Eurovision 2018

#ROMANIA – LIVE BLOG of Selecția Națională 2nd SEMI FINAL #JoinUs from 20:00 CET


Bună seara Europa și bună dimineața Australia!

This year TVR decided that Selectia Nationala 2018 will consist of six shows: five semi-finals featuring eleven/twelve songs each and a final, under the slogan “Eurovision unește România!” (Eurovision unites Romania!).

Each show will take place in a different city in Romania, in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Union of Transylvania, which saw Romania take its modern shape we see today.

The first Semi-Final was held in Focsani at Teatrul Municipal “Maior Gheorghe Pastia”  where we found out the  first three qualifiers: Eduard Santha – Mesom Romales, Echoes – Mirror and Alexia & Matei – Walking On Water.

Tonight’s second Semi-Final will feature 12 artists competing for anothetr three spots in the Final. The Semi-Final is taking place in Timisoara at the Mihai Eminescu National Theatre.

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 Semi-Final and who is your favourite!


You know the drill: Just refresh this page to get our comments and points of view.

You can watch the live show  HERE from 20:00 CET or you can try this LINK. 

A live webcast will also be available via YouTube HERE

12 singers will perform tonight, but there there is room only for three to go to the Finals!

The acts competing tonight in order of appearance are:

1. Pragu’ de Sus “Te Voi Chema” (I Will Call For You)
2. Miruna Diaconescu “Run For You”
3. MIHAI “Heaven”
4. Othello “Noi Suntem Pădure” (We Are Forest)
5. Alessandro Dănescu “Breaking Up”
6. Jessie Baneș “Lightning Strikes”
7. Romeo Zaharia “Maybe This Time”
8. Rafael & Friends “We Are One”
9. Serena “Safari”
10. Endless feat. Maria Grosu “Thinking About You”
11. Meriem “End the Battle”
12. Jukebox feat. Bella Santiago “Auzi Cum Bate” (Hear It Beating)


JAMES: Good Evening, Bonsoir, Guten Abend and even a Buna Seara! You have about 10 minutes to make yourselves comfortable as we get ready for Selectia Nationala Heat 2… 12 acts, 3 spots in the final… let battle commence!

BOGDAN: Remember, every time Ilinca yodels or Cezar goes falsetto, you have to take a shot!

JAMES: You might want to bring a big bottle…

BOGDAN: Good evening everyone and welcome to what promises to be a memorable evening from beautiful Timisoara!

JAMES: Fun fact: Timisoara was the first city in Europe to have electric street lighting!

BOGDAN: For those of you waiting on the YouTube Broadcast, it should be up and running in a few minutes 🙂

JAMES: And we’re LIVE! Woooo! The voice you’re hearing now is Ricardo Caria, a Portuguese singer who now lives in Arad. You might recognise this rather special little ditty…. it’s Amar Pelos Dois! ❤ ❤

BOGDAN: And if you don’t recognise the song… seriously… HOW!?


BOGDAN: I remember the first time I heard this song at the Portuguese semi-final… who would have ever guessed it would go on to win the whole show?!

JAMES: Still feels like a dream!

BOGDAN: Is there a singer here who can work the same magic for Romania tonight?

JAMES: One singer has made that his mission… is this going to be his year? 😉

BOGDAN: Our hosts are once again Diana and Cezar, with Doriana in the Green Roomnn1

JAMES: Cezar has just said for the 4th time Timisoara will be a European Capital of Culture in 2021… in the first 3 mins of being on air…

BOGDAN: Well the city of Timisoara is paying money towards hosting the show tonight… seems only fair they get some advertising! 😛

JAMES: And we’re straight in with song #1, Pragu’ de Sus with “Te Voi Chema” or “I’m Gonna Call You”

BOGDAN: I will call you every single day and you’ll be mine without knowing it

JAMES: Stalker much?


JAMES: It’s Sergey Lazarev’s older brother!

BOGDAN: It’s a cute rock song, but I don’t feel this would stand out at Eurovision

JAMES: I’m inclined to agree, it’s a solid song but doesn’t have a big WOW factor for me… though I am pleased there’s at least one song in Romanian tonight!

BOGDAN: Very brief comments from the judges tonight!

JAMES: I think we may have to watch this one – last week all the rockish songs scored quite well!

BOGDAN: Next up is Miruna Diaconescu with “Run For You”

JAMES: What a brave costume choice…


JAMES: At least the background detracts from it… a bit!

BOGDAN: She doesn’t really seem to know what to do with the stage

JAMES: She does seem a bit lost… vocally and physically

BOGDAN: It’s a good song, but her voice needs some work

JAMES: She’s quite pretty and enthusiastic, but yes… I don’t think this would be the right choice for Lisbon. Sorry Miruna, maybe another year

BOGDAN: It’s the moment you’ve all been waiting for…

JAMES: Mr Romania Eurovision himself, MIHAI with “Heaven”!

