Today’s news that Romania has been excluded from the Eurovision Song Contest 2016 — due to TVR‘s not being able to pay its 15-million euro debt to the European Broadcasting Union — has come as a shock to many.

But perhaps no one was more shocked or saddened than Ovidiu Anton himself. The artist, who was supposed to take the stage in Stockholm after winning Selectia Nationala back in March, has reacted via Facebook, in a statement that expresses both sadness and anger:

Dear friends,  I have also finally received the official news. I am trying to smile and not to be carried away, but… it’s unfair. I will remain the same honest artist, the same fighter who won both the jury and public vote, but at the same time I am forced to declare myself defeated. By whom? And why? Is it fair??? I don’t know how to answer this nicely, so I should better keep silent.

The EBU meanwhile have issued a number of statements on the matter, including Ingrid Deltenre, the general director of the EBU and Jon Ola Sand, the Executive Supervisor of Eurovision:


Sonia Argint, Romania’s spokesperson, also expressed her disappointment with the news.

Eurovision stars react

Mihai Traistariu (Romania 2006)

The “Tornero” singer, also known as M I H A I, voiced his shock as well and announced that he was ready to bankroll Romania’s participation in 2016 with 100,000 euro, had he won with “Paradisio”.

Sergey Lazarev (Russia 2016)

Amir (France 2016)

Poli Genova (Bulgaria 2016)

Lidia Isaac (Moldova 2016)

Eurovision fans react

Fan reactions have also been pouring in via social media. Many of them declare themselves stunned by the “unfair” decision to expel TVR from Eurovision, just a couple of weeks before the contest.

A petition has been set in support of Ovidiu Anton to perform at Eurovision here.

More to come…

Watch all of our Ovidiu Anton video footage:

READ MORE ROMANIA EUROVISION NEWS HERE

 

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Amazing issues here. I’m very glad to see your post. Thanks so much and I am having a look forward
to touch you. Will you please drop me a e-mail?

Gili
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Gili

I think that the timing of cancellation is unaccptable…even if romania didnt pay on time you can’t cancel particupent in the last moment. Its totally unfair for the artist and for romania as a country. You can’t humiliate a country in such a way when all the eyes of the world are on this event. At least the participent should have been cancelled a long time before and not now, this is humiliating. Isnt the eurovision is all about love and union..shame on you!!!! Big love to romania from israel…im very angry for you…kisses and be proud..the ebu should be… Read more »

EscAddict
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EscAddict

And the winner of the most innane comments on a Wiwiblogg page goes to…..
@AurelianTamisan
[Applause]

Lady Gaga
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Lady Gaga

@AurelianTamisan clearly comprehension is not your biggest skill. No time to read your novel when you don’t even understand the main issue. I suggest you read on finance, banking & business books to expand your brain beyond the bubble. In civilized countries outside your backyard, it is actually a crime not to pay debts FYI. Toodled for now

Oh Come on!
Guest
Oh Come on!

@AurelianTamisan, EBU asked for the money even last year (Romanian delegates said), but no one paid attention. But honestly I am tired of this conversation. Gonna waste my time for something far more interesting than trying to convince some people that they have to look at their yard first and try to find the problem there instead accusing EBU for trying to collect whatever they are supposed to receive.

AurelianTamisan
Guest
AurelianTamisan

Daniel E, Well, you’re right, you’re totally right, I can deny that. But the problem with TVR and the problem with EBU are 2 totally different things. Speaking of gymnastics, is way more than just the lack of investements. Yeah, because of the lack of investements the gymnastics are diyng, it’s a truly problem for the future, but for now, we could have qualify if the coaches would have chose the best team for Rio. They didn’t. It’s exactly the same as for Eurovision, they are separate problems. When EBU comes and asks from nowhere, in an usually day more… Read more »

Oh Come on!
Guest
Oh Come on!

@ Daniel E. – I couldnt agree more with you!
@ AurelianTamisan – Thanks for your opinion and good luck in 2017!

Daniel E.
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Daniel E.

@AurelianTamisan Please stop already! You are not doing anyone any favors by your comments, least of all Romania! We should stop victimizing ourselves, because this has NOTHING to do with our country or Ovidiu! It is about TVR being the corrupt and obsolete institution that it curently is! Actually, Pollaski makes a lot of sense! EVERY household in Romania has to pay to TVR a monthly subscription fee of approx. 1 euro (even if you don’t have a TV set), while ALL the companies pay approx. 3 euros monthly (again, it doesn’t matter whether that company has a TV set… Read more »

Pollaski
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Pollaski

@AurelianTamisan I’d put more effort into fighting TVR- or at least demanding from the government why tax dollars and license fees you guys are paying are being wasted so badly that it has plunged your national television station into crippling debt. The worst thing is- this is the kind of crap Ovidiu was singing about in his song- about your government routinely failing you and not being held accountable for it. The best way to honor his participation- and protest his removal- is to DEMAND of TVR how this could have ever gotten so bad in the first place.

