Romanian rocker Ovidiu Anton has defeated five other competing acts in the final of this year's Romanian national selection and will represent the country in the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest in Stockholm with the song Moment Of Silence. This was his fifth attempt to win Selecţia Naţionala and this time he succeeded. In comparing to the national selections in previous years, the winner of 2016 Selecţia Naţionala was chosen through public televoting only.
Over 90 songs were submitted to Romania's national selection for the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest according to broadcaster TVR. However, only 12 entries have qualified for the Selecţia Naţionala 2016. After the semi-final on Friday, six acts were competing tonight in the final for the role of Romanian representative in Sweden.
Ovidiu Anton won the 2016 Selecţia Naţionala and Vanotek feat. The Code & Georgian came second. This is how the viewers in Romania voted tonight.
Ovidiu Anton, 6585 votes
Vanotek feat. The Code & Georgian, 4702
Dream Walkers, 2332
M I H A I, 2142
Doru Todoruţ feat. Irina Baianţ, 1235
'Fight for your dreams'
At the press conference after the show in Baia Mare, Ovidiu Anton said:
It's very important to fight for your dreams... It's not easy to lose (and this victory comes after many attempts, but this night have demonstrated that we must keep on trying.
The Romanian rocker is "happy because he won the competition thanks to the support of the audience.
I'm not going to show any false modesty, I know that the experts among the jurors appreciate me, but tonight it was the first time that I won the hearts of the audience, Anton added.
Six competing songs were performed in the following order:
Paula Seling, who represented Romania at the Eurovision Song Contest twice (in 2010 and 2014) and who comes from Baia Mare, opened the final of TVR's Selecţia Naţionala tonight with an impressive performance, together with artists like Dumitru Fărcaş, The Manly Choir from Finteuşul Mare, Petreuş family, Cornelia and Lupu Rednic. It was an incredible fusion of pop and folk music from Maramures.
I was more than happy to join this year's national selection. As soon as I've heard TVR'S idea to produce two live shows from Baia Mare and to highlight some cultural treasures from this part of country, I just couldn't say no. It's a dynamic mix of pop and traditional, also different performers who represent my dear Maramures, Paula Selling told Eurovision.tv.
In addition to the competing songs, TV viewers in Romania and across Europe could enjoy several interval acts during the live broadcast from Baia Mare. The members of the jury, who were not allowed to vote this time, have expressed their opinion on tonight's performances. Some of them performed in the show as well.
Zoli TOTH Project performed Cocoon, Horia Moculescu, Randi and Uddi were also on the stage performing the song Vagabondul Vieții Mele. Cezar Ouatu surprised the audience with the performance of the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest winning song Rise Like a Phoenix and Lidia Isac, the 2016 Moldovan representative, also performed her Eurovision entry Falling Stars.
About the voting
For the semi-final of the 2016 Romanian national selection, the following rules have been established to ensure fair play for all the contestants. After all the acts have been introduced, TV viewers had an hour to vote and to support their favourites.
On Friday, in the semi-final, the audience across the decided on two finalists and the other four qualifiers were chosen by the jury.
Nevertheless, the rules for the final were different. The decision on this year's Romanian representative in the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest was based on the outcome of televoting only.
Whilst Romania is yet to score a victory in the Eurovision Song Contest, it has qualified to every single Grand Final since the current Semi-Final system was introduced more than 10 years ago. Romania has achieved third place in both 2005 and 2010.