Romania‘s broadcaster TVR has confirmed that it will again use the long-running national final Selecția Națională. But, following The Humans’ disappointing non-qualification in Lisbon, the broadcaster has made some changes to the national final format.
Selecția Națională will again use a number of semi-finals. A maximum of 24 acts will compete in the semis and no more than 12 acts will qualify for the grand final.
The number of semi-final shows has not been confirmed, but it is expected it will be less than the five held in 2018, as part of the celebrations for the 100th anniversary of the Union of Transylvania with Romania. Last month it was revealed that the city of Suceava was in talks to host at least one show, suggesting that TVR will again host shows outside the capital city.
Most semi-final qualifiers will be chosen by the votes of an expert jury, which is standard for the Romanian semi-finals. However, viewers will also have the ability to select up to two wildcard qualifiers. This is similar to the system used in 2016, where the public voted Vanotek feat. The Code & Georgian into the grand final, where they placed second.
The grand final, however, gets the biggest voting shake-up. Selecția Națională will now use an international jury along with the televote to decide the grand final winner.
Since 2016, the Romanian national final has determined the grand final winner by televote alone. However, Romania non-qualification at Eurovision 2018 may have prompted the broadcaster to rethink the voting. Using an international jury will bring a different perspective to the voting, and may help avoid an act scoring big due to local popularity, rather than song quality.
Entries for Selecția Națională 2019 are open now and will close on December 10. Last month Romanian Eurovision 2006 singer M I H A I revealed he was considering entering a duet with 2005 singer Luminița Anghel.
The competing songs for Selecția Națională 2019 will be chosen before Christmas. The semi-finals are due to take place sometime in January or February 2019, with the grand final sometime in February.
What do you think of the changes to Selecția Națională? What sort of act would you like Romania to send to Tel Aviv? Share your thoughts below.