Last night the Wiwi Jury—our in-house panel of music unprofessionals—hitchhiked to Bulgaria to review Elitsa and Stoyan’s ESC 2013 song “Samo Shampioni”. Did the very physical drumming get our blood pumping? Or did it leave us limp and in need of some Viagra? Read on to find out.


HK Dick: If it was the Eurovision Drum Contest then Bulgaria would win hands down. Unfortunately it is a song contest and, despite “Samo Shampioni” being an improvement on the previously chosen, dreadful “Kismet”, there still isn’t much positive to say about this unless you are a huge fan of Bulgarian music. The song may be about winning and champions but last place is far more likely than a triumph in Malmö.

Score: 3/10

Wiwi: The opening bars of this song sound straight out of a Ninendo game. I can totally see Super Mario getting down on it and jumping on some big old mushrooms. Unfortunately Luigi, Yoshi and Koopa Troopa will not be at the EuroClub, nor will they be voting at Eurovision. I love this song’s trippy electronica and its amazing drumming, but Europeans at large will not. It’s simply too daring and too out there for 45-year-old Ewa in Poland. Not even Elitsa and Stoyan’s admirable energy and stage presence can propel them past their semi-final, which is a real shame.

Score: 5/10

Bulgaria, Elitsa Todorova, 2Alexander: First off, I am very glad that “Kismet” was switched with “Samo Shampioni“. While “Kismet” is a folk song that would mainly appeal to Bulgarians, “Samo Shampioni” is much more accessible to those outside the Balkan region. In my opinion, this is an excellent entry which combines Stoyan’s rhythmic drumming, Elitsa’s impressive Bulgarian folk voice, and catchy motifs from the gaida (bagpipe). It’s understandable that many people will not like this. This is a very polarizing entry, similar to Romania’s. For those unfamiliar with Bulgarian folk singing, Elitsa’s voice could come across as quite grating. The lyrics are also childish, and the song is not structured in a typical way. However, just listening to “Samo Shampioni” doesn’t do it justice. Elitsa and Stoyan’s entry isn’t just a song– it’s a unique and energetic show where the performance is just as important as the music. Will this do well in Malmö? I really don’t know. Sure, they placed 5th in 2007, but that was before the jury era…

Score: 8/10

Vebooboo: I’m baffled as to why Bulgaria simply cannot produce a good Eurovision song. Is there something fundamentally off kilter in the country? This duo has great charisma and dynamism on stage, but the girl’s voice is plain atrocious. Her voice is so grating, I feel like my ears want to fall off. Bulgaria, why can’t you pick a good song just once? Why? You can sing about champions all you want, but it won’t make you one.

Score: 4/10

Bulgaria, Elitsa Todorova, 3Bogdan: I am pretty sure that I’m in the minority when I say that I liked “Kismet” more than “Samo Shampioni”. The first choice was a trippy affair, whereas this one is generic and very repetitive. Oh and the football crowd sound after the drum solo is quite cheesy (hopefully they’ll drop it from the actual performance?). Elitsa has a great, unique voice, Stoyan is a great drummer and “Water” was amazing in all respects, but sadly they won’t be “shampioni” this year.

Score: 4/10

Mr Häggkvist: Songs Like “Water” only come once, and that is the problem…most of us were expecting the twin sister of “Water” and that was impossible. The Bulgarian final was flat on every level. First we get “Kismet” which was boring and later aborted. And then “Samo Shampioni” which is less boring but in the end is not good either. Some football club should pick this as their new anthem…The quality of music is very low. That’s all.

Score: 5.5/10

Deban: You needed your earplugs for the Serbian entry in the first semi final. My prayer is that you’ve retained them for the Bulgarian entry in the second semi final. Elitsa Todorova and Stoyan Yankoulov’s represented their country at The Eurovision Song Contest 2007 in Helsinki with Water. One of the worst entries (in my opinion) that year, it still managed to hit the Top 5 final scoreboard. Was there something added to the water of the juries? Nobody I know liked it. Similarly, no radio station would ever play this!! Kismet was bad, but this is hardly an improvement. And what’s with the drums? Are we in Osaka? As I progressively kept turning my volume down, it still sounded loud. Sharp piercing sounds without variation doesn’t make me dance. It creates a stampede.

