The first semi-final of the Romanian Selectia Nationala almost had it all: the Romanian ABBA (with Ovi speaking with a Norwegian accent), spectacular and ridiculous performances, nervous singers, official bloggers, a red green room and, most of all, a surprising outcome.

Casa Presei, Luminita Anghel, FreeStay, Cezar, Electric Fence, Tudor Turcu advanced to the final, upsetting WiwiBloggs favourites like Diana Hetea and Natalia Barbu—both of whom were ill and under-performed—and Station 4 and Tammy.

Casa Presei singer Robert Turcescu seemed the most surprised of all to receive such an outpouring of support from the public. Without trying to knock Casa Presei’s café concert song, “Un refren” (“A Chorus”), one explanation might be that Robert, who is a journalist, has faced non-stop ridicule from another journalist on a rival TV station since he was selected by the jury to compete in the semi-finals. That seems to have backfired and brought Robert countless sympathy votes. In any case, “Un refren” was the front runner of the first semi-final of the Selectia Nationala, to the utter dismay of hardcore Eurovision fans, who hadn’t given the song a chance.

Luminita Anghel had arguably the best number of the evening, complete with five male dancers who tangoed graciously around her. Great lighting, effective pyrotechnics, a stellar voice—it all convinced the viewing audience that she was the star of the evening. Nonetheless, she seemed nonplussed and disappointed in the Green Room that Casa Presei got more attention than her. She must be genuinely worried that Robert Turcescu’s band might perform instead of her in Malmö in May. (Maybe she should ditch that hideous dress before the Final and perform in a more flattering outfit?)

FreeStay performed better than expected and they seemed over the moon with their win. Cezar had an involuntarily comedic number that was ridiculed all over the social networking sites, but won many viewers over with his pitch-perfect voice and catchy song. Electric Fence’s Elena Vasile was in top form and brought “Emilia” to her expected win. Finally, X Factor winner Tudor Turcu didn’t convince me with his static performance of “Hello”, but he seems to have convinced many televoters and the jury, because he’ll perform the song again on March 9.

Until then however, don’t miss tomorrow’s second semi-final starting 20:00 CET on TVR and eurovision.tvr.ro. I will be livetweeting in English again during the show – follow me @stingoo if you want to know what is going on.

So what do you think of the outcome of the first Romanian semi-final? Are you as shocked as we are that Casa Presei made it to the Final as viewers’ favourites?

 

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Elyse
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When someone writes an post he/she keeps the image of a user in his/her brain
that how a user can understand it. Therefore that’s why this post
is amazing. Thanks!

giovanni
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giovanni

Wow, what is wrong with Europe’s tastes this month??? first Latvia, then Greece, then this… If Casa Presei go to Malmo, will be a first disaster for Romania! Better to send Luminita instead, but not with that courtain draped around her!!! did she put that together in the car on the way? LOL. but her voice was perfect and i enjoyed the dancers around her, did not espect that. it looked very different from other acts. maybe next time put her on a pedestal? she looked small. too bad for Diana, i had high espectations but she sounded a bit… Read more »

Petals
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Petals

@george: You don’t actually think that youtube comments are objective or even something to go by, do you? If the guy’s a journalist then people are bound to make negative comments regarding the song only because they hate him >.>. I don’t like the song too much but I don’t hate it either. If another “journalist” attacked him constantly then I can see people giving him sympathy votes or voting just because they actually liked the song. Also, I very much doubt a person who’s not a singer, and who already has a job, would bother bribing people to vote… Read more »

Just Eurofan
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Just Eurofan

It is obviously TVR gave a huge advantage to Casa Presei performance. And I refer not only to the singing performance. But there is no need to believe Romanian audience is so naive and so easy to manipulate. Casa Presei won, too, public vote because they sang in Romanian language, the text is a quality one, the message is accurate, the melody is easy to catch, the performance was professional and clean, the song has an intellectual glance and social network is their common audience. Of course, Casa Presei will not win, but I am glad they won public vote… Read more »

takecare
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takecare

i had high hopes! ALL ended in crap!

Zolan
Guest
Zolan

The live stream was pretty useless; I really have no idea how good any of the performances were.

Electric Fence is through, so I’m happy.

I hope Cezar got through for the right reasons, but either way I’m happy he gets another chance to perform.

I like “Un Refen” for what it is, which is not something I’d like as much on the Eurovision stage. Let’s not test that hypothesis.

Alexander
Guest
Alexander

LOL! Natalia Barbu is so naive if she thought that she stands any chance to win the Romanian selection! LOL! Luminita’s performance looked very bad but sounded very good… The dress is HORRIBLE (she should never wear it again), the choreography is stupid and has no sense. The dancers are simply moving around her doing some lame routine. I can’t see Romania doing very well in Malmo with this crap. The lyrics are so cheap. LOL!

MF
Guest
MF

Watched on eurovision.tvr.ro live. The view was from the airplane and the sound was pour. I could not figure out how they were dressed or how they looked. Nevertheless they posted now the recording and it is good quality. The results – very disappointing. Diana Hetea never stood a chance based on the televoting. I’m really curious what were jury’s results. The only one from the 6 finalists that I like is FreeStay with Criminal Mind. Luminita Anghel has great voice, but I don’t like the song and the lyrics are awful. She had a prom dress and a matrimonial… Read more »

ricutza
Guest
ricutza

Ok, so I listened to all the songs that have entered in the competition before-hand, I watched about 10 minutes of tonight’s show around the moment when they did the first recap and they opened the lines, and then the last 20 minutes. I didn’t see the show live, only what was posted on the TVR webpage. I have given you all these details in order to make it clear on what my opinion is based on. It has been, by far!, the worst broadcast I have seen on TV, related to a singing competition. I cannot understand how TVR… Read more »

george
Guest
george

Regarding Casa Presei’s song… I don’t think it was the sympathy votes that sent him to the final. My guess is that some votes were bought (it’s all about politics, long story) as all of us could see the feedback in got on youtube, the others being, on the contrary, mocking votes. I bet the rival from the other television that you mentioned (who is not a journalist, btw) voted for him, just for the fun of prolonging the ridicule (I must admit I have enjoyed a lot). Of course, that baaaad song might also have appealed to some people…… Read more »