Bulgaria has not been very successful at Eurovision since debuting in the contest eight years ago. Elitsa and Stoyan’s 2007 song “Water” remains the only Bulgarian entry that has qualified for the final. Year after year, Bulgarians are left frustrated by their early exit in the semi-finals. Hoping to end years of heartache, the Balkan country decided to send a modern, up-tempo number by soloist Sofi Marinova in 2012. And when I say “soloist,” I mean soloist.

Sofi may have breasts larger than my head, but not even they could fill the massive stage in Baku on their own. She performed “Love Unlimited” alone without any backup. Sure, her vocals were strong enough to fill the arena, but a dance song with no dancers? From my perspective, it gave the impression that Bulgaria didn’t really care about its performance and wasn’t putting its best foot forward. When the emcees announced the ten countries advancing from the second semi-final, I wasn’t surprised that Bulgaria didn’t make the cut.

Flying solo: Sofi did it on her own in Baku

But when the full semi-final results were released on May 26, we learned that Bulgaria didn’t do so terribly after all. In fact, Sofi tied for the 10th spot with Norway’s Tooji, each having 45 points. She only lost due to the tie-breaking rule, which states that the contestant who receives more points from more countries wins. If the Netherlands or Croatia had given Sofi even one point, we would have seen her in the the Grand Final. How frustrating to be Bulgarian…

Given how close she came, do you think Sofi Marinova’s Eurovision participation should be considered a success or a failure or something in between? On the one hand she extended Bulgaria’s losing streak by keeping it in the semi-finals. On the other hand she sure as heck ranked better and came closer than Poli, Miro, Krassimir, and DeepZone did! Let’s take a look at what the Bulgarian public thinks…

SHE IS A FAILURE

Plenty of haters think that Sofi and her song were bad, bad, bad. Shortly after the second semi-final, some pig-headed detractors spewed racist comments because Sofi is of Roma descent. Gypsies frequently have a tough time of it in Bulgaria, and we were seriously saddened to hear that people were reacting this way. Shame on them!

Milena, a Bulgarian rock diva and the runner-up of last year’s Eurovision selection, said in an interview that Sofi’s song was not for Eurovision, that the performance was boring, and that her clothing was on the level a Barbara Dex Award winner. Ouch! The team at WiwiBloggs.Com have, at times, hated on her too. Comments were made that her outfit might encourage people to throw dollar bills at her as if she were performing in a strip club.

SHE IS A SUCCESS:

A camera struggles to make it look like something is changing on stage.

BNT, Bulgaria’s state broadcaster, is quite pleased with Sofi’s performance. The network’s ratings for Eurovision were twice as high this year compared to 2011, presumably because of Sofi’s popularity in the country. Sure, other countries experienced an increase in Eurovision viewership, too. But few, if any, can say that they literally doubled viewership. Props to Miss Marinova.

To show their gratitude, BNT gave Sofi a copy of the official Eurovision 2012 CD (which includes “Love Unlimited” on it) as a gift. Stop laughing. There’s a recession on…

SOMETHING IN BETWEEN:

Sofi and her supporters are blaming external factors for her elimination. They say she didn’t qualify partly because people from Greece, Italy, and Spain weren’t able to vote for her. They had to vote in the first semi-final.

“I’m a little sad,” Sofi admitted after the show. “I can’t believe it. I was dreaming that they have chosen us. Our whole team tried very hard, I sang with much love and a smile, and I gave everything,” she said while vowing to participate again next year. Despite the criticism, Sofi remains proud of her song and performance.

What do you think? Was Sofi Marinova a success, a failure, or something in between? Vote now and let us know in the comments box below!

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LalehForWD
Guest
LalehForWD

The song is super good with its backbeat and it was probably very difficult for Sofi to stay perfect on-beat at stage with everything else going on. Her performance was great. She could have chosen a more interesting outfit though.

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[…] it would be to compete with the stage, some artists didn’t even try. (Yes, we are looking at you, Sofi Marinova). Eurovision 2013 will be held inside this concrete […]

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[…] there was a ray of hope in 2012. Sofi failed to make the final, but she did double the Eurovision ratings in her home […]

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[…] Sofi didn’t qualify for the big final this year, she will still go down as a success for her country. As you know, she tied for 10th in the second semi-final with Norway’s Tooji. Things might have […]

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[…] heavily on his dancers, who doubled as backing vocalists. That pretty much makes him the inverse of Bulgaria’s Sofi Marinova. She also had a good dance number, but only relied on her – admittedly great – voice to […]

Miroluba Chakma
Guest

It was not a matter who is Sofi but that a song contest asEurovision are not realistic and give 1 prize to Lordi without any critisism how they look or sing at all.

MF
Guest
MF

Last words were meant to be…”so not even related people/countries vote for her…”

MF
Guest
MF

The song was not bad and she has a great voice. She does not look gypsy to me and although I think there are many gypsy haters in Eastern European countries, this is also an exaggeration. I actually do believe there so many gypsies in these countries because people there are more tolerant regarding them than West European countries! I remember few years ago seeing on CNN about some gypsies being attacked (like stabbed!) in Ireland by the community and them returning in Eastern Europe. Anyways, I’d like to see Bulgaria qualify. The fact that Bulgaria does not qualify is… Read more »

Amana
Guest
Amana

It was a disaster. I am sorry, as Sofi is indeed a great performer with a great voice. But what killed it the most for me was her ultra-cheap appearance. That made the song also sound really kitschy. And the fact that there was nothing else going on forced me to keep focused on how low-class she looked.

Deban Aderemi
Editor

The song works great as a studio cut. It doesn’t translate on stage..Well, not as a soloist anyway. Sofi is a big star and I’d heard of her and own some of her music well before Eurovision. I like her spirit, but I’m somewhat surprised she expected to qualify.

Anthony Ko
Editor

I loved the song but Sofi’s performance on the night was a bit of a “hit-and-miss”. I’m surprised she did better than I first thought and narrowly missed out. Still, with that one time they qualified in 2007, Bulgaria at least did better than the Netherlands when it comes to the Semi-finals.

bogdan
Guest

I liked both the song and her performance (her voice was quite impressive, it’s not an easy song to sing!), but indeed a dance number on the stage would have made that one-point difference needed to qualify for the final. Ironically, Tooji had what she didn’t and viceversa, which goes to show that a hot dance number trumps a good voice.

PS: Too bad racist attitudes are still so rampant in Europe!

Zolan
Guest
Zolan

Sofi was great. Her outfit was tastefully sexy. Her performance was good.
The song was weak. The music was indifferent. The staging was absent, bar some random pyros.
Sofi got Bulgaria a better result than the song and staging deserved, so she at least, was successful in her role.
Perhaps she could have endeared herself more to the media.