The 2015 national final season is not far from over. Romania is the last country participating in the first semifinal to hold a national final, and tonight their entrant and song will be chosen.

The show begins at 19:30cet. When it ends is anyone’s guess. The winning song will be chosen by a 50/50 mix of public and jury vote.

You can watch the show here, here or here. The emergency exits are here and here.

The order of the line-up for the show is:

1. Voltaj – De la ceapăt
2. Băieţii – Dragoste în lanţuri
3. Tudor Turcu – Save Us
4. Aurelian Temişan feat. Alexa – Chica Latina
5. Rodica Aculova – My Light
6. Blue Noise – Love Won’t Run Away
7. Ovidiu Anton – Still Alive
8. Lara Lee – Superman
9. Super Trooper – Secret Place
10. Luminiţa Anghel – A Million Stars
11. Cristina Vasiu – Nowhere
12. CEJ – We Were In Love

 


Nick van Lith
March 8, 201510:31 pm

VOLTAJ


Nick van Lith
March 8, 201510:30 pm

The winner is…


Danny Ni
March 8, 201510:29 pm

Luminita gets 2nd place


Nick van Lith
March 8, 201510:28 pm

Ovidiu Anton came third.


Nick van Lith
March 8, 201510:20 pm

12 to Voltaj, 10 to Luminita, 8 to Tudor Turcu… 6 to CEJ


Nick van Lith
March 8, 201510:13 pm

Or was that just the standings… We’re now getting a recap.


Nick van Lith
March 8, 201510:12 pm

We just saw televoting results, Voltaj got the 12, Luminita the 10.


Nick van Lith
March 8, 201510:09 pm

A statement with flashlights before her single This Is Euphoria


Nick van Lith
March 8, 201510:08 pm

The hosts were trying to cut her off, but hell no, Ruslana won’t let them.


Nick van Lith
March 8, 201510:07 pm

Ruslana wanted to make a statement on Ukraine there and got a massive cheer… Now she’s crying.


Nick van Lith
March 8, 201510:03 pm

Ruslana is still performing. Yes, she is. And she’s having so much fun.


Nick van Lith
March 8, 20159:51 pm

Good old Ruslana taking over everything again.


Peter Dunwoody
March 8, 20159:46 pm

Another voting update, and Voltaj and Luminita are way ahead of the pack, with the former pulling away slightly. Tudor in a comfortable 3rd place, and Lara Lee performing terribly compared to expectations, currently in 3rd last!


Danny Ni
March 8, 20159:46 pm

Ruslana is peforming her 2004 winning song “Wild Dances”


Nick van Lith
March 8, 20159:45 pm

Ruslana!!!


Peter Dunwoody
March 8, 20159:37 pm

We’re now on an extended break while the televoting is going on, but the results will be coming soon!


Peter Dunwoody
March 8, 20159:33 pm

Oh this is rather exciting – they’ve opened the televoting and we actually saw the votes coming in live on screen for a bit! As you can see, in the first few seconds it’s looking like a two-horse race between Voltaj and Luminita, with Lara Lee well and truly flopping!!


Danny Ni
March 8, 20159:31 pm

The televoting window has now opened.


Nick van Lith
March 8, 20159:30 pm

I’m going for Voltaj and CEJ as my favourites. Especially CEJ. I want CEJ.


Simon Wells
March 8, 20159:25 pm

I can’t disagree with Peter. I’d pick Lara, whilst songs 1 and 10 were the only others with anything going for them at all. Very slim pickings in Romania this year.


Peter Dunwoody
March 8, 20159:24 pm

Just watching the recap now. I can see why Song 1 is considered a favourite. It’s between that, Lara Lee and Luminita. So really we know nothing we didn’t know before this show started.


Peter Dunwoody
March 8, 20159:21 pm

Song 12: CEJ – We Were In Love

It starts off as a rather dated 90s country-pop ballad, but it’s not long before the Swedish bursts through. The chorus sounds like a completely different song – one from Melodifestivalen at that! Missing a key-change sadly. It’s a bit like a Scandi Fleetwood Mac ballad, and the lead singer sounds a bit like Dolly Parton but with a MUCH shakier voice. Hmmm it’s a bit boring. If they’re going to go all schlager in the chorus they could at least have stuck a key-change in. I can’t see Romania going for it.


Simon Wells
March 8, 20159:21 pm

12. CEJ – We Were In Love
The VT could not make this more awkward, and quite right too. Former Rednexers (there’s been enough of them) were sure to pop up at some point, and rather unnaturally, it’s in Romania.
The song is a dreary ballad, which sounds like it took less time to write than to perform. Vocally it is pretty on point, but there’s nothing adventurous or memorable here. The guy on the guitar is allowed to sing the bridge – that was a mistake. The backing vocalists are going off a bit towards the end. No thanks.


