If slow and steady wins the race, then Poli Genova is most definitely in the lead. Bulgaria’s Eurovision 2016 starlet has finally released her song “If Love Was A Crime”, making her the 43rd of 43 acts to do so — and after the EBU granted Bulgaria a special extension. In recent days the team at BNT has teased us with the lyrics and with photos from the music video. Fans complained — “Where the song at?! — but thankfully it was worth the wait.

In fact, if love is a crime, then arrest us and throw away the key because we are FEELING this. Poli has met and exceeded our expectations, delivering a contemporary pop song with a killer hook. The opening, which melds piano with electronic flourishes, is soft, light and accessible, and it builds to an incredibly smooth pre-chorus.

Listen to Poli Genova’s Eurovision 2016 song

As we previously reported, all the verses are in English and the English is on-point. No Google Translate used here! The bi-lingual chorus, which alternates between English and Bulgarian, really works. Poli honors her Bulgarian roots (day mi lyubovta – give me the love) but it doesn’t jar with the rest of the song. In fact, the Bulgarian lyrics enhance the ethnic chorus, which wouldn’t feel out of place in a Turbo-folk number. All of this is done with contemporary, international production. Poli is thinking globally and acting locally. This is how you slay.

The song encourages people to love who they love, even when the haters say it’s wrong.  The play on criminalisation in the title will no doubt stir talk of LGBT rights, but it can apply to any number of relationships considered taboo by some — rich marrying poor, black marrying white, Capulet hitting it with Montague. Love, Poli suggests, will give you the strength to push past the shade.

“If Love Was A Crime” — Our first reaction

Read more Bulgaria Eurovision news

106 Comments
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Andre
Andre
5 years ago

Amazing 12points from Russia. We love also Lili Ivanova the best Europe singerin!!!

Pablo
Pablo
5 years ago

Loving it! If it came from Sweden or Denmark it would be a possible winner. Now, hoping for a good stage presentation, this should make top 5 in the final. I guess everything points at Australia this year, so I suppose the outcome of this years final could look like this: 1. Australia 2. Ukraine 3. Russia 4. Bulgaria 5. Germany 6. Netherlands 7. Armenia 8. France 9. Hungary 10. Croatia 11. Serbia 12. Norway 13. Malta 14. Italy 15. Iceland 16. Azerbaijan 17. Israel 18. Cyprus 19. Latvia 20. Bosnia&Herzegovina 21. Sweden 22. Spain 23. Fyrom 24. Poland 25.… Read more »

Dez
Dez
5 years ago

Poli and Bulgaria are ready to avenge their 2011 semi final defeat because this song SLAYS!!! It’s been on repeat since it came out and I’m so glad I waited for this one to blow the competition away. We need to go to Sofia ASAP because Junior Eurovision 2015 won’t be the only event they will host xD

Lee
Lee
5 years ago

Simply LOVE THIS. A real 2016 entry. Well done Bulgaria.

David Who
David Who
5 years ago

Poli is bringing the dark Madonna realness in this video, and the music is contemporary enough to do well this year among a generally weak ESC selection of songs (when compared to previous years). Great job all those who worked on the video. Bulgaria should be proud. 🙂

WillFran
WillFran
5 years ago

Not bad Bulgaria!
Perhaps not the style I’d expect from Poli, but I like that it includes some Bulgarian! We need more languages (I want Barei to sing in Spanish instead!)

Good message, but part of me thinks this “forbidden love” theme (like the Irish song) could be ruined by thoughts of adult/child romance (sorry for being dark….)

It’ll be nice to see Bulgaria in a final! It’ll encourage them to stay!

Briekimchi
Briekimchi
5 years ago

It is hard to place this. The song has some really good elements but the chorus itself is a bit forgettable and weak in places.
I think it is good! Not near the top of the board for me, though.

Unreal eurofan
Unreal eurofan
5 years ago

“Bulgarian realness”? You wouldn’t recognise a Bulfaruan sound if it bit you on the nose.

