I don't watch much on TV except some documentaries now and then, but this fall there was a show I did watch: The Voice of Romania (Vocea României). There are several talent shows on TV in Romania, but I'm partial to this one, because it's a singing contest only, and one where every single contestant is carefully picked. You don't get to see auditions, or performances that sound like auditions, the way I happened to glimpse on TV now and then. On The Voice of Romania contestants are very talented (some come to the auditions after years of performing with a band) and the coaches are committed to helping them grow a good deal during the show.
So far The Voice of Romania (Vocea României), modelled on The Voice of Holland, has had three editions in Romania. The format was varied from edition to edition, but the quality remained constant. The judges stayed the same: Horia Brenciu, Loredana Groza, Smiley, and Marius Moga, all of them well-known performers in Romania. (Marius Moga is also a very successful composer, here and abroad.) The host is the very talented actor Pavel Bartoș, whose spot-on quips add to the good-natured fun of the ongoing banter between the judges.
The show starts with blind auditions, where the judges have their chairs turned away from the stage. Each contestant needs one vote to stay in the game. If more than one judge picks him/her, he/she can choose whose team to join.
The grand finale is on December 26 each year. While on the various episodes the judges get to vote along with the show's audience, it is only the TV audience that votes in the finale. First season's winner was Ștefan Stan. Second season's Julie Mayaya, and third season's Mihai Chițu. They all won 100,000 Euros.
More about Ștefan Stan, Julie Mayaya, and the four finalists of this year’s edition (Mihai Chițu, Sânziana Niculae, Adrian Nour, Marius Marin) below. Videos included.