Last Sunday, Romania‘s Selectia Nationala Semi-Final 4 winners were picked by the jury and sent to the National Final. Among them is TIRI with his song “Desert de sentimente”, which is sampling a fragment from a musical by a 19th century composer. One of the losing acts, Lion’s Roar, is now contesting TIRI’s right to be in the final claiming that he is breaching the rules of the contest.
After the jury selected Claudia Andas, TIRI and Feli as the winners of the fourth semi-final, Liviu Sorescu, the frontman of the band Lion’s Roar, filed a complaint regarding TIRI’s song “Desert de sentimente”.
Liviu Sorescu is contesting the fact that TIRI’s entry includes fragments from “Ballad for Violin and Orchestra” written by Romanian composer Ciprian Porumbescu in 1880.
The ballad is Ciprian Porumbescu’s best known work and the piece was acknowledged in the semi-final by both Cezar Ouatu, who said, “We listened to a bit of Porumbescu there, why not?”, and by jury member Ilinca Bacila, who, in her feedback to TIRI, quipped, “It was very nice to hear a little bit of Porumbescu’s ‘Ballad'”.
Nonetheless, the jury gave TIRI top marks and he finished second on Sunday, with the same score as Feli — 43 points.
When he filed the complaint to TVR, Lion’s Roar singer Liviu Sorescu invoked chapter 2.7 of Selectia Nationala regulation, which says,
“The contestants shall assume the obligatory and eliminatory condition that the song (music and/or lyrics) ought to be original […] and to not be previously broadcast on any radio, TV, or internet channel or brought to the public attention in any way, wholly or sequentially, before 1 September 2017.”
The classical piece appears twice in TIRI’s song: the first time, for 15 seconds, and a second time, for 45 seconds. The one-minute sampling of another melody made public well before 1 September 2017 is technically against the EBU and TVR rules, but so far the jury and the Romanian broadcaster are silent on the matter of essentially quoting a fragment of a classical melody. It is expected that, if TIRI’s song wins Selectia Nationala, “Desert de sentimente” should be revamped in order to eliminate the incriminating fragments.
One thing to note is that, should TIRI be disqualified from the final, Lion’s Roar would not advance instead. Nicoleta Ticala is the fourth act from Semi-Final 4 who should qualify with her Spanish language song “Una oportunidad”.
FULL RESULTS OF SEMI-FINAL 4
1. Claudia Andas – 56 points
2. TIRI – 43 points
2. Feli – 43 points
4. Nicoleta Ticala – 40 points
5. Lion’s Roar – 29 points
6. Ioana Ciornea – 24 points
7. Paula Crisan – 17 points
8. ZØLTAN – 12 points
9. Alice Jeckel – 12 points
10. Bernice Chitiul – 11 points
11. Dan Manciulea – 3 points
12. Cristian Simionescu – 0 points
We reached out to TVR for confirmation and comments, but we have not yet received an answer.
What do you think about this issue? Should TIRI be disqualified? Sound off below!