He’s the teen idol who finished runner-up to Salvador Sobral at Eurovision 2017. But on Wednesday evening, Bulgaria’s Kristian Kostov flipped the table as he beat out the Portuguese crooner to nab the much-coveted Public Choice Award at the European Border Breakers Awards (EBBAs).
The 17-year-old picked up the prize, along with the EBBA gong he won before Christmas, at a glitzy ceremony in the Dutch city of Groningen. The event formed part of the Eurosonic Noorderslag festival and was hosted by British TV and music personality Jools Holland.
As the name suggests, the Public Choice Award was determined by fans. They cast their votes via the EBBA online portal, with “an overwhelming number” going Kristian’s way. He succeeds last year’s winner Dua Lipa. Dutch Eurovision 2014 group The Common Linnets previously won the award in 2015.
Afterwards, the “Beautiful Mess” singer shared his gratitude on Twitter, writing:
Still cannot believe that we’ve won!!!!
Thank you thank you thank you!
What a family
I will always be working for you, guys
You deserve everything
Love you from the bottom of my heart
In total, three Eurovision artists received trophies at last night’s show — Kristian, Salvador Sobral, and Belgium’s Blanche. However, Salvador didn’t attend due to health reasons.
The seven other winners were Alice Merton (Germany), Off Bloom (Denmark), Skott (Sweden), Sigrid (Norway), Alma (Finland), The Blaze (France), and Youngr (UK).
The European Union backed awards honour emerging artists who have enjoyed success across Europe.
Past EBBA winners include internationally acclaimed acts such as Alan Walker, Dua Lipa, Era Istrefi, Álvaro Soler, Christine and The Queens, Robin Schulz, Natalie La Rose, Years & Years, Hozier, Indila, John Newman, Tove Lo, and Mø — to name just a few.
Eurovision 2005 victor Helena Paparizou snagged a gong in 2007, while Eurovision 2014 runners-up the Common Linnets took one in 2015.
Kristian Kostov interview in Amsterdam