As Romania has prepared for its revamped edition of Selectia Nationala, the question of who was going to replace contestant Dan Bittman, who withdrew on December 31st due to scheduling conflicts, remained up in the air. And now the answer has been revealed. Romania has invited not one, but two wildcard artists to participate in their national final: Bella Santiago and Linda Teodosiu! This brings the competing entries up to twenty-five. Take a listen at their songs now.

Bella Santiago – “Army of Love”

Eurofans might be familiar with this Philippine-born artist, as her Romanian-language pop tune “Auzi Cum Bate” was a fan favorite in last year’s Selectia Nationala. Since then, Bella, real name Resciebelle Barrios Santiago, has not lost time in building an image for herself in her adopted country of Romania. Fresh from her X Factor participation and smashing victory in December, she was rumored for some time to be the eventual replacement for Dan Bittman, as, allegedly, X Factor obligations meant she couldn’t submit her song in time for the first call for songs. The rumours have been confirmed, and so has her entry: “Army Of Love”.

The tribal-dance pop single was co-written by Alex Luft, who also composed Xandra’s “Independent”, and Bella herself. Inspired by Eurovision pop greats and Romanian pop stars, girl mixes it up by including a bridge in Tagalog. Staying true to her roots!

Linda Teodosiu – “Renegades”

Linda Teodosiu has built a name for herself in her home country of Germany, featuring and placing a respectable third in the fifth season of “Deutschland sucht den Superstar” in 2008, releasing several albums and hits over the years, as well as featuring in several TV shows. An emotive, yet explosive ballad, “Renegades” was composed by one Jonas Thander, known for working on Donny Montell’s 2016’s entry for Lithuania, “I’ve Been Waiting For This Night”, with lyrics by Rachel Suter and Frank Giustra. Big voices are always in season!

What do you think? Do you think either Linda or Bella could shake things up in Selectia Nationala? Have your rankings changed now? Let us know in the comments bellow!

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John
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John

Army of love is not a copy cat. This is Bella’s style, this was Bella’s style and this will be Bella’s style forever. All in all an amazing song, with an amazing tagalog bridge. And Bella will deliver for sure an amazing performance, I’ve seen her on youtube and she was so firey in that romanian xfactor competition. Glad to see Romania back in top 3 (at least)! #bellaviv

Tarezzi Giuseppe
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Tarezzi Giuseppe

In my opinion I think is a good ideea in getting them both, but….. my preference is Bella. Her tune voice is excellent, volume, she is nervy with beautiful exotic allure, warm charisma and beautiful personality. Her performance is awesome. A big Go for Bella she is the one.

Tarezzi Giuseppe
Guest
Tarezzi Giuseppe

Alegerea mea este Bella din puncte de vedere solide – voce foarte buna, volum, nerv, miscare si prezentare scenica foarte buna, carisma foarte calda, frumusete exotica.

Esc1234
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Esc1234

Army of love is a shameless copy of fuego. The arrangement, the drop. Shame

Geo
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Geo

Shut up, you’re pathetic

American ESC Fan
Guest

A big no to Bella and yes to Linda

AngieP
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AngieP

Army of love: It has things in common with Fuego but no, I wouldn’t say it’s that similar. It has a modern sound as well, Fuego was was more ethnic than this. And Romania can work ethnic pop as well. Imagine Sweden or Denmark or the U.K. sending an ethnic pop song? It wouldn’t work the same. As for Bella, she has to go to Eurovision at some point, now or in the near future. Renegades: Feels like an anthem song. Ballad with strong vocals. It seems like we’ve heard this type of song many times before but if it’s… Read more »

Erielle
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Erielle

GO BELLA!!! BRING THAT PHILIPPINE PRIDE TO EUROVISION!!!

Popyy
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Popyy

They remind me of Fuego and Sound Of Silence. An ethnic pop and a thumping ballad.

Brooklyn
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Brooklyn

Its has the same build up of fuego! But its still a bop!

Zhuz
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Zhuz

Bella for the win! The song seems like fuego little bit, but i like this more then fuego. Also Bella sounds live better then Eleni.

Jo.
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Jo.

It’s Bella or 2 Gents. Romania should definitely send a bop this year.

florin
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florin

Romania is better than Melodifestivalen this year… yay for my country

Rasmus
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Rasmus

Dont you think its stupid to say that when Sweden has not released ONE song yet haha ?

Cedric
Guest

Omg I love Linda <3 I always wanted her to represent Germany but I'd also be happy with her representing Romania 😀

Adriana
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Adriana

I don`t mind either way.Romania has good selection this year.

Alex
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Alex

Agree

Budapest girl
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Budapest girl

No. They don’t.

Atte
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Atte

Go away bozgorian hater.

Ani
Guest

bella ftw!

Sal
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Sal

Bella’s song is amazing! Send this Romania, it’s far better than the yawn fest that is Laura Bretan.

