Poli Genova from Bulgaria isn’t messing around. The “If Love Was a Crime” singer absolutely nailed her first rehearsal at Eurovision 2016 with a killer live vocal, simple but memorable staging and choreography that added to the intrigue of it all.

The performance starts with a close up of Poli, who wears a dark purple lip.

As the camera pans out backwards, Poli’s costume is revealed. The costume displays a stark contrast of structured jewellery and shoulder pads met with a beige nude illusion and a floor-length black jacket. She looks fierce!

The staging is simple yet complex at the same time. During the verses, the angled LEDs on the back wall along with the floor are flooded with black and white imagery, reminiscent of TV static. As the song builds into the chorus, the black and white is again contrasted with yellow spotlights and images of dancers smashing out the same choreography as Poli herself.

As the final chorus of the song climaxes, her shoulder pads and stripes on her legs light up and Poli is joined on stage by her backing vocalists. Poli is stomping her way down the stage and loving every minute of her time on stage and we are loving it too!

Bulgaria: First rehearsal at Eurovision 2016

Poli Genova’s “If Love Was a Crime”: Reviews and Reactions

Read all of our Eurovision rehearsal reviews

Photo: Eurovision.tv (EBU)

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Criticca
Guest
Criticca

Poli’s team should really consider re-watching the music video & read the comments on YouTube. We’re expecting to see what was presented on the clip NOT this mess on stage. Now I’m really worried for Bulgaria.

Criticca
Guest
Criticca

Looks like we’ve got a serious contender for 2016 Barbara Dex Award.

Briekimchi
Guest
Briekimchi

Styling issues.
It is good if she has chosen the style for herself but I do not think it was the way to go. She has a good song. She did not need to go over the top with her outfit.

Oh, Come on!
Guest
Oh, Come on!

@Justin McCartny, Completely agree with you. At first I would say that I was disappointed a bit… as she was in my TOP 5, but the dress….hmm… then I look it again and just realised that actually I like the style. It was different and the big contrast will all other songs was actually bugging me. This is pure art guys. Now I can say that it is in TOP 3 for me. I would even say… The song to beat! I will definitely vote for Poli. And about the Barbara Dex… there is nothing wrong to wil this award… Read more »

SLY
Guest
SLY

I was a fan of Poli till 2day…. She`s also dropping on betting sites. Which is good for my country! 😉

Ron
Guest
Ron

And when everyone thought Barbara Dex award would go to Slovenia….Bulgaria comes into the ring ready to snatch it away. Well done, Bulgaria. If you can’t take the Eurovision trophy you shall never give up on taking another trophy.

Ern
Guest
Ern

What on earth is she wearing?

Months ago, I said that this girl’s crazy style will hurt her. I think I may be right.

Lucie
Guest
Lucie

I’m very sorry to say, this sure was and still is one of my 3 favorite songs, besides France and Spain, but what I saw today didn’t look promising. What to say about this dress, just not what I expected. What I’m about to say could go unnoticed for many, but take a look at the trend of the last 4-5 winners. They don’t wear anything strident, in fact, they go casual or elegant at best (Conchita’s example) It’s important to be credible for the audience but if you opt for a ridiculous futuristic dress, you are immediately losing credibility,… Read more »

Tony
Guest
Tony

This or croatia will win the barbara dex award

Justin McCartny
Guest
Justin McCartny

FINALLY SOMETHING DIFFERENT ! I am tired of official dresses and songs for goodnight ^^ Go Poli !

bruno123
Guest
bruno123

Professors to remain silent !
Polly is the best !
BIGGEST WINNER .. !!

cheesecake
Guest
cheesecake

Maybe I had too high expectations, because this is one of my favorite songs, but I wasn’t that satisfied with what I saw. I mean the song and her voice are still great, but everything else didn’t appeal to me.
Still a definite qualifier.

sonic0201
Guest
sonic0201

Another good song presented badly after Croatia… I really liked both songs after the release, then even the first live performances in the pre parties just ruined them for me, and they keep dissappoint me.

Lee
Guest
Lee

Barbara Dex

Daniel E.
Guest
Daniel E.

