TVR, the Romanian national broadcaster, has revealed the 24 songs that will compete in the semi-finals of Selecția Națională 2019.
A total of 126 songs were submitted to TVR. A pre-selection jury was created to reduce the submitted entries to 24 for the semi-finals. The members of the jury included:
- Bogdan Pavlică (Radio România)
- Felix Crainicu (Radio România)
- Răzvan Popescu (Radio Zu)
- Oliver Simionescu – DJ Olix (Kiss FM)
- Horea Ghibuțiu – music journalist (unsitedemuzica.ro)
- Dragoș Vulgaris – music journalist (ProFm & Chill FM)
- Bogdan Miu – journalist and radio program maker (DigiFM)
- George Balint – journalist (Realitatea Muzicală)
- Andreea Remețan – radio program maker (Virgin Radio)
- Liana Stanciu – TVR journalist
- Gabriel Scîrlet – TVR music director
The 24 semi-finalists are:
- M I H A I – Baya (Speechless)
- Letitia Moisescu & Sensibil Balkan – Daina
- Laura Bretan – Dear father
- Trooper – Destin (Fate)
- Xonia – Discrete
- Johnny Badulescu – Give up now
- Echoes – High heels on
- 2 Gents – Ielele (Fairies)
- Xandra – Independent
- TWM – Make me your man
- Ester Peony – On a Sunday
- Dan Bittman – Pierd (Lose)
- Olivier Kaye – Right now
- Ommieh x Anakrisez – Rock this way
- Teodora Dinu – Skyscraper
- Georgy – Tears
- Berniceya – The call
- The four – The song of my heart
- Steam – The way it goes
- Vaida – Underground
- Claudiu Mirea – We are the ones
- Nicola – Weight of the world
- Dya & Lucian Colareza – Without you (Sin ti)
- Aldo Blaga – Your journey
The line-up features three former Romanian Eurovision entrants. M I H A I represented Romania in 2006 with “Tornerò”. Nicola represented the country in 2003 with “Don’t Break My Heart”. Dan Bittman represented Romania on their debut appearance in 1994 with “Dincolo de nori”.
The semi-finals of Selecția Națională will take place in Arad and Iași on January 20 and 27 respectively. In each of the two semi-finals, a national jury will select up to five songs to qualify for the final and public voting will pick one more. TVR also reserves the right to select one wildcard act. This means that no more than 13 entries will compete in the final.
The final will be held in February. For the first time in Selecția Națională history, an international jury will help select the Romanian Eurovision representative. They make up 50% of the vote. The other 50% will come from public voting. In case of a tie, the international jury will decide who will represent Romania in Tel Aviv.
The Humans represented Romania at the 2018 contest in Lisbon where they narrowly missed out on qualifying for the grand final, finishing 11th with their song “Goodbye”. This marked the first time that Romania has failed to qualify for the grand final since the introduction of semi-finals in 2004.
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.