The second semi-final of the Romanian Selectia Nationala will be broadcast live on Sunday, 24 February on TVR1 and on TVR’s official Eurovision web site, starting 20:00 CET. That’s just one day after the first semi-final.
As with the first semi-final, it will feature 16 acts. The vote will be split 50/50 between the jury and the viewers, and only 6 songs will advance to the final on 9 March.
As I mentioned before, the Romanian broadcaster TVR published the live auditions in front of the jury on YouTube. Here is the running order of semi-final 2, with links to the respective clips:
We have an interesting mix of styles. I can venture a guess and say that, despite displaying an interesting sound and unquestionable talent, Phaser, 9 Gardens and Mosquito are out of the question, simply because viewers won’t appreciate their sophisticated sound: the Eurovision crowd wants to see drama, glitter and pink feathers on stage.
Newcomers ABCD do not stand much of a chance either: “Final de razboi” (End of the War) sounds too much like a K’s Choice hit from the nineties. It pains me to say it because the song and the lyrics are beautiful and I like the singer.
Ovidiu Anton’s catchy Heys can’t help an otherwise generic country tune. Claudiu Mirea, although a Megastar winner, did not choose the best song in my opinion and is likely to be overlooked.
However, Elena Carstea’s gorgeous ballad (performed flawlessly despite the singer’s flu and jet lag at the time of the live audition) should be a no-brainer. She flew in from the States especially for Eurovision and she means business. Plus, the singer is well known and loved both by the public and the jury in Romania.
Then there’s Renee Santana – her dance song is catchy without being too clubby, her look is fresh and her voice is wonderful. I would be very surprised if she didn’t make it to the final – and that would only be because she is not Romanian. But then again, neither was David Bryan and he was chosen to sing the less interesting “Change” for Romania in 2011 with Hotel FM.
Leticia sang her Eurovision 2013 slogan-inspired “We Are One” very well. She is backed by the gay community, which she is a vocal supporter of (a rara avis among pop artists in Romania), and is expected to advance to the Final, despite the “na-na-na’s” which make me want to go “Nah”. Andrei Leonte, winner of the first season of X Factor, is enjoying even more support from his fans. The song is not bad and it suits his sensitive persona. Something is missing though. Maybe he saved the best for the semi-final?
Alin Vaduva (X Factor finalist, he lost to Andrei Leonte) is considered by some the dark horse of the competition, but I don’t really see it. “Storyline” is too dated, it sounds twenty years old to me, and he sings it well but it’s nothing to write home about. If Vaduva is the dark horse, Narcis Iustin Ianau is the white one. The countertenor has an extraordinary voice, but his song is all over the place. Nevertheless, he puts on an impressive show, he has his audience and this might propel him forward.
Jul is very pretty and her song is fun; she might advance to the final as well, but only barely. Also, I enjoyed Diana Matei’s “Ma Ma He” at first listen, but when I saw the audition I didn’t like it anymore. However, with a dynamic show, I might be won over again. I was pleasantly surprised to see that Zuralia Orchestra’s “Sukar Transylvania” was selected – many criticized the jury for including a Gypsy band in the selection, but I can’t but applaud them for that. We are one, after all. 🙂
Last but not least, I love Cristian Prajescu’s ballad. Even though it starts a bit slow, it catches up nicely, to a surprisingly dramatic finish – and the fact that he sings it towards the end of the night could work to his advantage. I will root for him. The so-called “Romanian Bryan Adams” is the youngest of the lot at just 16 years of age. His voice promises a great career and he deserves the attention he gets. I am glad that the jury picked his song.
What about you? Who are you supporting? Let us know in our poll below and then give us your two cents (or fifty if you’ve got ’em…) in the comments section!