The national final season is in full swing. tonight, Selecția Națională is going to take place. We’ve taken a look at the entries and the procedure below, so here is the XTRA Preview & Review!
XTRA Preview: Selecția Națională
After five shows (yes, you read that right!!) the Grand Final of Selecția Națională will be taking place tonight. For the five semi-finals that took place, a mixture of jury and televoting took place. However, tonight, the act for Lisbon will be decided solely by televoting.
The show will start at 20 CET and we will be tweeting from @ESCXTRA.
Among the participants in the national final include MIHAI who represented Romania in the Eurovision Song Contest back in 2016, with his song Tornerò. He managed to finish fourth in the contest, which Romania’s second-best placing ever in the contest.
XTRA Review: Selecția Națională
Rafael & Friends– “We are One”
Tim: I normally like a rock ballad, but this just killed it completely for me, it just put me into a complete sleep if I am going, to be honest. He has got a great voice and a great vocal power, so I will give him that.
Emanuel: I didn’t even finish to review the Romanian national final and I’m already feeling more self-confident because after hearing the English of most participants it seems that mine isn’t bad at all. This song isn’t good in any part of the world. The lyrics are the typical cliché “peace and love” and honestly everyone is tired of that kind of song. Ask a group of kindergarten children to write the lyrics of a song and I’m sure that most of them will come up with something better.
Angelos: Poor entry that surprisingly did well enough to proceed to the final. The singer is not charismatic at all.
Dimitris: This song sounds like a typical rock song from the 80’s. It’s so outdated and has no interesting element in it.
TIRI– “Deșert de sentimente”
Tim: In the beginning, it sounded a bit like a stripped back version of There’s Nothing Holding Me Back, then it went on to sound a bit like Beautiful Mess, and then you mix them all up together. I kept thinking of those songs while he was signing, so I do not know how to feel about it, to be honest.
Emanuel: As I have nothing good to say I will teach you how to say the title of this song in Portuguese. If we translate it to Portuguese the title is “Deserto de sentimentos”. You see? The Latin languages are kinda similar. Stay tuned for the next Portuguese lesson. Now let’s move on to the next song because I already wasted three minutes of my life listening to this one.
Angelos: it starts quite interestingly promising you that the song will develop into a nice chorus, but it goes on and on an then when all ends it leaves you completely cold. Too flat to make any impression, good or bad.
Dimitris: Once the song started, I was sure it was going to be a good one. But by the time the chorus arrived, I was kinda let down. It’s not a bad song overall, but its verses are so much better than its chorus.
Claudia Andas– “The One”
Tim: I personally like this track, I like how she gives off Bonnie Tyler vibes, it really shows in her voice. She shows off so much vocal power, which I do not have a problem with, but the song is a bit lackluster for me and I think that is the thing that will let her down.
Emanuel: Her voice is amazing and her live performance was flawless. However, the song isn’t on the same level. I was hearing it for the first time and it felt like I had heard before. There were no surprises, everything was just predictable. As I said, she has a wonderful voice, but this isn’t her year. She should try again in the future with a song that makes her voice justice.
Angelos: Too boring and anonymous for me. Starts like a ballad but then develops to a shouty song with no definable melody.
Dimitris: I have to admit, I find the song really plain and simple. It just doesn’t have anything to make it interesting. On the other hand, Claudia is a great performed and I think she’d deserve a better song with such a stunning voice. 5/10
Echoes – “Mirror”
Tim: Oh My God!!! , it is Romania’s answer to Maroon 5 and I do not know if I am okay with this at all. It really shows that the lead singer is trying to sound like Adam Levine, I just don’t think it’s for me.
Emanuel: If this qualified to the Grand Final I can’t imagine the quality of the rest of the songs. Normally when I think that a song is bad I always try to say something good like “Oh, he has a really good voice”. I can’t say that in this case because unfortunately, I’m not a liar. The chorus sounds just annoying. Anyway, I won’t even bother because this isn’t going to win. I’m trusting the good taste of the Romanian public. Well, you don’t even need a good taste to dislike this. You just need to have a taste that’s all.
Angelos: Pleasant song to listen to, but not among my faves. It has a structure and definable chorus and melody which is a huge plus.
