Romania: Ilinca feat. Alex Florea win Selectia Nationala 2017 with “Yodel It!”

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It’s official! Switzerland and Romania have made a cultural exchange for Eurovision 2017. After Romanian band Timebelle won Die Entscheidungsshow one month agoRomania is going to send an Alpine banger to Kyiv, as Ilinca feat. Alex Florea won Selectia Nationala 2017 with “Yodel It!”. What were the odds?!

This year the jury sifted through 72 entries and picked ten finalists for Sunday’s show. During the Selectia Nationala final, the winner was determined 100% by the televote. It was the first time the public had their say in the selection, so the results were a big unknown, despite the fact that “Yodel It!” was a huge favourite in the Eurovision fandom.

In the semi-final, Ilinca feat. Alex Florea wowed the jury and earned a maximum score of 60 — that is all the scores of 12 from the five jurors.

Tonight, the public also decided that “Yodel It!” should represent Romania. With 10,377 votes, the duo totally slayed the pack. In second place was M I H A I  with 5,201 votes. Third place went to Instinct, who received 3,063 votes.

Selectia Nationala 2017 final: Televoting results

Ilinca feat. Alex Florea: “Yodel It!” – National final performance

Ilinca and Alex Florea have been fan favourites ever since their live audition. The song is even believed to be responsible for Romania sitting sixth in the odds to win Eurovision this year.

The Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of music unprofessionals — gave “Yodel It!” an overall score of 7.36, the highest of Selectia Nationala 2017. Jason gave it a score of 9 and said: “I fell in love with this entry. The mixture of rap and yodeling actually works really well. ‘Yodel It’ would stand out in Kyiv, that’s for sure! Ilinca and Alex Florea have wonderful chemistry on stage and it really elevates this entry.”

Ilinca feat. Alex Florea also won the wiwibloggs Selectia Nationala 2017 poll by an Alpine landslide. “Yodel It!” managed to grab more votes than all the other acts combined, amassing over 50% of the ballot. With such a preamble, it should come as no surprise that the duo won Romania’s national selection by such a margin.

WHO ARE ILINCA AND ALEX?

Eighteen-year old Ilinca Bacila broke onto the Romanian music scene when her blind audition on The Voice of Romania 2014 went viral. Three judges turned their seats and Ilinca went on to reach the semi-finals.

Alex Florea, who is 26 years old, also reached the semi-final of The Voice of Romania one year later. Unlike on “Yodel It!”, where he raps, on The Voice he was the resident rocker. In 2014, Alex also entered X Factor Romania — only to lose out to rising pop star Nicoleta Nuca.

Ilinca first met with Alex at the end of last year, when Mihai Alexandru came up to them with the song “Yodel It!”. The songwriter made the Eurovision stage once before, in 2003, with the song “Don’t Break My Heart” performed by his then wife Nicola. He’s also responsible for Timebelle’s first attempt to represent Switzerland, “Singing About Love”. This will mark the second time when Mihai Alexandru has won the Romanian selection.

At the press conference after the national final, Mihai Alexandru specified that he initially wrote the song for Timebelle in Switzerland. Suddenly, the yodeling starts to make sense, right? However, because of the band’s contractual commitments, the collaboration fell through and that’s when the songwriter turned his attention to Ilinca and Alex. And the rest is history in the making!

Interval acts: Timebelle, Manel Navarro and SunStroke Project

The representatives of Switzerland, Spain, and Moldova got to promote their songs. Romanian band Timebelle, representing Switzerland, performed “Apollo”, while Manel Navarro sang “Do It For My Lover” and SunStroke Project wowed the crowd with “Hey Mamma”. While the viewers voted for their favourite acts, ABBA tribute band Arrival from Sweden performed several hits of the Eurovision 1974 winners.

What do you think about the winner of Selectia Nationala 2017? Will “Yodel It!” make a good impression in Kyiv? What’s your prediction? Sound off below!

 Photo: TVR