This morning on the show “The day begins on Sunday” Bulgaria’s participation (or lack thereof) in Eurovision 2014 was discussed. The discussion panel included Joana Levieva-Sawyer (Head of Bulgarian delegation in 2012 and 2013), Stanislav Terziev (director of all national finals produced by BNT- Bulgarian National Television), DJ Dian (part of Deep Zone, who represented Bulgaria at Eurovision 2008) and Dani Milev (famous Bulgarian composer who composed Bulgaria’s 2006 entry “Let Me Cry”).
At the beginning of the conversation, Joana Levieva – Sawyer said that BNT has taken the decision to opt-out under the pressure of circumstances. The government cut the public subsidy that the television broadcaster will receive next year, which put pressure on BNT to make a decision in the days before the Eurovision participation confirmation deadline on November 22nd. Sawyer added, however, that the EBU has extended the deadline for submission of application forms in the hopes that more countries will sign up. According to the head of the Bulgarian delegation, BNT was forced to cut back drastically on many of its productions and the decision regarding Eurovision was very difficult for them in the last minute. Sawyer pointed to other countries (such as Serbia, Croatia, and Cyprus) that have decided not to “Join Us” in Copenhagen for financial reasons. Seeing the other countries give up inspired the Bulgarian broadcaster to do the same. However, she made it clear that the present decision concerns only Eurovision 2014 and that BNT would love to return for the 2015 competition if possible. She also suggested that it would be very helpful if BNT received help from external organizations and companies in order to fund the participation.
Stanislav Terziev, the former director of Bulgarian national selections for Eurovision, stressed that there is still time to seek a new option for Bulgarian participation in the race. However, that new option cannot include spending from an already tight budget. As possible solutions to the dilemma, he suggested a sponsorship by major telecommunications companies or interaction with external producers to accept all or a major part of the cost. According to him, it would be necessary to select a Bulgarian representative without major shows and lavish scenery, unlike in the past. Terziev added that Bulgaria should not take for granted the importance of participating in a competition that has 100 million viewers from around the globe.
The musicians on the panel were (kind of obviously) in support of Bulgarian participation in the competition. Composer Dani Milev was disappointed in the decision to opt out and urged to seek alternative ways to ensure participation. According to him, Eurovision is the biggest opportunity for Bulgarian artists since many world producers in the music industry attend it and keep a close eye on what is happening on the Eurovision stage. DJ Dian of Deep Zone, one of Bulgaria’s representatives in Belgrade, also supported the idea of finding an alternative way to provide Bulgarian participation. He said that regardless of the outcome for Bulgaria (which tends to be a disaster), Eurovision gives good prospects and opportunities for the participants. He cited the song “DJ, take me away”, which to this day continues to be a business card for Deep Zone in Bulgaria and Europe.
Will Bulgaria find a way to get back into the competition? Who knows. But the more countries that “Join Us” in Copenhagen, the merrier! Otherwise the two semi-finals will be awfully short and almost pointless as the vast majority of countries will qualify for the final.
Photo: Eurovision.tv (EBU)
Alexander Green contributed this report from North Carolina. You can keep up-to-date on the latest Eurovision news and gossip by following the team on Twitter @wiwibloggs and by liking our Facebook page.