Dimitris: Mirror is not a bad song but I have to say that the vocals, especially in the chorus, kind of annoy me. It’s like this band is trying to be a cheap Romanian version of Maroon 5 but they are failing horribly.
Dora Găitanovici – “Fără tine”
Tim: I am really loving her live vocals on this, if the Romanian public does decide to send a song in the Romanian language song, I really hope that they pick this one, it kinda has that A Million Voices/Shine vibe which I really love.
Emanuel: I’m kinda sad because as you can understand by my comments I really want Romania to send a song in Romanian, but then most of the songs they have in their national language aren’t just good enough. Well, the English ones aren’t good either but still. I won’t make harsh comments about this one because even though I don’t find anything special about it, at least she has a decent song. She is a good singer but I don’t think it would have any chances in Lisbon.
Angelos: Oh this is a very beautiful ballad sung in Romanian. The verses sound a lot like “chamar a musica” and the chorus is beautiful. I like how Romanian sounds when sung. Clearly one of my favorites.
Dimitris: It’s a cute ballad but I can’t find anything that will make it stand out. The staging reminded me of Serbia 2017 so much, maybe it’s destined to have the same fate? I don’t think it’s going to win anyway. A nice attempt though.
Eduard Santha– “Me Som Romales”
Tim: I kinda liked it, if I am being honest, it is very upbeat, it has a mixture of modern and traditional, I kinda hear a bit of Imagine Dragons in the second vibes, I think out of all of us, I think I’m the only one that likes this song. I would listen to it again, but I would not send it to Lisbon.
Emanuel: You know what? His English is so good that I thought he was singing the whole song in Romanian. If you can’t speak English properly, why don’t you sing the whole song in Romanian? Are you trying to be cool? International? Because if that was the intention I’m sorry but you failed. You should have tried to bring a decent song first. I won’t even talk about the performance because I have to words to describe how good it was.
Angelos: Sorry but this sounds awful and makes one wonder how this qualified to the final.
Dimitris: I got lost in this song. I was trying to figure out whether this was performed in English or Romanian or a made-up language. Everything is just a big no for me; the song, the performance, the vocals. It’s just a big mess and watching that performance made me feel uncomfortable. Romania better not be making a mistake and select this.
VYROS – “La la la”
Tim: Are we going to have another signing and yodeling act to Portugal? I’m afraid the answer to this is a very big fat not. last year’s song was good enough and no one will ever top that, in that genre. The la la la will just get annoying as time goes on.
Emanuel: So, are you telling me that this qualified for the Grand Final? This wouldn’t qualify at Festival da Canção and our national final shouldn’t be an example to anyone. I’m speechless, really. I’m really going to check the eliminated songs because this is surreal. This can’t be one of the best songs in a semi-final. I think Romania should have made a final with just five songs and save us to hear stuff like this twice. Once it was already too much to digest.
Angelos: Another awful entry that looks (by the live performance) like a bad audition or joke entry.
Dimitris: I didn’t mind this song, I found it cute. But then the obnoxious and annoying “la la la” part of the chorus came along, and that’s when I knew this song would be simply painful to listen.
Feli – “Bună de iubit”
Tim: I like how the track gives off such a great dance vibe, and it makes it very catchy. If this does go to Lisbon, it just needs great staging for it to work. I like the fact that Romania is giving artists like a Feli a chance to showcase msuic like this cos this song is really awesome.
Emanuel: To be honest I hated this song when I heard it for the first time. However, my opinion has changed and I think it is very catchy. I have to say that liking this song is something that I am not proud of. But what can I do? Feli seems to be lovely and the whole package is indeed one of the best options for Romania. However, let me tell something to Feli: I know that I am no one and that my opinion doesn’t matter at all, but please don’t change this to English. I know that you will do it anyway, but at least I tried. In English, it loses most of its charm. Latin languages are beautiful so let’s use them. Power to the Latins!
Angelos: Probably the winner and also my personal favorite. Feli is the most popular in the line-up and this song sounds like a mix of everything. Musically and production wise I like it a lot, my only concern is that it’s not instant enough to be remembered, so here we hope that Feli can deliver a fab performance. I hope they keep it in Romanian.
