ROMANIA: Semi-final 1

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"Good evening, Europe!"

It's Andreea blogging for you LIVE from the Green Room of the headquarters of TVR, the main television channel of Romania. Around 25 minutes to go until the start of the first semi-final of the National Selection, at the end of which we will find out the first six qualifiers.

Before we start with the serious matters, I would like you to do me a favour: if you have any comments, questions or if you simply want to share your opinions and impressions, just post comments here. In addition, please refresh the page from time to time so you can be sure that you are updated with all the latest news.

The last preparations are now being made, with less than five minutes left until the action starts.

There we go! The show is starting now! Good luck to all the competitors!

The members of ABBA are presenting today's semi-final! Well, not the real ABBA, but four great Romanian artists: Paula Seling, Andreea Banica, Ovi Jacobsen and Marius Rizea!

Tonight, we will be watching, voting and rating 16 songs, out of which only six will qualify for the final.

For watching the competition from different "angles", just go here and choose from the five available cameras:

They are now broadcasting LIVE from the Green Room. The pressure here is building up, and the competitors haven't even arrived.

Entrant number ONE is on the stage. TUDOR TURCU is now performing his song "Hello" and it sounds quite good. He wass the winner of the last season of the Romanian X Factor and it's his first first time at the Eurovision Song Contest. He entered two songs in the auditions, only "Hello" making it to the semi-final.

We're off to a powerful start!

Competitor number TWO is the band named CASA PRESEI, whose lead singer, Robert Turcescu, is a famous Romanian journalist, well-known across the country for his political talk-shows. However, it seems that he is also good at singing and song-writing, as he wrote the lyrics of the song "Un refren" himself!

With number THREE, we have another band, ELECTRIC FENCE. The ones of you who have followed our National Final last year might know that Electric Fence almost won the ticket to Baku, ending up second, close to the winners, Mandinga. Great vibes coming from the stage!

Tudor Turcu has just arrived from the stage, saying that he does not really want to win the semi-final, but lets the public voting choose.

Casa Presei have also joined everybody in the Green Room, followed by Electric Fence, whose performance was really explosive.

It is now time for number FOUR, DIANA HETEA, another former X Factor competitor. So far, her ballad, "I believe in love" has proved to be one of the favourites of the public, according to several statistics and thematic websites.

The number FIVE belongs to a boy band, STATION FOUR, put together during the X Factor boot camp of the last season. Since their formation, they have gained both supporters and opponents, so it is going to be interesting to see if they will get enough of the public vote to qualify for the finals.

Diana Hetea has returned from the stage!

And so have Station 4!

Competitor number SIX, the pop-rock band EDICT, with the song "Buddy Buddy". The performance was lively and the vocals were good. The band also participated last year, but they only managed to be the first backups for the National Final. Maybe this year they will make it through.

Number SEVEN: the band FREESTAY, with the song "Criminal Mind". The lead singer is a former member of  the boy band "AMICII", very famous in the year 2000.

Break time! There is a bunch of great artists here in the Green Room. More photos coming soon.

I would also like to take the time and thank everybody for following Florin's Blog. I'm doing my best to capture every single detail :)

"Fresh" photos from the stage:

Tudor Turcu

 Casa Presei
 Electric Fence
 Diana Hetea
Station 4

Next up, entrant EIGHT, MAXIMILIAN MUNTEAN, former competitor in The Voice, who is performing the nice ballad "Broken Heart". Romania was not so successful in the ESC when it competed with ballads, so, will this song stand a chance? We shall see.

Now, on the stage, with no. NINE, BRIGITTA & MIHAI (feat T.I.P.S.). Their song, "One heart" really fits the description of the genre they call as "Flavoured Pop".

Number TEN, NATALIA BARBU. If you watched the 2007 ESC final in Helsinki, you might know that she represented Republic of Moldova with the song "Fight", obtaining an honourable 10th place.Her ballad, "Confession" has strong chances of qualifying, given Natalia's experience.

 Maximilian Muntean in the Green Room
Brigitta & Mihai

Number ELEVEN: SPIN&CEZAR DOMETI; While the band Spin has been known on the Romanian stages for a while, Cezar Dometi is a new name, having only proved himself in The Voice yet; Their entry, "Silver Lining" is neither a ballad, nor a house song, according to the artists performing it.

With number TWELVE, we have LIVIU MITITELU, with the "La donna di nero", written entirely by himself. Although he is mostly known for singing "manele", a very controversial musical genre in Romania, he seems to have changed his stragedy, trying to win the public and jury vote with a different type of entry. Good choice!

The THIRTEENTH entry belongs to CEZAR, a very good Romanian opera singer, who is currently planning a cooperation with the legendary Andrea Bocelli. His entry "It's my life" is a mix of the genre he usually adopts and commercial music.

More pics from the Green Room:

Natalia Barbu

Three more entries to go.

We resume with TAMMY and her song FIREBIRD, which, thanks to its "eurovision-ish" style, stands a chance of moving on to the final. The performance is energetic and might catch on with the public.

Next up, the one and only LUMINITA ANGHEL. The name rings a bell, right? Back in 2005, together with the band of drummers "Sistem", she obtained a third place that thrilled us Romanians, an achievement only repeated in 2010 by Paula Seling and Ovi, who are now among the presenters of the show.
Luminita's dramatic song, "UNIQUE" received a great round of applause from the audience. A powerful entry for an unmistakable voice.

Last but not least, ANTHONY, singing "DREAMGIRL". He also participated in the National Final of the ESC in 2011, when, along with Ianna and the band Distinto, secured a well-deserved second place. Will he score even higher this year?

All the songs have been performed and the sixteen artists are nervously waiting for the results.
Meanwhile, Tammy and Luminita Anghel have arrived in the Green Room.Luminita states that her outfit has been suggested by her fans on the Facebook page of the Romanian Eurovision fans. Anthony has made his appearance here, as well, so everybody is here. The Green Room is packed!

Another break, the perfect time for updating some more photos.

 Cezar Dometi & SPIN
Luminita Anghel
And Anthony

We are now waiting for the presenters to allow the voting to start. 

3...2...1... The voting starts NOW!

The competitors have taken their mobile phones out and are all voting (obviously, for themselves).

Time for a recap.

Some preliminary results are up: surprisingly, CASA PRESEI are well ahead in the lead! LIVIU MITITELU also has a considerable amount of votes. What do you think about these unexpected findings?

The presenters are now performing a cover of ABBA's "Mamma mia", with Romanian lyrics "protesting" against the debates and discussions of the public.

The social networks are talking about CASA PRESEI leading in the last standings and are all shocked, making political jokes regarding the band. (the lead singer is a well-known journalist).

The preliminary results were revealed once more moments ago. CASA PRESEI still in the lead. Some other artists with many votes: Luminita Anghel, Station 4, Electric Fence.

Pics from the stage:

 Luminita Anghel
ABBA reloaded

Another recap-the competitors here in the Green Room are already nervous for the results. But the voting is not over yet!

BREAKING NEWS from MELODIFESTIVALEN: Ulrik Munther and Ralph Gyllenhammar have qualified for Sweden's final.

The time for voting is up! The final results will soon be revealed!

The jury will now reveal the final votes. Stay tuned for reactions from the Green Room! What can we expect?

CASA PRESEI are through to the final!


FREESTAY have also qualified!

the next entrant to qualify...


The opera singer CEZAR also qualifies!

ELECTRIC FENCE are through!!

The last to qualify:



Surprising or not, these are the results.

Thank you for following my report of the semi-final, please stick with Florin's blog tomorrow, as well, for the second one!



Eurovision Fan since 2009, student of History and Accounting.