A couple of weeks ago saw the first semi-final of Selectia Nationala take place, with eleven acts battling it out for six spots in the final on February 17th. And on Sunday the second leg of the Romanian national selection took place with a further twelve entries taking to the stage to show what they had to offer.

Who was in the running?

This semi-final included 12 acts, one more than the first semi. Initially, Selectia Nationala veteran Xandra was booked to participate in this round, but she withdrew from the competition a week or so before she was to perform. Nevertheless, the show went on. 2 Gents kicked off proceedings with their upbeat number “Ielele” and wildcard entry Linda Teodosiu closed us out with her “Renegades”.

1. 2 Gents “Ielele”
2. Georgy “Tears”
3. Oliver Kaye “Right Now”
4. Xonia “Discrete”
5. TMW “Make Me Your Man”
6. Johnny Badulescu “Give Up Now”
7. Echoes “High Heels On”
8. Aldo Blaga “Your Journey”
9. Letitia Moisescu & Sensibil Balkan “Daina”
10. Laura Bretan “Dear Father”
11. Ester Peony “On A Sunday”
12. Linda Teodosiu “Renegades”

Which lucky six made the final cut?

The axe had to fall. Just like in the first semi-final, only six acts would advance to the grand final on February 17th. These were determined by both a jury of music professionals and a televote. Five acts would be selected by a local music jury consisting of:

1. Adi Cristescu
2. Mihai Georgescu
3. Crina Mardare
4. Andy Platon
5. Mugurel Vrabete

The final qualifier would be determined by a televote. The act who received the most votes from the public would advance to the final along with the five chosen by the jury. Those who advanced from tonight’s semi-final were:

1. Oliver Kaye
2. Letitia Moisescu & Sensibil Balkan
3. Laura Bretan
4. Ester Peony
5. Linda Teodosiu
6. Aldo Blaga

The first five listed were those chosen by the jury of industry experts, while Aldo was the public’s choice to advance to the final. He received 539 votes from the audience putting him safely ahead of runners up 2 Gents who amassed a total of 295 votes.

These six will join those who qualified from the first semi-final two weeks ago in Bucharest next Sunday.  Very soon 12 acts will become one and Romania will have chosen their act for Eurovision 2019.

What do you make of the six who advanced to the final? Are you surprised by the results? Who is your favourite of the twelve total finalists? Let us know down below in the comments

Comments on this post are now closed.

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florinho
Guest
florinho

its curious that video was tweeted by a close friend of bella yesterday with 10 minutes before laura bretan go on stage.. they prepared that lie weeks ago i think

Veta
Guest
Veta

Actually the video is being discussed by Romanian fans since November.

Veta
Guest
Veta

The song that deserves to win the selection the most is DAINA!

Nico
Guest
Nico

Lol. I see lots of Bella’s fans around here. Do you feel threatened by Laura? I bet that the majority are from Philippines. I’ve seen what you all can do. You are childish and full of hatred.

Tóth Szilárd
Guest
Tóth Szilárd

Laura is a little angel. My winner!!!

Tóth Szilárd
Guest
Tóth Szilárd

You are just sick !!! She is a wonderful girl. Our winner!

up!
Guest
up!

Okay, I don’t know exactly what Laura said or did, but as a gay man who is at the same time religious and just by focusing on the religious message of the song, I don’t see any contradiction between homosexuality and belief. There’s a story in the Bible where Jesus invites tax collectors, prostitutes and other minorities to his table and since he’s described as an outsider himself, his image puts the message forward that Christian beliefs should be based on diversity, understanding, mutual respect and tolerance. I write “should”, because it’s s.th. which is not lived everywhere in the… Read more »

Here’s My Name
Guest
Here’s My Name

Noah fence but lauras song is boring as hell…

Uyo
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Uyo

I don’t think it’s a good idea to send Laura to Eurovision since Australia is sending another opera singer. If Romania sends her, Romania should be praying Australia will stay at the semi.

Briekimchi
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Briekimchi

Personally, if Laura won in Romania, I feel as though Australia should be the ones praying. 😉

jessica
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jessica

it’s gonna be laura vs bella in the final. i’m fine with either one. good luck, romania! choose wisely.

