On April 22 Romania’s state broadcaster TVR was expelled from the EBU, which means Romania must sit out of Eurovision 2016. Needless to say it’s been a tough week for Romanian Eurovision fans, as well as fans of the Eastern European country in the contest.
Since the introduction of the semi-finals, Romania has never failed to qualify for the Grand Final and has produced 18 songs that brought a lot of joy for Eurofans everywhere. Let us celebrate Romania by remembering its finest, lowest and craziest moments at Eurovision — and then choosing its best song!
You can vote for your favourite Romanian entry in the poll below, but first let’s reminisce about the contestants.
1994: Dan Bittman – “Dincolo de nori”
Romania debuted at Eurovision in 1994 when Ireland was hosting the contest. Rock singer Dan Bittman performed the Romanian language ballad “Dincolo de nori” (Beyond the clouds), which finished 21st out of 25 participants with 14 points.
1998: Malina Olinescu – “Eu cred”
Romania returned to the country after four years with another ballad, “Eu cred” (I Believe), performed by the late Malina Olinescu. The song finished 22nd out of 25 participants, with 6 points.
2000: Taxi – “The Moon”
Two years later the country sent its first English language song, the folk ballad “The Moon”. The band Taxi finished 17th out of 24 countries, with 25 points.
2002: Monica Anghel & Marcel Pavel – “Tell Me Why”
Romania’s losing streak ended in 2002 when “Tell Me Why” broke into the Top 10. The ballad finished 9th on the scoreboard in Tallinn, with 71 points.
2003: Nicola – “Don’t Break My Heart”
In Riga, Nicola finished 10th on the scoreboard, with 73 points.
2004: Sanda Ladosi – “I Admit”
In Istanbul, Sanda Ladosi only managed to finish 18th with 18 points. However, she also nabbed Romania’s only Barbara Dex Award with her unfortunate choice of dress.
2005: Luminita Anghel & Sistem – “Let Me Try”
The year 2005 marked Romania’s first taste of real success at the song contest. “Let Me Try” ended third on the scoreboard in Kyiv with 158 points and remains, to this day, one of the most beloved Eurovision hits.
2006: Mihai Traistariu – “Tornero”
Romania’s winning streak continued in 2006 with yet another huge hit, “Tornero”. Mihai Traistariu finished fourth on the scoreboard with 172 points, the highest number of points Romania has ever gotten in Eurovision.
2007: Todomondo – “Liubi, Liubi, I Love You”
In 2007, Romania tried to court as many televoters as possible with a multi-lingual track. The English-Italian-Spanish-French-Russian-Romanian language song managed to secure 84 points and finished 13th on the scoreboard.
2008: Nico & Vlad – “Pe-o margine de lume”
Romania returned to its roots and sent the Romanian language song “Pe-o margine de lume” (At an edge of the world), which finished 20th on the scoreboard in Belgrade, with 45 points.
2009: Elena – “The Balkan Girls”
Elena Gheorghe also failed to impress and finished only 19th with 40 points in Moscow.
2010: Paula Seling & Ovi – “Playing With Fire”
In Oslo, Paula and Ovi managed to take Romania back toward the top. Their song “Playing With Fire” ended in third place with 162 points.
2011: Hotel FM – “Change”
Despite finishing 4th in the semi-final, “Change” only managed to get 77 points in the Grand Final, ending up in 17th place.
2012: Mandinga – “Zaleilah”
Mandinga also placed a respectable third in the semi-final, but the Grand Final saw them finish in 12th place with 71 points.
2013: Cezar – “It’s My Life”
Despite high hopes of winning the contest with his falsetto voice and a jaw-dropping stage performance, countertenor Cezar “The Voice” Ouatu only managed to finish 13th with 65 points.
2014: Paula Seling & Ovi – “Miracle”
Paula Seling and Ovi returned to the Eurovision stage in 2014, but they failed to match their 2010 success. The finished 12th in Copenhagen, with 72 points.
2015: Voltaj – “De la capat (All Over Again)”
Romania’s last Eurovision participation saw the pop-rock band finish 15th with their bilingual song, which got 35 points in the final.
2016: Ovidiu Anton – “Moment Of Silence”
Despite the fact that Romania was eliminated from the contest just weeks before it was supposed to compete this year, it would be unfair to take the country’s last song out of consideration. “Moment Of Silence” won both the jury and the televote in Selectia Nationala, which makes Ovidiu Anton’s self-penned rock anthem as worthy of our respect as the previous Romanian entries.
So what is your favourite Romanian Eurovision entry? You can vote for as many songs as you want in the poll, but you can only vote once. We will reveal the results in two weeks time, ahead of the contest.