God almighty, couldn’t you find another picture?! I got scared when I first saw it :)). She looks like a crazy person running away from the asylum! Please change it!!!

Having said that, I love Poli, I love the song, Bulgaria is firmly in my top 10. Too bad I can’t vote! :((

Pollaski
Guest
Pollaski

That is total Dex material right there.

This is my opinion (TIMO)
Guest
This is my opinion (TIMO)

This one you get tired of after few listen. It’s just a pop song with raugh dance too much of adrenaline or testosterone should I say lol

Marie
Guest
Marie

Talk about ruining possibilities of victory with a misconception.

I also see how difficult is to translate a love song which doesn’t give you many hints to create a coherent stage. It’s really a difficult task.

Still should do very well.

Tom
Guest
Tom

This will look very good on TV and it’s eurovision SONG contest how can you stop liking her because of the dress?

Jöel #TeamAmir
Guest
Jöel #TeamAmir

Like the song but this futuristic concept doesn’t do it for me. Disappointed.

Maya
Guest
Maya

I am voting for her song, not for her dress
Sofia2017

mad-professor
Guest
mad-professor

@Leon Sag
She’s great and so is the song, but that dress needs burning. Fast.

Leon Sag
Guest
Leon Sag

The Barbara Dex Award is for all the haters; leave Poli and her dress alone, she’s fierce!! …and the song and staging one of the best this year!!12points from UK

SLY
Guest
SLY

Before the rehearsal she was one of my faws! Not anymore! Everything is wrong – her make-up, outfit, dance routine….

Rupert Gregson
Guest
Rupert Gregson

I have to admit that the dress looks funky 😀 Kinda like it actually .. it will look very cool on screen…. and the staging OMG !!!! SHE WILL BLOW THE ARENA UP !!!
She nailed her performance ! She nailed the attention on her ! She knows where she is going – right to 1st place :O :O

@EugeneESCUK
Guest

I’m not sure about the hairstyle and the outfit, it is all wrong for me.

The markets have reacted negatively, Bulgaria on the drift down to 9th and they could keep going in that direction.

Oh, Come on!
Guest
Oh, Come on!

@oooops,

What the hell your comment should mean?

ESCArgy
Guest
ESCArgy

@Nicky91

As you can see I changed my name to the one I have in the forum. Can we go there to discuss?

No comment
Guest
No comment

Bulgaria was one of my favourites, actually my number one, and I was so exciting about the staging… And this. Poli, girl, are you aiming to win the ESC2016 or win Barbara Dex Award? I’ll be literally crying if you keep this horrible horrible dress.

Nicky91
Guest
Nicky91

@ESCArgy

hi and this dress from Poli, omg Poli needs a dress change, this one looks like something what Madonna wears at her concerts these days haha

the singing was very good 🙂

stephen podesta
Guest
stephen podesta

Don’t get it you guys gushed over Australia and there was amazing applause with the press, you guys are hot and cold when it comes to the acts. Bulgaria wont be a problem with Australia, Bulgaria was OK Her voice is really good but the stage production was not there.

Leaf
Guest
Leaf

Love the song but that dress……. Yikes!!!!!

Honestly tho, Bulgaria is one of the fashion criminals of Eurovision almost every year…… Sofi was a futuristic flight attendant with stripper boots and foils as erring and now Poli looking like her zombie sister…… Hope they fix this, it’s too good of a song to not y enter the top 10 in the final this year.

ESCArgy
Guest
ESCArgy

This is the video of Slovenia’s rehearsal, not Bulgaria’s! Anyway, I think that Poli’s performance was good but that dress is really weird!

Mottto
Guest
Mottto

I love Poli and her song but I don’t like the outfit. Hopefully she will change it. Good luck Poli x

OR
Guest
OR

i love poli, and the song just great!!
she can win!
good luck from Israel 🙂

Anton
Guest
Anton

Kitsch.

wozzeck
Guest
wozzeck

Barbara Dex Alarm!

oooops
Guest
oooops

If it wasn’t for the disqualification, Romania could have performed now

Fransman
Guest
Fransman

No doubt at all, this is going to the final!

Raash
Guest
Raash

What the hell is dat dress????