Over the weekend, Eurovision alumn Cezar Ouatu starred on the Romanian version of Your Face Sounds Familiar (Te cunosc de undeva) and impersonated not one, but two characters at the same time, performing the “Endless Love” duet of Diana Ross and Lionel Richie.

On the same show, Florin Ristei, who won the last season of X Factor Romania (and who lost to Cezar at Selectia National 2013 as part of the band FreeStay), impersonated the countertenor, recreating Cezar’s memorable performance of “It’s My Life” on the Eurovision stage in Malmö.

Florin Ristei won, with his rendition, this edition of Your Face Sounds Familiar. He went on to pick Conchita Wurst as his next disguise, but he declined to do it.

Cezar “The Voice” Ouatu represented Romania at Eurovision in 2013 with the pop opera number “It’s My Life”. He finished 13th on the Grand Final scoreboard.

Photo: Antena 1

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gaga
Guest
gaga

By the way , this two guys I guess are stil in jail for painting their faces in white, I hope !
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0381707/

gaga
Guest
gaga

Black face not allowed in USA ? I presume that for white people going to the beach to get some suntan is also forbidden. Get a life people !

beccaboo1212
Guest

This performance of a cross between Diana Ross and Lionel Richie made me almost PEE! 🙁

Charles
Guest
Charles

The fact that Florin performed this horrid song is disappointing, but the fact that he refused to imitate Conchita, I applaud … being a fool two times in a row doesn’t quite make your look good. And Florin is a damn good singer to actually embrace this kind of “act”. Certainly Pepe could not do it … yet Pepe is my favorite participant alongside Jorge.

Erin
Guest
Erin

Well put and well said, Alex. There’s really nothing more to add if people choose to comment with a moral absolutism position without being at least willing to be open-minded about nuances. I respect and acknowledge the immense magnitude of Blackface as a demeaning and racial stereotype in segregated America, but I don’t accept verbal sparring which a form of violence.
Please read this report from yesterday and see the greater picture:
http://time.com/3588433/netherlands-belgium-christmas-black-pete/

Alex
Guest
Alex

…thanks to the stupid touchpad on my computer, the comment posted before I was done with it. Trying again: On the one hand, it is culturally unacceptable in the countries of origin of the impersonated singers to do impressions of black people that involve mimicking the color of their skin. On the other hand, this is obviously not the case in Romania, as otherwise we would have heard something about it from within the country. The question I have is this: is it really proper to impose one’s cultural viewpoints on a culture in a different country? The concern here… Read more »

Alex
Guest
Alex

On the one hand, it is culturally unacceptable in the countries of origin of the impersonated singers to do impressions of black people that involve mimicking the color of their skin. On the other hand, this is obviously not the case in Romania, for one.

Robyn Gallagher
Editor

It’s important to realise that to those of us from countries with awkward histories of blackface performers, a performance like this can never be viewed as simply a talented singer imitating two pop singers. When the video clip is taken out of its original context on Romanian television and brought into a new context – on an international blog dedicated to Eurovision – then it will have a different meaning to its larger audience. Also – compare and contrast Cezar’s performance with the 2009 UK Celebrity Big Brother duet of the same song. Ulrika Jonsson and Verne “Mini Me” Troyer… Read more »

Adam
Guest
Adam

@Heathrow Gal: That is a completely irrelevant example. Clowns aren’t originally white raced, the make up is used to contrast the vibrant colors worn by the clown, whereas when people wear blackface, its been used to show the minority races (the “inferior” ones) in a comical, disrespected way that dehumanizes them. The modern people of Europe might not know this now since most people (even in America) live under the false impression that everyone is over racism, but that doesn’t change the fact that it’s racist. Different culture means nothing when the minority race that has historically been dehumanized throughout… Read more »

Adam
Guest
Adam

There is no excuse for blackface, so all you people can stop defending him now. What he did was completely wrong and unacceptable, I dont care if Europeans have a different history, racism is still alive even in Europe and of course if you’re not part of the affected minorities you wont see it, but someones race/culture is NOT a costume that can be worn for fun

Mei International
Guest
Mei International

Bogdan–the worst part about this is you don’t even realize what you did wrong.

