Selectia Nationala 2018 stars react to National Final result

On Sunday, Romania‘s Selectia Nationala 2018 culminated with a nail-biting sprint to the finish and a surprising upset: The Humans beat pre-show favourites Alexia & Matei and Feli, grabbing the ticket to Lisbon and kissing their competition “Goodbye”. After the music stopped and the confetti settled, the two runners-up as well as other Selectia Nationala stars voiced their reactions.

The Humans won Romania’s National Final with 3277 votes, while Alexia & Matei got 3114 votes and Feli — 2862. Jukebox feat. Bella Santiago placed fourth with 1728 votes, while last year’s runner-up M I H A I finished in a surprising seventh place, with just 1165 votes cast in favour of his 2018 entry “Heaven”. All these acts had different things to say about the results. Let’s break it down!

Alexia & Matei: “We were not disappointed”

Alexia & Matei, who had been touring schools and high schools in various Moldavian cities prior to the National Final, were winners just two minutes before the voting lines closed. Literally at the last minute, The Humans came from behind to snatch that trophy, but the young duo were not disappointed. Alexia Urtoi told the press in her hometown Iasi:

Our target was to present a top quality show, to impress the viewers and to place ourselves in top five. We were not disappointed — on the contrary, we were extremely delighted that Iasi supported us, which was visible for 58 minutes […]. We will continue with our project Alexia & Matei, we want to release new music as soon as possible, and we won’t stop here, because this has only been the first leg of our musical journey.

We also spoke with Alexia immediately after the show ended, and she was ecstatic with the result. She told us that, while going to Lisbon would have been great, both she and Matei were overwhelmed by the public support with their performance.

Alexia & Matei won our poll as well, which is another testament to their fans’ dedication.

Feli: “Your song is awesome”

Feli also accepted defeat graciously. During the national final, the most famous act of Selectia Nationala 2018 asked the viewers to only vote for her if they liked her song “Royalty (Buna de iubit)”. When the votes came in and she placed third, Feli wrote on Instagram and on her Facebook page:

I think the favourite act tonight was music and, as always, the viewers’ opinion about it mattered. Music is also my favourite for life. I live for music and I make music with all my soul. Every moment of love, passion, sadness or joy turns into a song. Thank you everyone for your votes, encouragement, and reactions. I love you for listening to my soul sing. And bravo to The Humans! Your song is awesome and I can’t wait to listen to Romanian music again in Lisbon!

Feli had been our Wiwi Jury’s top pick for Selectia Nationala. The Humans placed 11th in our ranking, with an average score of 5.83/10. (See our full list of Romania 2018 rankings here.)

Bella Santiago: “I can’t explain the voting”

Bella Santiago, who competed with “Auzi cum bate” alongside Jukebox, took to her Instagram to voice her opinion about the result of the selection, during an Insta Live session on Tuesday. While she had words of praise for “Goodbye” and for the voice of Cristina Caramarcu, the lead vocalist of The Humans, the Filipina had doubts about the correct number of votes. While she did not say that the contest was rigged, she said that she could not explain the low number of votes after the heavy promotion Jukebox did for the song and the support “Auzi cum bate” had enjoyed prior to the final.

Beli was also surprised that Feli did not receive more votes, given her celebrity status in Romania and the positive message behind the song. With regards to the winning song, Bella said that she liked it, except for the first verse, where Cristina Caramarcu is forced to sing in a very low register.

In the same Instagram Live session, Bella told wiwibloggs that she was doubtful that she would return to Romania’s national selection, jokingly adding that she might try for Sanremo next year.

M I H A I: “There’s no way I got only 1,100 votes”

The artist formerly known as Mihai Traistariu gave a harsh reaction to his loss. After he finished seventh with 1165 votes, M I H A I took to Facebook to voice his disbelief. He first complained about the cold in Sala Polivalenta during the rehearsals and the show itself, claiming that the temperature in the venue for the first rehearsal was 8 degrees Celsius.

