Now that the National Finals season is finished and all songs for Eurovision 2016 have been selected we now have rehearsals started in Stockholm. What better way to fill the time than to look back over the 60 years of Eurovision at some of the best and worst entries that countries have sent to the Eurovision stage. There are 43 countries going to Stockholm to take part in the 2016 edition of our favourite musical extravaganza and we continue our journey with Bulgaria who have never won the contest have finished in the top 10 once when they placed 5th and staggeringly this is the only time they have reached the Final. Their worst position in the Semi Final has been 19th. This has all been achieved in nine participations. You can check out the previous articles in the best and worst series for Ireland HERE ,Spain HERE, Austria HERE, Bosnia & Herzegovina HERE, Iceland HERE, Belarus HERE, Denmark HERE, Georgia HERE, Germany HERE, Cyprus HERE, Finland HERE, Belgium HERE, Hungary HERE, Switzerland HERE, Ukraine HERE,Moldova HERE, Estonia HERE, Norway HERE, Italy HERE, Slovenia HERE,The Netherlands HERE, Armenia HERE, Azerbaijan HERE, San Marino HERE, Israel HERE,Albania HERE, Poland HERE,Serbia HERE,France HERE, Romania HERE, Russia HERE, Croatia HERE, Czech Republic HERE, Malta HERE., Macedonia HERE, Lithuania HERE, Latvia HERE, Sweden HERE United Kingdom HERE and Greece HERE.
So this year Bulgaria are represented by Poli Genova with the song ‘If Love Was A Crime ‘. We will have to wait and see if it turns out to be more of a best or worst song for Bulgaria but the overall reaction is very positive so far. You can catch up on our recent article on our thoughts on the song HERE and our interview with Poli in London HERE.
So my selections for best and worst entries are based on a combination of actual results and personal taste. Now Bulgaria have nine entries to choose from making the task very easy.
We have to go back eight years to find our first song that is one of the best for Bulgaria. The year was 2008 and we were in Belgrade to see Deep Zone & Balthazar singing the song ‘DJ, Take Me Away’.
Now this was a cracker of an entry a deep dance track that went down very well in the fanzone.Deep Zone Project is a Bulgarian house/electro band formed in 2000 by DJ Dian Solo, JuraTone and Rossko. The vocalist of the band was Joanna Dragneva. The performance was noteworthy for the DJ decks with flames coming forth from them. Also Joanna wearing a rather revealing dress at the front. The song narrowly failed to qualify for the Final in 11th place with 56 points.
So moving along we look at one of the worst entries for Bulgaria. We were in Kiev in 2005 to see Kaffe perform the song ‘Lorraine ‘.
Now the song was the debut entry for Bulgaria and performed in English. The song is a ballad in which the singer describes his feelings for the title character, with whom he seems to have previously had a relationship, but is not currently involved. The lyrics were derided prior to the Contest due to their heavy reliance on rhyming “Lorraine” with “pain”, “rain” and “again”. Kaffe is a popular Bulgarian jazz band and two of their members wrote the song for Eurovision. It came 19th in the Semi Final with 49 points which is still Bulgaria’s worst result to date.
So now we move back to look at another best of entry for Bulgaria. We were in Baku in 2012 and the performer was Sofi Marinova with the song ‘Love Unlimited’.
Now the song was a dance track and contains the phrase “I love you” in ten languages. The verses are entirely in Bulgarian language. To date it is the only Eurovision entry to include Azerbaijani lyrics, Azerbaijan itself having entered seven entries all in English. Sofi is a Bulgarian pop-folk and ethno-pop singer of Romani descent. She is one of the most popular singers in Bulgaria, famed for her extreme five-octave vocal range. The song ended up in 11th place on the same points total as Norway on 10th of 45 but narrowly missed out on the Final.
Our next song that has to be considered one of the worst was in the year 2006 and we were in Athens to witness Mariana Popova singing ‘Let Me Cry’.
This was a song that is a power ballad sung from the perspective of a woman who has found out that her lover is unfaithful. She tells him that she wants him to “let me cry” rather than be comforted. Mariana as well as being a singer also studied modern and jazz ballet. The song finished in 17th place with 36 points.
So onto our next song that was one of the Bulgaria’s best. It was in 2007 and Helsinki was witness to seeing Elitsa & Stoyan perform with the song ‘Water’.
Now starting with the song this was the first occasion on which the Bulgarian language was used on the Eurovision stage, previous Bulgarian entries being performed in English. Originally titled “Voda”, the song had its title translated to English for the Contest. The song is an up-tempo number with techno influences, as well as a jaw harp and traditional percussion. Todorova sings folk-inspired lyrics dealing with a young girl meeting a young boy riding a horse. The performance in the semi-final featured the duo wearing what looked like armour, while they were wearing more mainstream clothes in the final. The performances were also notable for the high-energy percussion performances of both musicians. The duo went on to represent their country again in 2013. The song qualified for the final in 6th place then finished in 5th place with 157 points.
We now arrive at another song for Bulgaria and it’s another of the worst ones. In 2009 we saw Krassimir Avramov in Belgrade with the song ‘Illusion’.
It was a song that was in a popera style with Krassimir performing parts of the song in falsetto. It clearly did not go down that well with voters ending up only managing 16th place in the Semi Final with 7 points.
There was one more entry for Bulgaria which I found I liked a lot and at least deserves a mention.
2011 Poli Genova with the song ‘Na Init’.
So there we have it folks, my little delve into Bulgarian Eurovision history and some of the best and worst moments over the years. Do you agree with all or even any of my choices? Feel free to comment below.
This series will continue with another look at songs over the years for each and every country competing in Eurovision 2016 so keep coming back for more reflections of the best and worst that Eurovision has had to offer us.
Author: Andrew Main
Source: Eurovision Ireland