Timisoara, one of the cities hosting a part of Selectia Nationala 2018, has been named as a hopeful hosting city if Romania were to host the Eurovision Song Contest in the near future.
This year Romania are holding their largest Eurovision selection to date. For the first time, the national selection process is travelling around Romania, in search of their Eurovision artist for Lisbon. One of the selected locations for the semi-finals is the city of Timisoara and its unique venue.
A press conference was held ahead of the second semi-final of the Romanian Eurovision selection where the organizers spoke about the latest preparations for the semi-final being held in Timisoara.
Doina Gradea, the Acting Director General of TVR acknowledged that the reason why they wanted to organize semi-final for the Romanian Eurovision selection in Timisoara was because of the modern city being a symbol of Romania as the place where the 1989 Revolution began. Whilst also revealing the desire to host the actual Eurovision Song Contest there, around the time when the city becomes the European capital of culture in 2021.
Nicolae Robu, the Mayor of Timisoara, shared in the enthusiasm of hosting a part of the selection process in their city. He stated that they made the decision to help support the organization of the show on the spot without hesitation. The event is seen as a thing of pride, a way to help promote the city. The Mayor added that they are already looking forward to hosting a bigger part of the selection in the future:
I hope that in the near future we will have the infrastructure to organize a Romanian Eurovision final in Timisoara
The show in Timisoara will be held in a completely unique setting – in a part of the old imperial bastion Maria Theresa. A historic building that has become a modular play space after rehabilitation and modernization works, whilst the exterior walls and all the historical monuments have been perfectly preserved. The 18th century fortification now houses Hall 2 of the Mihai Eminescu National Theater in Timisoara and will, for the first time, become a television set for the whole country.
A total of sixty artists are taking part in the Romanian Eurovision selection process, they have been divided into 5 semi-finals, 12 acts per show. During the semi-finals a jury of music professionals will select three finalists per show, with a total of 15 passing through to the final. The ultimate winner will be decided by the Romanian public in the final show on February 25th in Bucharest. The winner will go on to represent Romania in the Eurovision Song Contest 2018 in Lisbon.
Romania in the Eurovision Song Contest
Romania first participated in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1994, the country had tried to participate in 1993 but failed to get through the pre-qualifying round. At the 1994 contest Dan Bittman finished 21st in the final scoring 14 points, Romania didn’t make it through to another final until 1998. Romania’s best results in the contest are two third place finishes. In 2005 Luminita Anghel & Sistem finished 3rd scoring 158 points, while Paula Seling & Ovi finished 3rd in Oslo with the song “Playing with Fire”. Romania missed the 2016 contest due to TVR being removed from the EBU.