Last night the Wiwi Jury—our in-house panel of music unprofessionals—hitchhiked to Bulgaria to review Elitsa and Stoyan’s ESC 2013 song “Samo Shampioni”. Did the very physical drumming get our blood pumping? Or did it leave us limp and in need of some Viagra? Read on to find out.
HK Dick: If it was the Eurovision Drum Contest then Bulgaria would win hands down. Unfortunately it is a song contest and, despite “Samo Shampioni” being an improvement on the previously chosen, dreadful “Kismet”, there still isn’t much positive to say about this unless you are a huge fan of Bulgarian music. The song may be about winning and champions but last place is far more likely than a triumph in Malmö.
Wiwi: The opening bars of this song sound straight out of a Ninendo game. I can totally see Super Mario getting down on it and jumping on some big old mushrooms. Unfortunately Luigi, Yoshi and Koopa Troopa will not be at the EuroClub, nor will they be voting at Eurovision. I love this song’s trippy electronica and its amazing drumming, but Europeans at large will not. It’s simply too daring and too out there for 45-year-old Ewa in Poland. Not even Elitsa and Stoyan’s admirable energy and stage presence can propel them past their semi-final, which is a real shame.
Alexander: First off, I am very glad that “Kismet” was switched with “Samo Shampioni“. While “Kismet” is a folk song that would mainly appeal to Bulgarians, “Samo Shampioni” is much more accessible to those outside the Balkan region. In my opinion, this is an excellent entry which combines Stoyan’s rhythmic drumming, Elitsa’s impressive Bulgarian folk voice, and catchy motifs from the gaida (bagpipe). It’s understandable that many people will not like this. This is a very polarizing entry, similar to Romania’s. For those unfamiliar with Bulgarian folk singing, Elitsa’s voice could come across as quite grating. The lyrics are also childish, and the song is not structured in a typical way. However, just listening to “Samo Shampioni” doesn’t do it justice. Elitsa and Stoyan’s entry isn’t just a song– it’s a unique and energetic show where the performance is just as important as the music. Will this do well in Malmö? I really don’t know. Sure, they placed 5th in 2007, but that was before the jury era…
Vebooboo: I’m baffled as to why Bulgaria simply cannot produce a good Eurovision song. Is there something fundamentally off kilter in the country? This duo has great charisma and dynamism on stage, but the girl’s voice is plain atrocious. Her voice is so grating, I feel like my ears want to fall off. Bulgaria, why can’t you pick a good song just once? Why? You can sing about champions all you want, but it won’t make you one.
Bogdan: I am pretty sure that I’m in the minority when I say that I liked “Kismet” more than “Samo Shampioni”. The first choice was a trippy affair, whereas this one is generic and very repetitive. Oh and the football crowd sound after the drum solo is quite cheesy (hopefully they’ll drop it from the actual performance?). Elitsa has a great, unique voice, Stoyan is a great drummer and “Water” was amazing in all respects, but sadly they won’t be “shampioni” this year.
Mr Häggkvist: Songs Like “Water” only come once, and that is the problem…most of us were expecting the twin sister of “Water” and that was impossible. The Bulgarian final was flat on every level. First we get “Kismet” which was boring and later aborted. And then “Samo Shampioni” which is less boring but in the end is not good either. Some football club should pick this as their new anthem…The quality of music is very low. That’s all.
Deban: You needed your earplugs for the Serbian entry in the first semi final. My prayer is that you’ve retained them for the Bulgarian entry in the second semi final. Elitsa Todorova and Stoyan Yankoulov’s represented their country at The Eurovision Song Contest 2007 in Helsinki with Water. One of the worst entries (in my opinion) that year, it still managed to hit the Top 5 final scoreboard. Was there something added to the water of the juries? Nobody I know liked it. Similarly, no radio station would ever play this!! Kismet was bad, but this is hardly an improvement. And what’s with the drums? Are we in Osaka? As I progressively kept turning my volume down, it still sounded loud. Sharp piercing sounds without variation doesn’t make me dance. It creates a stampede.
The Wiwi Jury Verdict: 4.5/10