As we exclusively revealed last week, TVR is officially kicking off Selectia Nationala. The submission window opened today for two weeks only — until Sunday, 8 February — but this should be enough for Romanian and international artists to apply. But who is interested and who will pass on this opportunity?
Who says no
Unfortunately, Nicole Cherry has announced, via her manager, that she is actually not going for Eurovision this year. She had been rumoured as a potential artist after she said in an interview with TVR that she would not turn down this opportunity. Former Selectia Nationala contestant Diana Hetea took to Facebook and told her fans that she will not apply this year, because she hasn’t been presented with the song that would fully represent her. Alternative folk-rock band Electric Fence, another former Selectia Nationala contestant and a fan favourite, said in a TV interview that they are not interested either. Luminita Anghel, the Eurovision star who shone bright in Kiev in 2005 with Sistem and their “Let Me Try”, has bigger fish to fry this year and is highly unlikely to submit a song. As for last year’s second place (and televoting favourite) Mirela Vaida, she is nine months pregnant and therefore out of the race. Last but not least, both Paula Seling and Ovi, who went on to represent Romania with “Miracle” in Copenhagen last year, have told the press that they are not interested in a comeback.
And no, Inna is not likely to change her busy concert schedule for Eurovision just yet. Like other internationally famous musicians, she is simply not interested in performing one song in Vienna, when her fans can fill stadiums anywhere in the world. Maybe one day she will do an Anouk and represent Romania — she has said that she would be honoured — but even that cannot ensure a win for her country, now that the juries have more say than the televoters.
Who says yes
That leaves the window open for other Eurovision hopefuls. As almost every year since he represented Romania at the Eurovision Song Contest in Athens in 2006, Mihai Traistariu says that he will apply. This year, he even posted screen captions of his email inbox on Facebook, proving to his increasingly skeptic fans that he is “wooed” by Swedish song factories to record one of their tracks. However, up to this point, he claims that he hasn’t found the “killer song” that will make “Tornero” his second best. As for his long-awaited “Change” album, he says that the first single will be called “Tick-Tock”. (We wonder where we heard this song title last!) We’ll believe him when we hear it. Until then, Mihai announced via a rather creepy YouTube video that he would want not less than to win the Eurovision Song Contest. Lofty!
Romanian singer Naomy, who was a finalist last year, announced on Facebook that she would enter a dance song that is “sure to become a hit at first listen”. Naomy added that she would release the song on 12 February, the day the finalists are announced. However, the transgender singer, known for her unpredictable antics and outburts that feed the tabloid media, is not very popular in Romania and is not welcomed with open arms by the Eurovision fans there. Last year, her dated ballad “Daca tu iubesti” (If You Love) finished tenth out of twelve finalists, receiving just two points from the audience and one point from the jury.
Asifa Lahore, the British-Pakistani drag act who missed the Eurovision train in Switzerland and Moldova, exclusively told wiwibloggs that she would submit “a song” for jury consideration in Romania. After her live audition performance in Moldova (below), she said that she was thrilled just to participate, so we guess Asifa got the Eurovision bug and is not willing to bow out just yet. However, she did not confirm that she would send “You And I” to Selectia Nationala.
So far, since more artists have announced that they are not interested to represent Romania, things are looking a bit glum for Selectia Nationala. However, it is early days and hope is not lost for the Eastern European country, known for its effervescent music industry and infectious party hits. And since the window is open to international acts as well, who knows who might end up on top on the 8th of March, the day of the National Final?
After the submission window closes on 8 February, the Romanian jury will gather to select up to 12 finalists, to be presented at a press conference on 12 February. The Romanian representative will be chosen at the national final, broadcast live by TVR1 and eurovision.tv on Sunday the 8th of March, when a 50% jury/televote system will decide the winner.
What do you think? Who would you like to enter Selectia Nationala?