The Xtra Files 2019: We review Romania’s ‘On a Sunday’ by Ester Peony

Welcome to The Xtra Files, our new series which will give you an insight into what the team at ESCXTRA think of your favourite entries into this year’s contest! Today, we review Romania.

Now that all the songs have been released, we are able to review each and every one of them. Our honest and brutal reviews will keep you entertained until the rehearsals start on 5 May! We will also each give a score out of 10 for every entry, and create an ESCXTRA leaderboard of the entries!

The series continues today, with reviews of the Romanian entry, ‘On a Sunday’ by Dimitris, Hlynur, Lisa, Matt, Miki and Ryan. Let’s get started!

The Reviews


I absolutely enjoy Romania this year, despite all the controversy this song has been through when it was selected. It was clearly the best song in their mess of a selection. I might be the only one but I didn’t like Army of Love nor Dear Father, so I’m glad Ester was selected. It’s also an unusual entry for Romania and I love the dark vibes of the song. It’s not something that catches your attention immediately but it’s definitely gonna get your humming along to the chorus. I have no clue how it will be received by the audience, but I do think it has chances to do fairly well amongst the other songs in the second semi-final.


I always look forward hearing the Romanian entry, since I used to live there. However it is starting to be less exciting every year. I can´t decited if I find Ester bored or in pain, since the moaning sounds through out the song are on the weird side of life. But I actually prefer this over the fan favorite of national selecional so I guess I should be thankful.


Let’s just get it out of the way first. Yes I will forever remain salty we didn’t have ‘Army of Love’, just like I’m still not over Feli being robbed last year. But we’ve got Ester now and with the passage of time I’ve accepted that it is a good entry in its own right. The gentle build with Ester’s ethereal vocal and descent into the dark electro beats and bass that cuts through your body really sticks out. Even more so since experiencing this live in Amsterdam. It’s a very intricate song both in instrumentation and vocal intonation. The juries should really like this and it could be in for a surprise result for its modern take on the vast amount of alternative entries in this year’s selection.


What I love about Bella Santi– oh wait, no… that’s right, it’s Ester! “On a Sunday” is aptly named. But for some interesting vocal elements, the song reminds me of a Sunday afternoon: Me wishing it was Saturday night instead! I’m not sure what to make of its chances in Tel Aviv but what I do know is that Bella Santiago would have been more of a vote grabber. Sigh.


Ester was probably among my favorites coming in to Selectia Nationala. However, I was convinced that we are gonna have the ultimate fan favorite duel competing for the ticket to Tel Aviv, and boy was I wrong. “On a Sunday”, is literally very different than anything Romania has sent to the contest previously, Ester’s voice is unique and compliments the instrumentation of the song perfectly and I am certain that we are going to see something very interesting on stage in May.

The downfall is probably the fact that her win came out of left field completly and some fans are still in denial their favorites missing out the chance to represent Romania at Eurovision. However, not many of the people tuning in for the semi finals and final will have the scoop on this whole situation and I am pretty certain Romania will be noticed on a Saturday (for a change).


Yes yes, I was absolutely aghast that Romania passed over the chance to send “Dear Father” and “Army of Love”, both certain top ten finishers in my view. Instead, they’ve opted for a very borderline qualifier in Ester Peony. But for my personal taste, this really appeals to me and, despite its unconventional song structure, it has a very clever way of hooking itself inside your head. The issue is that this song is definitely “a grower” and I think this may cause issues for its qualification chances in Tel Aviv’s most difficult semi-final.


Costa7.5Nathan P6.5Simon5
Dan4Nathan W5Tim5
Dominik5Nick0Tom O6
Emanuel8.5Oliver5Tom R5.5

Therefore, the average score for Romania is 5.74.


Romania’s score ends up tying it with France, so after a quick comparison between the scores each entry received from our team, we can see that France has just the sliiiiiightest of edge. That means Romania ends up at 20th place on our leaderboard with a score of 5.74.

  1. Switzerland – 8.65
  2. Italy – 8.43
  3. Cyprus – 8.26
  4. Malta – 8.10
  5. Spain – 7.54
  6. Armenia – 7.35
  7. North Macedonia – 7.00
  8. Norway – 6.96
  9. Albania – 6.94
  10. Belgium – 6.85
  11. Estonia – 6.74
  12. Slovenia – 6.63
  13. Hungary – 6.44
  14. Iceland – 6.39
  15. Ireland – 6.17
  16. Czech Republic – 6.17
  17. Belarus – 6.02
  18. Portugal – 5.91
  19. France – 5.74
  20. Romania – 5.74
  21. Finland – 5.50
  22. Poland – 5.43
  23. United Kingdom – 5.41
  24. Austria – 5.39
  25. Russia – 5.32
  26. Denmark – 5.13
  27. San Marino – 5.11
  28. Latvia – 5.06
  29. Lithuania – 4.78
  30. Germany – 4.69
  31. Australia – 4.65
  32. Moldova – 4.50
  33. Montenegro – 3.48
  34. Israel – 3.30
  35. Georgia – 3.00
  36. Croatia – 2.96

Tomorrow, it will be the turn of The Netherlands to be reviewed.

Do you agree with our reviews of Romania? What are your thoughts about On a Sunday?

Let us know on social media @ESCXTRA!

Rigmo Kannike

When not busy haunting various online chat rooms as his criminal alter ego, PeterP, Rigmo enjoys long walks on the beach and rooting for the absolute worst national final songs.
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