Six judges. Twelve singers. Two Eurovision winners. Millions of viewers. It’s all going down tonight in Bucharest as Romania chooses its act for Eurovision 2019 in the grand final of Selectia Nationala.

The jurors — including our very own William and Deban — have been sequestered from the acts. So the task of interviewing this year’s stars fell to our Colombian blogger Diego.

He’s been running around the Bucharest arena and managed to interview several of your favourites.

You can watch the show tonight from 20:30 Romania time (that’s 19:30 Paris and 18:30 London) on TVR+ and the TVR YouTube channel. 

We’re embedding their interviews below and will update this post as we add the remaining acts in the hours ahead.

As Romanian broadcaster TVR explained in a press release:

“The winner of the National Selection will be chosen by a jury consisting of Tali Eshkoli, Head of Event & Content Eurovision Song Contest 2019, Emmelie de Forest, winner of the 2013 edition, Deban Aderemi and William Lee Adams, journalists and influencers dedicated to the ESC phenomenon, Serban Cazan, Head of Production HaHaHa Production and the famous Moldovan artist Alex Calancea.”

The public will act as a seventh juror. Last year The Humans went down very well with the Romanian audience, but failed to strike a chord with European voters. It’s hoped that an international jury will help choose a song that appeals to a broader European audience.

Selectia Nationala 2019 interviews

Laura Bretan

Dya & Lucian Colareza

Vaida

Ester Peony

Bella Santiago

Linda Teodosiu

Who is your favourite tonight? Who do you think would do the best for Romania at Eurovision? Let us know in the comments box below. 

Read more Romania Eurovision news

Comments on this post are now closed. Thank you for being part of the conversation.

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Javi
Guest
Javi

The problem is not that the jury had the last word, the problem is the weight. 1/7 only for the televote? Romania seriously? This reminds me to the maltese national final years ago when the proportion was the same as yesterday and it looked so rigged… Come on, in many national finals the jury and televote vote for the same 3-4 songs and the jury favorite won, same in Eurovision and it’s ok, but this came 8th in the televote. EIGHT OF TWELVE, that jury gave no options to the others even if Ester was last on the public vote.… Read more »

Colin
Guest
Colin

At first, I found it interesting how William and Deban were judging this, but looking back at it, I’m not sure it was a good idea to begin with. Sure, both are genuinely enthusiastic over music and have vast knowledge of how ESC can work. However, here we have a case of conflicted interests. Journalism and judging mixing can be tricky and a very slippery slope, even if it’s only a song contest. Of course, any journalist can call for their personal favorite (and stay silent about it), but this is way more than that. They had major part in… Read more »

Colin
Guest
Colin

PS. Having a fan blog input, even in a jury, is maybe not a bad idea by itself, but the voting system here was quite partial already, so they’d have to know that it might cause some controversy.

romanian
Guest
romanian

As romanian, am very glad Dear Father will not go to Tel Aviv. You must be brain dead to not see how stupid the lyrics are. Is a song about god, but because this message had to be hidden because religious song are not allowed in esc, the whole text is full of cliches that were probably taken from a book called “The most famous cliches in songs”. Most of the time it sounds like she sings to her boyfriend. And people praising her voice as if they missed Elina from Estonia, or Il Volo from Italy. BTW, why are… Read more »

Andre
Guest
Andre

Yes vote for Ester. Congrats one more stupid song

Daria
Guest
Notmysong
Guest
Notmysong

I guess Romania has bigger problems than that.. don’t they?!

romanian
Guest
romanian

Romanians don’t bother to pick up the phone and vote in televote, do you think will be many that will care about this petition? I would like to know the exact number of votes that were sent last night by televoters. I’m sure will be something with 4 figures.

Elfi
Guest
Elfi

Do not put the blame on william or deban or both!!! Cause if they were there it’s only because someone from the Romanian Channel decided to invite them…and that’s it…now u can agree or not with their votes but trying to put the blame on them it’s just sad! Thank God some countries were strong enough to not follow trends, and stick with national jury!!

(BTW, giving reviews about studio versions and thinking different in live performances it’s ok!)

With all this that i said i still think that Dear Father was the best option!

Anyways…Romania u live and u learn! 😉

Daria
Guest
Daria

Soooo I guess Mihai was right! He knew Laura and even Bella had no chances to win because the jury was BRIBED! BHUOOOO!

Jingo
Guest
Jingo

Well Laura GOD has heard your song and she does not want you to win because she is a powerful woman and she can’t stand this soulless “father” song.