Thomas
Thomas
5 years ago

Who is the random dude in the video?

kris
kris
5 years ago

I tried to hear this song again this morning maybe I start liking it! Man! the chipmunk sound in the beginning is so funny! HAHAHAHAH So from Bulgaria to Nulgaria for me! hope they have interesting staging! 15 – 20th place in the final.
Top favs. Russia – Croatia – Australia and potentially Malta.

Hugh
Hugh
5 years ago

Alright, after 5 listens on repeat, can confirm – it’s great <3 Good luck Poli!

irish esc
irish esc
5 years ago

forget to say that you will make the final

irish esc
irish esc
5 years ago

great song bulgaria but you won’t win esc this year.

Amor A.
Amor A.
5 years ago

Its okay but it doesn’t scream Poli. I feel like she’s being someone she’s not. She’s more punk and rock. But it is better than a lot of songs this year.

Slightly Biased ESC Fan
Slightly Biased ESC Fan
5 years ago

Sounds a bit like something that Selena Gomez would do as of late but the hook is pretty good

MTD
MTD
5 years ago

If this was Sweden, it will be touted as the winner. But no, this is Bulgaria.

It speaks so much about the Swedish influence on the gay-ESC fandom.

AurelianTamisan
AurelianTamisan
5 years ago

A mostly cheap song, but better than many other cheap songs on Eurovision 2016. The chorus is attracting the listener. Of course it’s not sth for a high place, I doubt it will reach the final.

cheesecake
cheesecake
5 years ago

Really like it. Not disappointed after the long wait.
No standout either though…

Bastian
Bastian
5 years ago

Best pop song this year imho 🙂 This is soooo qualifying

jPod
jPod
5 years ago

The number of snobbery coming from those in the comments section is beyond astounding. I’d rather experience a year full of modern, upbeat pop songs than a year full of dull and forgettable ballads. Honestly, I think most of those in the fandom need to get off their high horse…

ct_greece
ct_greece
5 years ago

The eurofan club will love this, but unfortunately I don’t see much to distinguish it from most of the songs that clutter my list this year from #9 to #27. Songs that try to sound similar to whatever is playing at the radio at the moment, to the point where we all start playing the guessing game of which part was lifted from which commercial hit. It is all rather depressing really – if you really want to hear tepid anglopop there are much better places for that than Eurovision. I blame Mans and jury tampering last year for this… Read more »

mocosuburbian
mocosuburbian
5 years ago

i’m blown away
it has this great song of the summer vibe
malta, bulgaria, and croatia seem to have very similar-sounding songs however idk how successful they can all be

Alex
Alex
5 years ago

YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSS

My top 3:
12 pts Spain
10 pts Bulgaria
8 pts Netherlands

Pork Loin d'Icee
Pork Loin d'Icee
5 years ago

Nice very nice indeed. Going to final for sure.

Sparrow
Sparrow
5 years ago

It’s ok. I don’t see her qualifying without a killer performance.

ESCaddict
ESCaddict
5 years ago

Wow, Poli does it again. Her last song was brilliant. This one is too.
It is definitely in my Top 10. Top 5 is likely. After more listens, I will see where it lands.
I love it.

Ivan
Ivan
5 years ago

Very good, little bit different, and if I compare this with Malta for example, this is much better 🙂 Direct finalist 😉

Ern
Ern
5 years ago

I think Poli will lose some points because of her style. She’s a pretty girl who sings nice pop songs, but she dresses like a punk. It’s just a bit odd.

The song itself is enjoyable. One of the better songs from Bulgaria, second to Voda (a very different song). I don’t see this entering the top 10, but it should make the final.

Laburnum
Laburnum
5 years ago

Kinda reminfs me of Justin Bieber – Sorry. I aint gonna complain. This girl just slays in every second of this, that in my opinion….put Say Yay to shame…. sorry Barei but move aside, I got a new first place.

