Roxen was due to represent Romania at the 2020 Eurovision Song Contest in Rotterdam with her song “Alcohol You”. It is an emotional ballad with ethereal instrumentation.
Romanian broadcaster TVR chose Roxen through an internal selection in collaboration with Global Records. Her competing entry was chosen via a five song selection in the form of a revamped Selectia Nationala.
And we’ve compiled 10 facts you need to know about Roxen. Let’s do this!
Romania at Eurovision 2020: Facts about Roxen
1. She’s a Cluj native
Born as Larisa Roxana Giurgiu, the “Alchol You” songstress hails from Cluj-Napoca. It’s one of Romania’s biggest cities after Bucharest and is mostly known for its history, the famous Untold festival, and local football team CFR Cluj — Romania’s reigning champions and one of the big surprises in the recent European cup season.
2. She’s a soccer fan
Speaking of football, Roxen does have an admiration for the beautiful game. But not for the “cherry red” (pun intended) team mentioned above. Instead, she’s a big supporter of CFR’s fierce rivals Universitatea Cluj. They currently play in the second tier of Romanian football.
3. She’s a rising star
Although she’s been involved with music since she was seven, Roxen’s career only kicked off properly in 2019. She was featured on Sickotoy’s “You Don’t Love Me”. The single charted in Romania and Bulgaria, and received airplay in other countries too, including the United States, Russia and Spain. Her debut single “Ce-ti canta dragostea” was also a success, topping the Romanian charts.
4. She has a Eurovision connection
Despite being only 20 years old, Roxen already has some ties with the contest. And we’re not talking about her coming from the same city as Voltaj frontman Calin Goia (Romania 2015). She studied at the Octavian Stroe School of Choreography in Cluj, where one of her teachers was none other than Mihai Băcilă — the father of Romania’s Eurovision 2017 star Ilinca.
5. She’s a dancer
Roxen may not have performed any Fuego-like choreography for “Cherry Red” in the national selection show, but she can be the queen of the dance floor when she wants to. She attended modern dance classes for five years.
6. She’s entered many singing competitions
Since childhood, Roxen has often appeared at various singing contests throughout Romania. At one such event, she even crossed paths with one of her main critics — Eurovision 2006 star Mihai Traistariu. Despite criticising her selection for Eurovision, he had this to say about their first meeting:
“I’ve realized that Roxen is actually Larisa Giurgiu from Cluj, whom I’ve given an award to back when she was 14 years old, at a music competition! And guess what, I gave her the Mihai Traistariu Special Award, a trophy that I only give to phenomenal voices. I’ve even promised her that we’ll record a duet together, but we didn’t ever since”.
7. “Alcohol You” was her favourite of the five potential Eurovision songs
During an interview on radio Europa FM, Roxen revealed a list of her top three songs that she sang at Romania’s selection show. Her number one was the actual winner “Alcohol You”, followed by “Beautiful Disaster” and “Storm”.
8. She has celebrity supporters
While the public and the fandom were mostly torn between “Alcohol You” and “Cherry Red”, Romanian superstar INNA had a clear favourite, tweeting her support the song that eventually won. INNA, of course, is one of Romania’s biggest-selling artists. She has 20 top ten hits in Romania and over three billion views on her YouTube channel. All while enjoying commercial success all over Europe too.
— INNA (@inna_ro) February 24, 2020
9. She’s a vegetarian
In a video by tabloid Unica, Roxen reveals that she’s been a vegetarian for two years now… with a few exceptions that “she isn’t proud of”.
10. She’s a cat lover
In the Europa FM interview, Roxen also revealed that she has five cats back at home in Cluj, and that the little furries always lie on and over her whenever she sleeps!
Eurovision 2021 update
Roxen will sing at Eurovision 2021 for Romania. Writing on their official Eurovision web site, the broadcaster said: “Starting with the provisions of the Eurovision Song Contest regulations regarding national selections and in agreement with its partner Global Records, Romanian Television has decided to support Roxen as the representative of Romania at the 2021 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest.” Roxen was thrilled with the news. “I received this news with joy and emotion and I want to thank everyone for their confidence.”
What do you think of Roxen’s career so far? Are you happy that she’ll be back for 2021? Let us know in the comments.