Eurovision 2018

#ROMANIA – LIVE BLOG of Selecția Națională 5th 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.

So far, after four Semi-Finals we have 12 finalists: Eduard Santha – Mesom Romales, Echoes – Mirror, Alexia & Matei – Walking On Water, Jukebox & Bella Santiago – Auzi Cum Bate, Rafael and Friends – We Are One; MIHAI – Heaven; VYROS – La la la; XANDRA – Try; Erminio Sinni & Titziana Camelin – All The Love Away; Feli – Buna De Iubit; Tiri – Desert de Sentimente and Claudia Andas – The One.

Tonight’s fifth Semi-Final will feature 12 artists competing for the last three spots in the Final. The Semi-Final is taking place in Sighisoara.

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 is also be available via YouTube.

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

The artists taking part in the show tonight are:

  1. Alexandru Ungureanu – Sail With Me
  2. Denisa Trofin – Tears
  3. Dora Gaitanovici – Fara Tine
  4. Evermorph – Live Your Life
  5. The Humans – Goodbye
  6. Iliana – I Won’t Lie
  7. Manuel Chivari – Somebody To Love
  8. Maria Suciu – Sweet Nothing
  9. SAVE – All We Need
  10. Sergiu Bolota – Every Little Thing
  11. Teodora Dinu – Fly
  12. Tomer Cohen – Baby You’re the Only One


JAMES: Good evening tutiror! We’ve almost made it! The last heat of Romania’s massive Eurovision selection event begins in just over 10 mins! There are 3 spots left for the final in Bucharest… who is going to get them? Check back and find out! 😀

BOGDAN: Remember, the YouTube feed tends to start around 10 past the hour, so don’t panic if it doesn’t work right away!

JAMES: I’m starting to think this singing pharmacy advert is a Eurovision entry I’ve heard it so much these last few weeks… 0_0

BOGDAN: And we’re live in Sighisoara

JAMES: For anyone wondering, that’s supposed to be Vlad Tepes (or Vlad the Impaler). He was born here in Sighisoara, something they’re quite proud of!

BOGDAN: Is that what they’re going to do with the losers tonight? Impale them?!

JAMES: Would definitely spice up the semi finals if that was at stake!


BOGDAN: Cezar and Diana, our hosts once again


JAMES: And (mostly) the usual suspects on the jury… Ilinca has ditched the blanket this week 😉

BOGDAN: And we’re diving straight in with Song #1 by Manuel Chivari – Somebody To Love

JAMES: Sighisoara looks beautiful! Really medieval!


JAMES: Romania’s answer to Justin Bieber?? 0_0

BOGDAN: He’s also rocking the cross earring from George Michael… his dance moves are really awkward

JAMES: We all have these human feelings… this performance is devoid of any feeling!

BOGDAN: He looks really nervous

JAMES: This to me feels like a club song you’d play at a 5th birthday party… it’s club lite and just a bit hollow

BOGDAN: At least it’s more current than some of the songs we’ve heard in the Romanian selection!

JAMES: I’ll give you that…

BOGDAN: The stage is quite small, but I like what they’ve done with it. Ilinca liked the dancing and the energy – but she also noted he looked really scared too

JAMES: Tonight each of the judge’s is going to focus on a different aspect of the performance, such as voice, staging, composition and lyrics and such

BOGDAN: Nice that they’re giving some more detailed feedback, that’s been lacking these last few weeks


JAMES: He’s behind you!! Well… next to you!!


JAMES: But not too far, Maria Suciu from Cluj-Napoca is up next with her song, Sweet Nothing


BOGDAN: This is straight out of the 1990s… very forgettable

JAMES: I have to agree… rather apt name for the song, as I suspect that’s what it’ll achieve…. sweet nothing

BOGDAN: I can’t really understand what she’s saying… have we had a chorus yet?

JAMES: This is it….


JAMES: To end on a positive note, she looks stunning and appears confident on stage. See, we’re not just here to be nasty!!

BOGDAN: Ilinca’s first comment is the show is too static… we have to agree!

JAMES: They also note that the song sort of just ended… doesn’t it need to start at some point to just end?

BOGDAN: Be nice!

BOGDAN: It’s a bit of a long winded way to do this… each judge commenting on every song is making it drag a bit and we’re only on song 2!

JAMES: Judge makes comment implying prostitution as a career choice… WHAT?! You don’t get this on the BBC!

BOGDAN: Evermorph want you to Live Your Life next


JAMES: Ed Sheeren wannabe anyone? Those chords sound very familiar…

JAMES: For a song telling us to live our lives, this is incredibly dreary

BOGDAN: I like the instrumentals, but his voice is weak… quite a let down…

JAMES: He’s another one who has stage presence and isn’t fazed by being up there, but the song doesn’t do much

BOGDAN: Ilinca wishes there had been a bit more of a show on stage… another judge comments how the lyrics reflected the delivery of the song. Live your life like a breeze, and it sounded like one too… ouch!

