In an exciting 5 hour TV show held on New Year’s Eve hosted by Paula Seling and Ovi, Romania decided that Hotel Fm will be competing in Dusseldorf. Special guests of the evening included Johnny Logan, Chiara (Malta), and Niamh Kavanagh (Ireland) who, with Paula Seling and Ovi, made a special night.
For the first time in history, the Romanian national selection for Eurovision was held on New Year’s Eve at the TVR studios in Bucharest.
Over 700 people, including Stela and Arsinel (old Romanian actors), Taraful din Clejani (traditional orchestra), Eugen Cristean, Silviu Biris, Cornelia si Lupu Rednic was in the studio for the special event.
In an elaborate show which started by 21:00 local time and went on two hours past midnight, all 13 contestants had a chance to perform their songs in front of the special jury and televoters alike. Among jury members were Chiara and Niamh Kavanagh, while the president of the jury was none other than Johnny Logan. It was a special night with a lot of humour from Stela and Arsinel, entertainment and music from Paula, Ovi, Taraful din Clejani, and the 3 special guests Johnny Logan, Chiara and Niamh Kavagh.
The 3 special guests had to give to the audience at 00:00 their best performance of Happy New Year, sung with a lot of Champaign and traditional Romanian food. Also in the Green Room next to Geanina Corondan, all the contestants felt the New Year’s Eve experience with magic moments and entertainment programs from Romanian actors.
Paula and Ovi gave one fantastic performance of their famous song Playing With Fire and also taught the audience their new songs. Dressed like a queen, Paula changed three outfits throughout the selection program.
The show started with Paula Seling and Ovi on the stage telling us more about the nights programme, accompanied by Geanina Corondan in the Green Room and Lala (the Romanian Eurovision mascot) in the jury’s room.
Adrian Cristescu was first on stage with the song One by One. The ballad was supported on the stage by a female backing vocalist dressed as a butterfly. The vocal was good and the audience reaction was quite warm.
Second on the stage was Dalma with Song for Him (she is known from the 2008 and 2009 National Selections) with a bizarre hairstyle tonight. Good interpretation with very good female backing vocals.
The 3rd contestant was Leticia with the song Dreaming of You composed by the group Play (the composers for international singer INNA) with a very nice background. Leticia is the revelation of this year’s competition with a strong and very good voice.
The 4th on the stage was Silvia Stefanescu with the song I Can Breathe Without You. Silvia is known as a backing singer of Paula Seling. Silvia has a good voice but sounds a little boring for the audience.
With the number 5 in the competition, Blaxy Girls gave a great performance of the song, It’s So Fine composed by Costi Ionita, the one who composed Dear Mama for the 2009 National Selection. They are young girls with a strong attitude accompanied by instruments on the stage.
After the Blaxy Girls, it is time for Paula and Ovi with a great performance of Playing With Fire and their new songs; We Got Something and Counting Down.
The end of the first part was in a group of kids hands. They had a special moment of mimic and singing Eurovision Songs including Playing With Fire.
The second part of the show started with Claudia Pavel, known as CREAM. Her song, I Want You to Want Me, was interpreted pretty well. Most of the Romanian journalists thought that she would not do it well, but after the performance, they changed their minds.
Next was Laurentiu Cazan with his message song, We Can Change the World. It was a very good performance and very nice attitude. Laurentiu Cazan is an old Romanian singer with a lot of experience.
After Laurentiu was Dan Helciug, known as the vocalist from the band Spitalul de Urgenta. Dan came with his song Facebook Girl. Even though he was very sick, Dan decided to give his best and he did it pretty well. Strong voice accompanied by his guitar.
Next to take to the stage was a group formed by Anthony, Ianna and Distinto, with a special song, Open Your Eyes, composed by Cristian Faur (the composer of Let Me Try, the Romanian song from Eurovision 2005, which received the best rank of Romania in Eurovision, followed by Paula and Ovi with the same place 3rd in 2010) They are all dressed in white and their position on the stage is good. For sure the best voices of the night with a great performance. The piece is melodic and well constructed by Cristian Faur.
Another break saw a performance from Paula Seling and Ovi followed by special guest Cornelia and Lupu Rednic, traditional Romanian singers.
The 3rd part of the show started with song number 10 in the competition: Directia 5 band with their Cinema Love song. They are very famous in Romania. They came straight from another event in the centre of Bucharest. They felt good on the stage and they made a nice atmosphere.
The three girls from Rallsa gave their best performance of their song, Take Me Down, but with strange and not well constructed choreography. All of them was dressed the same…like some Barbie dolls.
Next was Hotel FM, known from the 2009 National Final. With the composer, Gabriel Baruta at piano and 2 dancers, David Bryan gave a great performance.
The last on the stage was Mihai Alexandru feat B-body and Soul with their song Bang Bang. The guys were accompanied by the girl band "Pinky, who were Nico and Vlads backing singers in Belgrade 2008. A good end with an energetic and crazy song. Nice vocals and performance.
The contest ended, but the televoting and the show continued with Mr. Eurovision: Johnny Logan, Niamh Kavanagh and Chiara.
After the guests performance, the televoting ended and they announced the first results that counts as 50% of the final results.
The audience winner was Anthony, Ianna and Distinto with Cristian Faur song Open Your Eyes.
After the televoting points, it was time to announce the jury points, so on the stage came Eduard Carcota (member of the jury and the composer of Tornero, sung by Mihai Traistariu in 2006).
The winner of the jury was Hotel FM, while Anthony, Ianna and Distinto received from jury only the 5 place. After all the votes had been added together, the winner of the night was Hotel FM with their song Change.
Here are the televoting and jury results:
Televoting points & Jury Points
Adrian Cristescu – 2 + 2 = 4 points
Dalma – 0 + 3 = 3 points
Leticia – 4 + 6 = 10 points
Silvia Stefanescu – 1 + 1 = 2 points
Blaxy Girls – 6 + 0 = 6 points
Claudia Pavel – 3 + 0 = 3 points
Laurentiu Cazan – 5 + 7 = 12 points
Dan Helciug – 0 + 4 = 4 points
Anthony, Ianna and Distinto – 12 + 5 = 17 points
Directia 5 – 7 + 10 = 17 points
Rallsa – 0 + 0 = 0 points
Hotel FM – Change – 10 + 12 = 22 points
Mihai Alexandru feat B-Body and Soul – 8 + 8 = 16 points
The line-up of Hotel FM is as follows: David Bryan (lead vocals), Gabriel Baruta (piano & backing vocals) and Alex Szus (drums). David Bryan is originally from Newton Aycliffe in North-East England.
The final surprise of the night was the live performance of the song Hold Me Now, sung by Johnny.Logan, Chiara, Niamh Kavagh,Paula Seling ,Ovi and Adrian Iordachioaie (an old Romanian singer).