Dimitris: Buna de iubit is a catchy song and I’m impressed that Feli can actually deliver live. Even if it’s not an amazing song, I have to say it’s one of the best of the bunch. The fact that it’s going to be performed in English saddens me, though; I’d really like it if they kept the language. This is probably going to win.
Teodora Dinu– “Fly”
Tim: The song is great, I just don’t think it was given to the right person. She cans ing, but she struggles and loses control in some verses. If she does win, she will need to work on her vocals like there is no tomorrow.
Emanuel: The song has an interesting performance, but the chorus sounds very annoying. She seems to be a good singer but she loses the control over her voice several times during the performance. I can understand that as the song is hard to sing, but well, we can’t get over the fact that she has to improve her vocals. I can’t see this winning the national final and in Lisbon, this would be the first non-qualification for Romania. I know that there is a first time for everything, but we don’t want it to happen this year, right?
Angelos: It’s a nice song to listen to, even though I feel that the chorus should be stronger, but it’s fine for what it is and better than most from this lineup.
Dimitris: It started off as quite dull, but then I started liking it more. I like how different it sounds. However, the vocals are not the best thing about this act; she’s gonna need to work a lot on improving her vocals. It’s a pretty decent song nevertheless.
Tim: It gives me a bit of Beautiful Mess with ballads from the 00’s. It is nothing captivating at all, and he doesn’t bring anything new, it feels all fake to me if I am being honest here.
Emanuel: I have to start by saying that I really dislike Mihai as an artist. Every time he takes part in the Romanian national final he always complains if he fails to win it and it seems that he doesn’t realize that his songs aren’t just good enough to represent Romania. “Heaven” is just an ordinary ballad, similar to so many others. The vocal performance was average, no emotion, no passion, no quality. I really hope to see him complaining tomorrow about the results because that is a good sign.
Angelos: It’s a nice song but too ordinary to stand out, also the structure and parts of the sound takes me back to “beautiful mess” but not as good. Not sure this would be the right choice for Romania.
Dimitris: His desperation to get back into the contest is nearly annoying. The song is nothing amazing. Nothing will be as good as Tornero, so I guess he should just stop trying so hard.
Tim: Xandra has such an awesome vocal power on her, I bet if you give her any song, she will try and find a way of making it her own. With her, I really hope they choose her because it is such an awesome song. I hope if they do, they just need to give her an awesome staging and he can qualify for that final no problem.
Emanuel: Last year she was my winner. Yes, I am one of those weird people that never got the hype around “Yodel it!”. I always found it annoying, to be honest. However, her song this year just feels like a weaker version of her last attempt. I really want her to go to Eurovision as she is a wonderful singer, but not this year. She has to find a good team and a song that makes her voice justice. Therefore I really hope she doesn’t win tonight because I want her to shine at Eurovision, and she won’t with this generic ballad. I will give her a 7/10 just because she elevates the song with her great voice.
Angelos: My second favorite of the Romanian final. This song reminds me a lot of Xandra’s entry from last year written by the same team. It’s memorable and powerful if Feli doesn’t win tonight I hope Xandra does.
Dimitris: I really adore this song. It might be considered a typical love ballad, but I love every part of it. Also, Xandra’s vocals are on point. I can’t see this winning, unfortunately, but I really hope it does. It’s definitely my favorite from the final!
Jukebox feat. Bella Santiago– “Auzi cum bate”
Tim: I’m afraid this one is not for me, I didn’t see any Chemistry in their performance, they didn’t take the song anywhere that makes it captivating enough. I’m sorry but it’s a hit and miss for this one.
Emanuel: These guys made a Portuguese version of the song so my Portuguese heart says thank you and feels honored. That is a nice way to make me a biased judge. I have to confess that their song doesn’t fit the type of music that I normally hear, but inside their genre it is a good one. I have of course to congratulate them for the amazing live performance, as their vocals were just perfect. If they keep it in Romainian at Eurovision that gives them one more point from me.
Angelos: It’s repetitive and shouty performance of a mediocre song. This performance is lacking of chemistry between the two singers and I’m afraid this is not going anywhere. Here we would need some tune to make the song less shouty and more pleasant for the ear.
