Just two weeks ahead of Romania‘s national final Selecția Națională, Eurovision star M I H A I has made a shock withdrawal from the competition. The “Baya” singer explained his reason for withdrawing, saying he is unhappy with the way the contest has been organised, and hinting at displeasure with the addition of the two wildcard acts.
Mihai Trăistariu — now going by the name M I H A I — made the shock announcement on his Facebook page, with a message that explained to fans why he was withdrawing:
De la #esc la #exit …In urma unei evaluari complete a Concursului Eurovision Romania 2019, organizat de TVR, am…
The Eurovision veteran wrote:
“Following a complete evaluation of the Eurovision Romania 2019 Contest, organised by TVR, I decided to withdraw from the competition. Eurovision is the contest that gave me the aura of artist in 2006, when I won for Romania the highest score in the history of the country and “Tornero” was resounding success in over 35 countries.
“This motivated me during my musical career and showed me that dreams can come true if you are willing to work for it.
“I signed up this year in the preselections with the song “Baya”, managing to get into the semi-finals. This year I chose an uptempo track because I was coming from five months of filming Your Face Sounds Familiar – a successful TV show on another station, where I was a competitor and in which I performed live 16 famous artists with different vocal styles, different attitudes and personalities, so my voice was successfully completed.
“I am a competitive artist and I have demonstrated this through facts.
“At this point, I do not trust the objectivity of the Eurovision Romania organisers, regarding the unclear situation about the competitors — those who qualified through the pre-selection and those who were later favoured — I decided to withdraw.
“I cannot continue on a journey that has so many “mysteries”.
“Thanks to all the fans who have always supported me and who are with me and my music, and I promise them that for me, Eurovision remains a story… without an end!”
M I H A I was due to compete in the semi-finals with his song “Baya”, an upbeat number offering a Romanian take on the current trend of Latin dance-pop. The song was criticised for resembling Shakira’s 2001 hit “Whenever, Wherever”, but many considered it a potential winner of Selecția Națională.
The competing semi-finalists of Selecția Națională were announced earlier this month. However, after semi-finalist Dan Bittman withdrew from the competition due to scheduling conflicts, he was replaced with two new wildcard acts.
Earlier this week, Bella Santiago and Linda Teodosiu were confirmed as the two new semi-finalists. Fans noted that Bella’s song “Army of Love” was a similar genre as “Baya” and would perhaps be a better choice as a Eurovision entry.
But even though M I H A I is out for 2019, we’re sure this won’t be the last we’ll hear of him at Selecția Națională.
As Mihai Trăistariu, the singer first represented Romania at Eurovision 2006. There his song “Tornerò” placed fourth, which remains Romania’s third-best Eurovision result.
Since 2016, M I H A I has had his eyes on a comeback. He has competed in the national selection every year, with his best result being the 2017 power ballad “I Won’t Surrender”. It placed second to “Yodel It!” in the grand final.
The first semi-final of Selecția Națională 2019 begins in two weeks, on Sunday 27 January.
What do you think? Was M I H A I wise to withdraw from Selecția Națională? Who do you want to win Romania’s national final? Share your thoughts below!