After our readers predicted that Alexia & Matei should win Semi-Final 1 of Selectia Nationala 2018 – which the teenage duo did – we asked you who should win Semi-Final 2. With 1.325 votes cast, we have a clear winner: Serena, with her banger “Safari”!
Twelve acts will fight for three places in the final in Timisoara, with the jury once again selecting the three finalists. But who are your favourites, and who did you pick as the top three?
1. Serena – “Safari”
Relative newcomer Serena (real name: Diana Serban) came from virtually nowhere to become one of the main fan favourites at Selectia Nationala this year. She won over 41% of our poll, with 547 votes.
With a modern/tribal sound — similar to Romanian megastar Inna’s more recent hits like “Ruleta” – Serena’s entry “Safari” has instantly become a frontrunner in the race to Lisbon. If she delivers a stage show and a vocal performance worthy of her fans’ expectations, Serena should become the star of Semi-Final 2. The only question is, are the jury members going to be as impressed with her “Safari”?
2. Jukebox feat. Bella Santiago
Jukebox aren’t newcomers to Selectia Nationala. Their 2016 entry “Come On Everybody” failed to make the six-strong national final, also making a negative impression on our Wiwi Jury.
This time, the band have ditched the questionable lyrics and song title, opting for a decidedly mature and modern entry. They’ve also brought in Romania’s Got Talent 2017 finalist, Bella Santiago. The Filipino’s voice is the shining star of “Auzi cum bate” (Hear It Beating) and the song won many of our readers’ hearts. It placed second in our poll with 246 votes (around 18.5%).
3. M I H A I – “Heaven”
The artist formerly known as Mihai Traistariu needs no introduction. It seems like the veteran Eurovision star will never give up on his dream to one day win the song contest, and “Heaven” marks his latest attempt to do so. Our readers cast 211 votes for M I H A I (15.92%), making him their third favourite to win Semi-Final 2 of Selectia Nationala.
Given his track record, his vocal abilities, and the fact that only Ilinca and Alex stood in his way to Kyiv last year, we’d also venture to say that the “Tornero” singer is a surefire qualifier tonight.
Romania’s second semi-final will take place on the stage of Timisoara’s National Theatre starting 20:00 CET tonight and will be broadcast live on TVR 1, TVR International, TVR Moldova and online on TVR Plus. It will also be broadcast on the official YouTube channel of broadcaster TVR.
The show will also feature guest performances by Romania’s legendary rock band Cargo, Romanian-Portuguese singer Ricardo Caria, who will perform Salvador Sobral’s Eurovision 2017 winning song “Amar Pelos Dois”, Serbian pop legend Neda Ukraden, and Roma singer Lavinia Raducanu. A melting pot of ethnicities and cultures, host city Timisoara aims to showcase and celebrate its diversity with an eclectic show.
Ultimately however, the hopes and dreams of the 12 semi-finalists will hang in the balance, and the jury will select just three of them to advance to the National Final in Bucharest on 25 February, when the winner will be crowned by the public via televote.
Tonight’s line up is:
- Jukebox feat. Bella Santiago – “Auzi cum bate”
- Alessandro Danescu – “Breaking Up”
- Meriem – “End The Battle”
- M I H A I – “Heaven”
- Jessie Banes – “Lightning Strikes”
- Romeo Zaharia – “Maybe This Time”
- Othello – “Noi suntem padure”
- Miruna Diaconescu – “Run For You”
- Serena – “Safari”
- Pragu’ De Sus – “Te voi chema”
- Endless feat. Maria Grosu – “Thinking About You”
- Rafael & Andy – “We Are One”
Do you agree with the results of our poll? Is Serena going to impress the jury as she did our readers? Let us know what you think in the comments below!