Romania celebrate their 20th appearance in the contest this year, and they will be looking to bounce back after losing their 100% qualification record last year, narrowly missing out on a place in the final. Ester Peony is the artist with that responsibility to take them back, having won the Romanian national final in somewhat controversial circumstances.
I’m not sure it’s worth doing a full rehash over the #skandal of what happened in the Romanian national final. I wrote a piece at the time about the controversy and my thoughts on it – but suffice to say a combination of a voting system hugely skewed towards a small number of jurors (the Romanian televote was worth votes of just one jury member) plus no less than two jury members from the same Eurovision blog site led to a very surprising result. The big favourite, Laura Bretan with “Dear Father” won the televote by a mile (with Ester Peony finishing way down with less than 400 actual televotes) but got marked down by the jury members (particularly by the Wiwibloggs duo) and consequently did not win.
Putting all of that to one side, that shouldn’t take anything away from Ester herself and her song is from the dark pop genre with quite an expensive looking music video. I don’t have strong feelings for or against the song myself, though it does pass me by a little bit. I have a feeling that this will be very slickly staged and even with a more mediocre song last year, Romania only narrowly missed qualification, so I expect this will mark a return to the final. Were it to get to the final, I don’t think it’s a contender to win, whereas I do think Laura Bretan’s song would have given Romania a shot at top 5 or top 10.
Official music video:
National final performance:
My preview video:
Romania in the Eurovision Song Contest
First entered: 1994
Appearances (excluding this year): 19
Best result: 3rd in 2005 and 2010
Last year’s result: 11th in semi-final (did not qualify)