Ovidiu Cernăuțeanu

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Ovi, ESC2014 Meet & Greet 01 (crop).jpg
Ovi in 2014
Background information
Birth nameOvidiu Cernăuţeanu
Also known as
  • Ovi Martin
  • Ovi Jacobsen
Born (1974-08-23) 23 August 1974 (age 45)
Botoșani, Romania
  • Singer
  • songwriter
  • pianist
  • record producer
  • Piano
  • vocals
Years active1994–present
Associated actsPaula Seling

Ovidiu Cernăuţeanu (Romanian pronunciation: [oˈvidju t͡ʃernə.uˈt͡se̯anu]; born 23 August 1974),[1] also known by his stage names Ovi Martin, Ovi Jacobsen, or simply Ovi, is a Romanian-Norwegian singer-songwriter, producer and musician. After being raised in Botoșani, he moved to Norway in 1995.[2][3]

He rose to fame in Norway in 2006 when he first took part in the Melodi Grand Prix 2006 with the song "The Better Side of Me" where he did not qualify to the final. The next year he was a finalist of the Melodi Grand Prix 2009 with the song "Seven Seconds" but lost to Alexander Rybak. In 2010 he participated in the Selecția Națională 2010 for Romania alongside duet partner Paula Seling. They won with the song "Playing with Fire" with which they represented Romania in the Eurovision Song Contest 2010. They qualified for the grand final where they took the third position, only behind winner Germany and runner-up Turkey. After Eurovision, Ovi released a new duet with Seling; "We Got Something".

In 2012 he was back in the Melodi Grand Prix 2012 this time as a songwriter along with Thomas G:son and Tommy Berre for the song "High on Love" as performed by Reidun Sæther. The song qualified for the final. Apart from the European recognition, Ovi has also entered several music charts with songs like "Seven Seconds" (2009), "Playing with Fire" (2010) or "We Got Something" (2011) – the latter two are featuring Paula Seling. He is also the Popularity Award winner of the 2009 Golden Stag Festival in Romania.

In 2014 he returned to Eurovision Song Contest 2014 together with duet partner Paula Seling when they participated for Romania with the song "Miracle". The same year Ovi co-wrote the song She's After My Piano for the group 2 Fabiola who participated in the Belgium national selection for Eurovision Song Contest 2014. The song did not win in Belgium but became a major hit for 2 Fabiola. Later Ovi and Paula Seling recorded their own version of the song for Ovi's album A Bit of Pop Won't Hurt Anyone, 5 May 2014 (daWorks).

Melodi Grand Prix[edit]

Ovidiu Cernăuţeanu submitted several songs written and performed by himself for the Melodi Grand Prix selections in the last 2000s but was only selected towards the semi-finals twice. In 2008 his entry had no success, while in the Melodi Grand Prix 2009 he was in for the Final on 21 February with the song "Seven Seconds" but did not qualify for the Golden Final. The song was even though a mild chart success, entering the top-fifteen of the VG-lista at number-twelve.[4]

Eurovision Song Contest 2010[edit]

Cernăuţeanu represented Romania in the Eurovision Song Contest 2010 (as Ovi) in a duet with Paula Seling. They performed "Playing with Fire", which was composed by Cernăuţeanu himself.[5][6] They passed the second semi-final, where they were the fourth. In the Grand Final, Seling and Ovi performed the nineteenth (after France and before Russia). At the voting, they got 164 points and classed the third that night, equaling the best result for Romania in the contest. They received 12 points from Moldova, 10 points from United Kingdom, Norway, Spain, Portugal, Sweden, etc. Only eight countries did not give the top ten points to them that night.

After Eurovision[edit]

After Eurovision, Ovi recorded some new materials alongside Paula Seling and they released a duet album entitled Playing with Fire in Romania and Norway exclusively. The album did not fare well and neither did the singles promoted. The title song entered several European charts though, including the famous UK Singles Chart. The A side/B side release "Counting Down"/"Calling You (Hello, Hello)" was a little less successful. It was only promoted in Romania via live performances and the songs received no music video. The latter one entered the Romanian Top 100 in 2011. In late 2011, Ovi started a new musical project with Seling after a short hiatus.

Returning to Eurovision[edit]

In early 2012 it was officially confirmed that Ovidiu Jacobsen (Ovi's alias) submitted a song to the Melodi Grand Prix 2012. The music and lyrics are composed by himself, Thomas G:son and Tommy Berre. The composition is a song entitled "High on Love" and it is performed by Reidun Sæther. The song was the third most voted song of the first semi-final so it preceded to the grand final to be held on 11 February 2012. It did not progress to the Gold Final.

On 1 March 2014, Paula Seling and Ovi won the Romanian national selection Selecția Națională 2014 and were selected as the Romanian entry for the Eurovision Song Contest 2014 in Copenhagen with the song "Miracle".[7] The duo came 12th place receiving 12 points only from Moldova.


  1. ^ Carmen Stanciu (14 January 2010). "Ovidiu Jacobsen – Artistul care i-a cucerit pe străini". Adevărul.
  2. ^ "- Jeg er ikke Jahn Teigen altså. Men langt på vei" (in Norwegian). Dagbladet.no. 30 March 2014.
  3. ^ "Ovi şi Paula Seling, la un pas de Eurovision" (in Romanian). Click mobile. Retrieved 26 February 2017.
  4. ^ http://acharts.us/song/41665
  5. ^ Schacht, Andreas (6 March 2010). "Romania sets its hopes on Paula & Ovi". European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 6 March 2010. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  6. ^ Klier, Marcus (6 March 2010). "Romania sends Paula Seling & Ovi to the Eurovision Song Contest". ESCToday. Retrieved 6 March 2010. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  7. ^ "Paula and Ovi to represent Romania!". Eurovision.tv. 1 March 2014.
Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Elena Gheorghe
with The Balkan Girls
Romania in the Eurovision Song Contest
(with Paula Seling)
Succeeded by
Hotel FM
with Change
Preceded by
with It's My Life
Romania in the Eurovision Song Contest
(with Paula Seling)
Succeeded by
with De la capăt