Luminita Anghel’s performance in Romania’s first semi-final was easily one of the most memorable of the entire Selectia Nationala 2013. With its imposing choreography, sharp lighting, and Luminita’s air of “Diva”, it struck fear and awe among her competitors.
But she was also ridiculed for her choice of outfit and rumoured to have received extra support from Romanian broadcaster TVR based on status as a Eurovision veteran. Days after the semi-finals ended, a disgruntled Tammy (whose “Firebird” failed to fly her to the 9 March Final) even accused Luminita’s team of sabotaging her rehearsals.
We were curious to find out Luminita’s reaction to all this and her thoughts about possibly representing Romania once again after she managed to finish third with “Let Me Try” (featuring Sistem) in Kiev, back in 2005. She was graceful enough to grant us an exclusive interview, in the middle of her rehearsals and promotion of “Unique”, ahead of the Romanian National Final next weekend.
First of all, congratulations for qualifying for the Final. You had a “unique” performance and your voice is as recognizable to Eurovision fans as it was seven years ago. How do you feel?
Thank you! There is always room for improvement… Right now I am relaxed and I am only focusing on perfecting the performance of “Unique” for the evening of 9 March.
Our readers would like to know what you have been up to since you last performed on the Eurovision stage.
I have been involved in countless projects, both in the music industry but also in television. I even dubbed the voice of the villain of the animated film “Tangled”, Mother Gothel, becoming the image of Disney Junior Romania TV station. I also became the face of Garnier, L’Oreal Romania, for the product “Ultralift”.
Speaking of lifting, what made you try for Eurovision again? Pessimists maintain that, statistically speaking, former contestants have lower chances to outdo themselves when they come back, citing examples like Lena, Dana International, or Jedward. If you are chosen to represent Romania in Malmö, will you try to demolish this myth?
Ever since I came back from Kiev, I have received a lot of positive feedback and signals that Eurovision fans would like me to come back. If I make it there again, yes, I would of course try to demolish this myth. I really want to do that.
Many songwriters from different countries offered you their songs for Eurovision this year. What made you choose “Unique”?
“Unique”, written by Rafael Artesero Herrero, is full of drama and emotion, and therefore I think it can touch any soul that listens to it. It is different and this could bring it to the top of the heap in Malmö.
You had a very finely tuned show in the semi-final, which enhanced the drama of “Unique”. It even felt like you were on a different stage altogether. However, the dress raised many eyebrows and drew a lot of malicious comments, including from readers of our website. Will you change it ahead of the Final? Will there be other changes as well?
As I said, there is always room for improvement. We hope that the show on 9 March will be perfect. The dress was conceived based on my fans’ suggestions on Romanian Eurovision forums. It was the first time ever that I followed their wishes entirely, from the color to the length of the dress, hairstyling, color of nails, make-up, accessories… Obviously, I will have a different approach for the Final and will work with professionals. It will be a completely different story.
I am the highest placed Romanian artist in the history of our participation at Eurovision and I find it normal that my presence raises controversy, envy, and malice. I am also considered to be a dangerous adversary for the mere fact that – and please don’t take it as a lack of modesty – I am recognized as an undisputed live performer.
We cannot ignore the elephant in the room. What do you think about the unexpected and overwhelming success of underdogs Casa Presei, the subject of so many discussions in the Romanian press and Eurovision websites? Do you feel threatened by the same inexplicable phenomenon in the Final?
Anything can happen on the evening of 9 March. Any surprise is possible and any finalist has a chance to win. What really matters is the spell of the moment in which each artist will perform their show.
Some observers claim that the Final will be the “duel of the two divas” – incidentally, Elena Carstea and you will perform one after the other. Do you also consider Elena your number one rival?
I do not think about that. I like Elena, but what I care about is that we should be the best. I want my voice to be perfect, I want my emotion to shine through, and I want our show to be exceptional. That being said, I wish “Good luck” to all my colleagues in the Selectia Nationala 2013 Final!
Finally, what would you like to say to your fans and to the readers of wiwibloggs?
A big hug to all my supporters! Thank you so much for your trust and appreciation! Hopefully, “Unique” will reach the soul of music lovers and Eurovision fans throughout Europe and it will make them feel the way I feel when I sing it.