considered one of the worst was in the year 1994 and we were in Dublin to witness Dan Bittman singing ‘Dincolo de nori’.
This was a song that was the debut entry for Romania. The song is a pop rock ballad, with Bittman addressing his lover directly. Dan is a singer songwriter who has spent most of his career as a lead singer in the bands Holograf and IRIS. The song went on to finish 21st with only 14 points.
So onto our next song that was one of Romania’s best. It was in 2006 and Athens was witness to seeing Mihai Traistariu perform with the song ‘Tornero’.
Now starting with the song it was a Eurodance number sung in a mix of Italian and English and was co composed by Mihai. After the contest it went on to become a big hit throughout Europe. The performance was also noteworthy for the falsetto notes sung by Mihai during the chorus. Mihai is a very successful artist not only in his own country but internationally having sung in many festivals and concerts throughout the world. He tried to come back to Eurovision earlier this year with the song ‘Paradisio’ but failed to make it. Tornero pre qualified for the Final and went to finish 4th with 172 points.
We now arrive at another song for Romania and it’s another of the worst ones. In 1998 we saw Mălina Olinescu in Birmingham with the song ‘Eu Cred’.
It was a song that was a ballad and sung in Romanian about a former lover. The performance was noted for the dress and the large choker necklace that Malina wore. Tragically Malina committed suicide in 2011 at the age of 37. The song finished in 22nd place with 6 points which to date is Romania’s worst result at Eurovision.
So I have mentioned 3 best of songs above but also have to mention the following songs as all great entries too.
2015 Voltaj with the song ‘De la capăt (All Over Again)’.
2000 Taxi with the song ‘The Moon’.
2012 Mandinga with the song ‘Zaleilah’.
2014 Paula Seling and Ovi with the song ‘Miracle ‘.
So there we have it folks, my little delve into Romanian Eurovision history and some of the best and worst moments over the years. Do you agree with all or even any of my choices? Feel free to comment below.
This series will continue with another look at songs over the years for each and every country competing in Eurovision 2017 so keep coming back for more reflections of the best and worst that Eurovision has had to offer us.
Author: Andrew Main
Source: Eurovision Ireland