Monty’s Eurovision Countdown 2019 – Part 33 – Romania

Esther Peony

Romania’s song is called ‘On A Sunday’. Its singer, Ester Peony, croons that you “made sure there’s no way to forget that day”. She’s right; Sunday 17th February 2019 when the Romanian national selection was held is a day we’ll remember for years.

The selection was mired in controversy before it even began with Eurovision entrant and perennial re-trier MIHAI pulling out amid claims of bias. When we got to the final you had to think he had a point. A highly unusual system gave each of six guest judges an equal weighting to the entire Romanian voting public. When the votes came in, pre-show favourite Laura Bretan – the public’s choice by far, pulling in more than three times as many votes as her nearest rival – was voted down by 4 jurors who all gave their maximum points to Peony. This left her in an unassailable lead as even with the maximum 12 from the pubic Bretan couldn’t catch her.

The internet is full of lurid speculation regarding Bretan’s apparent fall from grace, but if there’s any one or thing at fault it’s whoever permitted a system where the public’s opinion is pitched against so skewed a jury weighting.

But what of the chosen song? To be brutally frank I hate it; its bluesy feel is not a style which engages me generally and there’s nothing here which interests me at all. Mind you Laura Bretan’s song was a god-awful dirge, so if nothing else we’re saved from that.

But the Romanian public have every right to be pissed off; they’ve been denied their choice and will instead be represented by a song backed by only 356 televoters, a Romanian music producer, an Israeli entrepreneur, and two bloggers.

Monty’s score: nul points!