This is my opinion (TIMO)
This is my opinion (TIMO)
5 years ago

There is certainly lots of excitement there, good for eurovision, I don’t see anything special in the video or about the song but it’s fun its eurovisionary, I am sure this will cheer the audience/viewers and get lots of votes, I can’t say about top 5 but this is the type of song that can pass semi and fight for position in top 10, its possible, good luck

Chupacabra
Chupacabra
5 years ago

Hope, she´ll qualify, she´d deserve it, and will end up on the left side of the board. Not overwhelming but fresh, positive, catchy… one of the better entries. Welcome back Bulgaria!

Österrike
Österrike
5 years ago

In a year when no song stands out, this song doesn’t stand out neither

marc
marc
5 years ago

It is perfect. Just awesome. I say that for song for TOP 5.

P4ESC
P4ESC
5 years ago

All songs are known now!
Go check out the recap of all songs!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ATrI8ES0tRg

And Wiwibloggs, please feel free to share this video:)

Leo M
Leo M
5 years ago

It like it, it’s modern and catchy and seeing that semi-final 2 is the weakest of the two semis, I think it will qualify.

Now that semi-final 2 is complete, my top 10 qualifiers would be (in a random order): Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Denmark, Australia, Serbia, Ireland and Romania

Max
Max
5 years ago

Love it Bulgaria, solidly in my Top 10, approaching my Top 5! <3

Denis
Denis
5 years ago

The best Bulgarian entry to date, the two year absence seems to have been worth the wait.
Fresh sound, modern dance-beats, overall a cool and good song.
Not a winner but will end up very high. Anywhere between 6th-15th place, I predi

Stian Fikseaunet
Stian Fikseaunet
5 years ago

This has PAN EUROPEAN HIT written all over it ! This is SO good 🙂 Bulgarias best entry by far 🙂 so contemporary and very catchy 🙂 Definitely Worth the wait 🙂 I have 20 songs that I like well this year – 12 of which i like VERY much 🙂

Miss Uncongeniality
Miss Uncongeniality
5 years ago

All the hype for this? sorry, but is not mediocre, but also is not a masterpiece… could classify? maybe yes, could this win? the jury must be drunk… i see it between 18 to 23 in the final… 8 to 11 at semifinal

Olga from Latvia
Olga from Latvia
5 years ago

Just another meh song. Sonewhere between 15-40 for me, just like 24 other songs.

Jan
Jan
5 years ago

Nice.. But it is Justin Bieber copycat in verses… But it should be in final as it is in weak 2nd SF. Not winner.

uk
uk
5 years ago

Poor countries even if they have a winner song will never win because of the economic situation.Fact

Ejin
Ejin
5 years ago

Great song Poli [and Bulgaria]! and Poli has a amazing and great voice. Poli will qualifying with this song,but it will be not the winner.The mix of the song and lyrics in Bulgarian [in refrain] and English is great and Bulgaria will be my NEW number 3.My NEW top 5 :
1.Russia
2.Spain
3.Bulgaria
4.Malta
5.Italy

P.s This is the best song of Bulgaria on Eurovision

Hebbuzz
Hebbuzz
5 years ago

Nulgaria should qualify with a song like this. I like it a lot. It’s has an instant and broad appeal opposite to Iceland (too complicated) and Malta (too wannabe). Hopefully Armenia will be victim in the same fishing pond as well. Very modern and catchy song.

YAAAAS
YAAAAS
5 years ago

TOP 5 FOR ME!
Really good, no winning material, but still really goood

2016
2016
5 years ago

We want a second semi-final poll now and final too please, wiwi.

oli
oli
5 years ago

@uk Thanks for the link!

After listening to the whole song: I really like it! it sounds a little bit eurojunior-ish but it’s fun and catchy. Welcome to my top 10 Bulgaria!

Thiefo
5 years ago

I’m not exaggerating, I started loving it from the first 5 seconds 😛
The wait was painful but it paid off for me, I’m absolutely loving it! Directly into my top 5!

YoungsterJoey
YoungsterJoey
5 years ago

It’s a SONG contest, so whenever a new video comes up, I first LISTEN to it and then after will view the video.

Based on my 1st listen, it surpassed any expectations I had for it. Congrats to Poli and the Bulgarian team!