He also claimed that the voting lines were jammed, saying that he received print screens from fans who were unable to vote for “Heaven”. The singer, who has almost 200,000 followers on Facebook, found it improbable that only 1165 people voted for him.

I was not aiming for first place, but I mobilized exactly the same people who voted for me last year, and a few thousand more. And I strongly believed that we would easily get over 5,000 votes. Overnight, I received thousands of messages with “I voted 10”, “I voted for you from three phones, ten phones, etc.” I feel like counting every single one of them. Seriously! I really don’t believe that I only got 1,000 [votes]. 

Later on, he came back with a new message.

I’ve been thinking hard and I have two possibilities. 1. I will return to Selectia Nationala with an upbeat song, “helped” by a label, as many Selectia Nationala winners have done in the past. […] 2. I will participate in another country with a WOW song, be it slow or upbeat. And here I have various possibilities.

I am tempted to try in Moldova because they speak Romanian and I am terribly successful there. I am also tempted by Malta because “Tornero” was number one on their radios for six months in 2006. Plus, I was awarded a star on the Celebrities Boulevard in Malta and I went there to perform nine times. […] The only problem is that both countries will only allow foreign artists if they collaborate with a local singer for a duet. Which does not appeal to me in the slightest, because I would have to share the song. 

One thing is certain: M I H A I has not given up his dream to win Eurovision one day. And while today he is debating which country he would like to bring the trophy for, the “Tornero” singer promises that we will see him again in 2019.

Other artists had less vocal reactions. Teodora Dinu thanked her team and her supporters, Xandra also thanked TVR, Dora was in disbelief at finishing above M I H A I. Claudia Andas said that she left home feeling like a winner and Rafael & Friends felt honoured to have taken part in the contest. Most singers praised the design of the stage, the sound and the way the National Final show looked on television.

What do you think about these reactions? Was there a problem with the voting lines? Or is Selectia Nationala less popular than the artists expected? Let us know in the comments!

READ MORE ROMANIA EUROVISION NEWS HERE

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Io*
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Io*

How much I regret that the Romanian final was not awarded by the Vyros. I would be rolling on the floor laughing with tears. This hypocritical contest would have deserved such a slap.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GHCc43nT_E0

allexo
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allexo

Mihai is a pathetic, piece of crap that looks like a pedo.

esc freak
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esc freak

Mihai’s song was not good. It was overrated actually.

All Ears
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All Ears

What exactly do you mean by that glory-hole thing you said? Is that what happens during Eurovision?

Eln
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Eln

People vote when they really believe in a song. Of course that among 15 songs, everyone has a favorite, but that was not enough. They didn’t truly believe in it (that their favorite will do fine in the European selection), enough to vote for it.

Eln
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Eln

Not to mention that the national selection and the European one, has such a small audience in Romania

Cedric
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Cedric

Lol Mihai is pretty pathetic

carmen
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carmen

Eurovision is not that big anymore in countries that have never won. There are 20/43 countries that have never won. They do internal selection, or have very poor televote numbers.

Rayne
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Rayne

This is the worst Romanian Eurovision song. It’s just too messy. Her vocals are stunning, but that’s just it. The song itself is terrible and the worst one of ESC 2018 for now. There were much better songs indeed.

Gobio
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Gobio

I just can’t get over how delusional and intolerable Mihai is. Your song was boring and unfitting, period. Get a hold of reality.

Milan S.
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Milan S.

Yes – why entering another country’s NF with a WOW song? Why not try Romania first?

AurelianTamisan
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AurelianTamisan

MIHAI, as always, he’s from another planet. He’s a great artist, I like his motivation, but I don’t know how many votes he expected. Ok, maybte the total number of votes in general seems to be a little low, for example I can’t explain how an artist could get less than 200 votes (I think that 200 should come just from family, friends, ocupation etc. without a doubt). But his place in the table wouldn’t have been higher, his song was even that high because it was sung by MIHAI. And about going to Moldova and Malta… why doesn’t he… Read more »

AnnaLuisa
Guest
AnnaLuisa

I didn’t like Mihai’s song but winning with 3000 votes it’s strange. And Romania, you just destroyed my dream. I wanted to see Feli singing her song in Lisbon so Baaad! I m sure she would have conquered all the parties. So sad.