Score: 2/10

The Wiwi Jury Verdict: 4.5/10

You can see the latest reviews and standings on the Wiwi Jury pageYou can also listen to all 39 entries on our contestants page.

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Leon
Guest
Leon

Great visuals – the girl gives it all she’s got on those drums. Is the out of place bag pipe enough appeal for niche voters? Maybe …

Trevor
Guest
Trevor

‘Stomp’ was (and is) a GREAT and inventive stage show. Shame they had to add some screechy vocals and a stragulated bagpipe in order to win more DVD sales. That said, if I was on holiday in Sofia and heard this on the airwaves, I’d really enjoy it. Not a Eurovision entry though.

Malcolm Birdsall
Guest
Malcolm Birdsall

It’s 300/1 at betfair and I am going to put a bet on it. Don’t forget two years ago the bookies had the Italian entry as odds on for nul points, and it came second.

Malcolm Birdsall
Guest
Malcolm Birdsall

This is a fantastic song, but your jury’s comments illustrate why it won’t do well. To describe the voice as “grating” when she has perfect pitch as a Bulgarian electro-folk singer – they have more tones than the sol-fa scale – is ignorant. I am English and love it, but I doubt whether, as one of your jury says, Ewa from Poland (or from Lincolnshire, where I live – 20% of the population) will vote for it. I visit Bulgaria regularly as I have friends that live there, and I love their folk music but it is an acquired taste.… Read more »

Momo
Guest
Momo

Homegirls clearly didn’t get The East-meets-west-is-so-yesterday Memo.

Imma skip reading the translation and guess Shampioni means Champion or maybe even a bottle of bubbly. Either way, ain’t none of that going on in here.

As HK Dick said, if it were the Eurovision Percussion Contest, girrrrrrrrllll we would’ve been partying like it was 1999. But, it’s not.

*straight face*

Samo
Guest

I used to love this song … until I heard her voice at Eurovision In Concert… eek!

Emily
Guest
Emily

I’m pretty sure they could make the Final provided that they get the staging and vocals right. I love this song; it is in my top 10!

AlAlekoff
Guest
AlAlekoff

@Vebooboo – your ignorance is astonishing I wonder are you British or just not really interested in anything beyond the border?
As for the song, for once Bulgarians actually like their entry and that is the most important. Europe can vote for their Europop trash or the culturally-dissected pop divas. Boo you.
*Is it too obvious I am Bulgarian 😉

Alex
Guest
Alex

In response to the post below… I don’t think people who like this song are in the minority. In any case, I love it. Top 10 easily. Way better than Denmark or Norway and most of the other “fan favorites.”

Kate Higginson
Guest

At the risk of being a massive minority here and perhaps displaying my varying music taste, I actually quite like the song!

Anthony Ko
Editor

While I’m pleased that Bulgaria eventually went for “Samo Shampioni”, which was probably the best of the three they provided, it’s still nowhere as good as their hugely successful 2007 entry “Water”. Sadly, I fear that Elitsa and Stoyan will suffer the Eurovision equivalent of “second season syndrome” this year.

As for Mr Häggkvist’s suggestion of “Some football club should pick this as their new anthem…The quality of music is very low”, I’d give it to Blackburn Rovers. It pretty much sums up the mess they’re currently in.

Alexander Green
Guest

@Vebooboo “Is there something fundamentally off kilter in the country?”

Definitely, and a lot more than just music. Bulgaria is one of the most screwed up European countries, that’s for sure. (I am half-Bulgarian btw).

Pablo Nava
Member

There’s no football crowd in the revamped version. Now it’s a gong.

I’m dissapointed at your lack of faith. Everyone knows about Water, and I feel that song was much more ethnic and baffling than this one, which I feel it can really get around Europe. It has ethnic, it has modern, and I think everyone in the Euro comunity has familiarized with Elitsa’s voice (which also sounds less harsh than their previous effort).

Straight in my top 10.