The second semi-final of the Romanian Selectia Nationala was, in some ways, a repeat of the first semi: supposedly funny ABBA covers, lame jokes, awkward Green Room quietness, questionable fashion choices, slow clapping, and singers who don’t know how to sell themselves. Fortunately the music was better, the show was more coherent, and, most importantly, the outcome was less mind-boggling than the night before.
I am glad to report that the WiwiBloggs readers almost got it right this time: Narcis Ianau, Elena Carstea, Cristian Prajescu, Renee Santana, and Andrei Leonte advanced to the final, which takes place on 9 March. The list is completed by Ovidiu Anton. Your favourite Leticia fell short with “We Are One”.
Narcis Ianau, with a countertenor voice that resembles Cezar’s in the first semi-final, is a “Romania’s Got Talent” finalist with a lot of potential and a huge following. Unlike Cezar however, he performed “Seven” without any outlandish costumes or other silly gimmicks and placed first with the viewers.
Narcis, 18, and Ovidiu Anton, 30, celebrated their birthday on the day of the semi-final and were serenaded with the “Happy Birthday” song a couple of times in the Green Room. Elena Carstea was visibly impressed and happy to advance to the final, despite her long absence from Romania. She came to Bucharest from her permanent residence in Miami especially for the Romanian Selectia Nationala.
A humble Cristian Prajescu, the youngest of the lot at only 16 years of age, seemed ecstatic and thanked his songwriter for the result – at the beginning of the televoting, he had a huge lead but was later overtaken by Narcis. Like Ovidiu Anton, Renee Santana drew a sigh of relief when the jury saved her song. According to the televoting results, The Zuralia Orchestra and Phaser were supposed to get through instead. (Personally, I would have liked the more original band Phaser to advance instead of Ovidiu.) Last but not least, Andrei Leonte thanked his fans profusely for being faithful to him – despite what I would call an underwhelming performance. Hopefully he will polish his act ahead of the final.
So there you have it! The 12 finalists who will perform at the Romanian Final on 9 March are:
1. Casa Presei – “Un refren”
2. Narcis Ianau – “Seven”
3. Luminita Anghel – “Unique”
4. Elena Carstea – “Spinning”
5. FreeStay – “Criminal Mind”
6. Ovidiu Anton – “Run Away With Me”
7. Cezar – “It’s My Life”
8. Cristian Prajescu – “The Best Thing In Life Is To Love”
9. Electric Fence – “Emilia”
10. Renee Santana feat. Al Mike – “What Is Love”
11. Tudor Turcu – “Hello”
12. Andrei Leonte – “Paralyzed”
Both shows are available to watch (again) on the TVR website.
The final will be interesting. Elena Carstea will go head-to-head with Eurovision veteran and fellow diva Luminita Anghel from the first semi-final… Also, X Factor Romania winners Tudor Turcu and Andrei Leonte will close this selection that has been dominated by many talent show contestants. But most importantly, the question on everyone’s mind is: will Casa Presei upset everyone again and steal the show? And what can be done to stop them?
Until then, what do you think of the outcome of the second Romanian semi-final? And are you happy with the 12 finalists?