They’re the country that went from frequently finishing in the Eurovision top 15 to regularly failing to even qualify for the grand final. Now Romania‘s broadcaster TVR will attempt to get to the bottom of its lack of Eurovision success with a two-hour televised debate on the subject.
TVR will host Eurovision, pe şleau! (Eurovision, By the Way!), with the debate moderated by journalist former Romanian Head of Delegation Marina Almăşan. The debate will include Romanian entertainment industry figures as well as Eurovision fans.
The show will also feature performances from Romanian Eurovision stars Paula Seling, Ovi and The Humans.
The debate will attempt to answer some vital questions relating to Romania’s Eurovision fortunes:
- Why don’t Romania’s great voices participate in Eurovision?
- Why has the interest of Romanians towards Eurovision decreased so much?
- What are the solutions to rectify the situation?
Host Marina Almăşan — who oversaw Romania’s third-place in 2011, with Paula Seling and Ovi’s “Playing with Fire” — spoke enthusiastically about the debate. However, she suggested that if Romania doesn’t do well at Eurovision 2022, it might be time for the nation to take a break from Eurovision. She said:
“I will moderate a heated debate on the evening of July 5 on TVR1, with chosen and skilled guests. And even if it comes out with sparks flying, it is important that things go smoothly. And at the next edition, Romania should reach the top 10! If, after the debate, that doesn’t happen, maybe it is healthier to stay away for a year or two. The debate will be LIVE, which for me will mean a return to the good times! I thank Romanian Television for entrusting this event to my team and I hope we will not disappoint!”
While there are currently no plans for Romania to take time off from Eurovision, the inadvertent strategy worked well for both Ukraine in 2016 and Portugal in 2017. After taking one year off from the contest (both for reasons unrelated to the song contest itself) the countries returned the following year and won.
Romania’s fortunes in the Eurovision Song Contest
In recent years, the Eurovision Song Contest has drastically fallen in popularity among Romanian viewers. The 2021 grand final attracted only 178,000 viewers — a tiny 0.9% of Romania’s population. Compare this with the 138,000 fans who tuned in in Iceland (38%), or the 141,000 (10.6%) who tuned in from Estonia.
While Romania has previously managed to attract top acts such as the established rock band Voltaj and the rock singer Ovidiu Anton, in recent years Selecția Națională mostly attracted upcoming acts and national final regulars, rather than Romania’s top music stars.
In 2020, the broadcaster changed its selection method and internally picked the upcoming singer Roxen. Her song for Eurovision 2020 was selected using a special edition of Selecția Națională, where viewers and a jury voted for one of five potential Eurovision entries.
After Eurovision 2020 was cancelled, Roxen was reselected for 2021, however her song for Rotterdam was internally chosen. While there was fan support for Roxen’s song “Amnesia”, many felt the performance suffered due to Roxen being given overly complicated choreography. Fans felt all the movements left Roxen sounding breathy and didn’t allow her to deliver the strong emotional performance of the studio version. The song finished 12th in its semi-final.
Eurovision, pe şleau! will screen this Monday, 5 July at 21:00 EET on TVR1.
What do you think? How should Romania revive its fortunes at Eurovision? How can TVR make Eurovision more appealing for Romanian viewers? Tell us your thoughts below!
Let me say one thing: The last four years Romania has sent really good songs, and, not counting on 2020, there has been the same problem in all of them: They do TOO MUCH. And that formula worked in the 00’s and the early 10’s but now times call for a change. Big stages are better done, for some reason, by Ukraine, Moldova and even Norway. Romania needs to innovate. Also, they have the bad luck of landing in the strongest semifinals (except 2018, I don’t know what happened there). Still, don’t get sad by the results, this happens now… Read more »
Well, the song and (even) the singer is not the problem in 2021 (we all knew that Roxen could nail it had she not given those complex staging).
Having that said, I expect more teamwork from the TVR team, for example making sure that the singer is comfortable with his/her song and staging. We don’t really know until now that Roxen is the one wanting such complex choreography, eh? Else, maybe more promotion etc.. but without the singer being comfortable to sing, I believe there will be no chance of Romania qualifying.
So what happened on TV? Any news on Romania?