Daria
Guest
Daria

Dude… you must have some brain damage issues. o check a doctor ASAP.

Jingo
Guest
Jingo

yeah my brain was damaged by Laura‘s hate speech and boring pitchy song .

Jingo
Guest
Jingo

You better check your brain out if you also heard her song too

No fan
Guest
No fan

You vote for UK tonight. You know that Laura could have win Eurovision. You recognized it in one of your youtube vlog. Romania will NOT vote UK. Shame on you.

Daria
Guest
Daria

Freaking fraud! William and Deban, you robbed Romania of their winner, and of the potential Tel Aviv winner. Who paid you to vote Laura so low? On your review William said Laura was his potential winner, you both was cheering for her like for no other, yet you ave her 4 and 6 points? For a FLAWLESS performance??? Who paid you to take Laura down? ROBBERS!

Yaa
Guest
Yaa

I was afraid of sabotage, and guess what?! How would it be possible that foreigners( Denmark is the same semifinal) put our interest first?! Just how?!

Romanian fan
Guest
Romanian fan

Shame on you! You voted for stage only, not for the music. TVR, give our high chances back, the difference between jury and televote is huge!

Colin
Guest
Colin

Is it just me, or are the comments here negative about EVERY SINGLE NF WINNER?
Literally – EVERY. SINGLE. ONE.
I have yet to witness a relatively positive reaction of any winning song. So, your favourite didn’t win. Guess what? None of mine’s did thus far and yet I recognize if something is good.

Jo.
Guest
Jo.

well take a sit cuz this will only get worse…

Joe
Guest
Joe

Whoever the Nordic countries (save for Iceland, and even then maybe them too) pick is gonna get criticized for playing it too safe.
Whoever is chosen that might be a bit more off-kilter (say, Hatari for Iceland or Conan Osiris for Portugal) is gonna get criticized for being too weird.
You can’t win.

Joe
Guest
Joe

I can only count four NF winners (Australia, Romania, Latvia, and the UK) I was rooting for. The rest I either didn’t listen to or didn’t know well enough so I didn’t really have a favorite (save for Montenegro and France). I like all these new surprises! This the most polarizing ESC I’ve seen in a while and I’m enjoying watching the more stubborn fans get befuddled.

up!
Guest
up!

Well, I do like your well-balanced comments in general, but in this case, you have to admit that the negativity – which is mostly directed against the voting system – is justified, don’t you? I mean a winner coming out of such a system can only be happy about his/her result in case that jury and audience agree with each other…

Colin
Guest
Colin

Up!, I agree, the voting system was terribly biased, much like in Albania and Hungary. I wouldn’t advice for such system to continue. However, all I’m saying is:
A) Even if this was wasn’t my number one choice, it’s a good song.
B) This year, every single winner is bashed. Really, EVERYONE! I guess the least bad reactions were for Italy and Estonia, but it wasn’t really overwhelming joy either.

Joe
Guest
Joe

Was it that good?

Joe
Guest
Joe

‘Cuz it was better than either of the favorites? And some fans have a tendency to focus all their energy on the usual stuff and then are shook when something totally different and slept-on sneaks through? (cough 2016 cough)

Daria
Guest
Daria

Dude, you must be tone deaf. That Ester was pitchy AF and her song is so uninteresting that on the public vote came in on bottom last 3. Wiwiblogs robbed a country.

Joe
Guest
Joe

Don’t hate me for liking a song. Hate me for being annoying, maybe, but not for liking a song.
I will say that Wiwibloggs may have lost a lot of their Romanian readers, but maybe they’ll change their minds when they stand a chance at winning Eurovision.

Daria
Guest
Daria

This was Romania’s best shot at winnin on the last 20 years. What chance are you talkin about? Wiwi just robbed them of their only chance ever. Like serioudly?!

Joe
Guest
Joe

Me personally? I think they made Romania’s chances better. I know I’ll vote for her in Tel Aviv!

Film
Guest
Film

I will vote for her as well.

Emi
Guest
Emi

Thank you for votting us? I hope we’ll go to the final?

Joe
Guest
Joe

No sweat, pal. You picked a good song and I will do what any sensible fan does when they have the ability to vote for it.
(If I can. Truth be told, I don’t know if I’ll be able to vote for it bc I think, unless I’m mistaken, my cell phone vote would count for Israel and they aren’t voting in Romania’s semi. But if I can, you know I will!)