JAMES: Another said he was completely neutral on the song. In some ways, that’s worse that being critical…

BOGDAN: “You had an interesting song, not a good one” – the judge also noted it was quite a sad song for what should have been an uplifting message

JAMES: He’s right!


BOGDAN: Quick stop in the Green Room with Mr Bieber

JAMES: “So, the jury sort of destroyed your song out there…” ways not to start an interview question!! No wonder Maria didn’t look impressed!

BOGDAN: Dora Gaitanovici coming up now with Fara Tine, the only song in Romanian tonight. She’s 17 years old and composed the song herself

JAMES: Young artists have been doing really well in the selection so far, can she keep up the trend?


JAMES: She’s got quite an angelic voice. The staging reminds me of a cross between Love Injected (lighting) and Never Give Up On You (movement and voice)

BOGDAN: It reminds me of a classic Romanian style of music. She sings that without you she’s not herself

JAMES: I think she’s definitely the strongest contender we’ve seen so far tonight!

BOGDAN: Ilinca said Dora deserved her applause and she went through many different emotions watching

JAMES: This is what a song and singer should look like – they’re loving her!!

BOGDAN: One judge concedes he isn’t sure the song is strong enough to win Eurovision outright, but it’s still a beautiful song

JAMES: I have to agree there, it’s a brilliant performance but not sure it would win in Lisbon, But I hope it qualifies nonetheless 🙂

BOGDAN: One judge said the orchestration was a little crowded, but out of everything we’ve seen so far I think it’s the best and most likely to qualify

JAMES: Tomer Cohen from Israel says he wants to bring Romania their first win at Eurovision with Baby You’re the Only One


BOGDAN: All seems a bit amateurish to me… feels a bit of a weak copy of Gina G! It gave us a bit of a show though, which I appreciate

JAMES: This is a typical Scandi-schlager song that had it entered in the early 2000s, would have certainly had a shot at winning. It’s colourful and has a good beat, but I suspect music tastes have shifted somewhat.

BOGDAN: Judge makes more inappropriate comments about female backing dancers…

JAMES: There is a definite consensus that the dancing was great and the staging was a hit, but the song is lacking something

BOGDAN: Cesar and Diana seem to be out of the venue completely tonight and are following Vlad the Impaler around…

JAMES: As you do!

BOGDAN: Every Little Thing by Sergiu Bolota up next. Last year he also tried to compete, with a song composed Stig Rasta, but it didn’t get through. So this year, he wrote his own song


JAMES: There’s something very ‘stream of consciousness’ about this song… almost like he’s giving a modern poetry performance rather than singing a song

BOGDAN: I like it better than I did during the auditions

JAMES: Words words words, they doth tumble from his mouth!

BOGDAN: Powerful was how Ilinca described the song – but another judge accuses him of singing ‘false’ at the chorus. Really splitting opinions here!

JAMES: Back into the Green Room. Tomer speaks 3 languages, Hebrew, Spanish and English, so they’re teaching him how to say “good luck” in Romanian

BOGDAN: We’ve reached the halfway point of tonight’s show, 6 more acts coming up after the break!

JAMES: And we’re back in Sighisoara for the next instalment of Selectia Nationala! 6 more songs – let’s do this!!

BOGDAN: Chanson 7, Alexandru Ungureanu – Sail With Me

JAMES: Hoping to curry favour with the strong maritime traditions of Portugal perhaps?


JAMES: Another song it took me too long to figure out if it was in English or Romanian…

BOGDAN: I don’t like it. He’s trying though…

JAMES: I admire his conviction, but he lacks the power vocally to drive something like this

BOGDAN: Ilinca compared him to the band Gorillaz. Alexandru just said he mastered the soundtrack in his living room…

JAMES: Sounds like it, sadly!

BOGDAN: Vlad the Impaler measuring up Cezar and Diana… I’d be worried if I were you!!

JAMES: 0________0

JAMES: Next song, Iliana and I Won’t Lie. Another young singer at just 18


BOGDAN: I like it, it’s a nice song. It’s a sing along chorus which always helps

JAMES: It’s one of the more upbeat songs we’ve had tonight. I agree with you, the chorus is really light and summery, perfect for singing along to. That being said, it’s a bit too airy… would be nice if it had a bit more drive

BOGDAN: I’d say it’s a potential qualifier based on what we’ve seen so far tonight! Let’s see what the judges have to say…

JAMES: Just as I said, Ilinca wishes there was a bit more power behind her voice.

