Buna seara Romania! Buna seara Europa si Buna Dimineata Australia!
We finally reached the final of Selectia Nationala 2018, the show that decides Romania’s representative for Eurovision.
As you well know by now, this year TVR decided that Selectia Nationala 2018 will consist of six shows: five semi-finals and a final, under the slogan “Eurovision unește România!” (Eurovision unites Romania!).
We’ve been to a lots of interesting places around Romania and tonight we’re back in the capital – Bucharest at Sala Polivalenta.
So sit back and relax, and let Eurovision Ireland’s blogging duo James and Bogdan #JAMDAN entertain and inform you about what’s going on. 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.
A live webcast is also be available via YouTube.
15 singers will perform tonight for a chance to represent Romania in Lisbon this year.
The artists taking part in the show tonight are:
Rafael & Friends – “We Are One”
TIRI – “Desert de sentimente”
Claudia Andas – “The One”
Echoes – “Mirror”
Dora Gaitanovici – “Fara tine”
Eduard Santha – “Me Som Romales”
VYROS – “La la la”
Feli – “Buna de iubit”
Teodora Dinu – “Fly”
M I H A I – “Heaven”
Xandra – “Try”
Jukebox feat. Bella Santiago – “Auzi cum bate”
Alexia & Matei – “Walking On Water”
Erminio Sinni & Tiziana Camelin – “All the Love Away”
The HUMANS – “Goodbye”
Tonight’s winner will be decided by televote only.
LIVE BLOG STARTS HERE
JAMES: Good evening everyone! Well, it’s been a long 6 weeks but tonight we get what we’ve all been waiting for – Romania’s next Eurovision entrant! Show should be starting up on YouTube in the next few minutes, so be patient and check back soon!
BOGDAN: Welcome, one and all to Bucharest, once famed as the Paris of the East!
BOGDAN: Tonight we’re kicking off with dancers performing to a song called Who loves and leaves, may God punish him… it’s an old folkloric song
JAMES: Catchy title…
BOGDAN: It sounds like Delia singing
JAMES: It’s a very dark and dramatic hora
BOGDAN: Our hosts, Cezar and Diana… you should know that by now, you’ve been staring at them every Sunday for 6 weeks! 😛
JAMES: Live to the nation in ripped jeans Cezar? Really? #Choices
BOGDAN: Now we’re being reminded of all the acts who qualified for the final in order of qualification (eg, 1st, 2nd, 3rd in Focsani, 1st, 2nd, 3rd in Timisoara…)
JAMES: Is it bad I’d forgotten some of these acts? 0_o It has been a long selection…
BOGDAN: Lots of black and white costumes tonight…
JAMES: Feli just got the biggest cheer of the night so far walking out on stage
BOGDAN: Cezar reminding everyone at home that tonight there are no jury points – the result will be chosen 100% by the Romanian public. They’ll have an hour to vote once all the acts have performed
JAMES: First up is Rafael and Friends with “We Are One”… Malmoe 2013 anyone?
BOGDAN: This would have won hands down in the 1980s…
BOGDAN: Rafael appears to be having some technical problems, as he keeps tapping his mic pack.. oops… but to give him credit, he continuing without letting it show!
JAMES: They’ve changed the song to include some operatic shrieking… just as I was typing “this is unnecessary” Bogdan says “That’s a good change!”… ah, differences of opinion! 😛
JAMES: It’s a sweet enough song, but it’s so dated. This would have won Eurovision in the 1980s, as was said tonight, but it’s 2018 now…
BOGDAN: It was an improvement from what we’ve seen before, but I don’t think it will be the song going to Lisbon tonight
JAMES: Tiri up next… Bogdan’s favourite
BOGDAN: Desert de Sentimente just drags on and on till it gets to the instrumental, which is the only thing that saves the song but it’s not original!
JAMES: … but other than that it’s ok?
BOGDAN: The stage is good for a Eurovision national selection… song is terrible
JAMES: For me the performance and instrumental were the best bits of the song, but even then it wasn’t great… glad we have lots of other songs to choose from tonight!
BOGDAN: Claudia Andas is singing for “The One” now
JAMES: Claudia got very emotional during her semifinal and was in tears when she won
BOGDAN: I love her voice, but don’t love what she’s wearing… far too 1980s…
JAMES: Bit too dominatrix for me…
BOGDAN: Was just saying the staging was a touch dull, but now we’ve got some bubble effects
JAMES: I’d argue a song like this doesn’t need much staging, it’s about the voice driving it
**Claudia hits a note not usually heard in the natural world a la Kaliopi**
*both JAMES and BOGDAN sit in stunned silence*
JAMES: I love the song, just not sure that was the best way to present it… but well done nonetheless Claudia!
