Romania in the Eurovision Song Contest

Member station TVR
National selection events National final (Selecția Națională;[a] 1993-2020[b])
Internal selection (2021)
Participation summary
Appearances 20 (18 finals)
First appearance 1994
Best result 3rd: 2005, 2010
External links
TVR's official website
Romania's page at
Song contest current event.png For the most recent participation see
Romania in the Eurovision Song Contest 2021

Romania has participated in the Eurovision Song Contest 20 times since its debut in 1994, and has placed in the top ten six times. Its best results were achieved by Luminița Anghel and Sistem in 2005, and by Paula Seling and Ovi in 2010, who both finished in third place. Selecția Națională[a] (English: The National Selection), a song contest that had taken place every year[b] in Romania until 2021, has been used to select the country's entry for the Eurovision Song Contest. The latter year saw Romania conducting an internal selection.

In 1993, the year before its first appearance, Romania attempted to debut in the contest, but came last in the pre-qualifying round. After successfully joining the following year, poor placements followed until 2002, resulting in relegation several times. This changed with the introduction of semi-finals to the contest in 2004, after which Romania qualified for the Grand Final every year except 2018 and 2019.

In 2016, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) suspended broadcaster Televiziunea Română (TVR) from all EBU member services due to repeated non-payment of debts, which in turn disqualified its entry from participating in the contest. In 2020, despite having selected a representative, the nation was unable to take part due to the contest's coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)-related cancellation. Romania's most recent Grand Final appearance in 2017 saw Ilinca and Alex Florea reach seventh place.

Contest history

A man and a woman sitting at a table and smiling at the camera.
Paula Seling and Ovi ( pictured) placed third with their 2010 entry " Playing with Fire". [2]

Romania unsuccessfully attempted to debut in the 1993 contest, selecting "Nu pleca" by Dida Drăgan for the pre-qualifying round Preselection for Millstreet (Slovenian: Kvalifikacija za Millstreet); Drăgan came in last place.[3] A non-qualification was also achieved in 1996 when there was a pre-qualifier for all countries excluding hosts Norway.[4][5] The Eurovision site does not count either year in Romania's list of appearances.[2] The country's first official participation occurred in 1994 when Dan Bittman's "Dincolo de nori" placed 21st in the contest's Grand Final. The following years saw similar low placements and non-participations in 1995, 1997, 1999 and 2001.[2]

Romania's first top ten result was achieved in 2002, when Monica Anghel and Marcel Pavel finished ninth with their song "Tell Me Why". The country placed within the top 20 every year from 2004 to 2015, claiming third place in 2005 with "Let Me Try" by Luminița Anghel and Sistem. As of 2019, this remains Romania's best result in the contest, alongside Paula Seling and Ovi's 2010 entry "Playing with Fire", which also finished third. Since 2010, the country's only other top ten placement was in 2017, when Ilinca and Alex Florea reached seventh place with "Yodel It!".[2] 2019 was broadcaster Televiziunea Română's (TVR) first year to significantly invest in a performance; the costs for the use of graphics and special effects during the show for Ester Peony's "On a Sunday" amounted to 100,000 euros.[6][7] Romania had previously introduced the first ever use of holograms at Eurovision in 2014.[8]

Romania has participated in the contest 20 times, having qualified for the final every year since the introduction of the semi-finals in 2004 except for 2018 and 2019.[2] In 2016 the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) suspended TVR from all EBU member services due to the repeated non-payment of debts and the threat of insolvency. This in turn disqualified their 2016 entry, "Moment of Silence" sung by Ovidiu Anton from participating in the contest.[9][10] It led to strong reactions against the decision from several observers.[11][12] Although TVR had selected Roxen to perform "Alcohol You" in 2020,[13] the contest was cancelled due to the pandemic of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in China and its spread to other countries.[14] Roxen was internally selected for 2021 nonetheless, performing "Amnesia".[15][16]

Selection process and accolades

Selecția Națională[a] (English: The National Selection), a song contest which had been taking place every year in Romania until 2021, has been used to select its entry for the contest. The first edition was held in 1993, with the winner chosen by 1100 households in the country.[3] Since then, several voting procedures have been used, often combining televoting with the votes of a jury panel.[19][20][21] The selection of the winner either occurred during one show,[22] or through a varying amount of semi-finals.[20][23] For the first time, a part of Romania's entry was determined internally in 2020. Roxen was selected by TVR out of exclusive partner Global Records's roster, and was appointed five songs for a jury and the public to choose from.[24][25][26][1] The broadcaster and the label also collaborated the following year for the internal selection of Roxen and her entry.[27][28]

In 2008, Nico and Vlad won Romania's first and only Marcel Bezençon Award for "Pe-o margine de lume", in the Composer Award category,[29] and Sanda received the infamous Barbara Dex Award in 2004.[30] A number of Romania's Eurovision entries have experienced commercial success over the years. While "Let Me Try" reached number nine on the Romanian Top 100,[31] 2006's "Tornerò" by Mihai Trăistariu peaked within the top ten in Finland and Greece.[32][33] Elena's "The Balkan Girls" topped the Romanian chart in 2009, and similar success was attained by Mandinga's "Zaleilah" in 2012, obtaining number two in the country's Airplay 100 ranking and a Gold certification for digital downloads exceeding 10,000 copies in Romania.[34][35]