Dimitris: I didn’t have high expectations when the song started playing. But then when the chorus came along, I was blown away. I really like this song, although it sounds like something I would get tired of after several listens. Both are great performers, especially Bella. The fact that it’s in Romanian is a plus for me.
Alexia & Matei– “Walking on Water”
Tim: The chemistry between the two is really great, the performance was okay, but it can be polished a bit, you can always find improvements within a performance. if they were to win I’d suggest a bit of a revamp to improve the song.
Emanuel: After hearing the song I feel that the whole act needs a huge improvement. It just felt a bit amateurish, and the song needs a huge revamp to make it stand out. What I am trying to say is that it has potential, but they need to work on their stage performance, vocals, and song if they win the ticket to Lisbon. If they win they still have many time to improve, but for now it sounds very generic.
Angelos: I like this one and it’s probably my third favorite. It’s fresh and it contains a structure and melody, something most other songs are lacking of in the Romanian final. The singers English pronunciation sounds totally fine.
Dimitris: This is a nice song, but I feel like it lacks something. I think it doesn’t have a lot of chances to stand out among other songs. It’s not a bad song nevertheless.
Erminio Sinni & Tiziana Camelin– “All the Love Away”
Tim: Oh my eardrums!!, it sounds like something that does not belong in this decade. I can now see why so many people have disliked this video. I am sorry, I nearly fell asleep watching their performance.
Emanuel: Their performance has lots of dislikes on youtube but I have to say that they have worse songs in their national final. I almost fell asleep, but at least I was able to listen to the song until the end. Something about this makes me really happy: I’m glad to know that not only Festival da Canção has old-fashioned music. Thanks a lot for your solidarity, dear Romania. I’m feeling much better now. 4/10
Angelos: This one is not my cup of tea this one. Could as all come from some Maltese national final from early 90’s. Starts like a regular ballad with the girl sounding just fine and then when Erminio starts the singing it feels like they are two completely different songs.
Dimitris: There’s nothing interesting in this song. It’s kind of dull and boring. The only good thing about this is Titziana’s vocals and still, that’s not enough to make it good.
The Humans– “Goodbye”
Tim: I like how simplistic the performance is, but maybe that is the problem I can say about this performance. She has got a great vocal power, but maybe the song isn’t just for her.
Emanuel: She is really beautiful and I was hoping for something good but unfortunately it didn’t happen. Her beauty is the only good thing that I have to say about the whole act. The song sounds like a big mess. I could try to be nice and say that the song needs a revamp, but this doesn’t need a revamp, it needs a miracle. I’m in a good mood today so I will give this a 3/10. You guys can’t say that I don’t have a generous heart.
Angelos: A soft rockish ballad which sounds and is sung totally fine, but nothing special or memorable about the song. At least it’s harmless.
Dimitris: The song is so underwhelming, especially its first half. I have to say that I really liked the instrumental part after the first half of the song. But then again, it went back to being quite bland. There are parts of the song that is good but it’s mostly not great.
Who do we want?
The XTRA Jury, this time consisting of Tim, Emanuel, Angelos, and Dimitris has spoken. Below you can see the average each song achieved. They had a tie-breaker for the top spot, however, one song scored higher amongst our reviewers, therefore, their favorite for tomorrow’s show is Feli’s “Bună de iubit”!
- Feli – Bună de iubit: 8.38
- Xandra – Try: 8.38
- Alexia & Matei – Walking on Water: 6.63
- Dora – Fara tine: 6.38
- Jukebox feat. Bella Santiago – Auzi cum bate: 5.63
- Teodora Dinu – Fly: 5.13
- Claudia Andas – The One: 5.00
- The Humans – Goodbye: 4.50
- MIHAI – Heaven – 4.50
- Echoes – Mirror: 4.25
- TIRI – Desert de Sentimente: 3.75
- Erminio Sinni & Tizianna Camelin – All the Love Away: 3.25
- Rafael & Friends – We Are One: 2.25
- Eduard Santha – Me som romales: 2.00
- Vyros – La la la – 1.25
Below, we’ve included a playlist for you. Which of these fifteen do you like best? Make sure to let us know who you like by commenting![ypt playlist_id=PLni1Hab8Dv3DApMoMp_obteyahaHzX3Xo]
Comments on XTRA Preview & Review: Romania – Selecția Națională 2018