Julian
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Julian

It will be an interesting national final. And if Romania sends Laura Bretan – musically it is the best choice – the show in Tel Aviv will gain audience too. After all, since when ESC does not love drama?

romanian
Guest
romanian

As an romanian, I want what is best for my country, so if Laura is the right choice, so be it. I just think that will be hard for her to face ESC experience. Interviews can be cruel, EBU will ask her to change her believes , but maybe she is ready. Can we focus a little on the song-writer Mihai Alexandru? He was in ESC in 2003 with ‘then wife’ Nicola, as a song writer of Don’t Break My Heart. Then he was in ESC in 2017 as song writer of Yodel It!. The next year he almost won… Read more »

Evan
Guest
Evan

Just got to listen to Laura, who was my favorite going into the night. Dare I say she was a little uneven? She dropped some notes, she missed some notes, but she nailed the high notes at the end. Girl has some work to do.

eurovision6
Guest
eurovision6

Laura and Ester made it, that is all that matters. Well done Romania

Briekimchi
Guest
Briekimchi

If she has the best song/performance, she should be selected.
As long as she isn’t calling for people to be murdered in the streets (and pretty sure her song doesn’t), her beliefs are her business. Don’t care about what she thinks behind closed doors and don’t particularly want the press to ask her about it as it’s not relevant. Let singers be singers. People should look for their life lessons elsewhere.

American ESC Fan
Guest

As far as I am concerned, Laura herself has not said anything homophobic against the LGBT people. Yes she may come from a pentecostal family background but at the end of the day it is up to her. I am gay and have some of my friends are pentecostal and are very open minded people.

romanian
Guest
romanian

I just don’t see Laura winning. Elina from Estonia 2.0. In Eurovision , pop opera is jury poison. Laura comes from a deeply religious family, and is a video with her singing Dear Father in front of religious images.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YTvEBeFPxDM

Purple Mask
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Purple Mask

Stained glass windows. How pretty! 🙂

Weißbrot
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Weißbrot

Okay, but you can’t shame her for being religious.

romanian
Guest
romanian

Political and religious songs are not allowed in ESC. Ask Switzerland 2013.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Switzerland_in_the_Eurovision_Song_Contest_2013

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

One thing at a time. First the Romanian National Final has to be won. If Laura wins, then the decision over the song’s supposed religious content will be up to the EBU. They too have several options, but it is their decision to make, not ours.

Markus
Guest
Markus

I think the religous message is hidden enough, so that you can just interpret the song to be about her father. There are not really any religious references, but everyone that reads between the lines will find this religious message.
The Swiss band only had to change their band name ‘Heilsarmee’ (salvation army) as it contained religious referencing.

Markus
Guest
Markus

But i’m fairly certain those images in the video count as religious imagery and wouldn’t be allowed on stage

Loin dici
Guest
Loin dici

Laura, Ester and Letitia are my favorites. Laura shook Arad with her vocals, Ester brought a very convincing presence, and Letitia+SB was joyous and entertaining.
Only a thing about Laura, and I know this is petty: Her styling might be intended to be somewhat angelic, and she is 16, but… it felt borderline JESC for me. It isn’t an urgency, though.

Markus
Guest
Markus

I really hope D A I N A wins. It’s a fun and very authentic Romanian song. For me this is certainly the best option as it shows a very positive and fun side of Romania. While Laura’s song is also pretty nice, it doesn’t seem very authentic and I don’t want any more drama.

Veta
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Veta

Absolutele agree, DAINA is way better than any other song of this NF.

LjupchoMKD
Guest
LjupchoMKD

Having in mind how politics in the Balkans work, Laura might as well has been deceived, forced, or even paid to take part in the referendum campaign. In a situation like this, being gay myself, I still would support her, because I like her sing and I like her artistry in it, but above all, because I know that no one deserves judgement or hatred for being themselves. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion and we cannot force oyr way of life on others. Besides, other singers with similar views participated in ESC already and won the hearts of… Read more »

Jeff Messer
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Jeff Messer

I love your view so much it’s so refreshing to hear:)

Skiwalko
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Skiwalko

I don’t know what’s even going on with those homophobic allegations. It seems that nothing is clear here, and I think making opinions out of it won’t do any good.