AurelianTamisan
Guest
AurelianTamisan

Oh Come on!, with all the respect, after this episode I don’t want Romania to take part in Eurovision 2017. In my opinion if this is haw EBU is taking action, the easiest way for TVR is to dissolve itself, then EBU is not receiving any debt anymore. This would be a way to proove that EBU’s decision is not in anybody’s favour. And this is what will most probably happen anyway, and there will be another national television founded. IT’s not normal, but neither what EBU did is not normal. I repeat, I don’t say that TVR doesn’t own… Read more »

AurelianTamisan
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AurelianTamisan

Pollaski, Yes, here you could be right. As we see they are practically doing what they want, it is their show and they are the bosses, the contestant has to respect everything they ask, they have no obligattions to the contestant. They are practically like the banks, you sign everything we ask if you want to participate. In this case, I’m just happy that my country is done with this contest. It’s just sad that such a great song doesn’t have the chance to make an impression in front of Europe. It would have been much more easier to accept… Read more »

Oh Come on!
Guest
Oh Come on!

@AurelianTamisan, there is nothing wrong if Romania wins. Me, personally don’t care who wins. About Ovidiu Anton’s rights to participate has nothing to do with the situation as he is representing a country that has been disqualified. Lets not forget that this didn’t happen just for 1 month… The Romanian delegation Eurovision 2015 knew about the debt and knew about the letters that EBU sent and neither TVR nor the government did a thing. But everything has its limits. And yes Ovidiu is a victim of the TVR and not the EBU … period! About the rights of his song… Read more »

Pollaski
Guest
Pollaski

@AurelianTamisan

I’m going to guess that if you become an official Eurovision contestant, you get to sign all kinds of contracts that say they can still use your material, even if you are removed from the competition for any reason.

An entity as big as the EBU would very likely be pretty good at setting up agreements and contracts and waivers and all that to protect themselves in the event of something like this. They’d be idiots not to.

AurelianTamisan
Guest
AurelianTamisan

Oh Come on!, what is the problem if Romania wins?! It can’t take part next year, it can’t host, another country will be chosen to host it. I don’t see a problem in this. About other countries, yes, this is a curiosity, I would really want an answer to this: is TVR the only television with debts to EBU, from the televisions taking part in this contest? And again, it’s EBU’s right to not receive Romania in the contest, but they can’t withdraw a country after they let it in, because of old debts. And I see that some of… Read more »

Oh Come on!
Guest
Oh Come on!

@AurelianTamisan – As @Lady Gaga said, wake up! There is nothing wrong of being compassionate if you are realistic in the same time. A question you and all these people that are so dramatic: Just imagine the situation that for some unknown reason Ovidiu win… then would you blame the EBU that did not disqualify the romanian song? And how fair would this be to the other countries that actually paid (whatever they have to pay).
So, guy wake up really and look at the bigger picture!!!

AurelianTamisan
Guest
AurelianTamisan

Lady Gaga, ESC Addict, I hope you’re joking. The decision is totally obscure. Ok, TVR has debts for years, as you say, FOR YEARS. An in a sunny day you decide to remember about that debts. That sunny day comes in the middle of the preparations for the contest. Man, this is really, really strange! I’ve never thought that something like that can happen. To change the rules in the middle of the game, to let a country to choose a contestant, to make a national selection and then to be declined. It’s EBU’s fault cause they’ve accepted Romania in… Read more »

Lady Gaga
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Lady Gaga

Reading the comments here goes to show that most Eurovision fans have zero comprehension skills, and are just melodramatic puddles of mud. The EBU, did not just wake up & decided to cut off Romanian TV. If you read clearly on other sources, they have been generous & have been extending the deadline for payment/response for some time. Blame the Romanian TV for their inaction. It’s the same in real life: if you miss your client’s deadline, you risk being fired. Or you miss your rent so many times, you will be evicted. Ladies, wake up & smell the roses… Read more »

Oh Come on!
Guest
Oh Come on!

@Amor A. – I absolutely agree with you and honestly with EBU decision. The Romanian TV thought that this will go like every year… Surprise – EBU put you where you belong. Rules are there to be followed by everyone. You can’t blame EBU for looking at their business. Ovidiu must do a lawsuit against TVR. In the end of the day he is victim of their neglecting behavior.

Hugh
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Hugh

Very sorry for Anton, not for TV Romania. Pay your debts!

I do like Sergey’s idea of allowing Anton to participate as a guest, though.

Amor A.
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Amor A.