I feel like they need to send exploding act next year, they really do have amazing musicians there and it’s a big crime not using your resources, althrough I admired both Roxen’s songs, I can get why she failed to qualify this year, It would be really upsetting if they withdraw next year cause they even can send winning act. Romania really showed big dedication in 2020 when she was on many Eurofan’s top spot.
Romania is a very musical country. It’s surprising they don’t do better.
I’m romanian and I have a pretty good ideea why Romanian big artists are avoiding Eurovision. Every single year after National Selection is a huge scandal about the eligibility of the winning song. This put people off and also the hypocrisy .When it comes to the Eurovision contest what can I say Romanians had enough of the same type of “soup” so called uplifting messages sang by beautiful almost naked girls with wind in their hair. This year winners are more what we want to see creativity, originality, charisma and humbleness.
(Two notes: I’m starting with a long historical allegory, but bear with me, I have a point to make. Also, I liked Romania this year.) In the American Civil War, Union general Irwin McDowell was ordered to take Richmond (the Confederate capital). On the way, he encountered Confederate forces under P. G. T. Beauregard at the Battle of Bull Run. His plan (involving synchronized attacks on the enemy flanks) was imaginative, but it was too complex for his inexperienced soldiers to carry out effectively. The battle was a major defeat for the Union, resulting in McDowell’s replacement. Roxen had the… Read more »
I’m genuinely impressed..
I cant believe you gave us an entire military story when you could have just said ‘The staging and choreography were ambitious, but, unfortunately, it might have been too complex for the inexperienced performer’ lmao
I like to make my point by use of allegory. My sincerest apologies for boring you.
Romania pretty much always sends good music to Eurovision. However, their recent viewing figure for the contest is shockingly low – that’s very sad. A debate might be a good way to raise the cultural issues that are perhaps not known to the mainstream.
Their recent viewing figure is low because they don’t qualify. OGAE Romania is really big irl
Wow it’;s interesting that they have this debate!! Curious to watch it if there are subs available. Romania would have qualified in 2020 because they had a great song but this year they made the wrong decision so don’t blame it on Eurovision. Roxen had awesome songs in 2020 even her follow up singles in 2020 were really good, yet they chose a depressing song which is difficult to perform live… WHY??? I think they need to send an ethnic song this time and perhaps try singing in Romanian? If they retire for 1-2 years it would be also good… Read more »
I really don’t get what’s the benefit of retiring from the contest. How does abstaining from the contest make a country do better in the contest? I often hear this as a solution for countries that don’t do well and it seems rather short-sighted to me. Or is it supposed to be some kind of spiteful vengeance towards the other countries that don’t vote for our entries?
Greece: Did not participate in 1999-2000, from 2001-2013 they did great. (1st in 2005, 3rd in 2001, 2004, 2008, 6th in 2013, 7th in 2007, 2009, 2011, 8th in 2010, 9th in 2006) Ukraine: Did not participate in 2015 won in 2016 Portugal: Did not participate in 2016, won in 2017 Italy: Didn’t participate from 19XX-2010, got 2nd in 2011 Bulgaria: Didn’t participate in 2019, was a favourite in 2020 and 2021 Ukraine: Didn’t participate in 2019, got 5th in 2021 (and 2nd by televote) And even Romania itself, that didn’t participate in 2016 bc no money, placed 7th with… Read more »
Barely any of the above examples prove your point. In 2001, Greece held a national final just like it did before 1999. The exact same format was used. Its success in 2001 (followed by two flops in 2002 and 2003) was due to an excellent entry that won an open-call NF. Things only changed for Greece in 2004 with the change in the selection process and the change of management in ERT (nothing to do with the 1999-2000 absence). Italy did well in the contest even before it withdrew, so the example is faulty. Same is true for Ukraine (achieved… Read more »
Greece had great result only with 100 % televote.
In military history, it’s often better to regroup and rest, rather than keep fighting and risk sapping your strength (mental or physical).
Eurovision happens once a year. That’s enough time to rest and prepare for next year.
As for now, Albania, Australia, Latvia, Moldova, Azerbaijan and Germany (as they failed to qualify in the pre-qualification round in 1996) didn’t take a rest so far.