Mr. Vanilla Bean
Guest
Mr. Vanilla Bean

About this little video: she probably doesn’t even know what she’s talking about or has been indoctrinated. She’s 16. The Eurovision bubble had no problem cheering for the religious nutcase Carola, surely you can extend to same curtesy to a 16-year-old girl. If this little nugget blows up, I can see her constantly being forced to defend herself if she goes to Eurovision. I’m not sure she should have to. We don’t know her background or who “encouraged” her to do this. I invite you all to think about everything you were saying at 16 years old.

Jo.
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Jo.

She’s old enough to know what is right and wrong, and young enough to change her mind.

Weißbrot
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Weißbrot

I don’t want to assume anything about Laura or judge her, but I myself happen to be 16 years old and I know very well how to tell right from wrong and how to form my own opinions. As every 16 year old does. But people shouldn’t call her homophobic that fast, we don’t even really know it.

Mr. Vanilla Bean
Guest
Mr. Vanilla Bean

I happen to be just a couple of years older and I know opinions can shift. Only a fool never changes his mind. But it’s so good for all of you to be so high and mighty thinking you own the truth about what is right and wrong. So tolerant and so woke. Congrats.

Weißbrot
Guest
Weißbrot

If I came across that way, then I’m sorry, I just wanted to say, that you’re not braindead when you’re 16… Sure, she’s a teenager and I agree, people shouldn’t be so hard on her. There’s no reason for you to be so rude, I never wanted to harm Laura or anything.

Mr. Vanilla Bean
Guest
Mr. Vanilla Bean

Oh absolutely not braindead. I totally didn’t mean it that way. I just meant people mature at different paces and have different backgrounds helping or hindering them. People can be mentally mature at a much younger age than 16, even. There isn’t always 100% right and wrong, though. Besides certain laws like human rights etc, it’s what’s right and wrong for us personally, not the entire world.

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

A word of caution: Since she is a minor, the press corps will be bound by child rights instructions, and she does also have the right to a guardian present during such press conferences. Therefore it is unlikely that she can be “forced” to “defend herself” at Eurovision, as Mr. Vanilla Bean put it.

To Weißbrot: I admire both your knowledge and maturity, since at age 16 I had very little of either. 🙂

Markus
Guest
Markus

I think it’s very likely that she’s been indoctrinated – if she holds those believes -, because her family has been pretty active in a Pentecostal Church (Pentecostals generally view homosexual behavior as a sin). I don’t see it as such big of a deal if she were to make it to Tel Aviv, but I personally don’t encourage the obvious religious messaging of the song and don’t think it’s as authentic or original as other entries.

Mr. Vanilla Bean
Guest
Mr. Vanilla Bean

That is the point I was trying to make. If you are a presumably heterosexual young individual born into such an environment, you are prone to adopt their way of thinking. It sucks, but that’s why we should cut her some slack.

Jo.
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Jo.

I don’t like “Dear Father”, sorry.

Escfan
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Escfan

Let’s be honest, Laura would be a deserving winner and I think her performance was fantastic, saying this as a gay person. I have no clue what’s truth, some people saying she’s not homophobic some saying she is but tbh if she went to Eurovision, a contest largely associated with lgbt people, she’ll be the one who’ll have to feel awkward getting all the hate from the fans.

Jo.
Guest
Jo.

If she’s really homophobic, then Eurovision in Tel-Aviv is the perfect place for her.

Sabrina
Guest
Sabrina

Not a fan of her song, but I agree that Laura stole the show with her vocals. I was afraid that they could “play the religious card” with the staging, but thankfully they kept things simple and put the focus on her talent. And she delivered. I’m glad that Ester made to the final. Her entry has been my favorite of the bunch since the studio versions were released. I just don’t know if she (or anybody else) still has a chance to get between which seems to be a Bella x Laura battlefield.

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

Laura delivered vocally of course. One tiny observation to add: the stage lights blinded her eyes for some of the performance. A minor nitpick, I know, but it didn’t seem to happen to anyone else. Her performance is very powerful, and special. I don’t personally identify with the song though, and that’s unfortunate for me.
Also a quick mention of Oliver Kaye, who was the first performer tonight to really stand out – well done to him.

Sabrina
Guest
Sabrina

Haven’t noticed the stage light blinding her, probably because I was being blinded by how grainy the image of my streaming was! I feel the same about the entry, at the same time I really admire what Laura is doing, I can’t personaly connect with the song. Which means that this would be a very tough entry for me to rank, in case she wins. I agree about Oliver, he really stood out when compared to the others on the first half of the semi.

