The Voice of Romania Talent Show

by Mira

This article is dedicated to everyone involved in making The Voice of Romania such a great show: contestants, production team, TV audience. Videos included.

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.

Ștefan Stan, Winner of the 2011 Edition of Vocea României

Ștefan Stan (Ștefan Alexandru Stan) was born in 1977 in Bucharest. He says he started singing at home for his parents. He worked in construction and then in an air-conditioner factory before taking off to work in the US for a while. He sang there in cafés and pubs. He declared he couldn't bring himself to leave Romania, so after a few roundtrips home, he decided to come back home for good. He became The Voice of Romania in 2011, and then got singing gigs here and there. As of September 2013, he is also presenter of the TV show Killer Karaoke. He now has one album out from Universal Music Romania, titled Povestea mea (My Story).

Ștefan Stan and Andra, Vivo per lei

Julie Mayaya, Winner of the 2012 Edition of Vocea României

Julie Mayaya (Julie Mayaya Nzal A Nka) was born in 1986 in Iași, Romania. Her mother is Romanian and her father Congolese. Julie spent her childhood in Congo, but studied in Romania. She started singing when she was five. As a child, he sang in the school choir, and as a teenager she sang at weddings and parties. She studied computer science and mathematics in university in Bucharest, but eventually chose to work as a musician. She has collaborated with the band VLP Project, recording some songs and video clips with them. She cites as influences Tina Turner and Etta James. Julie Mayaya won The Voice of Romania in 2012.

Julie Mayaya, Something's Got a Hold on Me

Mihai Chițu, Winner of the 2013 Edition

Mihai Chițu is 33 years old. He has a wife and a little daughter of four and a half, Riana. After winning The Voice of Romania a few days ago, he decided to quit his job as a sales agent.

Mihai Chițu, Caruso, The Voice of Romania 2013, Grand Finale

Sânziana Niculae, Runner-Up, The Voice of Romania, 2013

Mihai Chițu's close runner-up was Sânziana Niculae. She’s a student at the University of Music in Bucharest. I think her best performance on the show was the song "Georgia on My Mind."

Sânziana Niculae, Georgia on My Mind, The Voice of Romania 2013, Semifinal Round

Adrian Nour, Third Place, The Voice of Romania 2013

Adrian Nour came in third. I loved his rendition of Loucura, and the fact that he tackled a fado piece in the first place! He could have varied the phrasing a little more, but I think he did a wonderful job nevertheless, because he managed to capture the spirit of fado in his performance, and he also controlled the notes and phrases so well. He was good in everything he sang on the show, and he’s also a great actor. He is, in fact, an actor in Bucharest.

Adrian Nour, Loucura, The Voice of Romania 2013, Grand Finale

Marius Marin, Fourth Place, The Voice of Romania 2013

Marius Marin sings solo and in a band called Celebration. He has just released a single with another band, Verdikt.

Marius Marin and Loredana, Unforgettable, The Voice of Romania 2013, Grand Finale

Who Do You Think Should Have Won the 2013 Edition?

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Updated: 01/04/2021, Mira
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Mira on 02/04/2016

Thank you for your comment :) Unfortunately I haven't heard these people on the radio much, or on TV, except for Adrian Nour, but that's because he was already an established actor.

DerdriuMarriner on 02/03/2016

Mira, Isn't it interesting the different backgrounds that motivate people to contemplate pursuing such competitive fields as music? Ștefan Stan has a most interesting background, what with growing up in the U.S.A. and experiencing a "trial by error" method of dominating music by practical experiences, as opposed to Julie Mayayu's more formal instruction. I like Adrian Nour's performing fado since I enjoy Brazilian and Portuguese cultural heritages.

Mira on 12/31/2013

Thank you, Sheila, for stopping by, commenting, and listening to the videos! Andra is a 27-year old Romanian singer. She's quite popular here but I don't think she made a name for herself abroad. (Other Romanian singers did.)

sheilamarie on 12/30/2013

I really love the videos, Mira! I know I'll come back and listen again. I especially like this year's winner. Also who is Andra? She's incredible! (I know so little about popular culture these days, so forgive me if she's famous and I just don't know her!)

sheilamarie on 12/30/2013

These shows are quite fun to watch! I love the ones that focus on voice, too. I'm going to watch each one of your videos!

Mira on 12/30/2013

Thanks, Sheri, for your comment. You have a good point there. Auditions could give further insight into how the contestants develop, and you can also see if, as you say, you agree how they chose who should be accepted.

Sheri_Oz on 12/30/2013

This is great. Maybe I'll make one of our The Voice that was in Israel. I love seeing these competitions and seeing how the singers develop over the course of the programme. Unlike you, however, I like seeing the auditions and seeing who I agree got accepted and who I do not.

Mira on 12/30/2013

I discovered lots of young singers on YouTube this year. Am glad they're doing these singing shows in so many countries -- for the sake of all the young talented singers out there.

AbbyFitz on 12/29/2013

I am always fascinated by tv shows from other countries. Sometimes here in America, you think that ours is the only thing on the air.

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