Celebrating Romania's National Day with the best of Selecția Națională
December 1 kicks off Romanian celebrations annually marking the unification of Transylvania, Bessarabia, and Bukovina with the Romanian Kingdom in 1918 - 'Great Union Day' (Ziua Marii Uniri). Another annual event that brings Romanians together is their National Final 'Selecția Națională' - perhaps not as internationally famous but certainly creates more than enough buzz in the fandom annually. If you're after drama, eyepopping voting sequences and twitter meltdowns - this is the national final for you!
There are some absolute crackers from Romania that unfortunately never graced the Eurovision stage - they've got a knack for crafting some Balkan-bangers, crazy-Kitsch and traditional classics. Let's take a look at some of the golden entries that never quite made it:
1. Feli - 'Bună de iubit'
A hot favourite heading in to the competition - Feli finished the 2018 contest in 3rd place after a dramatic live televote with SMS votes shown live on screen throughout the voting period. 'Bună de iubit' went on to chart locally and was selected by the Romanian OGAE Fanclub to represent them in the 2018 Second Chance Contest.
2. Roxen - 'Cherry Red'
The 2020 edition of the contest tried a five-way battle to decide which song pre-selected artist Roxen would sing in Rotterdam. 'Cherry Red' very quickly found it's way to the top of the international fandoms favourites - for Roxen it wasn't love at first sight giving a 'interesting' performance on the night landing it in 3rd place. 'Cherry Red' went onto finish a respectable 8th in the 2020 OGAE Second Chance Contest.
3. Jukebox & Bella Santiago - 'Auzi cum bate'
If you're into eclectic-pop-rock-electro-rap then 'Auzi cum bate' is for you. With a fusion of new and traditional elements this kitchen-sink number is sure to get your attention. Jukebox & Bella Santiago finished 4th at Selecția Națională 2018.
4. M I H A I - 'Paradisio'
You need to see this videoclip once in your lifetime. Call it a bucket list necessity as prescribed by yours truly. Mihai Trăistariu is no stranger to Eurovision representing Romania in 2006 with 'Tornerò' gaining 4th place - one of the nation's best results to date. The dramatic 'Paradisio' is certainly taken from the same vein and sounds like it too was penned in 2006. 'Paradisio' finished 5th at Selecția Națională 2016.
5. Bella Santiago - 'Army of Love'
Bella dramatically threw her hat into the ring at the last minute of Selecția Națională 2019 with the vibrant entry 'Army of Love'. For many fans this was the entry they were waiting and hoping for with the best of East and...further Eastern elements. Bella combines traditional Romanian elements with her Filipino heritage complete with a rap in Tagalog. Despite gallant efforts 'Army of Love' claimed 3rd place.
6. M I H A I - 'Baya'
'Baya' never officially made it onto the stage with Mihai dropping out of the 2019 contest in fashion we are accustomed to at Selecția Națională. Regardless - this Balkan-Banger always gets me on my feet after a long day at work.
7. Serena - 'Safari'
A huge fan favourite that failed to make it out of Semi Final 2 of Selecția Națională in 2018 - 'Safari' has accumulated a staggering 134 million views on YouTube and a further 22 million on Spotify - eclipsing many successful Eurovision entries. Although it didn't convert successfully to a live show it's undeniably a commercial hit.
8. Letitia Moisescu & Sensibil Balkan - 'DAINA'
This fun, traditionally inspired number brings together the fun and colour of Romania on stage. The group won the hearts of fans and collected a respectable 5th place in the 2019 contest.
I'd like to dedicate this article to the wonderful team that looked after me for my non-life-threatening elective surgery this week in Melbourne, especially the lovely Ilinca - it always warms my heart to meet and hear stories from Romanians in Australia. La mulți ani de ziua națională!
See if any of these entries make the Top 100 of the National Final Countdown as voted by Eurovision fans. Results will be released song-by-song this weekend on Aussievision's Twitter account.