BOGDAN: Our hosts have changed! Well, they haven’t, their clothes have…
JAMES: Ioana and Sonia are in the Green Room chatting with the singers. Ioana is in silver, Sonia in purple. She just asked a male dancer stripped to his waist if he’s cold… I doubt anyone cares! 😛
BOGDAN: Enough from the Green Room, it’s on with the songs! Echoes with “Mirror” up next
JAMES: Wasn’t that sunny where I went to Bucharest… rained all day!
JAMES: Oh I remember this now… Romania’s answer to Maroon 5!
BOGDAN: The song isn’t very powerful and the stage looks empty with them just standing there. They’re not performing like a band, more like a group of individuals
JAMES: I agree, it’s a bit empty and the chorus sounds like it should have real drive, but it’s so lukewarm…
BOGDAN: I like the sound of the chorus
JAMES: A chorus like this should be yelled… maybe AWS could give them some tips on how to scream into a microphone?
JAMES: I like these little snippets of the artists exploring Bucharest 🙂
BOGDAN: Dora Gaitanovici believes a song in Romanian – namely “Fara Tine” – can win Eurovision. I’d like to think so!
JAMES: We were saying as recently as April 2017 that a song in Portuguese would never win Eurovision… so never say never!
BOGDAN: I love this, it’s one of my favourites tonight
JAMES: She sings beautifully and with conviction, something I’m very hard on with potential Eurovision singers!
BOGDAN: This is such a pretty and pure song
JAMES: Romania could do much worse than sending this to Lisbon!
JAMES: My one tiny critique is the ending… it just sort of stops abruptly, which doesn’t fit the rest of the song for me. But a very solid effort, brava!
BOGDAN: Eduard Santha, who argues there’s a gypsy in all of us singing “Me Som Romales” now
JAMES: Romani singers performing in chains… I applaud the strong political message, however I suspect they’ll be asked to tone this down if they go to Lisbon
BOGDAN: This sounds like 3 songs run into one… there are too many styles colliding… less Beautiful Mess, more just a Mess…
JAMES: Clearly we know nothing as the arena seemed to love that!
BOGDAN: Another costume change for our hosts…
JAMES: Do you think they get paid by every designer they wear?
BOGDAN: Back to the Green Room, where acts are already begging their fans to pick up the phone and vote for them
JAMES: Eduard Santha chants “We want peace!” until the hostess in the Green Room looked uncomfortable… fun!
*BOGDAN and JAMES take their eyes off Romania for a second to see who won in Armenia – congrates Sevak!*
JAMES: Back to Romania and VYROS now – “La la la” won once before can it do it again?
BOGDAN: Problems with the mic… try turning it off!!
JAMES: Now now, Bogdan! 😉
BOGDAN: I must admit, it’s better that he sings the chorus solo, and his vocals are better than we heard in the semifinal
JAMES: I’m still not convinced… for me, it’s like the kind of music you’d hear in the background of a movie
BOGDAN: Claudia Andras screams and we’re awed into silence… VYROS screams and we glance over to check the cat isn’t dead… 0_____0
JAMES: Cat is fine, phew… it was VYROS making that *ahem* sound…
BOGDAN: Feli is up next! Eurovision Ireland readers voted her their winner – can she pull it off?
JAMES: It’s definitely much more of a show than last time, very elaborately choreographed and would certainly grab attention in Lisbon. At the risk of enraging everyone from here to Bucharest, I think translating this song into English has weakened it significantly… pity…
BOGDAN: She fills the stage and I like the choreography a lot. Vocally, she could have been a bit neater, but considering how much she’s moving it’s little wonder. Every time her name is mentioned, the arena crowd go wild! 😀
JAMES: Back in the Green Room to chat to Feli and VYROS
BOGDAN: We’re over half way through!
JAMES: Have we already seen the winner of the night?
JAMES: Where are the jury, shrieks Diana… over there under the spotlights!
BOGDAN: Ilinca is not among them. I guess she’s backstage preparing to perform later on tonight.
JAMES: DoReDos will also be performing later, having only won their selection in Moldova last night!
