On April 22 Romania’s state broadcaster TVR was expelled from the EBU, which means Romania must sit out of Eurovision 2016. Needless to say it’s been a tough week for Romanian Eurovision fans, as well as fans of the Eastern European country in the contest.
Since the introduction of the semi-finals, Romania has never failed to qualify for the Grand Final and has produced 18 songs that brought a lot of joy for Eurofans everywhere. Let us celebrate Romania by remembering its finest, lowest and craziest moments at Eurovision — and then choosing its best song!
You can vote for your favourite Romanian entry in the poll below, but first let’s reminisce about the contestants.
1994: Dan Bittman – “Dincolo de nori”
Romania debuted at Eurovision in 1994 when Ireland was hosting the contest. Rock singer Dan Bittman performed the Romanian language ballad “Dincolo de nori” (Beyond the clouds), which finished 21st out of 25 participants with 14 points.
1998: Malina Olinescu – “Eu cred”
Romania returned to the country after four years with another ballad, “Eu cred” (I Believe), performed by the late Malina Olinescu. The song finished 22nd out of 25 participants, with 6 points.
2000: Taxi – “The Moon”
Two years later the country sent its first English language song, the folk ballad “The Moon”. The band Taxi finished 17th out of 24 countries, with 25 points.
2002: Monica Anghel & Marcel Pavel – “Tell Me Why”
Romania’s losing streak ended in 2002 when “Tell Me Why” broke into the Top 10. The ballad finished 9th on the scoreboard in Tallinn, with 71 points.
2003: Nicola – “Don’t Break My Heart”
In Riga, Nicola finished 10th on the scoreboard, with 73 points.
2004: Sanda Ladosi – “I Admit”
In Istanbul, Sanda Ladosi only managed to finish 18th with 18 points. However, she also nabbed Romania’s only Barbara Dex Award with her unfortunate choice of dress.
2005: Luminita Anghel & Sistem – “Let Me Try”
The year 2005 marked Romania’s first taste of real success at the song contest. “Let Me Try” ended third on the scoreboard in Kyiv with 158 points and remains, to this day, one of the most beloved Eurovision hits.
2006: Mihai Traistariu – “Tornero”
Romania’s winning streak continued in 2006 with yet another huge hit, “Tornero”. Mihai Traistariu finished fourth on the scoreboard with 172 points, the highest number of points Romania has ever gotten in Eurovision.
2007: Todomondo – “Liubi, Liubi, I Love You”
In 2007, Romania tried to court as many televoters as possible with a multi-lingual track. The English-Italian-Spanish-French-Russian-Romanian language song managed to secure 84 points and finished 13th on the scoreboard.
2008: Nico & Vlad – “Pe-o margine de lume”
Romania returned to its roots and sent the Romanian language song “Pe-o margine de lume” (At an edge of the world), which finished 20th on the scoreboard in Belgrade, with 45 points.
2009: Elena – “The Balkan Girls”
Elena Gheorghe also failed to impress and finished only 19th with 40 points in Moscow.
2010: Paula Seling & Ovi – “Playing With Fire”
In Oslo, Paula and Ovi managed to take Romania back toward the top. Their song “Playing With Fire” ended in third place with 162 points.
2011: Hotel FM – “Change”
Despite finishing 4th in the semi-final, “Change” only managed to get 77 points in the Grand Final, ending up in 17th place.
2012: Mandinga – “Zaleilah”
Mandinga also placed a respectable third in the semi-final, but the Grand Final saw them finish in 12th place with 71 points.
2013: Cezar – “It’s My Life”
Despite high hopes of winning the contest with his falsetto voice and a jaw-dropping stage performance, countertenor Cezar “The Voice” Ouatu only managed to finish 13th with 65 points.
2014: Paula Seling & Ovi – “Miracle”
Paula Seling and Ovi returned to the Eurovision stage in 2014, but they failed to match their 2010 success. The finished 12th in Copenhagen, with 72 points.
2015: Voltaj – “De la capat (All Over Again)”
Romania’s last Eurovision participation saw the pop-rock band finish 15th with their bilingual song, which got 35 points in the final.
2016: Ovidiu Anton – “Moment Of Silence”
Despite the fact that Romania was eliminated from the contest just weeks before it was supposed to compete this year, it would be unfair to take the country’s last song out of consideration. “Moment Of Silence” won both the jury and the televote in Selectia Nationala, which makes Ovidiu Anton’s self-penned rock anthem as worthy of our respect as the previous Romanian entries.
