One man who never fails to bring the drama is Romania’s 2006 representative and regular Selectia Nationala returnee Mihai Traistariu – now known by the pseudonym M I H A I. This 2019 Eurovision season he has managed to withdraw his folk-pop entry “Baya” not only from Romania’s selection, but also recently from Belarus’ selection as well. Now neutral to the competition, the singer has shared his thoughts on this Sunday’s final of Selectia Nationala, and who he thinks is in the running to represent Romania at Eurovision 2019.
On Monday, he shared the following with protv.ro:
“I liked Mihai Ogasanu and Alexandru Serbu’s songs most. I think the fight will be between Letiția Moisescu and Ester Peony. The international jury will choose from the two. The Romanian public, which will count only 15% in the final, will vote Laura Bretan and Bella Santiago, influenced by their massive promotion.”
Selecția Națională’s current favourites are considered to be Bella Santiago and Laura Bretan, who won the jury vote in their respective semi finals. Of the two, Laura Bretan scored highest, with a total of 60 points from the 5 jurors. However, with Bella Santiago just behind behind with 54 points in a semi final that could be described as the tougher of the two, these numbers are certainly not the final word. Sunday’s jury will consist of, among others, Emmelie de Forest and wiwibloggs’ very own William and Deban. They’ve assured us they have no idea how they’ll vote and that it all comes down to the live performance and staging.
However, Mihai does not believe that their success with the juries will continue with the final, and he instead states that Letiția Moisescu & Sensibil Balkan and Ester Peony will be in top position come this Sunday.
This seems a bizarre prediction when both acts finished in fifth and fourth place respectively in last Sunday’s semi-final – although it cannot be denied that the international jury may have a completely different opinion to that of the Romanian jury.
Contrastingly, he does believe that the two favourites, Bella and Laura, will win the televote. Although the televote results from the semi-finals have not been disclosed, one would assume that this is true, due to their large number of YouTube views and popularity in fan polls. However, Mihai does make the very good point that the televote only counts for 15% of the vote – meaning that the power really is in the hands of the international jury.
The conclusion? Well, evidence seems to suggest that it is, in fact, a two way battle between the two fan favourites, Bella Santiago and Laura Bretan, to win both the jury vote and the televote – and that Mihai, unfortunately, is chatting utter rubbish. However, we cannot disregard a surprise win as we saw last year in Romania, with The Humans on nobody’s radar as a potential winner.
What to expect from Sunday’s show
Meanwhile, two interval acts for this Sunday’s grand final have been announced: Danish Eurovision winner and jury member Emmelie de Forest, Eurovision 2018 winner Netta and FiK star Iris Neziri. Whilst an Albanian national final act may seem very out of place for a Romanian audience, let us not forget that she recently won the Golden Stag Festival that is held annually in Brasov. The running order has also been revealed, and will be as follows:
- Linda Teodosiu – Renegades
- Olivier Kaye – Right Now
- Laura Bretan – Dear Father
- Teodora Dinu – Skyscraper
- Claudia Mirea – We Are the Ones
- Aldo Blaga – Your Journey
- Ester Peony – On a Sunday
- Letitia Moisescu & Sensibil Balkan – D A I N A
- Bella Santiago – Army of Love
- Trooper – Destin
- DYA & Lucian Colareza – Without You (Sin Ti)
- Vaida – Underground
Of the two favourites, this would favour Bella Santiago over Laura Bretan — although the impact of running order is often minimal. The show, which will be broadcast live on TVR 1, TVR Moldova, TVRi, TVR HD and on-line on TVR+, takes place this Sunday, February 17, at 20:30 Romania time (so 18:30 London / 19:30 Paris).
So what do you think? Is it a two way race between Bella and Laura? Do Ester or Leticia have a chance of stealing the favourites’ thunder? Should Mihai send and withdraw his song from Poland’s selection as well? Let us know in the comments below!