Vanish the shade and let there be light! Today Romania reminded the world why they have a perfect qualification record at the Eurovision Song Contest with the Humans bringing creative staging to Altice Arena in Lisbon. They filled the stage with dozens of black mannequins, which created natural walkways and paths for Cristina to strut to and fro. It didn’t look like a department store. Owing to extremely dark lighting, you were taken to another world — a museum perhaps — and the visuals were so striking you didn’t want to leave.

Cristina strikes the perfect balance between sexy and sophisticated in a plum-coloured dress with a very deep thigh-split. It shows off her endlessly lithe left leg and compliments her stunning figure. She provides a sense of dynamism, strength and energy as she marches past the lifeless forms, reminding us of our humanity amid those who have no feelings. At times her band mates — who wear all-white — freeze and become “mannequins” themselves, adding to the message that anyone can become frozen or indeed come back to life.

Romania have taken a questionable performance from the national final and turned it into high art. Gone is the cheap dress reveal and the dubious dancing. What remains is a rock performance that cuts across borders and touches hearts — and should surely keep Romania’s qualification streak in tact. Merci!

The Humans — “Goodbye”: Reviews and Reactions

Romania: First rehearsal at Eurovision 2018

Romania: First press conference 2018

Read all of our Eurovision rehearsal reviews

Read all of our Romania Eurovision news here

Footage & Photos: EBU & RTP

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28 Comments on "Romania: The Humans fill the stage with mannequins as Cristina nails her vocals during memorable first rehearsal"

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AngieP
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I have still trouble connecting to the song. Clever staging, but nothing changed for me really.

Fun or ban?
Guest

Dear William, your works are like a tonic. Very clever and inspired article.

Apple
Guest
I think the staging really helps sell the message of the song. Personally, I always liked it since the national final (although the staging needed work). Yes, the song sounds old-fashioned, but it’s not dated. Its more like it’s calling back to the past, which really fits the theme of finding the joy in life’s small things again. Plus those power notes really cut through and are perfect for a live performance. The guitar chords right after the big “Goodbye” note really grab you too. All that in mind, I’m happy with what Romania is serving us this year. Cristina’s… Read more »
brennan
Guest

i love that they realized how valuable that power note is to their performance and are amping it all the way up with some sort of 360 degree camera work (?), ngl the mannequins make me feel a little uncomfortable but at least it makes me feel something! it’s more than i think most people expected out of this song. good work!

Apple
Guest

Yeah same here on the mannequins. I think that’s the point though. It’s certainly memorable

Skiwalko
Guest

Since the national final I was 99% sure they will qualify, now i think it’s going to fight for a place in top 15, due to the great vocals, important message and nice mood. However it would be completly understandable to me if they didn’t go through, cause sometimes to me it looks a bit odd and messy. But overall I have good feelings about this. And no, I’m not Romanian.

Yaa
Guest

Oh, they will so go through, you just wait and see! Never doubted them, never mind the odds and polls!

Sabrina
Guest

I wasn’t expecting much from Romania this year, but the mannequins were a very smart idea. They not just fill the stage, but also help setting the mood for the song, so it’s a double win. Cristina’s vocals are great and they picked the perfect dress for her. If the camera angles (I imagine she starts it walking between the mannequins) give us enough reasons to be distracted from the average song, they still can keep their perfect record.

Miguel
Guest

I was surprised with the mannequins at first. It’s a very smart idea to fill the stage.
I am liking the stage here. It’s posh and simple, and her vocals are great.

Yaa
Guest

Goosebumps! They will qualify..

Yaa
Guest

And I’m really happy they will sing after Norway, #2 in odds, them being currently at #36, it’ll be a feel good moment, I can’t wait!

Héctor
Guest

Strong vocals! And she doesn’t sound shouty like other divas. I like the song, it may feel dated to the general public, but I think it has a an atemporal vibe in it. I would like to see Romania in the final, although I think their going to struggle.

Jo.
Guest

This is going to the final.

gina
Guest

Romania has the same theme as Malta (fighting demons that make one depressed and suicidal). I’m curious what Malta will do on stage.

?a?ar qim?
Guest

They will adapt the staging from Malta to Lisbon, with the box but apparently the box is new and improved and only one dancer will be present

Apple
Guest

Personally I think the messages of Malta and Romania are a bit different. Malta is about mental health and helping yourself get better, but Romania is about finding the small things in life that are precious and learning to appreciate them. They have a similar idea but they try to communicate it very differently. Plus the styles of each song are wildly different from each other, so I don’t think they’re really comparable

Nora
Guest

I usually like their entries, but this one is really bad. The only positive thing about the whole act is Cristina’s powerful vocals. They don’t deserve the finals imo.

jim
Guest

the song is very bad so the staging doesnt matter much

Gilbert
Guest

This is so great, I forgot that it was even participating. Unquestionably the worst one after Serbia and Georgia. Even San Marino and Montenegro stand higher chances!

Jurgz
Guest

Romania is really bad this year. Wish I could help them somehow but it will be useless…

Alex
Guest

R u serious?

Alex
Guest

Best props EVAR!

Polegend Godgarina
Guest

I honestly really like the song even though it’s ten years dated. Cristina’s voice is amazing and the atmosphere is magic. Staging is one of Romania’s strengths, so they might nail this.

jim
Guest

you mean 30 years dated

Jo.
Guest

Nah, this is very early 00’s.

Denis
Guest

Even with laccklustre song Romania shows why they always qualify. This year shouldn’t be different. But don’t expect better than 19th or so in the final

adriana
Guest

Impressive.