Eurovision news is coming through thick and fast, and the weekend saw a number of acts being announced as country representatives; Romania also announced theirs. Ester Peony came out on top during the national selection show Selectia Nationala, much to the public’s disappointment. She’ll be representing Romania at the Eurovision Song Contest 2019 with the song “On A Sunday”.
There were six international jurors who pretty much chose the winner from the points they gave out. The judging panel were William Lee Adams (from Wiwibloggs), Deban Aderemi (from Wiwibloggs), Alex Calancea (artist, producer, and composer), Serban Cazan (producer for HaHaHa Productions), Tali Eshkoli (entrepreneur and show producer), and Emmelie de Forest (Eurovision 2013 winner with the song “Only Teardrops”).
Ester Peony topped the jury vote, so much so that the televote had no influence over the vote regardless of whom they chose. Each of the six international jurors had a Eurovision amount of points to give out – 1-8, 10, and 12 points = which meant that the jury points total came to 348; compare that to the televote’s measly 58 points (which was set out in the Eurovision style of 1-8, 10, and 12), then it was clear that they only made a small fraction of an impact on who won – 1/7th to be exact, if we’re talking fractions. The winner may have scored 62 jury points but she wasn’t favoured by the Romanian public, who only gave her 3 points, totalling at 65 points.
In second place was televote favourite Laura Breton with “Dear Father”. She may have scored the most points from the televote, 12, but she came third in the jury vote with 48 points, scoring a total of 60. As for third place, Bella Santiago with “Army of Love”, she came second in the jury vote with 50 points (Emmelie de Forest didn’t award her any points whatsoever), and third in the televote with 8 points, ending with a total of 58 points.
And so, Ester Peony will be representing Romania at Eurovision 2019 with the song “On A Sunday”. Her real name is Alexandra Cretu, and she was born in Bucharest, Romania but grew up in Montreal, Quebec, Canada before coming back to her home country. She previously released an EP, last year, under the title of “Dig”, and the release of this song, “On A Sunday”, marks her debut single.
Watch Ester Peony Perform Her Eurovision Song “On A Sunday” Live On Selectia Nationala 2019:
We admit, she has a good voice, and if the song is reinvented as a Eurovision version, as many songs have in the past, then this could be good. It’s somewhat disappointing lyrically and rhythmically, however we can’t deny the classy and emotional vocal from Ester Peony that certainly hits our hearts – she certainly has connected with the song and it may scrape into the Grand Final on her voice, alone.
As for the stage production, that certainly does need some work, she’s no Ieva Zasimauskaite (Lithuania’s 2018 representative who came 12th with the song “When We’re Old”), and so lying on the floor singing the song in a red dress, isn’t going to cut it.
As time goes on, and all of our hurt feelings over Ester Peony and the decision to let the international jury pretty much make the decision on behalf of Romania, dies off; we reckon we’ll start appreciating this song more and more. It’s just such a shame that Laura Bretan or Bella Santiago weren’t chosen as their representatives as we reckon Romania would’ve placed well with either of their songs, “Dear Father” and “Army Of Lovers” respectively.
Watch Laura Bretan and Bella Santiago’s Performances Of Eurovision Potential Songs “Dear Father” and “Army Of Lovers” On Selectia Nationala Here:
Last year, Romania was represented by The Humans with “Goodbye”, who are the only Romanian act to have never made the Eurovision Grand Final. Broadcaster, TVR, was not happy, hence their decision on the new voting system this year around. The question is, was that the right decision? Time will tell.
Romania has never won the Eurovision Song Contest since their debut in 1994, however they’ve come close a few times, coming third in 2005 and 2010, represented by Luminita Anghel & Sistem and Ovi & Paula Seling with “Let Me Try” and “Playing With Fire”, respectively.
Ester Peony will be competing against 41 other countries to take the crown. Announced acts so far are Srbuk for Armenia, Tamta for Cyprus, Jonida Maliqi for Albania, Eliot for Belgium, Miki for Spain, Serhat for San Marino, Duncan Laurence for The Netherlands, Tamara Todevska for North Macedonia, Michela Pace for Malta, Bilal Hassani for France, Lake Malawi for the Czech Republic, PÆNDA for Austria, Darude feat. Sebastian Rejman for Finland. Michael Rice for the United Kingdom, Sergey Lazarev for Russia, Mahmood for Italy, Kate Miller-Heidke for Australia, D-Moll for Montenegro, Kobi Marimi for Israel, Katerina Duska for Greece, Victor Crone for Estonia, Tulia for Poland, Carousel for Latvia, and Roko for Croatia. The other countries are expected to reveal their acts in the forthcoming months.
The 2019 Eurovision Song Contest will be hosted at the Expo Tel-Aviv in Israel after Netta won last year with the song “Toy”. The two Semi-Finals will take place on 14 May and 16 May with the Grand Final taking place on 18 May. A total of 42 countries will compete in the contest.