Monday, 18 May 2009

2009 Eurovision Song Contest Results and Short History of Romanian Participation

I found myself humming Romania’s entry song this morning around 6.30 am. It is now 12.30 pm and I’m still humming it obsessively. I am actually starting to like it. Too bad that people have to like the song upon hearing it for the first time in the contest, in order to award it any significant number of points…

So here’s Elena Gheorghe’s ‘Balkan Girls’:

However, I recommend you search for the actual live performance video, because, although the English accent will be just as bad and some false notes are unmistakable here and there, the erratic body-movements will be visibly reduced and the stage outfits, although nothing special, will certainly not poke you in the eye like the ugly garments and makeup in the video. What were they thinking?!

All in all, Elena deserved to be awarded more points than she was. This may not have been the best song in the contest, but certainly among the 5-7 most ‘catchy’ ones.

Of course the Eurovision Contest has turned political a long time ago, with neighboring countries awarding each-other the highest number of points; of course the Turks in Germany will always vote for Turkey; the Moldavians in Romania will vote for Moldova; the Romanians in Spain and Italy will vote for Romania, and so on. Regardless of how good or bad the performance is.

But let’s take a look at a couple of Romania’s entry songs over the last few years, and compare them to the winners those same years. Could we honestly claim we were better?

Eurovision 2008 – Romania (Beautiful song… for a romantic movie soundtrack!!! Not for the Eurovision contest!!! Romania just doesn’t seem to understand that you have to adapt to the occasion, and insists on sending the likes of Nico, Monica Anghel and Marcel Pavel to make fools of themselves among all the beautiful, crazy, young and original people who get on that stage. See for yourself below)

Eurovision 2007 – Romanian entry song (I loved this song at the time. It deserved to win the national competition. The lyrics, the idea of the song, the rhythm, the funny dance… they’re all perfect. Even the guys are all cute. Too bad none of them can really sing. See below)

Eurovision 2006 – Tornero (This song already gets on my nerves after the zillions of times I’ve heard it broadcasted since 2006. However, it is one of the most suitable entry songs we’ve ever had for this contest. And apart from the awful dancers and Mihai Treistariu’s extremely questionable sense of fashion, it was probably the year when we were proudest of our participation in the Eurovision. See video below)

Eurovision 2005 – Romania’s entry song was ‘Let Me Try’ - probably the closest we came to winning: 3rd place. Luminita’s voice is perfect for the song, the guys banging on barrels in the background are a wonderful addition to the sound, everything is perfect.

Except… Let’s also take a look at the winning songs over the last few years.

2005 (Greece – ‘My Number One’):

2006 (Finland - ‘Hard Rock Hallelujah’ – surprising entry, surprising winner, but great song! Hard rock rules!!!!!)

However, the winner should have been Russia in 2006, because I think Dima Bilan’s ‘Never Let You Go’ is one of the greatest songs ever written, let alone heard in the Eurovision contest. Convince yourself by watching the video below (which is much better than the song he actually won the contest with last year!)

2007 (Serbia – ‘Molitva’) I’m not sure what the real reason for this win was, but the song grows on you after the first few baffling seconds…

2008 (Russia – ‘Believe’) – I’m glad Dima Bilan won in the end, but it’s too bad he didn’t win with the song that was really worth it, in 2006 – ‘Never Let You Go’. I’m pretty sure it’s more of Evgeni Plushenko’s involvement in Bilan’s performances that got him to number one in 2008, but whatever the reason… here’s the actual song:

2009 – Norway is the winner this year, with an entertaining and extremely cute song, but a smug Alexander Rybak who almost ruins the whole song with his alternation of talking/shouting/talking/shouting instead of singing (when he does try, poor thing, it all comes out wrong!). The two wannabe fairies in pink dresses aren’t helping at all either! I’ll give him this: he can play that violin while hopping around in bouts of enthusiasm!

According to the official Eurovision Song Contest History website (, Romania first entered the contest in 1994. In the last 15 years, it has had 11 songs in the finals, and ranked between 22 and 3 in the stats, as follows:

1994 – Dincolo de Nori – Dan Bittman (21st place out of 25)

1998 – Eu Cred – Malina Olinescu (22nd place out of 25)

2000 – The Moon – Taxi (17th place out of 24)

2002 – Tell Me Why – Monica Anghel & Marcel Pavel (9th/24)

2003 – Don’t Break My Heart – Nicola (10th/26)

2004 – I Admit – Sanda Ladosi (18th/24)

2005 – Let Me Try – Luminita Anghel & Sistem (3rd/24)

2006 – Tornero – Mihai Traistariu (4th/24)

2007 – Liubi, Liubi, I Love You – Todomondo (13th/24)

2008 – Pe-o Margine de Lume – Nico & Vlad Mirita (20th/25)

2009 – The Balkan Girls – Elena Gheorghe (19th/25)

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