Florena, the youngest act of Selectia Nationala 2016, is our — and your — favourite to win Romania’s Eurovision 2016 selection. She ranked first with both the Wiwi Jury and with our readers in our flash poll, opened after she stole the show at Friday’s semi-final with her performance of “Behind The Shadows”.
Despite performing after crowd favourite M I H A I, Florena managed to wow the audience, the jury and the viewers at home with her utter confidence, flawless vocals and a memorable show. However, her victory is not a sure thing. With the jury’s bae Ovidiu Anton, returnee M I H A I, and televoting favourite act Vanotek feat. The Code and Georgian, it is anyone’s game. And don’t dismiss boy band Dream Walkers, whose voices were on point despite the old fashioned song, nor Doru Todorut and Irina Baiant’s spectacular performance.
Let’s break it down, taking into account the results of the Wiwi Jury and the flash poll.
Flash poll results
Romania: Selectia Nationala combined results
1. Florena – “Behind The Shadows”
The best: Florena is one of those rare artists who can transform onstage, from the shy, fresh-faced singer, to the confident performer who is able to steal your heart and run away (away, away) with it. The song may not lead to an explosive, pyro-curtain worthy finale, but it keeps you hooked to its raw emotion. (Bogdan, 9/10)
The worst: As a teen singer performing a modern, gothic-themed song, it’s tempting to compare Florena with Germany’s Jamie-Lee. But unlike “Ghost”, “Behind the Shadows” never feels like it fully gets going. There’s a lot of mood and atmosphere and Florena’s great vocals, but the song feels like it’s lacking some sort of emotional climax. (Robyn, 7/10)
Poll result: 1st (534 votes, 36.09%)
Wiwi Jury: 1st (7.8)
2. M I H A I – “Paradisio”
The best: “Paradisio” is magic! Concocted with killer hooks, sexy coos and flawless octaves, this is Selectia Nationala at its finest. Personally, I am not a fan of returnees. However, I’m the first to offer an olive branch when greeted with quality. This time round, I’m sacrificing a tree. (Deban, 9.5/10)
The worst: M I H A I is a fantastic singer and his voice is to die for, but I just don’t think “Paradisio” is good enough for such a highly anticipated comeback. Indeed, the song is not bad, but let’s put it this way: “Paradisio” is too purgatory. And I’d need something that took my soul to paradise at the second coming of one of my teenage Eurovision idols. (Luis, 7/10)
Poll result: 3rd (276 votes, 18.64%)
Wiwi Jury: 3rd (7.8)
3. Ovidiu Anton – “Moment Of Silence”
The best: Ovidiu’s vocals are impeccable and “Moment of Silence” has a composition that is nothing short of epic. The verses are a lot better than the chorus, but the product feels complete. When you consider the mediocrity of most of this national selection, this really stands out and would have no problem maintaining Romania’s perfect qualification record. (Antranig, 8.5/10)
The worst: Stuff happens, I get that! However, artistic interpretation of social and political issues shouldn’t be excused from quality control. The “fight for the truth” refrain is so overblown, it almost sounds like a caricature. If “Moment of Silence” was a fringe theatre number, I’d appreciate Ovidiu’s efforts – but no, this is fighting for a spot at the world’s biggest music stage. It’s just not good enough. (Deban, 4/10)
Poll result: 2nd (327 votes, 22.08%)
Wiwi Jury: 5th (5.55)
4. Vanotek feat. The Code & Georgian – “I’m Coming Home”
The best: This track reminds me of my Norwegian bae Röyksopp. However, I feel torn about it because for an Eurovision song to be successful with the juries, it needs to have more than an irresistible beat and fine vocals, but also, well, more substance, more meat, more… lyrics. (Bogdan, 8/10)
The worst: I struggle to remember it once it has finished, but it’s a good song. As long as it plays, it’s quite enjoyable, although it rapidly fades away in your mind. The main drawback to “I’m Coming Home” is that it sounds like background music. In fact, this could be playing at any clothes shop, and you’d continue with your shopping without noticing it. (Luis, 5/10)
Poll result: 4th (180 votes, 12.15%)
Wiwi Jury: 3rd (5.55)
5. Doru Todorut feat. Irina Baiant – “The Voice”
The best: I love these two, their voices, their chemistry, and I think that a live rendition of the song will do it justice. Until then, “The Voice” is like a cross between Cezar and Paula & Ovi. Which is actually not that bad, come to think of it. And, with a bit of a revamp and a better arrangement, it should score a perfect 10. (9/10)
The worst: This was a decent effort until it hit the 2:07 mark. The disco beat threw me off piste, and any glimpse of my recovery since then has been on a slippery slope. Opera may not be Eurovision’s favourite music category, but any genre done tastefully will find an appreciative audience, and a loyal fanbase. “The Voice” is too gimmicky, and midway it loses its sense of direction. (Deban, 4.5/10)
Poll result: 5th (96 votes, 6.48%)
Wiwi Jury: 4th (5.6)
6. Dream Walkers – “Let It Shine”
The best: “Shine” with or without a prefix should be forbidden at the Eurovision Song Contest due to its excessive usage. Secondly, this pseudo-operatic type of singing is an ugly throwback that nobody needs to hear anymore. However, despite my seemingly harsh criticism, “Let It Shine” does contain a few dazzling moments, and the best harmonies this year. (Deban, 6/10)
The worst: It’s such a shame when this kind of amazing opera voices get lost trying to do a pop song that ends sounding like the soundtrack of a bad romantic comedy from the 90s. Ah, and those electronic organ trumpets must be killed with fire. And the guitar solo has to be returned to Albania! (Luis, 1/10)
Poll result: 6th (68 votes, 4.59%)
Wiwi Jury: 6th (3.1)
Tonight’s National Final in Romania starts at 19:30 CET. The show will be broadcast live by TVR 1 and online on eurovision.tv here. The winner of Selectia Nationala will be chosen by 100% televote.
The running order was drawn on Saturday night during a televised show about Selectia Nationala.
- Doru Todorut feat. Irina Baiant
- Dream Walkers
- Vanotek feat. The Code & Georgian
- Ovidiu Anton
- M I H A I
Will you tune in to watch? What do you think about our prediction?