Daria
Guest
Daria

This time is right to be so, those 2 frauds has robbed Laura of the win.

florinho
Guest
florinho

wiwiblogs you suck

Peters
Guest
Peters

Italy should thank the jury. You really can win this year after the mess in these national selections.

Kuba
Guest
Kuba

William Deban what the hell really

Joe
Guest
Joe

Wow, you know what? I actually had confused Laura and Ester Peony. “On a Sunday” was EASILY my favorite of any of the songs. Romania, you’re back and better than ever! Haters can eat their sour grapes – Romania’s saved and Ester’s the one who’ll make sure of it. (And btw, good call William and Deban! Always liked you guys).

So, now my top is:
1. Spain
2. Italy
3. Romania
4. Australia
5. Albania
6. UK
7. Latvia
8. Czech Republic
9. Slovenia
10. Estonia
11. France
12. Croatia
13. Montenegro

Jo.
Guest
Jo.

Romania is also my 3rd place, behind Italy and Albania. I think it’s a very good entry.

Joe
Guest
Joe

The romantic countries out there killing it, save for maybe France. All we need is for Conan Osiris to win FdC and they’ll make up 4/5ths of my top 5. This is such a wonderfully polarizing year. I love seeing atypical songs winning the selections and fans not knowing what to make of it. I thought last year was great and different, but I don’t think I’ve ever heard so many ESC candidates that are so at odds with the quote-unquote “Eurovision style.” It’s exciting and keeps you on your toes. It can’t all be schlager, folks! (And I can’t… Read more »

Joe
Guest
Joe

I should probably clarify that if either of the favorites had won Romania would’ve still been in my top 6 or 7.

Jo.
Guest
Jo.

Indeed, very atypical Eurovision year, I guess it’s what we’re going to see in the 2020’s.

Joe
Guest
Joe

That’s the future for you. For real, though, the last time I’ve seen a stretch of years that defied what we stereotypically view Eurovision as like the last two or three have might be the mid-90s. Stuff like Amar pelos dois and 1944 are doing for Eurovision now what songs like Monte la rivie, Nocturne, Minn hinsti dans, and The Voice did in the ’90s. In other words, I’m totally onboard.

Joe
Guest
Joe

Y’know what I’ve realized? This isn’t a good or bad year at all. It’s a polarizing year. I can’t think of a single song, except maybe for Italy, that people haven’t been completely split on. I get that fans are hard to please, but this is the most divisive it’s ever been, and the next few selections aren’t gonna be any easier. (I’m especially interested in seeing what happens with Iceland and Portugal – there are two particular favorites there that, if they’re chosen, will make for some very interesting reactions from the fans). I find it exciting more than… Read more »

Daria
Guest
Daria

You must be one of those haters that wants Romania to not qualify for the second year in row. Which will happen with this anonimous and bland song.

Joe
Guest
Joe

I don’t believe in hating on any of the countries in Eurovision. They all put their best foot forward and send (what they perceive to be) the best they’ve got. I may be a bad person to give a rebuttal because I thought Goodbye was awesome and totally deserved to qualify, but I did genuinely enjoy both that and On a Sunday. I love the vast majority of Romania’s entries (like, I can only think of a handful of Romanian entries I outright dislike – ’94, ’02, ’04, and ’09 are pretty much it, and I don’t even dislike Dincolo… Read more »

Jo.
Guest
Jo.

Italy is getting some gas with the bookies right now.

Fun or ban?
Guest
Fun or ban?

Deban gave Laura 4 points, William gave her 7 points? Guys, I am speechless, how could you? And 12 points from both of you to Ester? Have you lost your mind?

Nicolas
Guest
Nicolas

was even 6 points and not 7.

Migoi
Guest
Migoi

Maybe if she’d not been a homophobe, people could support her. Funny how that works.

Film
Guest
Film

What did she say?

Daria
Guest
Daria

GTFO Idiot! Laura is not a homophobe, that was invented by Bella’s fans. BTW where are Bella’s fans now? Are they happy? Imbecilles. What do they care, is not their country, Bella is from philippines so they give a fk who won.

aura
Guest
aura

wiwibloggs? what happened..in your review you did not even like on a Sunday yet while judging you gave it maxim points? why?

No fan
Guest
No fan

I tell you why … To cut Romania off

Loin dici
Guest

I guess Mihai was right.

Peters
Guest
Peters

William and Deban…What have you done? This is a total borderline qualifier..

Solo
Guest
Solo

Romania rating will fall, chose the worst. And there were Bela and Laura. Also corruption?

T.J.
Guest
T.J.