Pancake
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Pancake

Well, I think Army of Love is like Fuego but I think there’s a key difference here: AoL is more Reggaeton and Moombhaton while Fuego is inclined to Tropical House and Dancehall Pop. So, even though they have the same lyrical structure (with minor difference) it’s all completely different, just like the argument between Sua Cara and Taki Taki.

As for Renegade, I say this is some power pop realness we’re witnessing here!

Robert
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Robert

We all know Foureira invented the ethno pop genre so clearly this is a Fuego copy. Give me a break. Army of Love needs some more work on it and it could be a contender. Fantastic the second wild card as well. Best two song in the competition by far

Veta
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Veta

Wut? Foureira invented the ethno pop genre? Do u watch Eurovision for less than three years?

Colin
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Colin

Does anyone recognize obvious sarcasm? Robert was defending Bella.

Veta
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Veta

I’m sorry, I saw he liked Bella but the sarcasm still wasn’t so obvious to me. I’m not good at recognising such things.

Anca
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Anca

I hope my country makes the right choice (whatever that means). Both Bella and MIHAI can be accused of copying Fuego, but this was their style since ever. I guess the right thing to say is : they are back to their original style, now when they saw it is successful again.This doesn’t make them very true to themselves all the time, but…well..ESC is back to happy music.

Oh I've been waiting for this Russian Fla-la-lag
Guest
Oh I've been waiting for this Russian Fla-la-lag

I have no problem if Romania picks either of these two. These two are bops.

Alex
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Alex

How did you predict Bella Santiago?

KESC
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KESC

Lol, “Army of Love” is screaming Fuego copy. I knew that a lot of people would try to continue Fuego’s success, but c’mon don’t be all that unoriginal. The song has literally the same structure as Fuego. It’s still nice tho.

SA11
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SA11

To be honest when i first listened to bella’s song I didn’t think of fuego until after like the the third listen, so I don’t think it sounds all that much with fuego. Either way I don’t think Bella meant to try to make a fuego copycap since i’ve watched most of her performances on the x factor romania and the style she has in this song is the style she likes performing in general so I can see it being just an unlucky time for participating with a song like this

Frisian esc
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Frisian esc

Hmm i don’t think it’s just an “unlucky time”. I highly doubt this song would even have existed if eleni didn’t get second place last year. The background music is definitely inspired by it.

Oh I've been waiting for this Russian Fla-la-lag
Guest
Oh I've been waiting for this Russian Fla-la-lag

Try saying that when you get to see the staging

Sabrina
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Sabrina

OFF: The creature who pretends to look like a Ken Doll told a Brazilian website that he’ll sing in Eurovision, though there was no mention of being for San Marino. He said his song is part in English, part in Spanish, called “Plastic World” and that it addresses the plastic surgeries’ theme. He also claimed that he was invited to host Eurovision last year, but RTP changed its mind later… Since this guy would say/do anything to be on the news, I still hope he’s lying. Please don’t disappoint me, San Marino!

Mr. Vanilla Bean
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Mr. Vanilla Bean

i think you meant cretin, not creature. 😛

Sabrina
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Sabrina

Well, I tried to be nice about him. 😛

Jo.
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Jo.

He’s lying, Sobraland would never do that lol ^^
If he’s not going for San Marino, then he was selected for You Decide. Or maybe he is also lying about that too.
But if it’s true, imagine Jowst’s face hahahaha

Sabrina
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Sabrina

I agree that he’s definitely lying about being invited to host for RTP, so maybe this is a good sign that he keeps lying about 2019! It also called my attention how he said that since he was invited to host, he’s “in contact we the producers for more than a year already”, which makes no sense.

Sabrina
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Sabrina

It’s hard not to think of”Fuego” while listening to “Army of Love”, but I would say it’s a good attempt on trying to surf this wave. It has better production value than most of the songs in the Romanian selection and the Tagalog bridge gives it some identity. If she delivers an entertaining performance, she’ll be a contender. Ester Peony’s song remains my favorite though.

James
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James

Uy, it has Tagalog? 🙂

Jo.
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Jo.

We will see a lot of “Fuego” rip-offs this year.

Popyy
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Popyy

True. A pop drop song with ethnic background is way too obvious.

Miss Uncongeniality
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Miss Uncongeniality

Really Like both songs… indeed are the only songs in this year’s Selectia Nationala that I like. My choice is Bella’s “Army of Love” but it needs a remastering, it is a good song, but needs to sound more powerfull

Frisian esc
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Frisian esc

Too bad army of love is an obvious fuego copy… Bella deserves better.

Extra
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Extra

I think the production was rushed to be here in this moment cause she just won in decmber x factor

Claudie
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Claudie

Am I the only one who Bella’s song remind fuego?

Erdnucki
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Erdnucki

I really wanted Linda to represent Germany for some years.
Don’t mind seeing her representing Romania.