Table key
Second place
Third place
Last place
Entry selected but did not compete
Year Artist Title Language Final Points Semi Points
1993 Dida Drăgan "Nu pleca" Romanian Failed to qualify X
7 ◁
1994 Dan Bittman "Dincolo de nori" Romanian
No semi-finals
1996 Monica Anghel and Sincron "Rugă pentru pacea lumii" Romanian Failed to qualify X
29 ◁
1998 Mălina Olinescu "Eu cred" Romanian
No semi-finals
2000 Taxi "The Moon" English
No semi-finals
2002 Monica Anghel and Marcel Pavel "Tell Me Why" English
No semi-finals
2003 Nicola "Don't Break My Heart" English
No semi-finals
2004 Sanda "I Admit" English
Top 11 previous year[c]
2005 Luminița Anghel and Sistem "Let Me Try" English
2006 Mihai Trăistariu "Tornerò" English, Italian
Top 11 previous year[c]
2007 Todomondo "Liubi, Liubi, I Love You" English, Italian, Spanish, Russian, French, Romanian
Top 10 previous year[c]
2008 Nico and Vlad "Pe-o margine de lume" Romanian, Italian
2009 Elena "The Balkan Girls" English
Paula Seling and Ovi "Playing with Fire" English
2011 Hotel FM "Change" English
2012 Mandinga "Zaleilah" Spanish, English
2013 Cezar "It's My Life" English
2014 Paula Seling and Ovi "Miracle" English
2015 Voltaj "De la capăt (All Over Again)" Romanian, English
2016 Ovidiu Anton "Moment of Silence" English Disqualified X
2017 Ilinca and Alex Florea "Yodel It!" English
2018 The Humans "Goodbye" English Failed to qualify
2019 Ester Peony "On a Sunday" English Failed to qualify
2020 Roxen "Alcohol You" English Contest cancelled X
2021 Roxen "Amnesia" English

Related involvement

Heads of delegation

The public broadcaster of each participating country in the Eurovision Song Contest assigns a head of delegation as the EBU's contact person and the leader of their delegation at the event. The delegation, whose size can greatly vary, includes a head of press, the contestants, songwriters, composers and backing vocalists, among others.[37]

Year Head of delegation Ref.
Dan Manoliu
Ioan Duma
Dan Manoliu
Liana Stanciu
Iuliana Marciuc
Smaranda Vornicu-Shalit
Liana Stanciu

Jury members

A five-member jury panel consisting of music industry professionals is made up for every participating country for the semi-finals and Grand Final of the Eurovision Song Contest, ranking all entries except for their own country's contribution. The juries' votes constitute 50% of the overall result alongside televoting.[49]

Year 1st member 2nd member 3rd member 4th member 5th member Ref.
Mădălin Voicu Mirela Fugaru Mihai Stoica Alexandru Călin Geambasu Nico
Viorel Gavrilă Mihai Pocorschi Ovi Anca Lupeș Alexandra Cepraga
Luminița Anghel Mihai Trăistariu Tavi Colen Paula Seling Cezar
Nicu Patoi Anca Lupeș Sanda Cepraga Gabriel Cotabiță Mihai Alexandru
Ozana Barabancea Liana Stanciu Monica Anghel Andrei Kerestely Bogdan Pavlică

Commentators and spokespersons

For the show's broadcast on TVR,[2] various commentators and dual commentators have been hired throughout the years, with Leonard Miron notably having done the job on seven occasions.[55] At Eurovision, after all points are calculated, the presenters of the show call upon each voting country to invite their respective spokesperson to announce the results of their vote on-screen.[56]

Year Commentator Dual commentator Spokesperson Refs.
Gabriela Cristea None Cristina Țopescu [57][58]
Leonard Miron None Anca Țurcașiu [55][59]
Leonard Miron None Did not participate [55]
Leonard Miron None Andreea Marin [55][60]
Leonard Miron Unknown Did not participate [55]
Unknown Unknown Leonard Miron [61]
Unknown Unknown Leonard Miron [62]
Unknown Unknown Andreea Marin [63]
Unknown Unknown Berti Barbera [64]
Unknown Unknown Andreea Marin Bănică [65]
Unknown Unknown Andreea Marin Bănică [66]
Leonard Miron Unknown Alina Sorescu [55][67]
Unknown Unknown Alina Sorescu [68]
Leonard Miron Gianina Corondan Malvina Cservenschi [55][69][70]
Liana Stanciu Bogdan Pavlică Malvina Cservenschi [71][72]
Leonard Miron Gianina Corondan Paula Seling [55][73][74]
Liana Stanciu None Sonia Argint-Ionescu [75][76][77]
Unknown Unknown Sonia Argint-Ionescu [78][77]
Unknown Unknown Sonia Argint-Ionescu [56][77]
Liana Stanciu Radu Andrei Tudor Sonia Argint-Ionescu [79][80][77]
Liliana Ștefan Radu Andrei Tudor Sonia Argint-Ionescu [81][82][77]
Liana Stanciu Bogdan Stănescu Ilinca [83][84]


In contests where an orchestra was provided, a conductor was required to lead the musicians during each country's performance. Broadcasters were able to provide their own conductors, or could call upon the services of the conductor appointed by the host broadcaster.[85] For 1993's Kvalifikacija za Millstreet pre-selection round, George Natsis conducted the Romanian entry.[86] In 1994 and 1998, Irish host conductor Noel Kelehan and Romanian conductor Adrian Romcescu were hired, respectively.[87][88]

Photo gallery

See also