Thank you heavenly father for preventing us to have to listen to that shrieking girl in Tel Aviv.

Thus spoke the Lord: “Take away from me the noise of your songs;
to the melody of your harps I will not listen.” (Amos, chapter 5, verse 23)

T.J.
Guest
T.J.

you are downvoting the words of the almighty? i thought you’d be into religious devotion…. LOOOOOOOL

Yaa
Guest
Yaa

What the f did you do, Wiwis?! Romania was 3-4th in odds, where will it be tomorow? Do you think this is funny?!

up!
Guest
up!

Mh, another disappointment for me… well, it’s about 25 to go… To me, On A Sunday is not a bad song, but like the majority of the already selected songs it leaves me relatively cold. I can’t really get enthusiastic about it. Plus, I really wonder how Ester must feel by knowing that she was the public’s 8th choice and won only because of an extremely random voting system. Malta used this system for a few years as well and as a televoter, I would not see a point at all in voting. I mean everything has been decided after… Read more »

Colin
Guest
Colin

Now equallly tedious camps of Bella and Laura can unite and dump all over this beautiful song, but mark my words, this will qualify in May. It’s a very unusual song and stands out in a good way.

PS. Downvote all you want. Laura and Bella are both amazing and both have great songs too. Their real fans are also great, but I was referring to the angry mob that was spamming most Romanian articles. In your face!

Peters
Guest
Peters

It’s more like Lativia 2018 for me. It will tank with televote in May.

Colin
Guest
Colin

I can see the resemblance a bit, but I believe that On A Sunday is a bit more musically interesting. It wasn’t my 1st choice (it never is), but this was certainly in my top 5 out of 25.

PFF111
Guest
PFF111

Yeah its crap the song.

Daria
Guest
Daria

More likely THIS WON’T QUALIFY IN MAY you mean. Of course if they voted so low they was corrupted by someone to vote so, to take away romania’s chances in Tel Aviv. So obvious. Freaking frauds!

Adam Carleton
Guest
Adam Carleton

Damn what a disappointing finish. The show was amazing, songs were great, artists on point and then that happened. Don’t get me wrong it’s a nice song and wouldn’t have minded it finishing 2nd or 3rd but this has ruined Romania’s chances of doing well. Kill it. Dead. Laura could have done a top 3 at Eurovision, this will come bottom 5 if it’s lucky enough to qualify. So disappointing. William and Deban what were you thinking? Seriously? I’m not happy at all as you can read. Laura, my heart bleeds for Laura. Done I’m done

Yssy
Guest
Yssy

Wow these juries! And then the winner thanking the audience. Like don’t thank the audience you only got 3 which means you were not the favourite at all . You should be thanking the juries especially wiwi. Eye roll. So far this year either the juries or the televote has screwed over better songs and artist

esc1234
Guest
esc1234

This voting system is outrageous. Public gave such a low score to this song that i dont even remember, and the jury and mostly wiwibloggs, decided to send a flat song without anything intresting. Unfortunately they wont qualify again

Film
Guest
Film

Romania is now my number one, followed by Albania.

Simon
Guest
Simon

William & Debans vote was so strange they damn well know this has no chance of getting out the semi, very very odd!!!

Yoyo
Guest
Yoyo

Bella literally lost because of Emily De Forrest.
Damn her.

Jan L
Guest
Jan L

…or William and Deban. All they had to was not hype Ester as much and bring Laura even lower.

Joe
Guest
Joe

Eye for an eye, why tear each other apart?
(Great song, btw. Bella’s and Emmelie’s)

Floprina
Guest
Floprina

Romania screwed up big time!

Nikko
Guest
Nikko

They should’ve had transfered the jury points to 12,10,8,… and add the televote on top. Because the televote was like a sixth jury member but it should be 50%.

Because then Ester wouldn’t win but Laura Bretan

Film
Guest
Film

Last year we had unexpected twist with the winner in Romania and this year is the same.

esc1234
Guest
esc1234

william and deban destroyed the chances of romania, well done.

Simon
Guest
Simon

Wow William & Deban what were you paid for that vote, strange

Pasadena
Guest
Pasadena

I don’t see anything strange with their votes. 4 of the 6 jurors gave their 12 points to On a Sunday.