I understand your point. To be fair, I said “often”, not “always” (I should have said “sometimes”).
hey bestie, do you understand that eurovision is not part of the military?? also, defund the military xx
I was making a comparison that happened to use poorly-chosen words. My bad. No need to be condescending, though.
To be clear, what I meant was that sometimes, you need more time to plan than just one year. Sometimes, it’s better to withdraw for a year (giving you more time to plan for when you return) than to lose 10+ years in a row, getting more and more frustrated with each failure. Take, for example, the UK. If things don’t improve for them, and they keep losing, they’re going to get desperate, and send something truly horrendous. Of course, this is by no means a set-in-stone rule for Eurovision strategy. Some countries are patient enough to keep competing until… Read more »
Countries like Ukraine, Portugal, Bulgaria and even Poland all pulled out for 1-2 years and came back with restructured selections (e.g. collabing with other broadcasters, switching to internal selections) and guess what, all of them harvested great results including victories. Also in Romania their broadcaster lost nearly 2 million viewers within 4 years, this is already a sign that the delegation needs restructuring so they can go back to their glory times.
If Romania really withdrew in the next years I wouldn’t be surprised at all.
Why does a country have to withdraw in order to change its selection process or restructure its delegation?
That’s not my point, I’m just trying to list the withdrew-and-later-returned countries that have a huge contrast of track records suggesting that TVR could follow suit as it’s statistically beneficial for other countries result and domestic interest wise.
I admire how they’re actually taking the time to listen to musicians and the public and figure out a course of action. Better than bigger broadcasters handwaving bad results.
only 178k ppl watched the contest this year, from a business aspect i won’t blame tvr if they decide to retire
you mean romanian people ?
Romania (and any other country for that matter) should try to copy Switzerland’s selection method which has done wonders for them since 2019.
It’s great to see a broadcaster trying to do introspection, something we cannot say about Spain. Just for bothering, I wish Romania can make an impact in the contest in future years.
Tanja absolutely deserved to qualify! She was amazing. The problem with that entry is that she sounded incredible and that resulted in many people thinking she was lip syncing. I’m forever sad about her non qualification and get really excited when I see her name in the mix when they publish the list of acts in the NF only to get even more sad when I hear her songs…
People felt it was a copy of Euphoria. In 2011 Tanja could have won!
Romania is known WORLDWIDE for their summer-y Balkan bangers – from INNA to Alexandra Stan.
That’s what they’re good at, so they should use that method for Eurovision.
They tried that in 2004, 2005, 2006, 2009 and 2012 but not with huge success so idk
In my opinion, Romania has never sent an INNA or Alexandra Stan inspired bop to Eurovision. They had some in their national selections over the last decade, but they never made it to the Eurovision stage.
>2005 and 2006
>not with huge success
Third position in 2005 and fourth in 2006, how the hell is that a failure?
Again, define ”huge success”.
2004 was truly bad, 2005 finished 3rd (huge success in my book), 2006 finished 4th (again, a huge success), 2009 finished 19th after qualifying (a moderate success), and 2012 finished 12th (a pretty good result as well).
Judging by these, perhaps Romania should return to that summery vibe indeed… Even if I am usually against turning countries into ”one trick ponies”, this made the trick, and most songs with a summery vibe (San Marino, Cyprus, Moldova) were kinda successful this year (much more than Romania, anyway), so maybe that’s the way to go?
Hmmm, I’d say it is definitely true for some, like Roxen. But it’s not true for everyone, like Loreen for example.
“However, she suggested that if Romania doesn’t do well at Eurovision 2022, it might be time for the nation to take a break from Eurovision.” NO!! Like for crying out loud, it’s bad enough that we see this from Spain and the UK, we don’t need this from any more countries. Never mind the fact that if everyone did this, (“Hmm, our recent crop of results have been really bad, we should pull out”) the contest would probably evaporate within a decade. Like, it didn’t work, okay fine, try again then! Countries like Sweden, Norway and Denmark literally do the… Read more »
You are forgetting something important: the Eurovision Song Contest (both hosting and participations) is funded with taxpayer money and Europe has lived trying times since the Great Recession.
Nobody deserves to work like a mule so their money is used by the government in order to craft something sleazy like Manel Navarro’s Do it for your lover or SuRie’s Storm.
