In 2006, he represented Romania at Eurovision and gave the nation one of their best ever results. But Mihai Trăistariu — now known as M I H A I — has never given up his dream of winning the song contest for Romania. He’s now confirmed his intention to win Eurovision 2020 with a ballad and has invited songwriters to submit suitable songs.
M I H A I launched his 2020 campaign on Facebook, with a post making his plans clear.
Va rog sa dati un Share masiv acestei postari !Sunt hotarat sa castig Eurovision-ul. Si, pentru ca unii colegi de…
The “Tornerò” singer wrote, “I’m determined to win Eurovision. And, because some of my colleagues have named me KING OF BALLADS, I’ve come to the conclusion that I can only impress an international jury and audience to the maximum with a slow song.”
He also emphasised that he wanted to win Eurovision for Romania, saying, “Romania deserves first place in MUSIC, too… not just in tennis!”
M I H A I invited songwriters to send him suitable ballads, opening the search to “Romanian or foreign, young or old”. He wrote, “This way, I will maximise my chances of getting that PERFECT song once and for all!”
M I H A I’s previous attempts
With M I H A I’s decision to enter a ballad this season, it seems he has been greatly inspired by Duncan Laurence’s heartfelt ballad “Arcade”. However, while “Arcade” won Eurovision 2019, it topped neither the jury nor the televote — which could make taking a similar path a risky tactic for M I H A I.
This wouldn’t be the first time that M I H A I has been inspired by previous Eurovision stand-outs. Following Kristian Kostov placing second at Eurovision 2017 with his power ballad “Beautiful Mess”, M I H A I entered the ballad “Heaven” in Selecția Națională 2018, which reminded some fans of “Beautiful Mess”.
M I H A I’s entry for Selecția Națională 2019 was “Baya”, which also gave fans deja vu. It reminded some fans of Shakira’s 2001 hit “Whenever, Wherever”, but reminded others of the iconic Eurovision 2018 runner-up, “Fuego”.
However, M I H A I never got to take “Baya” to Selecția Națională 2019. Earlier this year, he withdrew from the national final, saying “I do not trust the objectivity of the Eurovision Romania organisers”.
He also suggested that he would enter “Baya” in the 2019 Maltese national final, however that plan was quashed when Malta switched to X Factor Malta to select its artist.
But it seems that M I H A I’s faith in the Romanian Eurovision team has been restored. He’s now determined to represent Romania at Eurovision 2020.
The Romanian broadcaster TVR has not yet confirmed its participation in Eurovision 2020, but they are expected to return. In May, Romania’s Head of Delegation revealed that the broadcaster was considering making changes to its national final format, possibly changing the jury/televote ratio or even switching to internal selection.
This follows two years of non-qualification at Eurovision, with both Selecția Națională and the Eurovision Song Contest suffering from declining audiences figures in Romania. The grand final of Eurovision 2019 had just 147,000 Romanian viewers — only 3.3% of the available audience.
But could M I H A I be what Selecția Națională needs to revitalise its fortunes? If M I H A I can find the right ballad, perhaps 2020 will be his year.
What do you think? Should Romania send M I H A I to Eurovision 2020? What sort of ballad should he sing? Tell us your thoughts below!
Translation by Bogdan Honciuc