Romania 2018: Results and review of week one Selecția Națională 2018

Tonight Romania started their search to find their representative for the Eurovision Song Contest 2018. There will be five shows each featuring twelve songs. Three songs from each heat will advance to the final.

The final of the Selecția Națională 2018 for Romania will be held on February 25 in Sala Polivalentă in Bucharest. For now, heat one takes place in Teatrul Municipal in Focșani.  The Tom Hartis song was withdrawn.

The Hosts

Our hosts for all six shows will be Diana Dumitrescu and Cezar Ouatu. Cezar, of course, is famous for his Romanian entry from 2013 It’s My Life, which placed 13th in Malmo, Sweden.

The green room host was Anca Medeleanu, who had a bit of fun with the contestants.

The Show

Televiziunea Română (TVR) is the Romanian television company responsible for all six shows. Tonight’s show was opened by Luminița Anghel, who came third for Romania in 2005 with the band Sistem and the song Let Me Try. She performed Hora din Moldova, the entry from Moldova from 2009 by Nelly Ciobanu. Nelly placed 14th that year.

After all the songs had been performed there was a long showing of Romanian adverts. There then followed a never-ending rock performance from the group Pasărea Rock.

The Songs

Alex Florea – Nobody Told Me It Would Hurt

Back as a soloist after last years Yodel It duet, Alex proves he is more than a second-hand rapper. This powerful ballad is the type of stuff that was big in America in the eighties. Alex had a bit of a problem with the higher notes, but he has proven he is a mighty fine singer. The chorus is pretty memorable and nothing to be ashamed of.

Lina – A Love Worth Falling For

Lina’s song is a mid-paced pop song. Nothing exceptionally different but that doesn’t mean that it’s not a pleasant listen. The song has a nice musical backing, which if internally selected would make a fine entry. However, up against the other contestants, it may not stand out enough. Still a good one though.

CornEL – Take Me Away

The introduction to this song has a summery breeze feel. The song stomps along in a holiday resort type of manner. CornEl does his best and the chorus has pieces where you can sing along to. The music in the middle is made for the clubs. Needs a little polishing though.

Liviu Anghel – Rise Up

Black is the colour in Romania tonight. Another rock-based song from a four-piece band. At places, the vocals are a little like Work Your Magic by Koldun, or indeed Romania’s lost song Moment of Silence. This couldn’t be further away from Yodel It if it tried.

Hellen – From Underneath

This is old school fashioned Eurovision. The verse sounds a bit like Total Eclipse of The Heart, but the chorus has a big rousing vocal. Hellen stands and performs the song with no frills. This will please fans of big power ballads.

Alexia & Matei – Walking on Water

The song has a bit of a reggae beat but bursts out as it comes to the chorus. Alexia takes the main verses, but Matei lends support in an Alex Florea kind of way. Another powerhouse of a performance that with a few listens could become a favourite. Matei comes into his own in the last verse. Certainly a modern sound.

Johnny Bădulescu – Devoted

This is one of the best ballads in the competition. Another no-frills song, Johnny stands and sings the song, giving it the justice it deserves. If the judges just want a strong powerfully sung ballad, this song wins by miles.

Waleska – Renacer

The fastest song in tonight’s competition. This is a disco dance belter of a tune. Great for the clubs. Waleska doesn’t dance around as much as the song suggests. If the judges want upbeat then this is the one they will go with.

Echoes – Mirror

This song is more of a rock song. Echoes are a five-piece band. The song plods along quite merrily but doesn’t have anything to make it stand out. The chorus states that Echoes are ready to battle and is a good one for a rock concert. For Eurovision, we need to wait and see.

Elena Turcu – The Perfect Fall

The introduction to this song could be mistaken for a slowed down version of Kids In America by Kim Wilde. The electronic beat continues throughout the song. In places, Elena sounds a bit like Kim, while still having her own individuality. This is another modern sounding song with a rousing chorus.

Eduard Santha – Me som romales

The song begins in English. The steady beat during the verses turns into reggae. When Eduard has had enough of that the song takes a new turn and heads into craziness with an upbeat gipsy feel. In summary, there are about eight tunes in this song.

The Judges

Liliana Ștefan who wrote the 1998 Romanian entry Eu cred by the late Mălina Olinescu.
Viorel Gavril a famous composer and conductor.
Ilinca Băcilă the Yodel It Romanian singer from last year.
Nicu Patoi who accompanied Mălina Olinescu on the guitar at the Eurovision 1998.
Marian Ionescu member of the band Direcția 5.

The Results

Marian Liliana Nicu Ilinca Viorel Total Position
Alex Florea  4 8 6 6 4 28  5
Lina  8 3 3 4 6 24  7
CornEL 1 1 2 11
Liviu Anghel  3 2 5 3 7 20  9
Hellen  7 4 4 5 2 22 8
Alexia & Matei 12 12 7 10 12  53  1
Johnny Bădulescu  2 6 8 8 10 34  4
Waleska  5 1 1  7  10
Echoes  6 7 10 7 8  38  2
Elena Turcu 10 10 2 2  3 27 6
Eduard Santha 1 5 12 12  5  35  3

Romania In The Eurovision Song Contest

This year will be the 20th appearance for Romania at a Eurovision Song Contest final. Romania’s first official entry was in 1994 with Dan Bittman and Dincolo de nori. The song finished in 21st place. Romania’s first top ten finish was in 2002 with the slow ballad Tell Me by Monica Anghel & Marcel Pavel. The song finished in 9th place.

The best placing so far for Romania is Let Me Try by Luminiţa Anghel & Sistem from 2005 and Paula Seling & Ovi with Playing With Fire in 2010. Both compositions finished in third place.

Since the introduction of semi-finals, Romania has qualified to the final every year, making them one of the most successful countries in this regard. The only achievement they have yet still to reach is actually winning the Eurovision Song Contest. Will this be their year?

Below is the video of this week’s winning song

Source: TVR Selecția Națională
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