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.
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:
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!