ESC 2023 Song Review: “D.G.T. (Off and On) by Theodor Andrei (Romania)

1) The Result

WRS and his song “Llámame” was one of the surprise qualifiers, but one that I think many people welcomed. Despite being placed 2nd in the running order he finished 18th overall, not a bad result given what he was up against.

2) The Process

After the controversy of last year’s Selecția Națională where a jury eliminated at least two popular songs before they could get to the final, the Romanian broadcaster opted for a simple, slimmed down approach. Instead of auditions and semis, 12 songs were chosen to participate, with a combination of online votes and televotes deciding the winner. This ended up being Theodor Andrei with his song “D.G.T. (Off and On)”, 385 votes ahead of the runner-up.

3) The Artist

18 year-old Andrei has been releasing songs since 2017, and in 2022 his debut album came out. He participated in a few talent shows when he was younger, including The Voice Kids and X Factor Romania.

4) The Song

Fundamentally a rock song, but its execution is all-over-the-place and grabs in influences from other genres: you feel like you’re being tossed around the room when you listen to it.

5) The Verdict

My general take on Andrei is that he has a lot of raw talent that needs to be harnessed and focused. His vocals are engaging and versatile. From what I understand about Romania, Andrei is somewhat of an outsider — for one, apparently men with long hair are (still) frowned upon there. His hints in an interview regarding the unusual staging at the national final (that both men and women undress him “means something”) suggest that this might be an entry ahead of its time. If I re-ranked my songs I think he would be a few places higher, because the track has grown on me. I don’t try to find it, but I’m happy when it comes on.

My ranking: 30th

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