PFF111
Guest
PFF111

Romania just f..t up his chances of winning. It was still a very very strong selection

Adam Carleton
Guest
Adam Carleton

I agree. Laura could have come top 3 in Eurovision for Romania but this song will flop, it will be lucky to qualify and if it does I’d say bottom 5

eurovision6
Guest
eurovision6

I love Emmelie!! She stopped Bella from winning and thanks to her Ester could win

eurovision6
Guest
eurovision6

She gave no points to Bella though

eurovision6
Guest
eurovision6

no worries, should have been more clear

Matt C
Guest
Matt C

This is the first time I watch the Romanian national final… but something doesn’t make sense. The people that voted in contributed to only 1/7th of the final vote? How is that fair? They should’ve had 50% not 14% of the power. It’s mad, but I guess that’s how they chose to do it

Colin
Guest
Colin

It’s for the first time like that because last year it was 100% televote and they crashed out of the semi.

Matt C
Guest
Matt C

Ah yeah everyone remembers the travesty that was Romania last year, so makes sense! But I’m sure 50/50 is fairer, and if it were like that then I’m sure Laura would’ve been a good choice

Colin
Guest
Colin

I’m sure she would. Almost all finalists were great. My top – Vaida, Aldo, Ester, Laura, Bella. Any of them would give Romania a high score.

Film
Guest
Film

Yesssss, is so happy! Ester won!!!

Migoi
Guest
Migoi

Congratulations Ester! I’m glad you won fairly, and the notorious homophobe Laura didn’t. Hopefully the toxic apologists on this website will stop excusing her behaviour and crawl back into their caverns of bigotry.

Sabrina
Guest
Sabrina

This was Italy all over again. The jury pushed my favorite to the win, going against the wishes of the local televote. Any idea why Ester did so bad with the Romanian audience?

mada
Guest
mada

because she is unknown

Nicolas
Guest
Nicolas

just because the song is bad and forgettable.

Jo.
Guest
Jo.

Am I seeing this right? I mean, are the televoting results useless cuz Ester already won?

Sabrina
Guest
Sabrina

Yeah, and they spent long minutes trying to make it suspenseful for those who don’t understand simple math.

Tibor
Guest
Tibor

Yes, it was Garou in Destination Eurovision all over again …

up!
Guest
up!

Songwise, it was one of the best selections this year… some of the artists struggled a little with their live vocals, but overall, there has been a really good quality. Now I just hope that my favourite will win – sth which hasn’t happened this year by now ….

Colin
Guest
Colin

Inis Neziri just proved that Piedestal would have also totally rocked in Lisbon! Her cover of A Man’s World is also really, really good! What a pleasant surprise having her here.

Jo.
Guest
Jo.

She would’ve performed in the 1st semi-final, so I’m not so sure about that. She’s great tho.

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

Thank you for sharing that. I’m happy to hear that Inis is doing well.

Rose
Guest
Rose

I still think Eugent was the better option simply because it was different from what came before an it showed. Inis can come back another year and win.

Tibor
Guest
Tibor

I have no idea how this will play out. I kind of liked Letitia Moisescu. Although her vocals aren’t the most impressive, she has good stage presence and I liked the genre mix. It would need polishing, though. Laura Bretan has really good vocals and it is musically the strongest song, but I have really big issues with the lyrics. What are these “Who is to blame”-verses all about? It doesn’ t really make sense if she sings to God and I hope it doesn’ t make sense if she sings to her actual father … Or am I missing… Read more »

Jo.
Guest
Jo.

Youtube.

Jingo
Guest
Jingo

Laura sounds extacly like the latte-sipping basic bitch. How about she turns her hate into love first, I have nothing but eye rolling for her.

Colin
Guest
Colin

How aren’t you ashamed saying something like that about a 16-year-old girl?

Jingo
Guest
Jingo

So you can be homophonic and igranant as long as you are under 18?

Colin
Guest
Colin

No, but you are allowed to make mistakes and to correct them. Also, I am not criticizing you for saying Laura is wrong. I am just saying that calling anyone, especially a child, a ‘b’ word is not good.

Jingo
Guest
Jingo

People are now reappropriating the word ‘bitch’ in a positive way but in this case, I’m not , she is the definition of a basic bitch.

Jingo
Guest
Jingo

I’m 17 now and I learned to treat people eaqually when I was like 6? Her family is rich enough to send her to the US to get educated and look how she turns out to be

Colin
Guest
Colin

Ok, you being 17 makes this a little less bad, but still, it would be better to avoid cusswords directed towards someone. It’s just not nice.

Jingo
Guest
Jingo

She went to a expensive private school, do your research first okay? I do hope she could go back to the Bible Belt where she belongs.

Jo.
Guest
Jo.

Just say that you want Bella to win…gosh!