Ack … well you can’t win them all, as I found out today when the random number generator compelled me to take on Bulgaria’s entry tonight. Let’s just say it’s an acquired taste, but surprisingly it’s one Europe has acquired once before.
Bulgaria seems like one of those nations you think must have been in Eurovision for many years, but it only arrived in 2005. It wasn’t the best start, as Kaffe crashed out 19th in the single semi-final. Despite a few near-misses, Bulgaria has failed to qualify in 7 out of 8 semi-finals. Sometimes this was a real shame (2008’s “DJ take me away”, 2012’s “Love Unlimited”), but on other occasions it was inevitable and deserved – watch 2009’s “Illusion” for a dictionary definition of a hot Balkan mess.
So what is a country to do with such a dire history? Well they did qualify once, in the largely horrible 2007 contest. Indeed they surpassed themselves and scored a 5th place finish. So why not just send them again? That’s good logic. But unfortunately it’s really not paying off this year.
Elitsa and Stoyan lit up Helsinki in 2007 with their well-executed ethnic dance and drum extraganza. “Samo Shampioni” keeps much of the same style, it’s just a bit of a headache. I mean they are having fun certainly, it’s quite a likeable mess for what it is. It’s at least better than the other two songs the Bulgarian public had to choose between for the plucky pair (see my review)
Plenty of new age wailing from Alanis lookalike Elitsa, and a really naff synthy accompaniment, with an inexplicable Bulgarian instrument that looks like an inflated cat with a mouthpiece. I feel bad criticising it too much, it’s a legitimate cultural detour that makes me smile out of exasperation.
I feel bad for Bulgaria, their logic is obvious, I just wonder if it will do anywhere near as well as it did in 2007. They’ve got semi-final two though, so who knows what will emerge!
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