Bulgaria: Kristian Kostov teases comeback…as BNT confirms returnees for internal selection

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After two Top 4 results in a row, Bulgaria has established itself as THE country to watch at Eurovision 2018. Now, with Bulgarian broadcaster BNT teasing us with more details about the on-going search for their 2018 act, hype is brewing about a major comeback.

Eurovision 2017 runner-up  Kristian Kostov has watched his star rise ever-higher since the contest. And #TeamKris — his incredibly loyal and devout fan base — have been dreaming of his return. And while the “Glubina” hitmaker previously stated that it wasn’t on the cards, a tweet from the official BNT Eurovision account suggests he may have had a change of heart.

The broadcaster shared an image of Kris, writing that their doors “are wide open for any option in the future.”

They also added a quote from Kristian, which has already fuelled speculation that he could be planning a bid of his own.

“Initially when they asked me about a return to Eurovision, I was like, ‘enough is enough’,” he’s quoted as saying. “But with time passing by, I realise that it’s actually ‘never say never’.”

Bulgaria’s Eurovision 2018 selection

Even though it’s on-trend to stage a national selection for Eurovision 2018, Bulgaria is sticking with what has worked for it over the past two years and will once again choose its act internally. Last month BNT confirmed that they are not only looking for a song, but for an entire project — that means song plus staging concepts, draft budgets, ideas on p.r. strategy, LEDs and the number of people on stage. The broadcaster isn’t able to fund the project on its own, so it wants a label willing and able to fill in any shortfall.

The submission period was set to close on 20 December. But after receiving some proposals that still need a little polishing, BNT decided to extend the period until 29 December. By the morning of 21 December, the broadcaster had received 12 projects involving 8 different producers.

But by the evening they had received what they describe as an “insane” proposal from a returnee, taking them up to a dozen.

“Do you remember our words that we won’t have returnees in our selection?” they wrote. “Well, forget about that! Project #12 is in the house and the whole thing is quite…insane (that’s the right world).”

This takes us back to their earlier tweet at the top, where they said their “doors are open for any option in the future”. It was puncuated with the phrase “very near or a bit more distant”. While clearly “very near” could refer to Kristian, it could also refer to Poli Genova, who has remained very close with the Eurovision community, even as she has pursued other projects, such as judging The Voice.

As for “a bit more distant”, this could be earlier Eurovision acts like Sofi Marinova — who almost made the final. But the fact that two international artists are involved suggests to us that their may be Eurovision returnees from other countries. As you’ll note, the rules allow for foreign acts so long as a Bulgarian artist is among the performers. This opens up the doors for cross-border duets and groups. Maybe it’s wishful thinking. But our heads are spinning at the possibility.

It’s also known that so far only songs fully in English have been sent to BNT. Only time will tell if songs in other languages will take part in the internal selection.

Bulgaria has also given us some important dates. They want to pick the project, including the song and act for Lisbon, no later than 31 January. But we’ll have to wait until 12 March to find out who it will be. This means that Bulgaria will, once again, likely be one of the last countries to announce its act for Eurovision. In 2017, only Armenia revealed their song later than Bulgaria, who gave us their Beautiful Mess.

Is Bulgaria on its way to yet another Top 4 placing? Will we see Kristian on stage in Lisbon only one year after his last attempt? Or do you think Poli or another returnee has the edge? Let us know below.

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