Selecţia Naţională (Romania) 2022: Carmen Trandafir and Cezar Ouatu

Carmen Trandafir — “Măşti”
Sweeping ballad sung in Romanian which, after an establishing verse, eventually moves into the realm of soft rock. Eventually, a high-pitched background guitar emerges and follows Trandafir’s vocals for the second half of the song. I like that her vocals intensify a bit along with the song’s progression, but what I think is missing here is a great big note towards the end of the track. There isn’t really a moment where she captures the audience’s attention, but I get the feeling she’s capable of doing so had the song been written differently with less of its focus being on the music.

Cezar Ouatu — “For Everyone”
In case you’ve forgotten, this is the man who made everyone’s jaw drop during the 2013 edition of the contest where he switched from more-or-less standard opera to falsetto EDM in a breathtaking few seconds that rightly saw him sent through to the final. He performs a similar trick this time, ascending to his falsetto in the last 30 seconds of the song for an exciting end to the track. However, I would have liked to have heard the jump a bit earlier to be honest, so we could really enjoy the full range of his vocals. Beyond that, the song is an aria which feels like a cousin to the North Macedonian entry (“Here I Stand” by Vasil) to last year’s contest.