@ Charles makes a good point, Romania should not have entered knowing they had massive debts, they were taking advantage of the EBU’s kindness.

jj
Guest
jj

Maybe he could be included as a special guest and be allowed to perform, but no voting and points, of course. All his preparations should not go to waste. And the audience and viewers will get to know him, so he will get some potential recognition for all his efforts.
I think there should be a rule that an artist can not be excluded so close to the event. The country should be notified 3 months in advance at least.

Maclaren
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Maclaren

What a shallow comment from Amir. ‘My half-Romanian’ wife will be there. Never mind the Romanian singer, just remember dear voters that I have some connection to the country. An opportunity for self-advertising instead of solidarity. Amir is falling in my eyes

Charles
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Charles

And people still wonder why Portugal’s RTP decides to withdraw from Eurovision when either there is no money for a competition they don’t really understand a thing about musically speaking or the interest is just zero to nothing … countries like Romania look at at Eurovision as a “look at our country” platform (a syndrome developed by a few other countries during those … beautiful *cough cough* days of pure televoting where even a turd deserved getting 12 points) … and now look what happens: such desire has a price … even for those who reach 4th place and 3rd… Read more »

Crazy Alinutza
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Crazy Alinutza

For what is worth (taken from TVR website): in the last 10 yrs, EBU provided TVR access to international events and media programs, for about 50 mil euro. Despite their financial problems, TVR paid back 33 mil, of which 20 mil in the last 5 yrs. Last month, TVR paid the participation fee for the 2016 edition… The Q again: why did EBU wait until now to give its ultimatum, provided that they were aware of the financial situation of TVR? The only obvious answer is: because they can…. Another q: are there any other TVs of other countries in… Read more »

ESCaddict
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ESCaddict

The EBU have been trying to get TVR to pay their bills for years. Years, you got that? This was not short notice. TRV have to take responsibility for their actions, or inaction in this case.
This isn’t just about ESC, it is much bigger than that. Reality has just hit Romania. Deal with it.

katra
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katra

I don’t think the decision is unfair but EBU could have chosen a better timing, preferably before Romania even held a national contest. My guess is they kept asking for the money and the Romanian TV kept promising to pay, asking for extended deadlines over and over again. Maybe EBU’s decision is meant to be a lesson for other countries who take advantage of similar situations. Money matters. Money is the main reason why juries were brought back: The Big 5 gave more money so they should have had the chance to do better and since they couldn’t do it… Read more »

CookyMonzta
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CookyMonzta

Is it just me, or does anyone think that the EBU should have sent this warning THE DAY AFTER LAST YEAR’S ESC, then suspended Romania before they started making plans for THIS year’s Selectia Nationala, to save would-be contenders the trouble of going into the studios to record songs intended for the competition?

Alex
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Alex

Well, this is regrettable. I guess the EBU really needs the money? What else would explain such a bad PR move?

AurelianTamisan
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AurelianTamisan

F U C K you EBU!

Erin
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Erin

Of course it’s unfair for Ovidiu, but TVR bears the brunt for letting his effort go down the drain because it gave a false representation to all the participating artists and their agents about its financial solvency. The deadlines were set well in advance: the fact that the final straw that broke the EBU’s back took place on April 21st is simply part of bureaucracy which has nothing to do with good or bad timing as the debt had to be paid off or the plug would be pulled out. These are all man made mistakes and miscalculations while the… Read more »

Daniel E.
Guest
Daniel E.

@Pollaski

I can do without the commentary, thank you very much :). I’ll keep an eye on the eurovision.tv site then, thanks for the info

Pollaski
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Pollaski

@Daniel E

One other thing. I suspected all along that TVR was pretty screwed up, and you more or less confirmed that, so thanks for doing that. With luck it may be possible to get another, less screwed up broadcaster to show it moving forward.

Pollaski
Guest
Pollaski

@Daniel E.

Thanks for the insight- and I think most people agree that the EBUs decision would have been okay if they hadn’t done it 3 weeks before the contest.

As far as watching the contest goes, the USA doesn’t have a broadcast of it either (which is surprising, considering the amount of asinine crap we DO broadcast), so we have to watch it on the official YouTube stream. There’s no commentary, but you get all the video and audio from the contest. There should be links to it on the day of the contest on eurovision.tv

Daniel E.
Guest
Daniel E.