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

About the resolution: If you’re streaming from TVR International, click on the “HD” text graphic in the bottom-right corner and it will offer you faster rates of streaming that are much clearer.

Sabrina
Guest
Sabrina

Thanks for the tip, Mask! I haven’t paid attention to that. I guess differently from other players, TVR’s don’t improve the quality of the video after a while. I’ll remember this for the final.

Gio
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Gio

Laura Bretan. What an angel, isn’t she? 🙂 But an angel with some phobias of course. Well it seems nowadays mental issues hit angels too. Sad.

florinho
Guest
florinho

bella santiago and her fans wants a war.. they will have it in the final next sunday

AurelianTamisan
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AurelianTamisan

I think it is pretty obvious that Laura will win, she stole the show, she has voice, charisma and a good song. She can’t go unoticed. TMW was robbed, otherwise normal results. The televote has no reason to remain in the national finals in Romania, the number of votes is simply not relevant at all, there are too less people voting. Vaida and Aldo didn’t qualify for their songs but for their ability to gain votes from a small amount of interested people.

Ani
Guest
AurelianTamisan
Guest
AurelianTamisan

A post from february 2019? It’s pretty late to believe things like that. Even though I don’t think that she shouldn’t win for her opinions, even if they are true.

Nora
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Nora

ESTER PEONY is by far the best of this selection, also her song is called On a Sunday

Roma
Guest
Roma

This Laura girl’s song and performance feels religious to the point that it actually scares me to be honest. I need to watch Hatari after this to come back to myself.

Mr. Vanilla Bean
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Mr. Vanilla Bean

The song or Laura?

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

😀 LOL. Thanks for that.

Mr. Vanilla Bean
Guest
Mr. Vanilla Bean

It is weird. As an agnostic, I should reject it but I feel quite drawn to that angelic musical stuff. I try to drown out the father stuff and enjoy her craft.

Elli
Guest
Elli

That ending with choir is really scary indeed. I was like OMG whats going on xD

Colin
Guest
Colin

Dear Father is certainly one of the more controversial songs this season. Musically and vocally, it’s stunning! Lyrics are also beautiful – for what they are meant to convey, that is. This is a deeply religious song. It’s very honest and unappologetic about it, so I applaud the bravery. I am certainly on the edge how to receive a song which makes Keep the Faith seem like atheist manifesto in comparison. It’s “only” my 4th fav in it’s NF precisely because I am not sure how to feel about the lyrics. It’s a very beautiful song, though. If I heard… Read more »

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

“I am certainly on the edge how to receive a song which makes Keep the Faith seem like atheist manifesto in comparison.” – One of Colin’s best ever comparisons. It made me chuckle. 😀

“Dear Father” could just as easily be about an actual father figure, who happens to provoke sentiment that mirrors a religious experience. I think that the only provocative moments in the song are the high and loud operatic notes, which clearly are not expected from such a young-sounding girl. Those notes are so powerful, it is almost like witnessing a possession.

Colin
Guest
Colin

Thanks, Purple Mask, I am glad you liked it. 🙂
Perhaps it’s just me, but I think the meaning is pretty straight forward about which Father she is singing about. I mean, the connotation is obvious with the way she is comparing her feelings to the elementary forces. Compare it to Nene or Tous les deux or You Let Me Walk Alone, songs dedicated to actual parents.

Sabrina
Guest
Sabrina

I also loved this comparison with “Keep the Faith”! I agree that the song has a clear connotation. There’s nothing provocative about it, but the same way some people will automatically be connected to the images and feelings she’s evoking, others will feel distant and cold about it.

Yaa
Guest
Yaa

Chill, everybody! Laura Bretan did not write the song, it was crafted for her by those who wrote Yodel it! and were also behind the duet that narrowly missed qualification last year in Romania. I think they wanted something angelic to suit her but they pushed a little too far the ambiguity and that resulted in tones of vitiriol over this entry that really makes me sick. I see it reaches this blog also and it’s sad, why don’t we all be respectful of music and people, like we demand respect for our causes and beliefs. It’s just a song,… Read more »

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

Most people will just see and hear a really talented young singer who is singing a song, it is true. Thank you for reminding us. As music reviewers, sometimes we can get carried away with the analyses.

