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Last week Wiwi suggested that Romanian pop star Elena Gheorghe cannot dance. To support that, he posted a video which shows Elena throwing her limbs around, bobbing up and down and occasionally adjusting her hair. That inspired more than 70 Romanians to e-mail Wiwi: some sent friendly messages, others sent hate mail, but all argued that Elena knows how to bust a move. After carefully reviewing the evidence, Wiwi is pleased to reveal that Elena is, like, the best dancer ever.

She’s so good that she recently placed third on Dansez Pentru Tine, the Romanian version of Dancing With the Stars. You can see highlights of her performances above (and a montage devoted to some beautiful Balkan girls). The hip-hop segment at the 0:55 mark is killer. To see the full clip from Romanian television—Elena dances to Beep by the Pussycat Dolls—you can click here. The classier among you may prefer the waltz below. Finally, Oana in Romania has sent these links where you can view Elena doing the paso doble, tango, and rock ‘n roll.

And for the record, Wiwi has always been a fan of Elena: she is the banner image on this web site (look up). Can we please call a truce, Romania?

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Wiwi Bloggs has had his fingers crossed for weeks that Romania’s Elena Gheorghe, the half-Macedonian daughter of a priest, would deliver a Eurovision performance as exciting and surprising as her standout tune The Balkan Girls. Sadly, her rehearsal this afternoon was a total letdown.

First, the LCD screen features a tree that changes color, which seems completely irrelevant to a song about girls from the Balkans spending their night out dancing. Maybe they got thrown out of the discotheque? I’d expect to see more streetlife if that were the case. (Note: Wiwi has been informed that the tree is part of a famous Romanian legend called Iele, so maybe it does make sense after all).

Second, there is a tall blond backup vocalist who is REALLY distracting. She’s got a big pony tail that catches the light and distracts attention away from Elena. They need to cut the Amazonian’s hair pronto!

Third, the segments where they all hold hands and swing is a bit too wholesome and childish for Eurovision. They should really be rubbing themselves with chocolate sauce (think Ukraine’s Svetlana Lobodova) or thrusting their pelvises (think Greece’s Sakis Rouvas). The feel-good folksy air may resonate with European peasants, but sadly they don’t have mobile phones to text in their votes. Wiwi really hopes they don skanktastic outfits—think Cheeky Girls with a Balkan twist!

In any case, this song is still AMAZING and one of the best of the year. Wiwi is confident that Elena will get votes from all over Europe—the song is so catchy—and do well in the final.

If they don’t improve by the semi-finals, they could always bring on one of these singers to help their cause:

Turkish Man, whose white backdrop is more interesting than the one Romania chose for their performance:

This girl is way less distracting than that blond Amazon woman:

Romania’s Elena Gheorghe Adjust Her Hair

Elena Flies to Moscow on Private Plane

Why Romania Will Win Eurovision

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I'm Elena. I can wear red shoes with a pink dress.

I'm Elena. I can wear red shoes with a pink dress.

Romania’s Elena Gheorghe is emerging as one of Eurovision’s most endearing personalities. The half Macedonian pop star known for being the daughter of a priest has already made headlines for securing a private plane to take her to Moscow. Now, after careful analysis, Wiwi Bloggs can reveal that Elena does not know how to dance. [Note: Wiwi has been informed by a reader that Elena is actually half Aromanian, a minority group living in many Balkan countries, including Macedonia. Learn the distinction here.]

The video below, released by Eurovision TV, confirms it. Rather than properly grinding and getting down on it, Elena merely jumps in the air, or when she’s feeling adventurous bends her knees to the beat. When she’s feeling really adventurous she adjusts her hair while bending her knees to the beat. Of course, her dress is so short and distracting some people may never notice. . .

Reasons to love Elena in this video:

(1) She describes the basement she’s being interviewed in as “a nice atmosphere.” She seems to roll her eyes—is the priest’s daughter poking fun? Saucy lady!

