Eurovision Fan of the Week - Radu from Romania
As the dust has settled and the sun has set on another edition of our beloved contest - we welcome back into regular rotation our Aussievision Fans of the Week! This week we welcome Radu from Romania - has a nice ring to it. A good friend and avid fan - he also plays a prominent role creating excellent content for the local fan group "EUROVISION ROMANIA" on Facebook with over 15,000 members.
Thank you for being our Aussievision fan of the week! Tell us a little about yourself... Hello!!! My name is Radu, I am 25 and I live in Romania in the town of Arad, the capital city of the county with the same name which borders Hungary. I was born and raised here but both my parents and my entire family actually are originally from the historical region of Bukovina (northern Romania).
How did you get into Eurovision? What was the first year you watched?
It was always part of my life but I never really realised it until after the 2012 grand final (a lot of my schoolmates were talking about the Russian grannies and about Loreen, of course). So my first year as a full-time Eurovision fan (including national final) was 2013.
Since it was a very big deal here until the late 2000s or so, my parents used to always watch the contest. So some of my older/vague memories include Dana International, Sertab Erener, Nicola (Romania 2003), Ruslana, Helena Paparizou and Elena Gheorghe ('The Balkan Girls' was a smash hit here back in 2009). Special mention: Selectia Nationala 2006 when I had an ugly breakdown over the fact that my mom voted for ‘Tornero’ and not for ‘Jokero’ by Akcent 🙄.
~ You're not alone getting hardcore into Eurovision after Loreen's year - it was a similar story for me! I have to scream about Selectia Nationala 2006 - Romanians' and their relationship with Mihai is one of the most iconic confusing things I have ever come across. Hilarious. ~Liv.
Whom was your winner for Eurovision 2021? What made them special to you? ITALY! Since day 1. Even though I had a few days in which Manizha was very close to be my winner, in the end she didn’t. I think what makes Måneskin special to me is their stage presence, their looks, their huge talent, their ‘freshness’ and their unique style (in a Eurovision context). Who would’ve thought they could win Sanremo? Me neither. I just love how many barriers they broke just by staying true to themselves and all that at a very young age. I would say that is pretty impressive.
They were my Sanremo winners also but honestly I never thought they could pull a win because of how ‘unconventional’ they are. But then again, I’ve also witnessed Mahmood and Francesco victories (also my winners), another two great acts that have won while not being so Sanremo ‘friendly’. Expect the unexpected, I guess.
Stream Teatro D’Ira Vol. I!!!
~ SI, SI, SI!! So many good points here and I was in the same boat having them as my Eurovision/Sanremo winner. Same as you, I was pleasantly shocked to see them win Sanremo - as you mentioned, it is extremely difficult to win on debut and especially with such a unique entry...show's that quality is recognised even if it doesn't fit the 'quintessential Sanremo' mould (Liv)
Romania has struggled at Eurovision as of late - uncharacteristically non-qualifying three times in a row, what changes would you suggest to get Romania back on top again? First of all I think we definitely shouldn’t withdraw (many people are afraid we will do so), because this won’t solve anything... Second I think that if TVR decides to go for an internal selection again they should do a more complex one, for example the swiss selection seems very well organised with a very diverse/large jury panel choosing the song or with a hybrid national final (like they did in 2020).
On the other hand if we go back to Selectia Nationala we need a lot of changes: less songs admitted in the semifinals/final, a maximum of 2 semifinals, voting should be 50% jury - 50% televote. And most importantly KEEP THE SAME FORMAT FROM A YEAR TO THE NEXT ONE! In the past years we had national finals with 100% televote, 75% jury vote, 50-50 combinations, wildcards, a year with 6 or 7 semifinals (way too many), another one with like 2 semifinals or just the final. A very big fat MESS! This just makes viewers and artists very confused and many lose their interest. I have no preference between a national final or an internal selection as long as they are well organised.
~ Big yes - there is certainly a lack of consistency and direction which would scare many artists away from putting their hat in the ring... (Liv)
Whom is your favourite Eurovision performance and why?
