Today, we head to the land of roses, yogurt and where a certain flying car ended up (sorry, wrong place!). It’s Bulgaria!!!
Bulgaria first took part in the Eurovision Song Contest in 2005, when the contest was last held in Kyiv. Their first final appearance came in 2007, when Elitsa Todorova and Stoyan Yankulov came fifth with “Voda”. They had to wait until last year for their next appearance in the final. After a two-year break, Bulgaria made a very successful return to the contest. Poli Genova finished fourth in the final with “If Love Was a Crime”, the country’s best result to date.
The Bulgarian broadcaster, Bulgarian National Television (BNT), internally selected both the artist and song. Kristian Kostov was selected as the Bulgarian representative for Kyiv.
Kristian Kostov was born on March 15th 2000 in Moscow, Russia to a Bulgarian father and a Kazakh mother. He is this year’s youngest contestant and the first Eurovision Song Contest participant ever to be born in the 21st century. In 2014, he took part in the first season of Golos – Deti (The Voice of Russia – Kids) and made it to the finals. His mentor during the show was Eurovision 2008 winner, Dima Bilan. In 2015, he decided to visit his father’s home country and audition for the fourth season of X Factor Bulgaria. He eventually finished second on the show. In 2016, he released his debut single “Ne si za men” (You’re not for me). This was followed by an English version “You Got Me Girl”. His entry for Kyiv, “Beautiful Mess” was written and composed by Borislav Milanov, Sebastian Arman, Joacim Persson,Alexander V. Blay and Alex Omar.
After their fourth place last year, Bulgaria is going all out for the win this time around. Contemporary, cinematic and cleverly thought out, the song is arresting from start to finish. What Kristian lacks in age, he more than makes up for in talent. He breathes soul and shades of darkness into the song. This is easily one of the best not just in semi-final 2 but in the whole competition. Poli set the bar very high last year for Bulgaria but Kristian is more than capable of matching or even surpassing it. There’s a chance we could be heading to Sofia next year…
What Could Have Been
According to rumours, people were expecting another X Factor Bulgaria alumna to represent the country in Kyiv, namely Gery-Nikol. The 18-year old took part in the show in 2014 as part of the trio “Sweet 16”. She later landed a solo record deal and her first single “Ela i si vzemi” (Come and Get It) topped the charts in 2015, as did her 2016 singles “I’m the Queen” and “Gotina & Luda” (Cool and Crazy). She has publicly stated that she wants to go to Eurovision. It remains to be seen whether BNT will offer her that chance.
Is Kristian’s song a masterpiece or a hot mess? Leave your comments below. Stay tuned tomorrow for another Eurovision preview!
(Sources: eurovision.tv, BNT, YouTube)