(2) She says that her song is about how Balkan girls are full of life and bring “positivity to the exterior.” Does that mean they wear short, glittery cocktail dresses as your preview videos suggest?

(3) She’s going to the gym and eating healthy as preparation for the contest. Such devotion! But she needs to eat more because when she’s singing about her hips being ready to blow it looks like her collar bone might snap!

(4) Look at her eyes at the 2:36 mark when she says YouTube. So cute.

(5) She might have heard my comment in (3) above because at the 3:00 mark she tries to eat the microphone.

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Flying solo?

Flying solo?

It’s just broken that Elena Gheorghe, Romania’s Eurovision representative, will fly to Moscow on a “personal” plane after a deal was reached between Romania’s TVR network and Blue Air, a Romanian airline.

“We are sure that our effort will be repaid in the moment when Elena will fully succeed through her talent and will make millions of viewers from Europe, talk about her and Romania,” Gheorghe Racaru, General Director of Blue Air, said.

Is The Balkan Girls singer being a bit lavish? A typical flight between Bucharest and Moscow only takes one hour and 52 minutes. Why does she need a private plane? I don’t think she’ll be practicing her moves in flight—she might break something! I suspect that Romanian officials realize they have a hit with this one, and don’t want her to be attacked by throngs of fans at the airport. I suppose I’m just shocked that a daughter of priests would accept a private jet during the ongoing recession. So much for cutting back!

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Romania: Elena Gheorghe

According to her official Eurovision biography, Romania’s Elena Gheorghe comes from a family of priests. If those priests have seen the latest video for “The Balkan Girls,” I suspect they’re preparing the holy water.

Elena, the lyrics tell us, needs to unwind, so she plans to start her weekend with “gin, tonic and lime.” Her girls—who are naturally “lookin’ so fine”—give her a ride. On horseback. No snickering: this is Romania, not Sweden!

There’s non-stop dancing which culminates with Elena alternately leading a choreographed routine in a club and humping a sofa. Throughout she encourages Balkan Girls to open their minds because they’re one of a kind. There’s only one man who appears in the video and, sadly, he’s helplessly lost in the toilets and must break dance on his own.

Why you know English isn’t Romania’s first language:

“The Balkan girls they like to party like nobody, like nobody,

For crowd delight, we’ll shine all night.”

For crowd delight?

Why Romania May Win:

Bookies are betting against Romania, but the song panders to the powerful Balkan voting bloc which includes Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and sometimes (depending on who you are) Moldova, Romania and Slovenia. Romania always gets Moldova’s votes, and it’s likely that Romania will scoop up others if Balkan residents do feel that their women “party like nobody, like nobody.”  Also, Elena is half-Macedonian, a fact that should curry favor with voters seeking that blood connection.

Romania really can light up the stage. This is Elena performing in London on April 17. She was magical, so it’s only fitting that she looks like an illusion:

Romania's Elena Gheorghe performs at London's Eurovision 2009 preview party

Romania's Elena Gheorghe performs at London's Eurovision 2009 preview party

Why Romania May Not Win:

First, in live performances, one of the background singers cannot harmonize and she brings down the overall quality of the performance. Hopefully Elena will shove a sock in said background singer’s mouth. That may be the case: at the preview event in London, Elena performed solo.

Second, Elena doesn’t really dance…she merely flails her limbs. Dancing isn’t essential—hello, angry Serbian lesbian Marija Serifovic just shook her fists in 2007 before walking away with the title—but voters respond favorably to well-choreographed, sexual movement, as with Ani Lorak, Ukraine 2008.

Third, the field is cluttered with upbeat dance numbers so there’s a risk Romania might not be memorable enough.

Prediction:

Romania should sail through the first semi-final on Tuesday, May 12. Elena performs 14th out of 18 acts which means she’ll be fresh in the voters’ minds—even with such power players as Sweden, Turkey and Bosnia and Herzegovina in the same heat.

Final: Winning will be a stretch, but Romania deserves—and will probably place—in the Top 10.

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