So what is your favourite Romanian Eurovision entry? You can vote for as many songs as you want in the poll, but you can only vote once. We will reveal the results in two weeks time, ahead of the contest.[polldaddy poll=9396151]
Our first 3 (1994, 1998, 2000), all decent, very underrated entries, then 2003, 2005, 2006, 2010 and 2015. All in all, not that bad of a selection, though I also have to mention Laurentiu Cazan’s “Say Something”, the first Romanian entry that never was (way back in 1993) and our greatest ESC-related song ever, in my honest opinion…
Tornero….a minor masterpiece!!
Ovidiu Anton-‘Moment of Silence’ without any doubt. And it hurts a lot to not have it anymore. It’s at the battle with Cezar-‘It’s my life’ for me, but while the 2nd is more of an inedit entry, ‘Moment of Silence’ is a more quality song, with a strong and amazing message. And I also prefer its genre.
Romania really gave us some excellent songs and in so many genre. I am following ESC since 2007. and Romania
@Charles Behind Bogdan answer I want you to inform that Romania is a big country with 24 millions ppl the same population as Australia has, Portugal have just 10 millions ppl so there is a big loss for EBU and TVR too. See I just told you just one reason why people cry.
I understand, Bogdan, thanks for the ability to vote for my favourite, “Moment of silence”. I will probably never forgive neither TVR and EBU. It was TVR’s fault in the beginning, but EBU should have disqualified them after the contest. Poor Ovidiu. But we “can change”(Hotel FM, 2011) and “fight for truth”(Ovidiu Anton, 2016). Well said, both of you!
I listened to both songs from 1993 and 1996, and they were both good, I could have voted for them, but I will probably forget them by next morning. A lot of these songs were forgettable, like those I didn’t vote for and:
They were good, but only when I listened to them, after that they were forgotten, but I did vote for them.
@ Charles – unlike Portugal who is back next year, Romania was expelled from the EBU, which is a first, and the country is not likely to return to Eurovision for a long time, if ever. I understand that you don’t want to join the “pity party”, but kindly note that nobody invited you. On the other hand, good choice with Malina Olinescu. Thank you for reading and following wiwibloggs. @ oooops – we decided to include the actual entries that got to perform on the Eurovision stage, with the only exception of 2016, which was out of respect for… Read more »
The best: Playing with Fire (the real winner of Eurovision 2010!)
The worst: the gigantic turd of Cezar. AWFUL, AWFUL, AWFUL!!! What the hell were they thinking? Only lunatic gay people to love that…
De La Capat, Liubi Liubi I Love You, Playing With Fire, and Miracle are my favorites
also I like “Moment of Silence” this year, but too bad that he can’t compete in the contest :(((((
I voted for:
And especially for my favourite among these:
But didn’t Romania try to compete 1993 and 1996, you should have mentioned these in your poll! I haven’t heard them yet, but they may have been better than “Moment of Silence” if they were mentioned. Even though they both came very last, in the weirdest qualification rounds.
Firstly I don’t appreciate this “let’s be sorry for Romania” thing going on … I seriously doubt it would be done towards certain other countries but anyway … I mean nobody has been crying for Portugal so why moaning for Romania? Then I don’t really have any favourite Romanian song to be honest but I know that that dracula-opera-gay-club-rubbish from 2013 needs to be away from my ears and brain so that I can still have some sanity within me. Then I guess I do have a soft spot for 1998 Malina Olinescu’s “Eu Cred” … very subtle very underrated… Read more »
2003 is one of my favorite “forgotten” Eurovision songs, since no one ever seems to talk about it. It’s always cool to see a DnB style song in the contest, and I think it could have been better if it didn’t have such…dumb staging. (C’mon, you could’ve at least given the dj a proper turntable)
everything that has paula selling in it and balkan girls just wanna party like nobody like nobody. <3
Will you do that with all of Eurovision countries?
Playing with Fire is one of the best songs that Eurovision gave me. Is practically flawless and I still listen it to this day.
‘Playing with Fire’ and ‘Zaleilah’
I picked 8 freaking options in the poll. Give me a similar poll for a different country and I think only Slovenia and Sweden would have a higher vote rating from me. I love Romania at Eurovision so much and am wistful not to see them again. From the novel “Don’t Break My Heart” to Cezar My Genuine Hero to the immense talents of Paula and OVI, they always approach everything at Eurovision with courage and brilliance. We’ll miss you this year, Romania. 🙁
ELENA!! One of the first songs I heard of the first time I switched on ESC accidentally in Australia. I always remembered like to party like nobody like nobody. And Paula and Ovi, love the bangers. #Zaleilah! Love that track, still listen to it. I wish more countries would send fun dancey stuff again soon.