JAMES: MIHAI has told Eurovision Ireland in more than one interview he plans on winning Eurovision for Romania – and he’ll keep coming back till he does!

BOGDAN: Those backing vocals are bit… hmmm…


JAMES: The staging is quite simple and effective… and he always said he envisioned winning Eurovision in a white suit!

BOGDAN: I don’t think this was better than Tornero… but as usual, he’s got a fantastic voice, even if the song did nothing for me

JAMES: MIHAI is vastly talented and we’re willing him to succeed, but yes… I don’t think this song did him or his voice much credit.

BOGDAN: The judges are very complimentary, saying they liked it a lot!

JAMES: He’ll get back to Eurovision one day, he’s working incredibly hard to make sure he does.

BOGDAN: This year marks his 9th appearance at a Romanian national selection! 9th time lucky?

JAMES: Guess we’ll see! Next up we have Othello singing “Noi Suntem Pădure”

BOGDAN: Or in English, We Are A Forest

JAMES: Last week we were all gypsies! Make up your mind!


BOGDAN: We are not alone, we’re a forest… this sounds like a song written for Eurovision in the 90s that’s been forgotten in a drawer somewhere and brought out 20 years too late!

JAMES: It is very We Are The World, let’s hold hands

BOGDAN: I have to give her credit for trying to be… eh… credible! Her dress is nice at least!

JAMES: And you’re a forest too… yikes… it’s a lovely idea, but as you said Bogdan, about 20 years too late to have mass appeal

BOGDAN: Ah! Their costumes are based on Shakespearean characters!

JAMES: Because I’m sure Shakespeare was an avid environmentalist…

BOGDAN: He might have been! Next up is Alessandro Dănescu and he’s “Breaking Up”


JAMES: Ouch… this was one of my favourites ahead of tonight’s show… I can’t help but think perhaps a little more work should have gone into vocals and a little less into innovation for staging

BOGDAN: He’s clearly put a lot of effort into putting on a show, but the sounds he’s making aren’t great… real shame

JAMES: It is… this was a bit of a mess from start to finish if I’m honest

BOGDAN: He’s popular amongst fans, he came 3rd in our poll… will that be enough to see him to Bucharest?

JAMES: Time will tell. Now it’s time for Jessie Baneș and “Lightning Strikes”

BOGDAN: I like her costume


JAMES: Now this is what I’m talking about! Solid vocal performance, staging that adds to the performance instead of detracting… this has a great beat and could do well!

BOGDAN: I think this is my favourite so far tonight. My one tiny critique would be she doesn’t connect with the camera, therefore the audience at home terribly well. Lucky it’s not the audience at home who’ll be voting tonight!

JAMES: The judge likes the chorus and the melody – said it was really modern

BOGDAN: Could be one to watch! Time for Romeo Zaharia with “Maybe This Time” to take to the stage


JAMES: Quite disjointed and dated for me… sounds like some from the early 2000s, and not the best example either!

BOGDAN: He reminds me of Serhat!

JAMES: In the Green Room now, which I’m happy to see is green this time!

BOGDAN: That was quite a long and in depth chat in the Green Room! Rafael and Friends are up next with “We Are One”

JAMES: That was 2013 boys!

JAMES: These guys remind me of a more punk version of the Olsen Brothers!


JAMES: It’s a nice twist on a Eurovision staple. The whole love love peace peace shebang but with a bit of a harder rock edge

BOGDAN: It’s quite generic, but the rock edge might see it do well with the jury… another surprise qualifier, perhaps?

BOGDAN: One juror said he wanted to leave his desk and join them on stage with a guitar!! Called it a great anthem or movie soundtrack!

JAMES: See what we mean!

BOGDAN: Serena is on “Safari” next – if internet chatter is anything to go by, this might be one to watch not just tonight, but during the final too!

JAMES: All you guys texting messages on the YouTube feed are going wild for this! Yes, we’re commenting along there too! 😀


BOGDAN: I think this song is in need of more backing singers and fewer dancers… and the male vocalist doesn’t really need to be on stage

JAMES: I want to know if Alma knows that Serena has her dress and has shredded it?

JAMES: Seems like a lot of you on YouTube agree with our thoughts about the male vocalist!

BOGDAN: The judges say it was a noticeable improvement from the preselection auditions and they thanked her for her efforts in taking their suggestions on board

BOGDAN: Endless feat. Maria Grosu with “Thinking About You” up next… chanson #10


BOGDAN: Maria’s vocals are great, his need a little more work

JAMES: I think something like this has potential for Eurovision, but at the moment it’s a work in progress. They almost sound like they’re competing with each other, and it doesn’t fit with the song

BOGDAN: I like this song 🙂

JAMES: Ilinca says she loves Maria’s energy, and wishes she could say the same about the other singer too… just what you said Bogdan!