BOGDAN: Teodora Dinu wants to Fly now


JAMES: Hmmm… it’s all very modern, both in terms of music and content. But instead of being edgy, it’s disjointed and shouty.

BOGDAN: It reminds me a bit of Molitva in terms of staging. But to give her credit, she made a show out of nothing, so bravo!


JAMES: It’s been stage managed to within an inch of its life, which has been lacking from a lot of other entries tonight. She has a really strong voice and I agree with the judges, Eurovision moments are made of songs like this. Personally, I’m not a fan.

BOGDAN: I think judging by these comments, this is going to qualify tonight. One jury member even suggested stopping the competition and sending her to Lisbon!

JAMES: Teodora very excited in the Green Room following all that praise from the judges

BOGDAN: The Humans are saying Goodbye next – one of our joint favourites from tonight’s heat


JAMES: I’m loving this!

BOGDAN: Very strong vocals

JAMES: Although the artists aren’t doing much on stage, the explosions of colour behind them make for quite a show – and you can’t fault their vocals! Wow!


BOGDAN: This has to qualify! I hope the jury thinks so too!

JAMES: “You are extraordinary!” – we think so too Ilinca!

BOGDAN: One judge called it the most beautiful song he’s heard from this year… and last year!!

JAMES: Perfect pop rock for 2018 – the judges are loving this! If next week’s final were down to the jury, I suspect we might have just seen Romania’s entry!

BOGDAN: It even got a standing ovation from one of the judges! The ONLY one seen so far in ANY of the heats!

JAMES: What are you doing Vlad? asks Cezar…. I’m drawing your future… a spike… this is creepy!!! 0____0

BOGDAN: Mwahahahaha… SAVE next, All We Need


BOGDAN: It has a good rhythm, sounds like the kind of song you’d hear on the radio. Nothing new, per say, but still enjoyable… even if the staging is really dull

JAMES: He reminds me of Alex Florea’s little brother! I agree, it’s a pleasant enough song and I think it could qualify and do well at Eurovision. But yes, that staging needs something more

BOGDAN: Speaking technically, your song didn’t really have a chorus… there’s always one killjoy!

JAMES: Denisa Trofin sheds Tears next


BOGDAN: Sounds like another Bond theme song… but not as interesting or powerful as some of the others that have graced Eurovision. And the chorus isn’t much

JAMES: Falling down, falling down… so is my will to live…  there’s such a thing as a sad song that has emotional impact and makes you feel, then there’s the equivalent of a whining Facebook post. This is the latter… someone give her a like or tell her to PM her and let’s move on!

BOGDAN: That’s it! We’re free!!!

JAMES: What an anticlimax to end this selection on…

BOGDAN: While they chat a little more in the Green Room, we’ll have a chat and choose who we think will qualify tonight 🙂

BOGDAN: For me, I think The Humans, Teodora Dinu and Dora Gaitanovici will make it through to the final. How about you James?

JAMES: I have to agree, though as surprise qualifiers I could imagine SAVE or Iliana making the cut too. If there’s something we’ve seen so far with this selection, what we think and what the judges think often doesn’t match up!


BOGDAN: While the judges make their decisions, here is a concert from Romanian band Directia 5, that was recorded yesterday (that’s why the stage is different). You may recognise one of the guitarists, who is one of the jury members from tonight!

JAMES: Don’t worry folks, we’re still here! Eagerly awaiting the results, same as you!

BOGDAN: And we’re back in a very tense Green Room… everyone waiting nervously to find out if they’ve made it or not

JAMES: Must be so nerve wracking!

BOGDAN: Ilinca’s results are as follows… 8 goes to Dora, 10 to Teodora and 12 to The Humans!

JAMES: Same as we said!

BOGDAN: Same Top 3 again – The Humans leading with 24

JAMES: Teodora gets 8, Dora gets 10 and The Humans get 12

BOGDAN: Could it be that for the final Heat we actually guess all 3 qualifiers for once!?

JAMES: 8 for Dora, 10 for The Humans and 12 for Teodora!

BOGDAN: First 10 for The Humans!

JAMES: Thank you Sighisoara for your hospitality… and for not impaling Diana and Cezar! 😀

BOGDAN: So the qualifiers of tonight are:

58 points – The Humans

50 points – Teodora Dinu

42 points – Dora Gaitanovici

BOTH: Congratulations to all  three acts that qualified! For the first time we got it right. Thank you all for watching and following our blog! It was a long long journey, but we can’t wait for the final of Selectia Nationala 2018 next Sunday.

Good night Europe! See you next time!

Authors: James & Bogdan

Source: TVR, Eurovision Ireland


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