Mei International
Guest
Mei International

Heathrow Gal-open a damn history book and educate your ignorant self about the issue of race in the world you ethnocentric bafoon

Heathrow Gal
Guest
Heathrow Gal

Mei–it’s hardly racist. It’s a man dressing up as a person of another race. Are black clowns who put on white face paint racist? No. Your cultural norms are not the world’s cultural norms. Get over yourself

Mei International
Guest
Mei International

Bogdan, was jeopardizing your credibility as a journalist, offending an entire race of people, and inciting debate and comments worth the few extra views this page will get? Terrible. Just terrible.

Mei International
Guest
Mei International

Julianne Hough got a LOT of flack for wearing “black makeup” when dressing up as an OITNB character. So “simple” makeup still has the same effect Bogdan.

Bogdan–you have lost me as a reader and a loyal follower since you do not need the error in posting this or in Cezar’s performance. I am so disappointed in you and this website. I will be telling me fellow ESC fans and friends to do also stop checking this site.

Zack
Guest
Zack

A for effort, but yeah, don’t know how I feel about this. This really comes down to cultural norms and what is acceptable in one culture may not be in another.

Mei International
Guest
Mei International

For the record, Fatima agrees with me. The UK would not tolerate this–maybe because there is a significant population of Black people there. What if in Romania a performer but on a comical performance about a minority there, such as a Romani person–would you be sitting idly then?

Hebbuzz
Guest
Hebbuzz

Errrrr, Mei?, could it be because Lionel and Diana are actually black (and probably proud to be so) ???

Sadly enough the video cannot be watched outside Romania. Can somebody rip it?

Erin
Guest
Erin

Let me ask you something Mei: When an African-American uses the N word in the public domain, do you approve of that because the word has a connotation that every person whose ancestors were enslaved understands, no matter if it’s said in a derogatory context, but if any other person, especially white, uses the word, you’d likely jump out of your chair and accuse him/her of making a racial slur? So I’m suggesting to you that political correctness is the biggest threat to free speech and to an open and candid discourse. Next you are going to tell me that… Read more »

Thiefo
Guest

Damn! I can’t watch the video, apparently is not available in my country, but would love to see his performance 😀
Also, surprisingly good rendition from Florin, not half bad!

Mei International
Guest
Mei International

Just because it is paying homage or impersonating doesn’t mean it is socially acceptable. He could’ve gone without the make up and people would have known who he was impersonating. Just because Romania doesn’t have a history of persecuting Black people doesn’t mean they get pardoned from abiding to cultural sensitivity. Plus, do you know the history to blackface? It was used to mock and belittle Black people. Just because he has innocent intentions doesn’t mean this is acceptable. Ignorance of the law (or in this case, social norms and political correctness) doesn’t acquit people. I am also upset why… Read more »

Erin
Guest
Erin

@JeanM. & Mei – I understand where you’re coming from, but what is taboo on American mainstream media doesn’t apply in other European countries because the history is not as charged as it is in America. Europe in general certainly has a bloody past of persecuting and annihilating people of different ethnicity and religion on its own soil and some of its powers were actively involved in the slave trade from Africa, just like the Arabs and the Chinese did at some point in history, but when it comes to people of color in modern day Europe, they have equal… Read more »

JeanM.
Guest
JeanM.

This is disturbing. Blackface is unacceptable. I don’t really expect Europeans to understand but this is so disrespectful. It might be in Romania but he’s impersonating americans and that is what makes this even more insulting when he paints his face like that. So so wrong.

Erin
Guest
Erin

Mei, I think you’re taking it the wrong way: he’s imitating the looks and the voices of two of the greatest African-American performing artists as an homage and in NO WAY it is suggested that he’s mocking the color of their skin or their race.
I am not Romanian, but why should Romania or any other country be scolded for what is an enjoyable and deliberately exaggerated impersonation for an obvious comic effect? This show’s format is aired in many countries around Europe and is completely innocent!

Mei International
Guest
Mei International

Why is it allowed to perform in black face in Romania? I always disliked his entry and performance, now I do even more. Regrettable you would report this and not criticize this, WiwiBloggs. I am disappointed in you.

Erin
Guest
Erin

It’s my hilarious life…good on him for pulling it off and for bending the gender roles. I hope he’s not a Castrato…and as far as his memorable 13th place, all I can say is: “Thank you for the juries…”.

Fatima
Guest
Fatima

He would not get away with that in the UK

beccaboo1212
Guest

Holy poop!