’Playing with Fire’ and Playing it Safe: With(out) Roma at the Eurovision Song Contest

Szeman, Ioana (2013) ’Playing with Fire’ and Playing it Safe: With(out) Roma at the Eurovision Song Contest. In: Performing the ‘New’ Europe: Identities, Feelings, and Politics in the Eurovision Song Contest. Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 125-141. ISBN 978-1-137-36798-3

Full text not available from this repository. (Request a copy)


Often dismissed as light entertainment and kitsch, the Eurovision Song Contest (ESC) provides fertile ground for studying images of Europeanness by showcasing the self-representations of participating nations and the hierarchies that exist between them. The starting point here is the participation of Florin Salam,1 a Romani-Romanian manele performer, in the Romanian national selection competition for the 2010 ESC. His involvement sent shock waves through a section of the Romanian public and media who feared the prospect of a manele singer, a Tigan,2 representing the nation at the ESC. In Romania, pop music is regarded as inherently better, more modern, and more highbrow than manele, a version of which can be found in other Balkan countries under such names as turbo folk and chalga.3 Manele is mainly performed by Romani musicians in Romania, and, as a very divisive genre, has a bad reputation amongmany Romanians, including pop and rock music fans. Despite being one of the most popular singers in Romania, Salam was unsuccessful and did not even make it to the national final. His rejection restored order for those who feared the worst. The Romanian 2010 ESC final was won by the duo of Paula and Ovi (Paula Selig and Ovidiu Cernăauteanu) with ‘Playing with Fire’, a song that emulated an unspecified and generic pop; they came third in that year’s ESC final, held in Oslo.

Item Type: Book Section
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of Literature, Drama and Creative Writing
Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 15 Dec 2022 15:30
Last Modified: 15 Dec 2022 15:30
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/90223
DOI: 10.1057/9781137367983_7

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item