Peter Dunwoody
March 8, 20159:17 pm

Finally we have some Swedes…former members of Rednex I’m told!! Good grief, this should be interesting.

Also, A LOT of this VT is spent defending themselves for being from another country.


Simon Wells
March 8, 20159:15 pm

11. Cristina Vasiu – Nowhere
I’m no fashion expert, but I’ll try to describe Cristina’s dress. It’s a hybrid of Loreen’s look at Andra Chansen yesterday, curiously teamed up with a silver toy space rocket. I don’t know what else to say. The song does exactly what the name suggests. It goes nowhere. Vocally, she’s trying to go somewhere, but I’m not sure where. Where exactly did those pyros come from??


Peter Dunwoody
March 8, 20159:14 pm

Oh and pyros come out of that skirt at the end. Wow.


Peter Dunwoody
March 8, 20159:14 pm

Song 11: Cristina Vasiu – Nowhere

Gosh, we’ve had about four contenders for the Barbara Dex award in tonight’s show alone! Christina’s vocals are bang on, but wasted on this song, which is a bit of a mess. Nothingy verses, and a dubstep chorus, there is just no hook to latch onto. Seriously though, the dress…


Peter Dunwoody
March 8, 20159:06 pm

Oh and the answer to your question is 46.


Peter Dunwoody
March 8, 20159:05 pm

Oh very clever…a greeting in English from Luminiţa to the viewers around Europe.


Peter Dunwoody
March 8, 20159:04 pm

Song 10: Luminiţa Anghel – A Million Stars

Luminita is back for another go, with a ballad. It’s slightly better than the musical theatre ballad she entered with a couple of years ago, but it’s still not hugely exciting. It’s a Eurovision ballad through and through – the minor chords, the slight ethnic elements, and the dramatic key change. It’s not really doing it for me, but it’s absolutely one of the most accomplished entries of the night and I’d not be surprised at all if it won.


Nick van Lith
March 8, 20159:04 pm

A Million Stars

Vocally she’s impeccable. Can’t say anything about that. I just think she should keep the same principle as Mihai Traistariu: No Eurovision return unless my song is better than my first Eurovision song. This is by no means even close to Let Me Try. A rather dated ballad…


Simon Wells
March 8, 20159:04 pm

10. Luminiţa Anghel – A Million Stars
She’s still got the lungs, she’s got the boys in odd outfits, she’s got the stage presence and the atmosphere. Just the song is missing. The verses aren’t bad but the chorus is deadly predictable. The dancers make you feel the song is going to ‘drop’ at some point, but it never does.


Nick van Lith
March 8, 20158:57 pm

Aaaaand here we go, Luminita Anghel everybody…


Peter Dunwoody
March 8, 20158:56 pm

Oh they’re SO ANNOYING.


Nick van Lith
March 8, 20158:56 pm

Secret Place

Wow. This is absolutely terrible. An attempt at Swedish disco, this, but a massive failure to do so. A novelty act which, I think, doesn’t attempt to be one… Drama.


Simon Wells
March 8, 20158:56 pm

9. Super Trooper – Secret Place
I don’t know how to describe this, other than super-cheap disco. It has no redeeming features. The lyrics are empty, the vocals are weak, the backing sounds like a demo; I guess they’re enthusiastic?..
I’d like to hear the songs TVR turned down before they put this through to tonight.


Peter Dunwoody
March 8, 20158:55 pm

Song 9: Super Trooper – Secret Place

NEW LOW. This is a disco/funk throwback, but whilst the music tows the same line as ‘Get Lucky’ by Daft Punk, visually it’s a complete pastiche. Big shades, catsuits, flares and afro-wigs aplenty, it’s trying SO HARD to be fun but it just makes me want to vomit. It doesn’t help that this motley troupe of singers are basically completely out of tune with each other. Absolutely terrible.


Peter Dunwoody
March 8, 20158:53 pm

I recognise the words “fun” “disco” and “sexy” from Super Trooper’s opening VT. I’m thinking of a few choice words of my own too…


Peter Dunwoody
March 8, 20158:49 pm

Ohhh yes, it really is just aping Sia isn’t it…


Peter Dunwoody
March 8, 20158:48 pm

Song 8: Lara Lee – Superman

Now, at one point not so long ago, I thought we were heading for a moody female electro overload at this year’s contest. However, with Karin Park and Mariette looking less likely to win in Norway and Sweden, there’s only Latvia at the moment, so there would probably be a place for this. It’s the most polished effort I’ve heard so far tonight, not that that’s saying much, but Lara Lee looks the part, she sings well and the chorus is strong. I think the staging might need reworking if she makes it to Vienna though – right now it’s a bit boring.