BOGDAN: Turns out Ilinca is performing now, not later! It’s all very Cirque du Soleil, non?
JAMES: This is Ilinca’s latest single, ‘Nu Acum’ or ‘Not Now’
BOGDAN: I like it!
JAMES: We’re having a quick ad break, then we’ll be back with the rest of Romania’s Eurovision songs – y’all come back now, ya hear?
JAMES: So, some of you out there in YouTube land think Romania should send the singing pharmacy ad to Eurovision… interesting idea! 😀
BOGDAN: And we’re back! Did you miss us?
JAMES: Straight back into the songs now with Teodora Dinu and “Fly”, and Teodora is looking very Black Swan!
BOGDAN: It’s essentially the same show we saw in the semi final, but more polished.
JAMES: Agreed! Musically, I don’t quite get it, but as a performance it’s strong. Puts me in mind of Belgium’s Rhythm Inside, bit futuristic and strange for me
BOGDAN: She’s flying!!! She definitely puts on a show, so even if the song is only mediocre, the performance lifts it
JAMES: Mr Eurovision Romania himself up now, Mihai! Hai hai Mihai!
JAMES: Mihai’s national selection performances are always sleek and well thought out and this is no exception! Simple lighting effects give a very dramatic performance that allows Mihai to take centre stage
BOGDAN: It’s a definite improvement from the semifinal, that’s for sure!
JAMES: And he knows how to bring it vocally! I don’t think it’s Mihai’s best song, but it’s a solid performance. Bravo!
BOGDAN: Xandra is up next, another familiar face at Selectia Nationala. This year’s entry is “Try”
BOGDAN: You can’t fault her vocals, though her backing dancers seem to have borrowed Eduard Santha’s chains…
JAMES: Another very well put together performance with dances and visuals. The song is very Adele, so I’m sure it would pick up points if it went to Lisbon.
BOGDAN: I find it boring… it’s not the kind of song I want to listen to more than once, which for me doesn’t say “Eurovision winner”
JAMES: Xandra has a huge fan base in Romania and they’re obviously in the hall tonight – listen to that reaction!!
BOGDAN: Mihai just said he holds the record for most appearances at Selectia Nationala – 9!
JAMES: Another singer with “serial Eurovision artist” on their CV then! *cough* Valentina Monetta *cough*
BOGDAN: 4 songs left now!
JAMES: Next up is Jukebox and Bella Santiago with “Auzi Cum Bate” – one of my favourites ahead of tonight’s show!
BOGDAN: This is a strong performance, driven by great vocals and it’s still in Romanian! They recorded an English version, but I’m so glad that for now they’re keeping it in Romanian!
JAMES: So am I! I honestly thought Feli had tonight in the bag, but I think Jukebox could still seize it. This is such a great performance with its concept, choreography, everything! I think we might have just seen tonight’s winner!
BOGDAN: Alexia and Matei singing “Walking On Water” – shouldn’t they be in bed by now? (kiding)
JAMES: What on earth is she wearing?! It’s like something grandma gets buried in!It doesn’t suit the young sound and energy of the song at all!
BOGDAN: They sing well together, but while they’re trying to give us more of a show with the performance, it’s a bit forgettable.
JAMES: If Romania still took part at JESC, I’d say something like this could do really well. For Eurovision, it’s got a good beat but as a performance something is lacking and as Bogdan said, it’s making the whole package not very memorable.
BOGDAN: Maybe with a few more years experience, they’d be able to more easily perform an entry as well as sing it
JAMES: Back to the Green Room – Bella Santiago’s birthday is the same day as Romania, December 1st! Is that an omen? 😉
BOGDAN: Interesting that the public have all the say tonight about who will win… you never can tell what they’re thinking or how they’re going to vote!
JAMES: So true… remember Scooch? *flashbacks*
BOGDAN: Penultimate song of the night now, Erminio Sinni & Tiziana Camelin – “All the Love Away”
JAMES: Erminio took part in Sanremo a few years ago, and while he didn’t win that, together he and Tiziana won their semi final!
BOGDAN: She has a beautiful voice. The song is really dated, but I like it. There have been plenty of songs tonight that I’d struggle wanting to hear again, but I’d happily listen to this again
JAMES: Remember what we were saying about the public being unpredictable? I think something like this could win a national selection from nostalgic televoters… but I don’t envision it doing well in Lisbon…
JAMES: Our last song tonight! It’s the HUMANS, with “Goodbye” – a fitting song to end the show on!