Kris
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Kris

So the Romanian ESC gan community saw WoW leading till 2 mins were left and they diverted all their votes to Goodbye as they thought WoW wasn’t polished enough! NONE of the other acts were close enough to overtake them except Goodbye

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

I know you mean “Walk on Water” (I think), but in some parts of the world WoW = World of Warcraft! 😀

Amazing to hear that a single minority group would have such sway over votes. Fascinating.

Kris
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Kris

If I was writing walking on water or Alexia / Matei they just would not post it.

Kris
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Kris

And now they posted this comment! I demand an explanation wiwiteam

Kris
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Kris

The thing is the number of votes for the winner here was much smaller than much smaller countries like Belarus , Moldova , Slovenia , Latvia , Serbia etc.
So yeah the 150 odd votes from them in the end made Goodbye overtake WoW. Goodbye was on 2nd position trailing by 100 odd votes at that point in time.
This is based on what a Member of the group said on YouTube.

AurelianTamisan
Guest
AurelianTamisan

TVR’s promotion for Eurovision is not great, let’s face it. At that hour FCSB (former Steaua Bucuresti) was playing in the Romanian football championship, I am pretty sure that their audience was much bigger than TVR’s. And even other shows from the national tv. On another way, many people that are watching this king of show in Romania, are not voting, even they catch interest in it. So the low number of votes is not surprising in my opinion, there weren’t too many votes in the last edition either. Yeah, at one point, people starting to vote like in a… Read more »

Kris
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Kris

I don’t understand why my comment won’t post explaining why goodbye won

Purple Mask
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Purple Mask

The Wiwi filters work in mysterious ways.

Robyn Gallagher
Editor

We’ve been having some issues lately with comments not getting saved properly. They’re not being filtered out – they’re just not getting saved properly. We don’t know what’s causing it, but we are investigating.

Phary
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Phary

“P I S S E D”
Nice pun ^^ (what a bad way to make one’s name look cool though)

Portuguese Fan
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Portuguese Fan

You will not review “Festival da Canção”?

Kris
Guest
Kris

No…. They will do a Top 5 from random juries concept.

Robyn Gallagher
Editor

Yep, we’re using the mini jury format for Portugal. Coming later this week 🙂

Weird
Guest
Weird

The number of voters is indeed very suspicious. Singers with large fan bases can easily get thousands of votes. Unless the followers they have are fake bots bought from follower farms.

AurelianTamisan
Guest
AurelianTamisan

Which have that fan bases? Feli, Jukebox, Mihai?! These are stories, if there is somebody to have fans in Romania, they are Inna, Alexandra Stan, Delia, Voltaj, Stefan Banica… ususally especially artists with some years of activity. Jukebox are known from a tv show that have nothing to do with music, ok, they are more famous than ususal entries, but they don’t have fans. Feli is new on Romanian stage, let’s face it, there are no Feli fans and I’ve said that througout the entire campaign of Selectia Nationala. MIHAI is recognized lately just for Eurovision. The followers are mostly… Read more »

Weird
Guest
Weird

Yeah but having the Humans win out of nowhere over other singers that are more known also seems weird.

Joe
Guest
Joe

…The Humans deserved to win. Bite me!

Giorgio
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Giorgio

Nobody is disputing that.

Joe
Guest
Joe

You’d be surprised.

SHAUNZERS
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SHAUNZERS

Lol good luck coming to Malta MIHAI… no one remembers you here, and if you duet with Brooke, you’ll ruin her chances of winning… enjoy your humble pie!

Briekimchi
Guest
Briekimchi

I thought the order of the voting was about right. Mihai maybe could have been one or two places higher and Rafael should have been a lot lower but, there was nothing terribly strange there. The voting numbers were lower than what I expected.

