We continue our series where we look at each of the current competing countries at Eurovision and why we love them so much. Today we head to south-eastern Europe because it’s time to introduce Romania.
Romania debuted at Eurovision 1994, and have built up a reputation as a power player. They have sent acts in a vast range of styles, operatic pop to yodelling rap, from fire to holograms. Here are our 10 reasons why we love Romania at Eurovision Song Contest!
1. A short but important Eurovision history
Romania made its debut in 1994 with Dan Bittman and the song ”Dincolo de nori”, which came 21st in the contest. Originally the country was supposed to debut one year earlier but it didn’t get through from the pre-qualifying round. Romania was relegated in 1995, 1997, 1999 and 2001 and in 2016 Romania was disqualified from the contest. This means that 2018 was Romania’s 20th participation. Even though Romania hasn’t had as long a Eurovision history as many other countries, they definitely have their own unique place in the history.
2. Romania beats the drums
Luminita Anghel and Romanian percussion band Sistem represented Romania in 2005 with the song “Let Me Try”. The song ended up in third place, which is Romania’s best result alongside with Paula Seling and Ovi’s 2010 Eurovision song “Playing with Fire”. The percussion band gave the song a unique sound, with the loud percussion contrasting with Luminita’s rich vocals. In what is surely the longest drum solo at Eurovision, we are treated to Sistems drumming for 26 seconds.
3. Girl power!
“The Balkan Girls, they like to party like nobody, like nobody…” Even after nine years, this song is still very catchy. Elena Gheorghe represented Romania in 2009 with the song “The Balkan Girls”, which finished 19th in the grand final. Elena performed on the stage with four female dancers, serving Balkan realness.
4. They play with fire
In Lisbon, Eleni Foureira had fire on Eurovision stage, but Romania harnessed the power of the flame eight years earlier when Paula Seling and Ovi represented Romania in Oslo with the song “Playing with Fire”. Paula and Ovi performed on the stage with four backing vocalists, surrounded by a lot of flames. This dramatic and powerful performance succeeded: it finished third in the final and the song won Pop Song of the Year at the 2011 Radio România Actualități Awards.
5. They know how to entertain
When we think about Romania, we think of many entertaining pop performances and one of them is Mandinga‘s performance with the song “Zaleilah” in 2012 Eurovision Song Contest. All the way from a moonwalking bagpiper to creative group choreography, Mandinga really knew what kind of stage show would lift up this happy, uptempo song.
6. They’re not afraid of trying new styles
Romania has brought many different acts to the contest, but they took their game into the next level in 2013 when they sent the countertenor Cezar to represent the country with the operatic pop song “It’s My Life”. The song — with its surprisingly high vocals and “camp Dracula” staging — got mixed reactions. Some viewers loved it and others hated it, but at least we can give Romania credit for sending something different and new.
7. Paula Seling and Ovi – again!
The power duo is back! Paula Seling and Ovi deserve a second mention in our list because of coming back to represent the country in 2014 Eurovision Song Contest with the song “Miracle”. Even though “Miracle” wasn’t as big as “Playing with Fire”, this great dance song finished 12th in the grand final. And they even brought a hologram!
8. They had an important message
In 2015, the Romanian pop rock band Voltaj won Romania’s national selection Selectia Nationala and head to Vienna to represent Romania with the song ”De la capăt (All Over Again)”. The band had an important message behind the lyrics: they want to help abandoned Romanian children. This song came alive on the grey-coloured stage, showing videos of children while Voltaj was giving us powerful performance.
9. Yodel It!
Yodelling isn’t normally associated with Romanian music, but last year Ilinca and Alex Florea joined forces and represented the country with the song “Yodel it!”. They brought a mix of yodelling and rap and proved those two genres could work together really well. We clearly are not the only ones who thought this way because Romania ended up seventh in the grand final.
10. Proposal on the Blue Carpet
The last but absolutely not the least mention in our list is the marriage proposal which happened this year on the Blue Carpet. The Humans represented Romania this year with the song “Goodbye”. Even though Romania didn’t qualify for the final, the singer of the band, Christina Caramacu, achieved something else during the Eurovision journey. On the Blue Carpet, Christina’s boyfriend Rosario decided to ask for her hand in marriage and Christina said yes. The proposal was really touching and we are so glad we got to witness it! We wish only the best for this lovely couple!
Why do you love Romania at the Eurovision Song Contest? Let us know in the comments below.