Fifteen acts are competing in the grand final of Romania‘s Selectia Nationala 2018, which will air tonight. The Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of music unprofessionals — has been reviewing all the finalists, and we have a winner: Feli with “Buna de iubit”.
According to our Wiwi Jury, Feli stands head and shoulders above the rest of the competition, with a score of 8.17/10. She’s gotten almost one point higher than the next best act, Jukebox feat. Bella Santiago, who got 7.25/10. Rounding up the top three is Xandra, with 7.17.
Bringing up the rear, two acts did not manage to get higher than a score of 4/10. VYROS is “La La La”-ing in 14th place with 3.92 points, but he stands taller than than Rafael & Friends, who are singing “We Are One” with a mere 3.25 in last place.
But let’s take a look at the top three. Please note that “Buna de iubit” was reviewed by our Wiwi Jury before Feli released “Royalty”, the English version of “Buna de iubit”, which the singer is likely to perform in Lisbon, should she win Selectia Nationala.
1. Feli – “Buna de iubit” (8.17/10)
The best: “Buna de iubit” is “Despacito” done right. Feli brings amazing sass, both vocally and physically, to a song that is so upbeat that brings the inner Latina out of everyone. Feli hasn’t forgotten her roots — keeping enough of a Romanian connection through its language and lyrics. While I’m much more of a fan of her audition and video clip rendition than her semi-final performance, I must say, “Buna de iubit” — what a bop! (Sebastian, 9/10)
The worst: This is such a fun, upbeat song so I can’t understand why the performers are all so static on stage. They could turn this into an epic dance number that could grace the Eurovision top 10 but not if it is staged as it currently is. “Buna de iubit” has the most potential for Romania but it requires a lot of work to achieve the success it deserves. (Antranig, 7/10)
2. Jukebox feat. Bella Santiago (7.25/10)
The best: A strong entry with an equally powerful message, this has become one of Romania’s front-runners for Lisbon, and I wouldn’t mind it if it won Selectia Nationala. Onstage, both Alex and Bella pour their heart (ahem) into it and give life to the song. “Auzi cum bate” would be an interesting choice and a respectable entry for Romania. (Bogdan, 9/10)
The worst: “Auzi cum bate” is a bit repetitive, a bit cliché, and Jukebox and Bella overact a little bit. However, everything is in the right measure, and it makes it bearable and enjoyable. There’s a lot of power here, and their voices blend together fabulously. Romania should have better options than this, but sending them would be totally respectable. (Luis, 7/10)
3. Xandra – Try (7.17)
The best: I admire Xandra for her talent and, as the song title suggests — for her sheer determination to keep on trying. Her semi-final performance delivers the vibes of a classier version of Andorra’s “Sense Tu”, but there’s one slight problem. Although she’s an established performer, Xandra can sometimes end up looking a little too serious at times. She’ll need to find a way to engage with the viewers. (Anthony, 8/10)
The worst: It’s sad to say this about a song sung by an awesome vocalist, but this is just a generic ballad written for Eurovision. Literally everything matches: the cliché lyrics about a love affair, the key change in the last chorus, the high note… I’m not saying that this is bad, but come on, Xandra, bring something more unique to the competition! Because if “Try” wins, it’ll get lost in the sea of power entries in Lisbon. (Barnabas, 6/10)
Selectia Nationala 2018 – Reviews and ratings
- Feli – “Buna de iubit” (8.17)
- Jukebox feat. Bella Santiago – “Auzi cum bate” (7.25)
- Xandra – “Try” (7.17)*
- Eduard Santha – “Me Som Romales” (7.17)*
- Dora Gaitanovici – “Fara tine” (7)
- Alexia & Matei – “Walking On Water” (6.92)
- Teodora Dinu – “Fly” (6.5)
- Echoes – “Mirror” (6.33)
- Erminio Sinni & Tiziana Camelin – “All the Love Away” (5.92) *
- TIRI – “Desert de sentimente” (5.92) *
- The HUMANS – “Goodbye” (5.83)
- M I H A I – “Heaven” (5.58)
- Claudia Andas – “The One” (5.25)
- VYROS – “La La La” (3.92)
- Rafael & Friends – “We Are One” (3.25)
* Ties are broken by preferential vote.
Feli will perform “Royalty” at the National Final
At Romania’s National Final tonight, Feli will perform the English version of “Buna de iubit”, entitled “Royalty”, according to her former Voice of Romania coach Smiley. The biggest name in Selectia Nationala 2018, Feli is the hot favourite to win the televote: she is first in the odds to win and the hashtag #Felisabona is trending on the Romanian web. And given that there is no jury for the final, Feli should sail to Lisbon with flying colours. Nonetheless, given the unpredictable nature of the 2018 National Final season, anything is possible and an upset is not entirely out of the question — which makes tonight’s show even more exciting to watch.
Do you agree with the Wiwi Jury? Should Feli win Selectia Nationala? Or is there another act who you think would do better in Lisbon? Let us know in the comments!