Giorgio
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Giorgio

Rafael asked the rock community to vote for him and, as he is pretty well known in the rock bubble, it paid off.

Briekimchi
Guest
Briekimchi

Wish he put that much effort into coming up with a better song.

CharlieChan
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CharlieChan

Well it is true that knowing Feli’s fanbase it is a little bit weird that she didn’t get anymore votes… Anyway she’s amazingly nice and talented and I hope she tries again next year 🙂

Héctor
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Héctor

After seeing Alexia & Matei live… I think it looked like a high school performance. Their voices are great and sound perfect together. It’s just the performance is a bit underwhelming and amateur.

Héctor
Guest
Héctor

Oh, I forgot to mention Mihai is a bit pathetic. He’s such a bad loser. His songs are dated and they doesn’t really sound good, so what did he expect?

Aaron
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Aaron

Mihai throughs a tantrum every year now. Did the same in 2016

Daniel_2017
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Daniel_2017

Does anyone even take Mihai seriously anymore?!

Polegend Godgarina
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Polegend Godgarina

Yeah, the victory of Goodbye is so random and I get why Bella Santiago is puzzled.

Briekimchi
Guest
Briekimchi

If I were in Romania, I would have picked up the phone for it. What a live performance! I thought it literally blew the other acts away, a complete (and unexpected) step up in class.

Apparantly, in Romania, there were about 3000 people who thought the same as I did!

Polegend Godgarina
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Polegend Godgarina

Considering Romania has 20 million inhabitants, that ain’t saying much.

Dan
Guest
Dan

Eurovision is not big in Romania and many people who watch dont even vote.

Briekimchi
Guest
Briekimchi

Still more than the other songs managed seemingly. 😉

Joe
Guest
Joe

The first two were incredibly gracious and good sports. Hoping to see them try again next year!

Kast
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Kast

This is the real masterpiece Feli should have come with in order to win the romanian national contest. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=10a1DlWRiwE

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

I have met so many people in music and theatre over the years who are just as meticulous about their careers as M I H A I. It is not always a bad thing to be driven to succeed; it’s just coming across as a bit unsubtle here. He has his fan base, and he has already been to Eurovision once before. I love his voice and his creativity; beyond that I don’t really know what to say. I have never met him for real, but I would love to one day. If only to hear his voice in real… Read more »

Kast
Guest
Kast

She was just kidding.

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

Owh! Darn it.

Colin
Guest
Colin

MIHAI unhappy with the result other than winning! In another news: Water-wet! I actually liked his song and think he sings well. The reason why he didn’t win might lie in the fact that his songs are academically perfect, but leave little emotional impression. Maybe next time he could try actually pour his heart into a song and see the result. Also; “The only problem is that both countries will only allow foreign artists if they collaborate with a local singer for a duet. Which does not appeal to me in the slightest, because I would have to share the… Read more »

Jo
Guest
Jo

Mihai should be happy for being in the final, because his song didn’t deserved to be there at all.
Well, try again next year, perhaps with “M I H A I”.

Polyna
Guest
Polyna

So Mihai is salty again, again says that he’ll try for a different country, and I guess next year he’ll again try to represent Romania.

AngieP
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AngieP

I truly believe that if Mihai had a great song, he would have won! His song was good, but not good enough. Don’t give up my friend!

ImpressiveInstants
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ImpressiveInstants

M I H A I for San Marino.

Ari
Guest
Ari

He did not aim for first place? Then what is he so pissed about? He got what he aimed for. NOT first place. And thank god for that. I hope we won’t ever have to endure this shrill creature screaming at Eurovision again. You know he is desperate just by taking a look at the amateurs who wrote his “song”.

underground
Guest
underground

Mihai your song was pretty bad, live with that. Your reaction shows that you are not a good player and not fairplay, shame on you, you don’t deserve to win a NF sorry.

Weißbrot
Guest
Weißbrot

I feel like Mihai is a horribly bad parody of an actual human being…

Frisian esc
Guest
Frisian esc

Saaaaame