I like ESC but in my opinion wanting tons of countries to compete because fans think the more can be the merrier is very, very, very selfish.
SuRie and Manuel Navarro aren’t really compatible.
Thats right! Were not in like 2000, when that relegation system was used, do badly and you’re outta the contest!
Besides, I love Goodbye, On a Sunday and like In not even gonna talk about Amnesia which, for some time, was 1st in my top, like it is top 5 now, I love them all despite their bad result. It’s not their fault, they always send good stuff. It’s the TELEVOTE. In 2018, 2019 and even 2021, the juries always wanted Romania in the final but the televote was like NOPE. and so they didn’t qualify. Sadge.
i actually really really liked this year’s staging concept.
it’s just that u need someone very very experienced to be able to pull that off.
they could seriously tone down roxen’s choreo and let the dancers, the led and the fog do the job.
Not only do I think it’d be such a shame for Romania to withdraw next year because they’ve sent quality songs (even alcohol you and amnesia although they didn’t qualify), I also think it’s a bit ott. They weren’t that far away from qualifying and they still have a good qualification record. I do think that this year’s 1st semi was very difficult anyway because multiple great songs didn’t qualify. I would be sad if they left but the thoughts of withdrawing just because they just about missed out on qualification 3 times in a row seems a bit of… Read more »
Dear god please don’t leave.
I’m sad if Romania withdraws next year 🙁
It really wouldn’t surprise me if Romania withdrew next year. Hoping I’m wrong though
Oh, if Romania withdraws I’ll be sad and shocked 🙁
Send Alina Eremia and you will win.
Alina Eremia who represented Romania in Junior Eurovision 2005? She was 12 and now she’s a pop star. I wouldn’t mind seeing her represent Romania next year.
Except that Tanja actually pulled off the dance-heavy routing while singing very well, and Roxen struggled. I just think that 2014’s semi had even stronger songs in the line-up. Amnesia, on the other hand, failed to qualify mostly due to enunciation / breath control issues. Otherwise, the song is just lovely!
i would also say eleni foueira would be an exception to this rule
her choreo was more complex and tiring than a lot of other singers so i wouldn’t be surprised if her vocals aren’t as good.
Ok, besides the comment “Wow, UK must take notes from Romania” (which is definitely true), I want to note that Romania had three sure qualifiers before the rehearsals and afterwards everyone started to question that… It seems to me that Romania is still dealt with by eurofans as an ESC powerhouse and I’mmmmm not sure that applies to today’s Romania. Today’s Romania pays main attention the SONG and not the artist, even though they chose ROXEN in 2020 beforehand. So, to sum it up, Romania must either: find an artist from a talent show for GOOD VOICES like ‘X-Factor’ or… Read more »
Getting to the finals stage takes the efforts of so many people beyond just the artist who appears on that stage, and sadly I think Romania just hasn’t mastered the required cooperation in recent years – with 2021 a perfect example. Roxen is a phenomenal artist, with a stunning voice. I only hope she goes far, and think she has more than enough talent to. People I know who only follow the ESC final were shocked when seeing her song and learning it hadn’t even qualified. Amnesia was final-worthy. But the choreography just really let the side down when it… Read more »
Loreen’s “Euphoria” was an exception to this rule, of course.
But ROXEN isn’t as talented as Loreen 😉
You’re comparing a 21 years old newcomer to loreen
Ok you’re right actually, so if you don’t like the word “talented” let’s change it with “experienced” and we got a fact
First of all, it’s great seeing them try to improve Now, Roxen didn’t qualify because the live performance sucked She sounded horrible compared to how she is able to sing (she’s got a beautiful voice) plus the strong semi I agree with those who said that it was a wise decision choosing her and Amnesia. Sometimes it just doesn’t work though… It is a competition after all. As for attracting big names, that’s just unnecessary Duncan wasn’t famous when he won and neither was Netta where as Måneskin were famous and so were other winners I believe. There is no… Read more »
they were on the right track tho! 2020 and 2021 were literally their best songs since forever. 2020 would probably qualify since she wouldn’t have had to move so much… and 2021 was just a series of unfortunate events (staging, strong semi, not strong vocals) that led to their NQ because the song and imo the singer were right.
