Romania’s Selectia Nationala is in full swing and the first semi-final is fast approaching. It will be broadcast Saturday, 23 February on TVR1 and on TVR’s new and improved Eurovision site starting at 20:00 CET. It will feature 16 of the most powerful names, voices, and songs selected after the live auditions. The vote will be split 50/50 between televoting (viewers can vote up to 11 times by SMS from Romania) and the jury.

In a first, the Romanian broadcaster has published the auditions, which took place in front of the jury, on YouTube. Here is the running order of Semi-Final 1, with links to the respective clips:

1. Tudor Turcu – “Hello”

2. Casa Presei – “Un refren”

3. Electric Fence – “Emilia”

4. Diana Hetea – “I Believe in love”

5. Station 4 – “Your heart is telling me so”

6. Edict – “Buddy Buddy”

7. Free Stay – “Criminal mind”

8. Maximilian Munteanu – “Broken heart”

9. Brigitta & Mihai (feat TIPS) – “One heart”

10. Natalia Barbu – “Confession”

11. Spin & Cezar Dometi – “Silver lining”

12. Liviu Mititelu – “La donna di Nero”

13. Cezar – “It’s my life”

14. Tammy -“Firebird”

15. Luminita Anghel – “Unique”

16. Anthony – “Dream girl”

Casa Presei

Originally TVR said that 12 artists would participate in each semi-final. I don’t know if the decision to include 16 songs a good thing. Although every single act is talented and all the songs are above average, it’s quite clear that some of them are not Eurovision material. I’m looking at you, Casa Presei: the early 90’s called and they want their song back. Others sound alright but look weird (two words: squatting Cezar), and a few of them are quite forgettable. Otherwise, it’s an excitingly diverse mix: a nice blend of dance songs, ballads, pop-opera, rock, different voices, languages, styles… just like a regular ESC night!

Judging by the songs and the live auditions and overlooking the fact that conditions were visibly and audibly different from the local studios to the Bucharest one, little has changed from my previous assessment: Electric Fence, Diana Hetea, Natalia Barbu and Luminita Anghel sound like clear finalists. Tudor Turcu, the recent X Factor Romania winner who is still running on his 20 minutes of fame, is also expected to gather strong televoting support, despite the fact that his voice and song are stuck in the 80’s (not necessarily a bad thing since the 80’s are cool again).

As for the sixth act, I think it most likely comes down to two acts. One is Station 4, who have been dubbed the “Romanian One Direction” by their army of teenage fans. They are an underdog with a lot of bark in this semi. The other is Tammy, who will come to the contest with a catchier version of her song. Unfortunately she faces the challenge of singing right before the hugely popular Luminita Anghel.

Liviu Mititelu is the wild card. It remains to be seen if an Italian song performed by an artist who is very popular among people who don’t usually watch Eurovision will do well. By the way, if you wonder why he’s singing in Italian, his response is: “I don’t want to blow it in English, like Inna. LOL. Cezar might be the only surprise of the evening, if he stands upright and adjusts his facial gymnastics then his song might woo the viewers and the jury equally.

So basically there should be fewer surprises than Sunday. But that doesn’t mean that the show will be bland. Quite the contrary: given the high quality of the songs and performers and the efforts TVR is making to bring Eurovision to Bucharest, you should all tune in for a fabulously entertaining show, which, apart from the“Romanian ABBA”, might also feature the next ESC winner…

Until then, who are your favourites from Semi-Final 1 to advance to the Final on 9 March? Whose performance are you most looking forward to watching?

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11 years ago

Thanks – Enjoyed this blog post, can I set it
up so I receive an email

sent to me every time you make a new update?

11 years ago

Diana Hetea has the best ballad in this contest……her audition is bad because of sound but its clear she has the voice necessary…… i expect a huge surprise ffor all at the semifinal!! Forza Diana! I would vote for her at Malmo!!! Luminita is good but her tango is very old and not for Eurovision! plus she was at Eurovision again a few years agoo… people don’t vote returning artists (see Lena, Diana International etc) Electric fence have song similar with last year Sunta….. and now is similar to Alcohol is free from Greece, that one is better. Send Diana… Read more »

11 years ago

Electric Fence to the final please! I’m not too fussed about who else makes it.

11 years ago

I commend the auditors for not imposing some preconceived limitation on the type of song that’s ‘Right For Eurovision’, but focused mainly on whether the acts had some merit or point of interest. It is now up to the performers to prove they can succeed on stage. If they can do that, and win over the Romanian audience, then surely they are Right for Romania at Eurovision. The entries define the show, not the other way around. Electric Fence has the only act I’m completely sold on in this semifinal. Of the ballads, I have most confidence in Diana Hetea… Read more »

11 years ago

I personally don’t like Tudor Turcu’s song. I agree with Bogdan – stuck in the 80’s 🙂 … Casa Presei really doesn’t do it for me…”Emilia” is interesting. I love the balcanic elements it it (probably final) “I believe in love” it’s a powerfull ballad and Diana’s voice is amazing. Hopefully in the final. “Romanian One Direction” convinced me to give them a vote in the poll. I just like the song 🙂 I’ll just say a biiig NO to Edict, FreeStay, Maximilian Munteanu and Brigitta & Mihai (feat TIPS). Another powerfull ballad: “Confession” deserves a place in the final.… Read more »