(2ND UPDATE) Romanian band Jukebox and their lead female vocalist, Bella Santiago, finished fourth in Eurovision Romania 2018 on Sunday with their original Romanian song, "Auzi cum bate" (Hear How it Beats).
The band lost to The Humans, which was voted by the public to move on to the semifinals II of Eurovision 2018 in Lisbon, Portugal in May.
Jukebox feat. Bella Santiago scored 1,728 points while the winning band got 3,277 points.
Both acts, out of 15 entries, were strong contenders to represent Romania.
Eurovision is an annual song competition with millions of viewers largely in the European continent. Among the most notable Eurovision winners are ABBA and Celine Dion.
Despite the loss, Jukebox's Santiago thanked their fans for their support.
"I hope this is not the last time that you will support me. The finals was really great and I'm happy that we did good with our job. I still hope we will still see each other this year, maybe still in Eurovision or in another contest," Santiago posted on her Facebook page.
The 28-year-old is the first Filipino to reach the national round of Eurovision Romania.
Santiago started joining singing contests when she was only 15, but the Caviteña is not a newcomer in the Romanian music scene.
After becoming a finalist in "Romania's Got Talent" in 2016, Santiago signed with Cat Music, a recording label in Romania affiliated with Sony Music. This paved the way for her to be teamed up with Jukebox.
In the semifinals, only Jukebox and The Humans scored an almost perfect score of 58/60. Judge Viorel Gavrilla appreciated how amazing Santiago was able to sing in Romanian.
"At first, Romanian songs are not an easy language to sing but because I have determination to learn it, I tried to exercise my accent to make it sound like how a Romanian would. And also with the help of Romanian friends around me," Santiago explained in an exclusive online interview.
The group released numerous versions of their song, "Auzi cum bate," with male lead vocalist Alex Vasilache.
Santiago wrote the lyrics for the song's Filipino version.
"I can say that this journey has been awesome because people welcomed me and appreciated me working hard to sing in their language," she said.