Selecţia Naţională (Romania) 2022: Barbara Tesija and Bogdan Dumitraş

Barbara Tesija — “Hypnotized”
True to its title, this song has elements and instruments which give it an air of mystery — something occasionally referred to as “ethnic” in Eurovision circles, but I’d call “regional”. In reality, while this certainly sounds like it comes from Eastern Europe, the overall package is smooth, accessible and won’t challenge Western ears too much. Its main weakness is that the song is fairly one-paced and repetitive — it doesn’t really offer any surprises after the first minute or so.

Bogdan Dumitraş — “Sign”
From a song playing up its regional sounds, we have moved to one that seems to have taken its inspiration from “Uptown Funk” by Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars. Except that the pace has been slowed down significantly, and the quirky synth sounds are silly rather than cool. The “piano in a dusty bar” bits sound more cheesy than anything else — this is a song where the production is trying too hard to be different, and ends up overcooking the track. It doesn’t help that the vocals often sound strained, and that lyrics are either difficult to make out, or cringe-worthy.