On 4 March, Romania will select its six finalists during its sole semi-final in Baia Mare ahead of the national final on 6 March. You’ve had several days to listen to the 12 semi-finalists, and now you have the chance to choose your six favourites. Who should qualify for Selectia Nationala 2016 final?
But who are the 12 semi-finalists? Let’s meet them before you cast your vote in the poll below!
1. Xandra – “Superhuman”
With over 70 awards at national and international singing festivals, Alexandra Sipos, alias Xandra, is making her first attempt to represent her country at Eurovision. Her most prestigious achievement was winning first place at Festivalul Mamaia 2012 (think a Romanian Festivali i Këngës) when she was 16. Xandra is 20 now and ready to take over Europe.
2. Andra Olteanu – “Nai Nai”
Not to be confused with Romania’s pop superstar Andra, Miss Olteanu is largely unknown to the general public. However her Eurovision bid has gathered a lot of support especially from foreign fans due to its ethnic flair and instrumentation. And she wrote the song herself!
3. Doru Todorut feat. Irina Baiant – “The Voice”
Doru is the hunky singer of highly popular Romanian duo Deepcentral (they had a single with SunStroke Project and one with Eleftheria as well!) and Irina is the gorgeous soprano who stole the show as a guest on The Voice of Romania in 2014. In 2016, the sexy pair aims to steal the show at Selectia Nationala with “The Voice”, which they wrote together.
4. Dream Walkers – “Let It Shine”
The four-member boy band was especially formed for Eurovision. You may remember Cristian Prajescu from Selectia Nationala 2013. The songwriter is Cristian Faur, who penned such Eurovision anthems like Luminita Anghel and Sistem’s “Let Me Try” and Cezar’s “It’s My Life”. Will Cristian win Selectia Nationala once again?
5. Florena – “Behind The Shadows”
Florena Ticu Sandru is the youngest Romanian semi-finalist. She is only 16 but she is one of the fan favourites, thanks to her power ballad and powerful voice. Florena was a serious contender on X Factor Romania 2013 and she aims to be a winner at Selectia Nationala 2016.
6. Gasca De Acasa – “Tu esti povestea” (You are the story)
Gasca De Acasa was the fortunate act who replaced the unfortunate Hayley Evetts, who had to withdraw because of health issues. Gasca De Acasa, the replacement semi-finalist act, is a cover band formed in 2011. They are a cover band, but “Tu esti povestea” (You are the story) is an original cafe-concert type of ballad.
7. Irina Popa – “Lasa-ma, eu te las”
Another Festivalul Mamaia winner (in 2008), Irina is an experienced singer who usually performs alongside her band The Sinners, but remains virtually unknown in Romania. She hopes to change all that in Baia Mare. She initially entered the Romanian version “Lasa-ma eu te las” , but eventually decided to switch to the English version instead.
8. Jukebox – “Come On Everybody”
The eight-strong band have just left the hugely popular Cronica Carcotasilor (a TV show that parodies other shows and makes fun on politicians’ and newscasters’ blunders). Their Selectia Nationala proposal is a Romglish song with virtually untranslatable lyrics and very Romanian culture-specific humour. Who will stay at home if they win?
9. Mihai Bajinaru – “Never Too Late”
Mihai Bajinaru rose to relative fame in 2013, with a short stint on The Voice of Romania. He sings a love ballad written by Andrei Tudor, the man behind 2015 runner up — and winner of our Wiwi Jury — Luminita Anghel’s “A Million Stars”. Can “Never Too Late” win this year instead? Never say never with Selectia Nationala!
10. M I H A I – “Paradisio”
What else can be said about the man, the legend, the artist formerly known as Mihai Traistariu who insists on being called M I H A I? After the backlash following his science-fiction video fiasco, M I H A I has a new video in the works and a “genius” staging for Selectia Nationala. Don’t say you’re not looking forward to it. He might sue.
11. Ovidiu Anton – “Moment of Silence”
The third placed act of Selectia Nationala 2015 has written a song that is stirring a lot of emotion among Romanians, because of the club fire in Bucharest that killed over 60 people and toppled a government last autumn. “Moment of Silence” may be his best bid yet, but is Ovidiu popular enough to win this year? Only time will tell.
12. Vanotek feat. The Code & Georgian – “I’m Coming Home”
Hayley Evetts is not the only foreign act this year. Vanotek is Ion Chirinciuc and hails from the Republic of Moldova, but now mainly works and performs in Romania. His previous single “My Heart Is Gone” was a huge radio hit last year, so he’s bound to kill it again with “I’m Coming Home”, but can he win it, too?
So there you have it! On 4 March, the TVR jury will select four acts to advance to the final, while televoters will save two more acts — and then the winner will be chosen by televoting alone on 6 March.
But until then, who are your six faves? You can vote for as many acts as you want until 3 March. The results will be published on 4 March, ahead of the semi-final, so be sure to tune back in!
Thank you for voting! Now let us know how you voted and defend your choice below!