Following years of tears, Bulgaria’s national broadcaster is getting serious about climbing out of the Eurovision gutter. They’ve asked for help, and Bulgaria correspondent Alexander Green has come to the rescue.

Give the Bulgarians this much: They are very consistent. Only once in the last eight years has the Balkan nation managed to make the final of Eurovision. Despite attempts to improve the country’s result—such as holding a massive pre-selection in 2009 and internally selecting a successful pop star in 2010—Bulgaria usually winds up booking an early ticket home after the semis.

”We were not at the level of many of the other European countries who qualified,” Dragomir Draganov, a reporter with Bulgarian National Television, said after Sofi Marinova got booted from the second semi-final in Baku. But he knows Bulgarians can’t just turn their back on Eurovision, even if Eurovision voters frequently turn their backs on Bulgaria. The contest is one of their few opportunities to compete on such a vast platform. “We have a great need for this race because Bulgarian singers can’t come to such a large scale scene otherwise.” But there was a ray of hope in 2012. Sofi failed to make the final, but she did double the Eurovision ratings in her home country.

Not even well-oiled back-up dancers could help Miro make the final in 2010:

These consistently disappointing results have left the officials at BNT scratching their heads. All the raw scalps seem to have led them to an important conclusion: that they’re doing something terribly wrong and that they’ve totally miscalculated the winning formula. Because they themselves haven’t been able to figure it out, they’re now turning to Eurovision fans for the answer. In cooperation with OGAE Bulgaria and Eurovision-bg.com, BNT has released a survey regarding what fans want, what they think is important, and what their opinion is of past Bulgaria’s past entries. You can check out the survey—and read my answers—below.

Please send answers to [email protected].

HELP US TO IMPROVE!

Please answer this international survey about the Bulgarian participation in ESC 2013 by BNT, OGAE Bulgaria and Eurovision-bg.com

1. What style of song do you expect from Bulgaria in 2013?

a.) Fast dance pop song;
b.) Ballad with ethnic elements;
c.) Ballad in American / Western European type;
d.) Ballad with rock elements;
f) Rock;
f.) Jazz, soul, alternative;
g.) Fast song with ethnic elements;
h.) Other (please state);

Answer: I think it should be either A, B, or G…the others don’t tend to do well in Eurovision.

2. [Open response] Which Bulgarian artist is most well-known or famous to you? What impresses you about their work? Note the artist’s songs that you think are appropriate for Eurovision.

Answer: Anelia- very beautiful and attractive, great stage presence, good voice. She had a very strong ballad with Miro called “Zavinagi” that would’ve been great for Eurovision. She has some other catchy pop-folk songs like “Take Me Kefish” but they may be too “suggestive” for Eurovision.

3. [Open response] Which Bulgarian song has left the most lasting mark in your mind? What impresses you about it?

Answer: “Gubia Kontrol Kogato”, which is a very catchy  and  amazing dance-techno-pop song from Miro, as well as”Zavinagi” by Miro and Anelia… it is a dramatic and addictive ballad

4. [Open response] Specify the best Bulgarian entry that did not qualify to the Eurovision Song Contest final.

Answer: “Angel Si Ti” by Miro–very nice pop song with fantastic lyrics. Europeans didn’t understand it because the chorus was just “Ooooh” and the English lyrics changed the meaning of the song to a typical love song, which was not the original idea!

5. Which language should Bulgarian entries to the Eurovision Song Contest be performed in?

a.) Bulgarian;
b.) English;
c.) Bilingual combination of Bulgarian and English;
d.) Other;

Answer: If it is an ethnic ballad it should be in Bulgarian (like “Water”/”Voda”) but if it is a pop song it should be English.

6. [Open response] List any flaws you think affected the song and stage presentation from the list below; 
a.) „Lorraine“ (2005);

Answer: It was slow-paced and captivating enough to garner much attention.
b.) „Let me cry“ (2006);

Answer: The live vocals were great, but it was a weak ballad.
c.) „Dj, take me away“ (2008);

Answer: I think it was too flashy and too “gimmick-y” for Eurovision.
d.) „Illusion“ (2009);

Answer: The live singing was terrible…they sounded like a pack of howling dogs.
e.) „Angel si ti / You’re angel“ (2010);

Answer: The chorus was just “Ooooh” and the English lyrics were butchered. Miro’s outfit and hairdo were also bad.
f.) „Na inat“ (2011);

Answer: I’m not sure…pop-rock songs don’t do that good in Eurovision, but for its genre, the song and performance were good.
g.) „Love Unlimited“ (2012);

Answer: It was a terrible decision to send Sofi Marinova alone on the stage!!! There should have been dancers or something!

7. [Open response] Arrange the following elements of the song presentation in order of importance: choreography, vocal performance, lighting, camera angels and stage effects (graphics, pyro effects, etc..). You can add more elements at your own discretion.

Answer: Vocal Performance, Choreography, Camera Angles, Lighting, Stage Effects

8. [Open response] Specify up to 5 songs that have impressed you most in „Eurovision“ between 2005 and 2012.

Answer:

“Believe” by Dima Bilan (Russia 2008)

“Watch My Dance” by Loucas Yiorkas (Greece 2011)

“Tornero” by Mihai Traistariu (Romania 2006)

“Shady Lady” by Ani Lorak (Ukraine 2008)

“Euphoria” by Loreen (Sweden 2012)

9, [Open response] Which performances in  „Eurovision“ between the period 2005 to 2012 do you consider as the best in terms of production design and visual presentation?

Answer:

“Shady Lady” by Ani Lorak, “Euphoria” by Loreen, “We Could be the Same” by maNga (Turkey 2010), “Eyes that Never Lie” by Petr Elfimov (Belarus 2009, had a GREAT camera shot)

Note the following additional information for you:

Age:
– Under 16 years;
– 16-20 years;
– 20-30 years;
– 30-45 years;
– Over 45 years;

Answer: 16-20 years

Name: Alexander Lilov-Green
Country: Half-American, half-Bulgarian
Musical preferences: All genres of music

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hey
hey
9 years ago

ACTUALLY SOFI MARINOVA WAS 9TH ON THE TELEVOTE

David Thielen
9 years ago

Oh, and no accordions. When they walk out with an accordion, that tells everyone it’s a good time for a bathroom break.

David Thielen
9 years ago

I think the song can be most any genre. What’s key is the performance has to be superb. I think a lot of people miss that thinking it’s some recipe of genre, stage show, language, bloc voting, and hey – everyone hates us so we can’t win. Yes everyone makes fun of ESC and complains about how schlocky the acts are. But the bottom line (2011 being an exception), the top acts there range from very very good to amazing. This does can mean staging (Svetlana Loboda, Ruslana) but it can also mean just an amazing rendition of a very… Read more »

Xander
Xander
9 years ago

@Alex Yeah! But at least they’ve made it to the top 10 once, there are countries like Montenegro, Slovakia, Czech Republic, and San Marino that have never been in the final at all! Granted those countries don’t participate consistently, but there’s also the Netherlands who haven’t been in the final since 2004.

Alex
Alex
9 years ago

Wow! The bulgarians seem to be very desperate! 🙂