XTRA Throwback Thursday: Remarkable Romania

It’s Thursday, so that can only mean one thing: XTRA Throwback Thursday! In the next weeks and months, we’ll take you on a journey through Europe and beyond, a journey through the history of the contest. Each week fits in with a theme. This week, we’re going to Eastern Europe, and looking back at the delights that Romania have given us over the years.

This week’s theme: Remarkable Romania

So for this theme, there is one song which easily comes to mind. It is Romania’s best entry ever by miles, and my second place for the year that it participated. It’s one of few songs from its year that I still listen to and enjoy to this day, it is phenomenal. The unique mix of percussion and ethnic instrumentation with super catchy pop is to die for. I’m so happy to be able to remind you of the masterpiece that is…


In previous editions of Throwback Thursday, the other editors have taken us way back in time. I’m only taking us 12 years back, to 2005, not too long a trip! Prior to Eurovision, Luminita Anghel had won several awards in Romania, including Best Performer at the Mamaia Music Festival and Best International Voice at Descovery and Song For Europe. It was great to see somebody with so many awards representing Romania!

Romania’s track record in Eurovision had been pretty disappointing up until 2005. In 1993 and 1996, they came in last place in both prequalifying rounds for Eurovision. The first three times they reached the final, 1994, 1998, and 2000, Romania failed to do much better, with a high score of only 25 points. Although they did respectably in 2002 and 2003, Luminita Anghel & Sistem had a breakthrough for Romania, winning the 2005 semifinal and coming third in the final. This would be Romania’s best Eurovision result until Paula Seling & Ovi beat the record by 4 points in 2010.
Since 2005, Luminita Anghel has participated in the Romanian national final several more times. In 2010 and 2015, she came in second place, and in 2013, she came third. For me, unfortunately, none of her other songs come close to Let Me Try, but I would love for her to try again to represent Romania with another fantastic song!

What the others had to say…


I have always been fond of the Romanian entries. They’re quite unique, the majority of them are up-beat and make you want to dance. Let Me Try is a unique entry in its own right. I might not be a big fan of this entry, but if it’s good enough for Romania and Europe then I would not mind listening to it. With the stellar performance that Luminita gave in Kyiv, they definitely deserved that 3rd place.


Back in 2005 when Romania didn’t have the powerhouse status, but a steady track record of qualifying all hopes were upon Luminita and her electro-pop banger Let Me Try. It was the first time in years that Romania got the well deserved praise and a seat in the favourites cabin. This fresh sounding gem was accompanied by a very impactful staging and Luminita’s technically flawless yet emotionally charged live. Being one of the two best scoring Romanian entries is such a triumph for a country that always thinks outside the box. This song, could very well be my favorite Romanian entry closely followed by Mihai’s Torneró.


Romania have had some absolute corkers but for me, this is still their best effort in the contest. Not only does it come with a fantastic melody but Luminita delivers the song flawlessly. I feel that the performance was a perfect fit with the song which deservingly achieved them the bronze medal.

Next week

In the next edition of XTRA Throwback Thursday, Dominik will bring you a highlight with a new theme!
But for now, let’s remember Romania’s 2005 entry, Luminita Anghel & Sistem’s Let Me Try What do you think of it? What is your favourite Romanian entry? Let us know below!

Luke Malam

I've watched Eurovision for as long as I can remember, but my interest really built in 2008, after I decided to watch the semifinals online, out of boredom, before the final...I was blown away by the quality of the show and have been hooked ever since! I'm a competitive trampolinist and I love baking. I've also just completed a master's degree in Research Methods in Psychology at University College London.

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