In my opinion they should still have internal selection for next few years. Global Records are amazing and I hope TVR knows that.
If they return to a nf it will probably again be bad, dated and uncompetitve.
also the fact that Yodel It is their last qualification but still the worst song by far is really sad… hope they won’t go for a joke entry..
I’m glad that they are genuinely trying to do better and are actually putting in the effort to do better. Some countries could really take notes. cough UK cough
Not a great performance on stage. She already was a bit of a mumbler and they dragged her poor body all around that stage that it just didn’t work. In the fight to be Eurovision’s Billie Eilish, Bulgaria won.
but really tho, i can’t see billie making a song like guigo or amnesia. maybe last year was more of an inspiration but i don’t think you can say that this year. the songs are unique to both singers.
Send INNA or Irina Rimes
yes we NEED irina
If they send INNA and Turkey participates next year, they will get high points from Turkey for sure 😀
Send Inna or Irina Rimes
There’s no great secret as to why Roxen didn’t qualify: she was out of tune.
Romania did not qualify only on three occasions, in which they were not very far from qualification. If you look at the 10-year record, their results are not so bad that they should withdraw. They even achieved a top 10 placing just four years ago. But still, somebody cares about Eurovision enough to have that discussion. That’s a good thing.
Eurovision is all about the final package. You can have a good song, but if you mess up the staging, you may not qualify. Again, you can have a weak entry, but create such an atmosphere that captivates both the audience in the arena and the viewers at home and can surprisingly qualify and even do really well in the final. There are many aspects to consider, but as I said, you have to be able to pull out a performance where people say “wow” and watch the performance again and again. As did Italy, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Russia and some… Read more »
When will people understand that Eurovision is not about big names, but about the song? It’s not called SONG contest for nothing.. As for Romania.. I will just be honest: In 2018 and 2019, they didn’t qualify because the songs were simply not strong enough. I mean, even if 2019 had actually a good staging, it didn’t really help cause the song was not strong. As for 2021: Amnesia’s studio version is one of the best, but it just didn’t work in the live performance. Since Roxen had to sing and move at the same time, her vocals were not… Read more »
I think amnesia wasn’t that strong either… nice in the first minute, but then it totally loses me
I get what you mean. But as I said, I really liked the studio version (even tho the song gets repetitive), like I could listen to this in my free time, but as you said, it wasn’t one of their strongest songs either.
I thought on a Sunday was one of the best songs of the year. much better than that dear father song that everybody was whining and crying over
What do you talking about? I want to see big names on ESC stage. I want to see experienced artists and enjoy their art. I want to see top of the top from every country. All these fresh Idol and X Factor contetstants are flat. They can compete in local contests, not in this huge event. Ofc, if any country has super talented newcomers with big hits, send them, but I dont wanna see 35 artists from talent shows of 40 contestants.
also big names = big budget
But big names indeed could be more interesting….
Some countries are calling it quits after couple of bad results, then there’s countries such as The Netherlands and Belgium which just didn’t stop trying even when the results weren’t good.
and they both managed to turn it around. even tho Belgium isn’t as successful with staging, but their songs are usually awesome
But you forgot to consider that Romania doesn’t have the economy The Netherlands and Belgium have to try and tested without putting the economy in a great strain
Having a bad economy doesn’t mean you always have to send bad songs and vice versa
Calling this year Romanian entry a bad song is a blasphemy and you should feel bad
What about North Macedonia and Latvia then? North Macedonia, despite only qualifying twice in the 2010’s, still competed, even in 2021, and Latvia too, only qualified in 2015 and ’16 in the past 10 years.
Another example is Georgia…
Bulgaria and Switzerland are also good examples imo.
Roxen would have made the final with Cherry Red.
Once again it’s juries that have killed Romania, same with Turkey.
It’s clear from the performance at the national selection that she didn’t like that song, so I don’t think she would have done much better with that song to be honest.
That last statement is simply false. Romania has qualified with the juries every year since 2018, so it’s the televote that has made it so Romania haven’t qualified.
even if cherry red had won, it would be out anyway with the cancellation.
Juries have put Romania in their Top 10 in 2018, 2019 and 2021 . It’s the televote which couldn’t and didn’t connect with the songs/performance.