BNT, Bulgaria’s national broadcaster, has confirmed that Elitsa Todorova and Stoyan Yankulov-Stundji will represent the country on Eurovision… again.
BNT considered a number of options during its internal selection process but Elitsa and Stundji won the day because they previously won the Bulgarian public’s vote in 2006. They finished fifth in ESC ’07 – Bulgaria’s highest rank to date.
Sending contestants with past Eurovision experience is now a popular practice across Europe. Zeljko Joksimovic in Serbia, Lena in Germany, Sakis Rouvas in Greece and Jedward in Ireland have all made repeat turns. For state broadcasters, it’s a relief to know the act knows the score and can handle the pressure.
Recently BNT conducted an unofficial consultation with fans of the contest through an inquiry, which was posted on wiwibloggs and other sites. As a result of that, BNT believes the successful song should include strong ethnic material and be sung in both Bulgarian and English. Also, fans say that the most important elements of the representative are the melody, choreography and vocal performance.
Now Elitsa and Stundji are allowed to suggest up to 5 songs for first selection. The BNT jury must choose 3 of them. These songs will be officially presented on 17 February.
In the following two weeks these songs will be rotated in BNT’s programme and radio partners. On 3 March—Bulgaria’s National Day—the songs will be performed again, and jury and audience will be able to vote. The winning song will be the one which collects most votes from both the jury and the audience.
Elitsa is over the moon. Here’s what she had to say:
Thank you to BNT for the invitation and the voted trust. It is an honor for me to present our work, music and ideas on this prestigious European contest. This is a good place where we can work for the positive image of our country and to show the unity and hospitality of Bulgarians as a nation with ancient culture and identity. Thank you to the fans for their love, I appreciate their support. I will give the best of me to represent Bulgaria fittingly… Bulgarian rhythms and love to the roots and folklore are the key to success.
Stoyan Jankulov is thrilled too:
After our participation on Eurovision in 2007 I expected that sooner or later we would be invited again so I wasn’t that surprised with the suggestion of BNT to send us to represent the country. Thank you for the care and hope in us that we are going to represent Bulgaria successfully… I can’t guarantee that we’ll win but I will do everything in my competence to perform in a fitting manner. Let everybody who thought we should have won Eurovision in 2007, support us now again.
So far the audience seems to approve of the choice. That is intriguing, given the fact that there is almost always a scandal around the choice of performer or song.
Looks like Elitsa and Stundji have the confidence and courage to show up at Eurovision again. And this time they are going for a much-desired victory!