After the Romanian broadcaster TVR was expelled from the EBU, effectively kicking Romania out of Eurovision, collateral victim Ovidiu Anton wants to sue for moral damages and for the effects on his image as an artist.
Ovidiu Anton, who was supposed to perform 12th in the second semi-final after he won Selectia Nationala 2016 with rock anthem “Moment Of Silence”, voiced his shock with the decision upon hearing the news.
Later, in an interview for Radio France International, the rock singer expressed his disappointment with the situation and the regret that he would not get to perform his song in Stockholm.
“I am very disappointed. I don’t think that anyone can imagine what I am going through, nor do I wish it on anybody. I have worked for many years to earn my right to represent Romania at Eurovision and, after winning [Selectia Nationala], I was defeated by… I don’t even know whom. I can say that I can’t explain how you can make such a decision at this level, how do you eliminate a contestant after letting him compete. I don’t know who is to blame, but someone certainly is that someone is not me.
Asked how this will affect his career, Ovidiu said that the damages cannot be quantified:
I think that the damages are immeasurable. One cannot put a price on what this does to an artist. The chance to perform your song for 70 broadcasters cannot be given again, not with the moment that you wanted to create. The damages to my image, as well as the moral damages, are enormous.
The artist said that he considered legal action, although at this point he did not know against whom.
I have to think of the natural, legal steps that I have to make, I will consult with my lawyers and I will follow their advice, because someone is guilty and has to pay.
As for a possible Eurovision participation if Romania ever returns to the European Broadcasting Union, the singer is adamant that he does not want to hear about it.
I will never compete for Eurovision again. I have been treated very unfairly, miserably even, as the representative of a country at Eurovision. I can vow that, regardless of whatever happens in the future, my Eurovision game — because it has proven to be a game, not a fight — stops here.
Nonetheless, there are fans who want to see Ovidiu Anton on the Eurovision stage even sooner. In 24 hours, close to 1,900 people have signed a petition demanding that the EBU allow the Romanian singer to perform at the 2016 contest, even out of competition.
Watch our video coverage of Ovidiu Anton
What do you think? Does Ovidiu Anton have a case? And whom should he direct his legal action against?