This is a very hard one. I have many favourites but if I have to pick one it has to be Jamala. I just love everything about that performance: from the song, the voice, the GRAPHICS (huge fan of this part of every performance, I’m kinda obsessed with them); Jamala’s tree >>>> everything else. I must confess that back in 2016 I was a huge 'You Are The Only One' fan but over the years I’ve grown to love '1944' more. Not that I didn’t like Ukraine’s song as well (I had it in my top 3) but I still was a bit sad/bitter that Sergey didn’t win despite winning the televote. The struggle is real. Special mention here: Duncan Laurence.
Romanian is a beautiful language - would you prefer more of your entries in Romanian or mixed with English/other languages in future?
I would definitely love to see more Romanian language songs at Eurovision, but not mixed with English/other languages! (I’m not a fan of this. I call it a "ciorbă"). Sadly, I’m afraid there is this strong misconception here that a Eurovision song HAS to be in English. I think the only way this will happen in the near future is via an internal selection because even if a song in Romanian wins Selectia Nationala they end up adding some English lines or entirely rewriting the lyrics anyway (eg. Voltaj - added some english lines, Feli - big favourite to win SN 2018 with a song in Romanian - she also made an English and a Spanish version of the song).
~ Ciorbă!! Plâng!! I will agree though that certain mashups of languages with English/Spanish really don't work well and are very heavy fisted. In a lot of cases I would have preferred just the native language. (Liv)
Which Romanian artist/s would you love to see on the Eurovision stage? Which song/s best showcases that artist?
I have a very long wishlist that will never become reality as our established artists are not really into Eurovision *sad face* I will pick two artists. Perfectly balanced - as all things should be.
First off, our international superstar, main pop girl - INNA!
And my second pick is Mihail, who is originally from Moldova but has built a career here, and has a totally different style than INNA (did a full 180o here). Here is one of his songs, not as popular as ‘Mă ucide ea’ or ‘Who You Are’ but it’s my favorite song from him. Stay tuned as his first album will be released later this year!
~ You know how much I adore Romanian music and what quality I believe your country holds - I am excited to check out Mihail, haven't come across him before! (Liv)
Which national final do you look forward to the most?
Melodifestivalen and Sanremo. Two very different national finals, one is more about efficiency, the other one more about endless four hour shows filled with commercial breaks. What makes them special is the fact that they are both really big/expensive events, followed by a large number of people, thus they deliver in terms of quality of the songs/shows. They’re like two mini-eurovisions, each in its own unique way.
The fun fact is that I actually understand Italian since I have a pretty big affinity for Italy in general, I use italian language to write emails at work daily and because it’s similar to romanian (this might be the only reason I can go through all the shows, honestly) but I don’t understand a single word in Swedish and I still tune in to see Melfest every year *Melodi nummer ett!!*
What is your opinion on returning artists?
I am not against it but I feel bad whenever an artist comes back and gets a worse result than they did before. I would only come back If I was 100% sure I could get a better result or at least qualify 😬.
I would definitely love to see Ilinca (Romania 2017) perform at Eurovision again, but solo this time. She’s just amazing on and off the stage. In some of her recent social media posts/live streams she also stated that she would like to return, so fingers crossed!
If you could pick only three performances to encourage new people to watch Eurovision what would they be:
Go_A 'Shum', Måneskin 'Zitti E Buoni' & Duncan Laurence 'Arcade'
Which Eurovision song:
Is the best winner? 'Arcade' (The Netherlands 2019)
Has the best live vocal? 'Crno I Belo' (F.Y.R Macedonia 2012)
Was the best Romanian entry? 'Let Me Try' (Romania 2005)
~MY FAVOURITE TOO!! (Liv)
Was robbed? 'Line' (Latvia 2017)
Is your guilty pleasure? Does 'Dancing Lasha Tumbai' (Ukraine 2007) count?
~ Yes. Absolutely. (Liv)
Is your favourite National Final song (that didn't make it to Eurovision)? 'Dracula, my love' (Selectia Nationala 2007) :’(
And finally which Australian entry is your favourite… 'Sound of Silence' (2016)
BONUS QUESTION: If you follow the Euros - whom do you tip to win? I don’t usually follow football (I don’t enjoy football clubs and their competitions at all) but the FIFA World Cup/EURO/Olympics just hit differently. I suddenly become a football fan during these competitions. I think France might win it but I really hope Italy will make the EURO-Eurovision double. Never-ending rivalry between these two.
Ha love it! Thank you very much for your time and insights Radu - I wish Romania the best with their future endeavours in the contest and hopefully 2021 is your year. Mulțumesc!