People outside of Romania need to understand that the state-owned TVR has practically ZERO audience in Romania, outside the important sport competitions and Eurovision ;). Also, it is an institution marred by corruption and incompetence, because ever since 1990 it was heavily politicized – every political party wanted to impose their own puppet as the general manager, forsaking all professional criteria . So, this does not come as a surprise for me, Romanian Daniel. The EBU decision is, in itself, very just, I think! But I agree with what everyone else said – the timing sucks big time! And, to… Read more »

Crazy Alinutza
Guest
Crazy Alinutza

Thank you, EBU, for destroying a dream -actually, an illusion… You do not unite, you divide….now I have to listen to all my colleagues friendly remarks : hahaha, Romania is out…so am I supposed to cut my veins now? Before ’89, on Romanian Tv we could see only the top three songs, after the contest…but it was great, it was like a breath of air coming from the just and wonderful West…What a dessilusion this proved to be… Really EBU, you woke up three weeks ago and realised that TVR did not pay their dues? Well then, you deserve not… Read more »

Azotman
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Azotman

Bonsoir Stockholm,

They are sorry, they regreat, blablabla… They didn’t have the choice. Come on… Eurovision is one of the most broadcasted event, millions of SMS sent… This is totally crazy. Nobody would understand this.
The decision should be taken before selection or after the contest but not now a couple of weeks before. Total nonsense.
“Fight for the truth”
Eurovision 2016 “Come together” total hypocrisie !!! Scandale !!!

Multsumesc Ovidiu !

Maxime

Ciaran
Guest
Ciaran

I feel bad for him and I feel as if the the Romanian public should have known however the decision was fair. TVR knew they had a large fee, couldn’t pay it therefore Romania have been expelled from the contest. I think he should be an interval act but there is no one to blame but TVR.

Amor A.
Guest
Amor A.

Too many people are entitled nowadays. I don’t think this was “unfair”, what was unfair is that the EBU allowed Romania to preform year after year knowing that had a massive debt that was accumulating. They tried to help them, finally got fed up with being ignored and pulled the plug on their entry. Your actions have consequences and this sends a mssage to everyone in the EBU “Don’t try our patience!”

Fafefifo
Guest
Fafefifo
Foxreyna
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Foxreyna

And another thing, it was only 4 days ago that TVR was getting the threats of being disqualified, HOW CAN YOU RAISE 15 MILLION EURO IN 2 DAYS? Yes, it was said on April 18th and ended on April 20th and the news got out today.

Foxreyna
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Foxreyna

They did pay for this year, this just shows that EBU can’t handle 15 million euros.. smh, and Sweden is a whole different story. #Unfair

Charles
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Charles

It may be unfair for the performer and his delegations with that I won’t disagree … but what everybody seems to forget that NO performer could represent a country without a TV broadcast connected to the EBU facility. And this is where I throw all the blames: both the TVR and EBU. Why? a) EBU for choosing this specific period of time to make a decision of this nature when I am pretty sure the whole debt problem must have there for quite some time now. Could they have handled this in another more respectful way instead of all sounding… Read more »

Huh
Guest
Huh

This is the year where I noticed that most entrants are very friendly with each other, so kudos to them for voicing out their support for Ovidiu and Romanian people here. Let’s hope that this will be amended before the contest starts.

Laburnum
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Laburnum

It kinda seems like they are punishing him for being Romanian

Fafefifo
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Fafefifo

A crying shame this happened. A big loss for the contest this year. For anyone involved.

Pollaski
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Pollaski

The more I think about it… the more I wonder: How poorly run must TVR be to the point that they cant even afford to make payments on a $16 million debt? This is the dominant network in a country of 20 million people that has broadcast rights to EURO, the Olympics, Eurovision, Miss Universe, etc, in addition to being the main importer of popular TV shows. I’ll make a comparison here- you can judge if its fair. HGTV- a fourth-tier American cable network that pretty much plays four different home renovation shows in a neverending cycle, pulled in $600… Read more »

adriana
Guest
adriana

Tvr has tould EBU that can`t sustain their payments and besides that ,they still mallowed them to participate to Eurovision they allowed the artist to promote his song,despite that Tvr has confirmed that they cannot pay anymore,so the AArtist has every right to sue the EBU and TVR.

Digital Style
Guest
Digital Style

This is so very unfair. I didn’t like his song, but it is extremely disrespectful to eliminate Ovidiu and the delegation over something that they had no control over. It is absolutely ridiculous that they were expected to pay such a high sum of money in such a small amount of time. Could they not have waited until after the contest? I’m so disgusted at the EBU.

CookyMonzta
Guest
CookyMonzta

@adriana: Ovidiu would be in his right to sue for participation. To punish an artist who has already been selected and committed to perform, for something not his fault (nor was he part of a fix), definitely rubs me the wrong way. Again, how much notice did Romania get before the EBU decided to pull this out of a hat? Two weeks? A month? Two months? If it was very short notice, then I think the EBU is playing with fire? And how is Romania’s economy right now? Methinks given the EBU’s policies and current structure, it could be that… Read more »

David Who
Guest
David Who

What an awful situation. I can see both sides, to be fair. I suppose the EBU had to do something, but what an awful thing to do to Ovidiu. He should show up on Thursday anyhow and stage-invade Poli’s performance! (as that would have been HIS slot)…

In terms of the competition, how does this affect Semi Final 2? Perhaps Ireland now have a chance to qualify, or even Denmark?