JAMES: Penultimate song of the night up next, and Meriem wants us to “End the Battle”


BOGDAN: I enjoy the music a lot, but not so much her voice…

JAMES: This had a promising start with the music, I like the sound of the Near East it was heading towards, but it got a bit lost and repetitive after that

BOGDAN: Back to the Green Room, where Doriana is catching up with Serena… I’ve just realised… one of the singers from Rafael and Friends was part of a huge band Iris here in Romania… maybe his popularity will help him qualify tonight? Even if there is no public vote

JAMES: Last song! And it’s my personal favourite from the WHOLE selection, Jukebox feat. Bella Santiago with “Auzi Cum Bate”!! 😀 😀 😀

BOGDAN: Mine too! 😀

JAMES: All these beautiful pictures of Timisoara make me want to go there…


JAMES: Oh wow… I’m loving this! The staging, the energy, their vocals… dare I say it, it’s all perfect! Romania should also note several winners have performed barefoot 😉


BOGDAN: Definitely the best performance of the night! Bella’s voice is incredible, so powerful and passionate!

JAMES: C’mon Romania… make the right choice 😉

BOGDAN: The jury agree, fantastic energy!

JAMES: Advert time! But we’ll be back soon for more music while the judges vote – will also give Bogdan and I a chance to decide our qualifiers too!

BOGDAN: For me, I think it’ll be Jessie Baneș, Jukebox and either Rafael and Friends or MIHAI. Jessie had a great song with a solid voice, although she needs a little help with connecting to the camera. Jukebox was the best song of the night hands down, and MIHAI might make it purely on his voice, but at the same time, Rafael is well known amongst rockers and as we saw last week, the jury is made up of them!

JAMES: I think I agree with you. While I had Alessandro and Serena down as dead certs to qualify, their performances tonight left me more than a little dubious. I think Jukebox will win the night, it was flawless for me. Jessie Baneș gave a very solid and deserving performance and as much as I want to say MIHAI, I agree with you in that I think Rafael might beat him to it.

JAMES: We’d like to point out that last week we both got only 1 qualifier right, so if you disagree with our choices, there’s every chance we’re wrong again!

BOGDAN: And we’re back! Time for some interval acts now – not one, not two, but three of them! Neda Ukraden, Lavinia Raducanu and Cargo will all be taking to the stage for sets will the judges have a think and make their choices

JAMES: First up is Cargo!


BOGDAN: Cargo was very popular a few years ago when they released a song called Ploaia (Rain) – a song about how it hurts missing a lost love.

JAMES: Cezar pretends he’s a member of the jury and talks about Cargo’s latest song.

BOGDAN: But Cezar was a member of the jury in Selectia Nationala back in 2016. Too bad it wasn’t a good omen for Romania in that year….

BOGDAN:Oh well… Lavinia Raducanu sings to us now. Close your eyes and open your heart. lavinia

JAMES: She’s almost overcome with her own performance! I quite like this style of music… a waltz might do well at Eurovision!

BOGDAN: Lavinia’s song in Romani was fast… could barely keep up!

JAMES: Neda Ukraden is up now, and this song was recorded in no fewer than 12 languages! I like her as a singer anyway, now I’m doubly impressed! 😀

BOGDAN: After a bit of research, we found this song was entered into the Yugoslav national selection for Eurovision in 1986!

JAMES: Neda was born in a village in what is now Croatia, to Serbian parents, lived and studied in Bosnia and now lives in Belgrade (roughly only a 2 hour drive from Timisoara!)… talk about multicultural!


BOGDAN: We’re back in a very nervous Green Room… whose Eurovision dreams will end here?

BOGDAN: Cezar yodelled… is that one shot or two?

JAMES: Votes are in! Ilinca gives her 12 to Jukebox and 10 to MIHAI!

BOGDAN: Let’s repair what can be repaired… interesting way to start the votes! 12 points to Rafael and Friends – from one rocker to another!

JAMES: Serena and Mihai might be in trouble here…

BOGDAN: 10 to Rafael and 12 to Jukebox

JAMES: 10 to Mihai, 12 to Jukebox… told you Jukebox would do well 😉

BOGDAN: Last votes coming in…

JAMES: I think Serena is out…

BOGDAN: So the last 10 is for Mihai and 12 for Jukebox – out of 5 sets of 12, they took 4!

JAMES: So our finalists are:

MIHAI – Heaven – 39 points

Rafael and Friends – We Are One – 40 points

Jukebox ft. Bella Santiago – Auzi Cum Bate – 58 points


BOGDAN: I told you! I said earlier tonight the jury would see a rock song into the final!

JAMES: And I told you Jukebox would win by a landslide 😛

BOTH: Congratulations to MIHAI, Rafael and Friends and to Jukebox ft Bella Santiago and thank you all for watching. Was it what you expected? Let us know! See you next week! Good night!!!

Authors: James and Bogdan

Source: TVR, Eurovision Ireland

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