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Romania: Ester Peony – On a Sunday

Two favourites were toppled in Romania with Ester Peony winning Selecția Națională 2019 with the song On a Sunday. It's a sad day when Wiwi has more influence over Romania's Eurovision selection than the actual population of Romania. Nevertheless, Laura Bretan's song was so forgettable and Bella Santiago's was pure trash - they were both non-qualification risks. In choosing Ester, Romania has a mildly competent middle-of-the-road song that isn't divisive. It has a similar-ish sound to Franka's Crazy, which finished 17th in last year's first semi-final. The staging concept has more bite too, so should finish in a better position. The…
Song Appeal
Vocal Strength
Staging Potential
Likely Televote Appeal
Likely Jury Appeal

Sad Day

Romania are lacking diaspora in this year's seemingly most competitive semi-final.

User Rating: 2.33 ( 31 votes)

Two favourites were toppled in Romania with Ester Peony winning Selecția Națională 2019 with the song On a Sunday.

It’s a sad day when Wiwi has more influence over Romania’s Eurovision selection than the actual population of Romania. Nevertheless, Laura Bretan’s song was so forgettable and Bella Santiago’s was pure trash – they were both non-qualification risks.

In choosing Ester, Romania has a mildly competent middle-of-the-road song that isn’t divisive. It has a similar-ish sound to Franka’s Crazy, which finished 17th in last year’s first semi-final. The staging concept has more bite too, so should finish in a better position. The problem is that Ester only finished eighth on the Selecția Națională televote and Romania are lacking diaspora in this year’s seemingly most competitive semi-final. There could be some jury support, but that last 30-seconds has a way of undoing the early good work as Ester wails off-key. And as for the televote, it is unclear who will be voting for this. Those instrumentalists look a bit mental.

On the positive side, at least there aren’t 20+ mannequins on stage with Jason masks.

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9 comments

  1. This is what happens when you give juries too much power, they become judge and, as far as Romania’s chances at Tel Aviv go, executioner.

    Now, to be fair to On a Sunday it’s a good modern song. I was listening to the Romanian National Final while doing some ironing and this was one of the three songs that stood out along with Army of Love and Dear Father, both of which I had heard before.

    So On a Sunday passed the ‘ironing test’. It must be good. And the international jury clearly agreed with me, because they ranked it above some pretty decent songs. This gives some confidence that there will be an element of jury love in Tel Aviv.

    The problem is that the Romanian public, with the paltry votes they were allowed, only ranked it 8 out of 12. This doesn’t bode well for the diaspora (normally a Romanian entry’s biggest asset) coming out in support of Ester in May.

    When we add in the diction issues and the fact that they don’t yet have the staging right, On a Sunday may struggle to get out of its semi.

    • Last year, The Humans qualified to the ESC by winning the televote-only final with a grand total of 3000 votes. Basically, if you had 5000€, you would have totally crushed it and went cruising to Lisbon, with 10000 votes. It is not much if you are at least an established artist in Romania. You could make that in one concert.

      We all know what happened next, coffin slot et. all. Now they went the other way and failed once again, selecting an unknown artist, who has 14k likes on facebook and is not on radio or on TV in Romania. She was not even the most popular in the ESC bubble.

      The problem is that TVR is so rooted into the communist era, it cannot perform on an open market. The semifinals could not crack the top 5 tv rating rankings on any demographic (national, urban and 18-49 urban), being ninth, with other niche TV stations crushing them. They need to reinvent themselves, convince a star to take part for the first time in almost a decade and do an internal selection like Bulgaria did in the past years. Otherwise, the shit will pile up.

      • Thanks, Walrus. Really interesting background. I had wondered if the low public vote ratio was a reaction to what happened last year.

  2. I think we ought to see juries and televoting audiences both as two different sides of a coin. I mean, both are at Eurovision 50% of the total vote. Yet people on the internet(read: Eurovision junkies) are still more forgiveable about televoters than they are about juries. That’s not entirely fair. We know how the system works now. Sometimes an entry ends up TOP 3 because of a very high jury vote and a much lower televote (Italy 2011, Austria 2018). Sometimes an entry ends up TOP 3 because of a very high televote and a much lower jury vote (Italy 2015, Israel 2018). Sometimes a winner wins with winning both the jury vote and the televote (Germany 2010, Portugal 2017). And sometimes a country can win when not even winning both the jury vote and the televote (Ukraine 2016).

    What to do about it? Swallow the rules and accept it and stop moaning :-). Regarding Portugal? I kinda like it that this time they send some jury fodder to the contest. Something different for a change. Will it win Tel Aviv 2019? Off course not. But so far after 13 entries (songs) chosen, I find this one of the more formidable entries. 29 countries to go from now on!

  3. Unbelievable they only gave the public about 14% of the overall vote… What a disaster! Wiwi alone pretty much determined who Romania’s artist should be!!

  4. Romania’s population in 19M. Yet public’s favorite in the final received only 4,685 votes. Also the final featured such stars as Emmelie de Forest and Netta. Can someone explain me why there we so few votes?

    Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romania_in_the_Eurovision_Song_Contest_2019

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