Romania: Snubbed Artists React to Jury Decision

The Romanian ESC community is still reeling after TVR jury revealed some oddball choices yesterday, snubbing  favourites like Cobzality and sending anonymous names like Marcel “Sal” Craciunescu straight to the national final. Many fans and singers alike were upset, and some of the artists took measures.

The members of Cobzality, pictured above, were particularly surprised. They were shooting the video for “Steaua din vis” with Matilda Pascal Cojocarita when the news came in that they were not selected for the Selectia Nationala final. Their Facebook status promptly read, minutes after TVR announced the decision:

We are glad to read the messages of shock and support regarding the fact that our song was not selected… We have the right to submit an appeal, in accordance with the regulation, so we shall do that. Until then, we are shooting the video of “Steaua din vis”, because we believe in our star. Thanks for your support, you’re the best!

Matilda Pascal Cojocarita told the pres:

We knew the risks and we considered all the possibilities. A kick in the back is a step forward. We will keep promoting our song.

Colors in Stereo was another band that was widely expected to qualify with their song “HeartQuake”, published on the day the submissions period ended:

Colors in Stereo, formed by former The Voice – Romania contestants and real life couple Stella Anita and Andrei Chermeleu, was hoping that the pairing with songwriter Mihai Ogasanu (a former Selectia Nationala judge and composer of numerous Romanian hits) would propel it to the Selectia Nationala stage, but it was not to be. The band released this statement to the media:

“HeartQuake”, a visionary, emotional, energetic – positive song, with English lyrics and a catchy surprise chorus, a track that became one of the favorites this year, was highly appreciated both by experienced radio hosts and other Romanian composers and singers, yet the mysterious Romanian jury didn’t rank it among the twelve songs that enter the Romanian final. Stella Anita, Andrei Chermeleu, and hit composer Mihai Ogasanu will appeal against the Romanian Eurovision 2014 pre-selection results.

Songwriter Mihai Ogasanu confirmed that they filed an appeal today. TVR is expected to reply within 72 hours.

Jazz singer Ozana Barabancea is another fan favourite, who had submitted this Nina Zilli-esque number to Selectia Nationala:

She reacted as well:

I know that my song is very dynamic and the number of [YouTube] views says it all. Thanks to everyone who supported me. I hope that we will get rid of nepotism one day, at least in the big competitions, especially when public money is at stake.

Cezar Dometi, one of last year’s semi-finalists, chose not to make the trip to TVR and told Wiwibloggs: “I am certain that we will be represented in Denmark by an entry that has real chances of bringing the trophy home.” Band Plastic Wizards does not contest the jury’s decision either, but demands more transparency, the release of the jury composition and of their criteria for selecting the songs.

British singer Krystal Mills, who had hoped to represent Romania with Mircea Cioclei, told us that she was “a bit gutted” but that she was enjoying her time in Romania, where she is touring with Mircea. She added:

We have not received any statements from the TVR Jury as of yet. We hope that they might still consider us however… You never know what’s around the corner.

Ovidiu Anton, last year’s finalist, told Wiwibloggs that TVR jury’s decision reflects its “level of education, training and culture, as well as its morality and fairness”.  The disgruntled singer added,

It’s a risk that we took when we entered Eurovision, a contest devoted to diversity, which is also reflected in the songs submitted to Selectia Nationala. Nevertheless, I would find it realistic that the national final showcase projects that Romania would be proud to be represented by, not cheap fake shows selected for reasons pertaining to ratings and scandal.


Liana Stanciu and Mihai "Mita" Georgescu

Liana Stanciu and Mihai “Mita” Georgescu

Meanwhile, Romanian fans are raging about the possibility of Bere Gratis winning the selection. Lead vocalist Mihai “Mita” Georgescu is married to Liana Stanciu, this year’s head of delegation for Romania, and many see a conflict of interest, despite Stanciu’s repeated disclaimers that she is not a member of the jury [update: she claims that she tried to resign, but TVR wouldn’t let her]. Fans intend to approach EBU and ask the Eurovision organisers about the legality and morality of this unprecedented situation.

What do you think about the fans’ and rejected artists’ opinions about the jury decision? What are their chances of success, for these of them who filed appeals? And are you particularly shocked, disappointed or saddened by TVR’s picks for the national final?

Bogdan Honciuc is a Romania-based correspondent for You can follow him on Twitter @stingovision. You can also keep up-to-date with the latest Eurovision news and gossip by following the team on Twitter @wiwibloggs and by liking our Facebook page.