Scots teacher's Eurovision song in running for Romania's entry

A song penned by a Scottish high school teacher is in the running to be performed as Romania's entry for the Eurovision Song Contest - after being rejected by the British judges.
Jamala wins 2016 Eurovision Song Contest at Ericsson Globe Arena on May 14, 2016 in Stockholm, Sweden.Jamala wins 2016 Eurovision Song Contest at Ericsson Globe Arena on May 14, 2016 in Stockholm, Sweden.
Jamala wins 2016 Eurovision Song Contest at Ericsson Globe Arena on May 14, 2016 in Stockholm, Sweden.

Jason Blyth, who works at Kinross High, wrote Tear Up The Dark to be considered as the UK’s song. But after it was turned down, his pupils posted it on YouTube, asking if other nations were interested.

The song attracted the attention of Bucharest-based singer Teodora Dinu, a former contestant in Romanian X-Factor.

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She has now recorded it and will sing her version at the eastern European country’s selection event this weekend, where it is hoped she will be selected to take part in the finals in March.

Mr Blyth, who was inspired to write a Eurovision song after attending the final in Stockholm last year, said: “The pupils started sharing it online and asking if any other nations were interested. Romania makes its decision quite late so they were in a position that they were still looking and Teodora got in touch.

“She really liked it but wanted it to be a bit more pop rock.”

Mr Blyth, 32, from Perth, asked three of his music technology students to help.

“That was where my pupils came in,” he said. “They did the majority of the backing recording, with me playing the instruments.”

He added: “We have got a long way to go still, but if it came to it on the day, I’ve got mixed feelings. You have to support your home country, but I would have to back Romania in Eurovision - I’d have to if it was my song.

“We are in with a chance - Teodora has a high profile over there.”

Ms Dinu, who was last year a backing singer for Romania’s selected entry but was unable to take part in the competition after the country was disqualified when the national broadcaster failed to pay its debts, wrote on her Facebook page: “This year I decided to try my luck at Eurovision, again, only this time as a solo artist. In collaboration with Jason Blyth and Florin Lucian Olteanu we created this piece.

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“I hope you like it, I hope the audition jury likes it and that on Sunday we reach the semifinal national selection!”

Fans added their support on Ms Dinu’s Facebook page.

“A piece as beautiful as you,” wrote Oana Parvu. “Good luck, my darling with the golden voice.”

The song - about a friend of Mr Blyth’s who was told when he was a teenager that he was going to lose his sight but went on to represent Ireland as a paralympian swimmer at the Beijing Olympics - will also be shown as part of a montage of videos that did not make the shortlist on the BBC’s Eurovision programme You Decide on Friday night.

Mr Blyth added that the students who assisted on the backing track will be able to use the song as one of their coursework projects.

A number of familiar faces from the UK version of the X-Factor are among the hopefuls who will perform their songs on Friday night in hope that they will be selected.

The Romanian semifinal will take place on Sunday night.

This year’s Eurovision final is due to be held in Kiev in Ukraine in May.