BOGDAN: It’s a beautiful song, easily one of the best songs tonight – she just needs to connect more with the camera and it would be flawless!
JAMES: After a bit of a shaky start, I’ve sat here and just listened. I think this song could be a contender for tonight’s win, and I’d be thrilled if it did. I think the semifinal was a better performance, but it’s still an incredible song. Congratulations!
BOGDAN: At the semi-final, it felt more personal. I still love the song, but it’s a step in the wrong direction for me…
JAMES: So that’s it! All 15 acts have performed – they’ve done their part, now it’s time for Romania to decide!
BOGDAN: While they have another natter in the Green Room and Cezar crones Amar Pelos Dois, we’ll take a moment to consider our winners tonight. Don’t go away!
BOGDAN: My Top 3 tonight are Feli, Dora Gaitanovici and Jukebox. I wouldn’t mind if the Humans won either, but I’d like it to be one of those 4!
JAMES: I think Dora winning might be a touch ambitious, but it would be lovely for a song in Romanian to win! As I said earlier, I honestly thought tonight belonged to Feli, but I think Jukebox were phenomenal. The Humans would also be a worthy winner, even if they show lacked the impact it had previously. I know how much it would mean to Mihai personally to win too!
JAMES: There are a couple of singers I expect will score well, but perhaps won’t win such as Erminio Sinni & Tiziana Camelin and Claudia Andras… and soon we’ll find out!
BOGDAN: The hosts explain the voting, you can vote once for each song from one number. After this recap, the lines will open.
ROMANIA! START VOTING… NOW!!
JAMES: Remember, you have an hour to vote – so if you’re waiting for a quick result, go make a sandwich or something, this will take a while!
BOGDAN: In the first few seconds of voting, we saw Alexia and Matei took an early lead, followed by Feli and then Mihai… interesting!
JAMES: Ad break time – see anything you’d like to buy?
BOGDAN: We’re back in Bucharest, the voting window is still open for another 46 minutes… you know what that means?!
JAMES: Another ABBA tribute band that refuses to end?
BOGDAN: Almost! It’s Alex Calancea band!
JAMES: Naughty TVR keep teasing us with the scoreboard! We were quick enough to grab it for you – Alexia and Matei are in the lead, followed by The Humans!
BOGDAN: We’re keeping an eye out if the scoreboard pops up again to let you know who’s in the lead. We’ll keep you updated!
BOGDAN: Latest results! The gap is closing, but its still Alexia and Matei leading, but The Humans are catching up… this is going to be close!!!
JAMES: We’re still here! And Romania still has 19 minutes to vote! Plenty of time to pick up the phone and change who is in the lead… HINT HINT!
BOGDAN: Only just over 100 votes separate Alexia & Matei and The Humans!! This is going to come down to a handful of votes choosing the winner!!! AAAAARRRGGGHHHH!!!!
JAMES: This is too exciting! *faints*
JAMES: Anyone else hear that sound? He’s hurting that poor violin!
BOGDAN: Only 10 minutes left… eeek!
JAMES: The Green Room looks nervous… we’re frantic too!
BOGDAN: Last minute pleas for votes – 4 minutes left!
*YouTube feed stops – BOGDAN and JAMES simultaneous have nervous break downs*
JAMES: That’s right, take a nice selfie while we go to pieces here!!!
BOGDAN: VOTING IS CLOSED!! Oh God…
JAMES: While the votes are tallied and while we compose ourselves, here are DoReDos fresh from their victory at O Melodie Pentru Europa yesterday evening! I think Moldova made a good choice with this song
BOGDAN: Has Romania done the same?!
JAMES: The votes are in! VYROS are 15th, Eduard Santha is 14th
BOGDAN: Erminio Sinni & Tiziana Camelin 13th, TIRI 12th and Echoes 11th
JAMES: Teodora Dina 10th, Xandra is 9th, while in 8th place it’s Claudia Andas
BOGDAN: 7th for Mihai, 6th is Dora
JAMES: Rafael and Friends are 5th (amazingly)!
BOGDAN: Time for the Top 4…
JAMES: and the winner is… with over 3200 votes…
THE HUMANS WIN!!!!!!
Congratulations! That was so nerve racking-but a well-deserved win!
Thank you for all of you that followed our blog and hope you enjoyed our little “chat”. See you soon and good night!
Authors: James & Bogdan
Source: TVR, Eurovision Ireland