Romania‘s broadcaster TVR has been keeping quiet about its national final plans for 2020. But now a local mayor appears to have confirmed that Selecția Națională will be back for another year — and the national selection will likely be hosted in the city of Buzău.

News.ro reports that Buzău mayor Constantin Toma made a Facebook post with the announcement. He wrote:

“We are talking about the continuation of cultural projects. It is very possible, 99 per cent, for the Eurovision Romania final, which will be on March 1, to take place in Buzău. Buzău  will enter the cultural map of Romania but also the cultural map of Europe.”

Buzău is a city in the south-east of Romania. It has a population of around 115,000.

The mayor also wrote that the expected budget of hosting the event would be around €150,00-200,000. The money would come from the municipality’s budget after it was approved, which is expected to happen at the end of January.

In Toma’s announcement, he also says that grand final of Selecția Națională 2020 will take place on Sunday 1 March 2020. There is no mention of any semi-finals being part of the 2020 contest.

Broadcaster TVR has not yet confirmed any details of Selecția Națională 2020, including the location, date or format — or, indeed, the selection method of Romania’s act for Rotterdam.

Romania and Selecția Națională

Romania has always used Selecția Națională (national selection) to choose its act for Eurovision. While the contest has been around since Romania’s Eurovision debut in 1993, the format of Selecția Națională has changed to meet the broadcaster’s requirements.

In the past decade, the show has either used a stand-alone grand final or has also incorporated semi-finals. However, in 2018 — to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Union of Transylvania with Romania — TVR organised a touring six-city event with shows held in cities and towns around the country.

Last year, the broadcaster used a scaled-down tour. Two semi-finals were held — one in the western city of Arad, the other in north-eastern Iași — with the grand final in Bucharest.

The 2019 grand final also attracted criticism when the televote was worth only one-seventh of the overall vote — a similar ratio to that used in the Maltese national final until 2017.

Selecția Națională’s struggle with low ratings

TVR struggles with a low viewership of both Selecția Națională and the Eurovision Song Contest. The grand final of Selecția Națională 2019 was watched by only 340,000 people — Romania has a population of 19.53 million. This made it only the eighth-ranked show in its timeslot.

The show was especially unpopular with the lucrative 18-49 demographic. Only 40,000 viewers in that age group tuned in, suggesting the national final is most popular with older viewers.

Eurovision fared worse. Ester Peony’s semi-final performance attracted only 184,000 viewers, while even fewer —just 147,000 viewers — tuned in to the grand final. It held only 3.3% of the audience share.

Broadcaster TVR may wish to revive Romania’s fortunes at Eurovision and return to the days of the early 2010s when Romania regularly qualified for the grand final and delivered memorable and well-liked performances.

In July, Romanian Eurovision star M I H A I announced his plans to enter the 2020 national final. He said he planned to enter with a power ballad and invited songwriters to submit potential entries.

What do you think? Who would you like to see enter Selecția Națională 2020? Who should Romania send to Rotterdam? Tell us your thought below!

Read more Romania Eurovision news here!

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Cozmin
Cozmin
8 months ago

Would you like Romania to be represented by DELIA with Arunca ma in aer???? Take a look on YouTube ????!!!!

Julian
Julian
8 months ago

Not sure who would want to associate with ESC anymore. Last year with Laura they would have had the chance to lift their audience surely to more than 500k and possibly even 1 million. But that opportunity is gone. National selection is already a waste of money.

Cozmin
Cozmin
8 months ago

Interesting how when we talk about Romania we only have a few comments about it and however a major part about corruption and things like this. Calm down everybody!!! I think there is just karma and when we’ll have a good song we’ll be rising again!

Eugen
Eugen
8 months ago

This is all TVR’s fault. Their level of corruption is absolutely ridiculous! I think it would be best for Romania to withdraw unless another TV broadcaster can take over because this is just jokes now. I can’t even remember the last time a decent artist took part in our national selection

Stan
Stan
8 months ago

Let’s just hope wiwi won’t have any saying in who wins SN this year after those two destroyed Romania last year.

Mony
Mony
8 months ago

Maybe they’ve already settled the horrible Laure Bretan to represent them….

Swedish Mouse Mafia
8 months ago

Romania is definitely seen as one of the weakest. They need to step it up with something modern, upbeat and catchy

Swedish Mouse Mafia
8 months ago

something very gay and sexy this year please

M_K
M_K
8 months ago

Maybe they’ve just booked conference room B, where they will select their entry internally.

Alex
Alex
8 months ago
Reply to  M_K

In January 2012, TVR tried to internally select INNA to represent Romania. She rejected the offer. Today is January so they might internally select someone, hopefully.

Una
Una
8 months ago

I have no words to tell y’all how curious I am about Romania’s act this year. We’re in January and know nothing about how and when and who and all the rest. I mean, at least say: we, the broadcaster, will make an announcement on this date.
I kind of think all this secrecy revolves around an internal selection – Romanian artist and foreign team. That’s my 2 cents on this. And their downfall in 2018 and 2019 was the freaking staging – not the songs and not the artists.

Tom
Tom
8 months ago
Reply to  Una

Both 2018/2019 the songs were ok, they deserved non qualification!! THERE WERE better artists both in 2018/2019 !

Colin
Colin
8 months ago

Looking back, I think that Romania had a really strong NF last year, only the wrong format. Laura, Bella, Vaida, Aldo, Linda, Teodora and Ester all had great songs. I am still wondering how did Ester fail to qualify. However, making it mostly a jury decision was wrong, especially because how passionate the fandom in Romania is. Having the illusion of making the difference makes it perhaps even more frustrating.

fly by
fly by
8 months ago
Reply to  Colin

Laura has all the time in the world to try again. In 2019 she was borderline jesc, had controversial song, and it was a year for songs like Duncan’s, Mahmood’s. She should be happy it wasn’t her in 2019.

Erasmus
Erasmus
8 months ago
Reply to  Colin

strong? All song were cheap or mediocre at best. “On a Sunday” had great vocals, but staging was one of the worst last year and the song was never really competitive against Keiino, Duncan, Chingiz, Tamara, John…

fly by
fly by
8 months ago
Reply to  Erasmus

Ester staging was very expensive, but an useless mess. She needed only the red dress from national final. That makes me think that Romanian delegation doesn’t understand the new trend. More is more for songs like Yodel It, but for other songs… less is more.

Una
Una
8 months ago
Reply to  Colin

I agree with Colin in that the national selection last year was very strong. But I am not surprised they didn’t qualify last year even though I had super high hopes until I saw the rehearsals.

Claudia
Claudia
8 months ago

Please don’t believe everything you read ?as a romanian i m telling you our television said absolutely nothing about Selectia Nationala

Erasmus
Erasmus
8 months ago

Hope not after Belarus and maybe even Moldova keeping their NF, like what’s the point you see it goes nowhere, but you are still keeping it like a miracle would happen by itself… + ratings are so low, they are the same for as for Slovenia’s EMA, while Slovenia has a population of 2 mil. and Romania of 20 mil, like CHANGE it for once.

Alex
Alex
8 months ago

Guys remember: back in 2018 it was rumoured Romania would use again the 2018 format of 5 semi finals around the country and Suceava was supposed to host a sf (or “regional” final) and in the end, they didn’t! SN 2019 was only 2 SF in Iasi and Arad with final in Bucharest.