Simon Wells
March 8, 20158:48 pm

8. Lara Lee – Superman
The sound and look of this entry are more contemporary than the dross we’ve had so far. Someone’s going for the “What would Sia do?” approach; which comes out half cooked but that’s still an improvement on the rest. Lara’s vocals are a bit shouty, but that’s not too out of place for this song. The bridge goes nowhere, but the chorus does stick in your head a little.


Peter Dunwoody
March 8, 20158:43 pm

Now it’s time for ‘Superman’ which I hear is one of the fan favourites tonight.


Peter Dunwoody
March 8, 20158:42 pm

Song 7: Ovidiu Anton – Still Alive

Really struggling to find anything to say about this completely bog standard rock ballad. It’s your typical three-chord limp power ballad you’ve heard hundreds of times before but much better. The staging is reasonably attractive, switching between a sort of haunted forest setup and flames. Then a woman dressed as an angel sings a few lines before the final chorus and makes me think that this song might actually have been slightly better as a duet. Only slightly though.


Simon Wells
March 8, 20158:40 pm

7. Ovidiu Anton – Still Alive
Dressed up as something from a bad Meat Loaf tribute, Ovidiu unfortunately left any genuine rock behind, and presents a very dull shouty ballad about being “only human” and having “no more tears to cry”. A woman with black eyes in a floaty dress chips in for a couple of lines; I don’t know why. Some out of place pyrotechnics and sharp notes signal the welcome end.


Peter Dunwoody
March 8, 20158:37 pm

God these VTs are longer than the songs…


Simon Wells
March 8, 20158:34 pm

6. Blue Noise – Love Won’t Run Away
These six start by pretending to fiddle with instruments that ‘just aren’t right’ before stepping forward into their a cappella song. By a cappella group standards, the melodies and harmonies are pretty simple. Tuning isn’t perfect either. This song urgently needs a backing track.


Peter Dunwoody
March 8, 20158:33 pm

Song 6: Blue Noise – Love Won’t Run Away

I have several problems with this. The pretty big one is that whilst a capella groups are undeniably skilled, it’s just not really something I want to watch or find particularly entertaining. More specific to this act, if you must do a capella, than the harmonies need to be ABSOLUTELY on point, and there are times here where they aren’t, and the lead singer isn’t the strongest either. I do quite like the song, but I find that even more annoying as I can tell I would love it with full production, but instead I’ve got to listen to it like this!


Peter Dunwoody
March 8, 20158:29 pm

Oh god, is this a capella…?


Simon Wells
March 8, 20158:28 pm

They’re in no hurry in Romania, clearly!


Peter Dunwoody
March 8, 20158:24 pm

To be fair Nick, not hitting a single note is pretty much what Idina Menzel would do as well.


Peter Dunwoody
March 8, 20158:24 pm

Song 5: Rodica Aculova – My Light

Well it certainly sounds like a song that SHOULD have been given the heave ho at the preliminary stages – the Moldovans had the right idea. ‘My Light’ is a Disney ballad if you couldn’t tell from the title, but it’s a bit structureless as it doesn’t go anywhere for the first half and then it’s basically just histrionics for the second half. Rodica is dress as a giant canary and sings terribly in both the softer beginning and the more demanding finish. If this wins, I’ll be VERY suspicious.


Nick van Lith
March 8, 20158:23 pm

My Light

Ever since breaking up with The Beast, Belle has lost the plot. Rodica was off key throughout the song in her yellow Disney dress. I think she had a look at Idina Menzel and went ‘I can do that.’ Well girl, you can’t. The song really isn’t too horrifying, but she just didn’t hit a single note… Poor Rodica.


Nick van Lith
March 8, 20158:17 pm

We’re now going to listen to Rodica Aculova, who sent this same song to the Moldovan NF and got eliminated before the semis… Can she do well in Romania?


Peter Dunwoody
March 8, 20158:17 pm

Song 4: Aurelian Temişan feat. Alexa – Chica Latina

Well…this is interesting. It’s that sort of tinny raggae mixed with Latino that went down SO well for Moldova in 2006 with ‘Loca’.
It’s a duet between a man who seems a bit old for the song, and a younger girl with dancers that remind one of a “Lovely Ladies” competition in a 1960s holiday camp. It’s all very naff, but it’s slightly catchy, I’ll give it that.