Colin
Guest
Colin

True that. Laura is an extraordinary talented singer and at only 16 she has a voice so powerful and full. That’s worth a praise by itself.

Ani
Guest
Colin
Guest
Colin

On a side note, I was surprised Xandra wasn’t on tonight. I checked whether she quietly qualified or was quietly eliminated from the first semi. Turns out, she quietly withdrew. Unlike MIHAI, she didn’t want to make a fuss. Regardless, I am surprised it wasn’t reported or I just missed it.

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

Thanks Colin. I did wonder.

xavier
Guest
xavier

It would really be a shame if Laura won the selection. She would get murdered in ESC, as she is homophobic. She supported the anti gay marriage referendum in Romania last year in October… homophobia and Eurovision really don’t go well together. Let’s stop supporting people who advocate for anti gay rights. ( watch this video if you need more proof: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o42JTxRTfdI )

Adriana
Guest
Adriana

She is not homophobe .She has best friends in USA who are gay .

florinho
Guest
florinho

that was tweeted by one of bella santiago best friends a f ing lie.. shut eup bella

DavidR
Guest
DavidR

I’m gay too. But it has to be about music. The girl can sing and she gave an amazing performance tonight. If Romanian people will choose her I don’t have any problem with that. If she’s a homophobe that’s her problem, not ours. 🙂

Adriana
Guest
Adriana

Trust me ,she is not homophobic,from what i read somewhere ,her team will gonna make a statement in the coming days.

AurelianTamisan
Guest
AurelianTamisan

Whay gays must understand is that people are usually not against homosexuals but against what importance some of them are bringing for themselves. And from what I know even a lot of gay people are not exactly fans of LGBT, as they truly put them into a dark side.

Mr. Vanilla Bean
Guest
Mr. Vanilla Bean

Oh boy. She, her father and god would have a blast at Eurovision. lol

AurelianTamisan
Guest
AurelianTamisan

From when not being for gay marriage means homophobic? ‘Anti gay marriage’? Man, you’re in a big error, it was a gay marriage referendum, not anti-gay, cause the gay marriages weren’t something official in Romania anyway. Now, not kissing gay’s asses means homophobia? WTF?

Nora
Guest
Nora

te rog frumos, now allowing people to marry who they love is “kissing their asses?” ce prostii mai scot si romanii din iei smh

Elli
Guest
Elli

Aurelian Tamisan, every human being should have a right to get married with whoever they want. Don’t be so narrow-minded please.

AurelianTamisan
Guest
AurelianTamisan

The funny thing is when narrow-minded are asking others to not be like that :)) Do you realize that there are people that are having sex with their relatives? How can you say that every human being should have a right to get married with whoever they want? Ok, I want to marry my dog, how does that sound to you?

Weißbrot
Guest
Weißbrot

Great, comparing animal x human intercourse with homosexuality – how lovely. Wtf is that comparison?

Fun or ban?
Guest
Fun or ban?

Have u lost your mind? Laura got her Romanian citizenship one month ago, she couldn’t vote that time.
Take a cold shower and calm down, queen xavier

Yaa
Guest
Yaa

Laura Bretan pretty much stole the show but Esther Peony was also such a nice surprise, all those who qualified did really well! The final looks very promising right now!

Colin
Guest
Colin

Congrats, Romania! Good finalists. My favorites Aldo, Laura and Ester qualified. 🙂 I am happy how things are shaping-up there. 🙂

Mr. Vanilla Bean
Guest
Mr. Vanilla Bean

Laura is going for gold.

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

I remember that quiz show. And the theme tune!:
https://youtu.be/7WzrFpfxFAA

Mr. Vanilla Bean
Guest
Mr. Vanilla Bean

1988? I wasn’t even born yet. 😛

florinho
Guest
florinho

this semifinal was much better than first

Evan
Guest
Evan

Did Ester Peony change her song from “On a Sunday”?

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

No. It looks like a typo to me.

Weißbrot
Guest
Weißbrot

Man, I’m sorry, but I really don’t like “Dear father” that much. I hope Bella wins.

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

I watched this one. This went pretty much exactly as predicted. Congratulations to everyone who qualified. It should be a good final.