I forgot to mention NICOLA – PLEASE DON’T BREAK MY HEART…… I adore that one as well.
“Let me try “, “Balkan girls”, “Tornero” and “Playing with Fire” I love and listen to this day
the special vote goes to a song that kinda gets to me and talks to me…. I AM PROBABLY THE ONLY ONE…….. TAXI – THE MOON
I remember absolutely loving Elena with “Balkan Girls” back in 2009, looking at it now, it looks so cheesy, but it brings back memories of 2009 for me so I voted for it. But really, my favourite Romanian entry has got to be Mandinga (done quite well in the UK and Ireland, all of the music tv channels were playing it, still do occasionally). I also liked Ovi and Paula’s “Playing with Fire”, such a catchy tune and certainly lit up the 2010 contest with some much needed energy in a year that was full of dull ballads. So my… Read more »
Balkan Girls and Zaleilah ?
Let me try all the way! I’ve also voted for Mihai ‘Tornero’ and Hotel FM ‘Change’
Miracle, without any doubt. Ver y underrated. It was my favourite along Sweden
@Asfdg. LIKE NOBODY, LIKE NOBODY, FOR CROWD DELIGHT WE’LL SHINE ALL NIGHT!
Playing with fire, Tornero and the Balkan Girls are my favorites.
None of them, the songs were awful to be honest. Maybe “Playing With Fire” was a decent one, but it’s just average to me
La plus belle chanson de la Roumanie :
Eu Cred – Malina Olinescu – 1998
Voltaj, Paula Selling & Ovi, Cezar… Pas mal non plus.
2009, 2010, 2012 <3 I also like 2005 and 2006
Ovi Anton, long moment of silence.
Luminita, my QUEEN!
Off-topic: Song reviews of Greece and Czech Republic: https://escsongreviews.com/2016/04/24/songcheck-2016-greece-czech-republic/
Thank you for spotting that mistake, Laburnum.
1 Zaleilah (in fact one of my favorite entries ever)
2 De la capat
3 Playing With Fire
4 Balkan Girls
Playing with fire, hands down.
Very emotional, simple but eye-catching staging. The part at 2 min when she gives the high note gives me shivers every time.
They lowered the level of their 2nd participation (2014) in every aspect. That was sad.
My favourite is clearly “De la capat” from last year. It sounded very warm and emotional without over-sentimentalizing the topic of the song. I also like “Don’t Break My Heart” from 2003 and “Change” (2011).
Romania was actually my favourite back in 2000 with Taxi and “Luna”, probably because I have a special passion for laid back singer/songwriter music. Today I find it a bit boring, and the singer wasn’t too convincing.
Lately they were not at their best, but between 2005 and 2010 they were on fire !
”Let me Try” by Luminita Anghel is probably in my top 3 of favourite eurovision songs
I remember all of these. For me, the first time Romania grabbed my attention was in 2003 with Nicole. She had such a strange voice and the song and the staging were unique. Obviously the best technically are 2005 and 2010, and the points sorta reflect that. 2013 is my personal favourite- I’m a fan of Cezar, sorry. 🙂 2006 is a strange one as it’s not one of my favourites, but seemed to get a lot of points. One thing is certain: Romania will be missed. It is a country that has qualified for EVERY Grand Final since the… Read more »
“don’t break my heart”, “let my try” & “playing with fire” :)) back in the days Romania was my favourite Eurovision country
Playing with fire is my 1st, tornero is my 2nd, zaleilah is my 3rd. Great songs from romania
I like their song from 1998, 2002, 2003,2004, 2005, 2006,2008,2009, 2010
For me best 5 song
“Playing with fire”
While Playing With Fire is sensational, my favourites aould have to be Balkan Girls and Zaleilah. Btw, 2008 was in Belgrade, not Helsinki 😉
Romania is one of my least favourite countries in Eurovision. I only voted for their 2005 and 2010 entries, because I really like them. Still, though, they have never sent an amazing song!
I’ve always thought Mandiga was overrated. Also everyone knows Tornero is one of the eurovision classics of the 00s 🙂
THE BALKAN GIRLS THEY LIKE TO PARTY LIKE NOBODY!!!
One good thing about their disqualification is that they still get to keep their non-stop qualification to the final streak. There’s no way that train-wreck of a song would make it to the final this year.
playing with fire will forever remain my favorite romanian entry! just thinking about paula’s high note gives me ghoosebumps all over again.
Mihai – Tornero