Nick van Lith
March 8, 20158:15 pm

Chica Latina

What a mess, it’s… very summery. Like, with a few decent performers this could make a decent minor summer hit in Romania. But it’s not for me. I can’t really connect to it, I don’t enjoy it…


Peter Dunwoody
March 8, 20158:10 pm

I hear I’ve missed some classics 🙁 Oh well, the title of song 4 sounds promising – ‘Chica Latina’ by Aurelian Temişan featuring Alexa.


Nick van Lith
March 8, 20158:08 pm

Chica Latina now… That title…


Nick van Lith
March 8, 20158:08 pm

Save Us

SAVE ME. I don’t like horror, I don’t like to be scared. I’m scared now. It’s like the Klu Klux Klan is on stage in the shape of backing vocals there. Yikes. Tudor is blasting out another song for peace there (although this is a song that could cause wars) and also has the orange scarf on his microphone stand. If we go back to 2005, you may remember Wig Wam (Norway) did that too to support Ukraine… Maybe…?


Simon Wells
March 8, 20158:06 pm

3. Tudor Turcu – Save Us
If the last song hadn’t taken us back to the ’90s, this one has. It’s an overblown rock ballad, with vocals that just about pass the grade. He’s in black and white, with coloured scarves fluttering in the wind machine. His female backing singers are in all white, with what can only be described as cone-head hats. We’ve got images of human and natural struggles on the screens behind. Dreadful. Michael Jackson will be turning in his grave.


Nick van Lith
March 8, 20158:01 pm

Yikes… Tudor Turcu now.


Nick van Lith
March 8, 20158:00 pm

Dragoste în lanţuri

Surely, this is aiming for the teen vote tonight. Three young guys doing a pop song in Romanian with choreography and all. Sadly for them it’s rather early 00s in a bad way, it’s not even cheese, it’s just bland… Vocally it was also remarkably bland. Not like there’s much wrong with it, but… Yeah meh.


Simon Wells
March 8, 20157:59 pm

2. Băieţii – Dragoste în lanţuri
The three boys are all in black, with two female dancers who are in, well, not a lot. Tuning and choreography could do with some work, but the song itself isn’t too bad. Nothing original about it, however. I quite like the couple of piano and guitar flourishes that give the boy-band-by-numbers production some life, but there’s little contemporary about this one. One sings, one shouts, one doesn’t seem to make much noise. Maybe that’s for the best.


Nick van Lith
March 8, 20157:53 pm

A boyband now, Băieţii. Up for the teenvote?


Nick van Lith
March 8, 20157:51 pm

De la capăt

That’s a strong opening song. A midtempo song offering here from Voltaj. In Romanian, so a nice change from all the English this year. I quite liked listening to that, it’s just that I have the feeling that there’s not much stage presence in these guys. If they get to Vienna, they’ll have some homework to do on how to work a camera and a stage.


Simon Wells
March 8, 20157:51 pm

1. Voltaj – De la ceapăt
We start with a mother putting her young child to bed, with some suitcases to indicate her impending travel. It’s a bit twee, but this song has meaning and the staging puts it across quite well. The song itself is balladic with a steady beat behind it. It’s one that will either tug at your heartstrings or feel very dull. First is a good place in the line-up for this, it has musical merit but would perhaps get lost later on. The compulsory whoa-oh-oh-ohs end the song, met with warm applause.


Nick van Lith
March 8, 20157:45 pm

We’re kicking off now, Voltaj (probably the big favourite) will start the show.


Nick van Lith
March 8, 20157:39 pm

Good evening everyone – or as the Romanians say Bună seara! I’ll be joining Simon tonight for this Romanian marathon!


Simon Wells
March 8, 20157:38 pm

A long pre-amble from our hosts, but we may get somewhere soon; after the jury are introduced.


Simon Wells
March 8, 20157:33 pm

Before we hear any of the songs, it is clear that the make-up artists and hair artists have been very, er, keen in their work this evening…


Simon Wells
March 8, 20157:33 pm

Sunsets, bridges, forests, men on horseback, ballet dancers going round a pond, yes we’ve definitely begun. And to the studio… for a clearly unrehearsed rendition of ‘Miracle’ with different lines taken by each of the competitors tonight.


Simon Wells
March 8, 20156:56 pm

Ruslana will be performing during the voting window this evening, and no doubt promoting International Women’s Day too.

Chief Editor: A non-schlager Europhile who's been doing this ESC writing malarkey since 2008, usually championing Eurovision's alternative or quirky offerings. My role at Xtra isn't too dissimilar from my previous life as a school teacher, but they're a well behaved class. Also responsible for dropping bum notes on a piano.

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