Zdraveite! The Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of music unprofessionals — has now arrived in Bulgaria, the host of Junior Eurovision 2015. After visiting the ancient amphitheatre of Serdica, we gathered to discuss Bulgaria’s entry for Eurovision 2017, “Beautiful Mess” by Kristian Kostov. Did we think the song was beautiful or more of a mess? Read on to find out!
Kristian Kostov – “Beautiful Mess”
About Kristian Kostov
Seventeen-year-old Kristian Kostov embodies the “Celebrate Diversity” theme better than almost any act in this year’s contest. Born in Moscow to a Bulgarian father and a Kazakh mother, half of his relatives are Christian, while the other half are Muslim. So where exactly is home, we asked him in April in London. “I’m from somewhere between Russia and Bulgaria,” he says. Kristian, whose voice belies his youth, rose to fame on The Voice Kids of Russia, where he was mentored by Eurovision winner Dima Bilan, and he later moved to Bulgaria to compete on X Factor. He released his debut single “Ne si za men” last year.
“Beautiful Mess” reviews
William: Among the most contemporary tracks of the year, “Beautiful Mess” is a thoughtful piece of pop that oozes soul. Rather than following a traditional formula and reaching an easily identifiable peak, this progresses somewhat linearly. It’s more cinematic and atmospheric than the typical Eurovision song, and has a smooth, polished finish yet never leans toward the sterile. Young Kristian has the face of an angel, but the voice of an established (and much older) international pop star — a mix that will serve him very well at Eurovision. Nail the staging and this is guaranteed a top-five placing.
Deban: This composition is beautiful but not messy. It marries subtle folk elements with current and sparse production. “Beautiful Mess” tells a compelling story using the youth and star power of Kristian Kostov. Bulgaria beat all odds in 2016. It’s great to know that although they’ve taken a different route this year, they’re still slaying.
Sinan: When I heard this for the first time, I was impressed by the voice and the sensitive manner in which Kristian sings this beautiful song. It’s a super modern ballad, but with a dark sound and subtle ethnic touches. My country has a huge chance to finish as high as it did last year and even to take first place — why not? I just hope Kristian will give his best and make Bulgarians proud!
Anthony: Last year Poli Genova gave Bulgaria its best-ever Eurovision result to date — and that was always going to be a tough act to follow. But Bulgaria has continued to deliver the radio-friendly goods with “Beautiful Mess”. The song is beautifully produced and wouldn’t sound out of place on the charts across Europe. I’ll be delighted if Kristian makes Eurovision history by achieving a second straight qualification for Bulgaria.
Chris: Remarkably talented at such a young age, Kristian is a great choice by Bulgaria to follow up their best ever result. That being said, there’s something just a little cold about this entry. The music itself doesn’t inspire and almost feels a little drab at times. By the end of the song, it’s like Kristian is having to work overtime to make it all work. Not bad at all but Kristian deserves better.
Jason: Bulgaria is back and ready to show that last year’s result wasn’t just a one-off. “Beautiful Mess” follows a different path to “If Love Was a Crime”, but it would still sit perfectly in any 2017 pop chart. The simplicity of the track serves it well, although at times it gets a little dull. With inventive staging, this will be a qualifier for sure.
Robyn: “Beautiful Mess” sounds like something right out of the pop charts (or a Spotify playlist). It has a very current sound and Kristian delivers a mature and emotional vocal. The song does feel a bit repetitive and it doesn’t quite reach a satisfying conclusion, but it sounds like Bulgaria has some clever staging planned that might make it all work.
Jordi: “Beautiful Mess” sounds promising from the very first note — and it delivers until the very last. Pure emotion mixed with a soulful, touching and fragile voice, this meaningful performance explores love and friendship but never loses sight of darkness and drama. The overall result really works. Even if I find the song quite slow, Kristian Kostov has everything to bring Bulgaria back to the grand final.
In our Wiwi Jury, we have 38 jurors but only room for eight reviews. The rest of our scores can be found below:
Before calculating the average score, the highest and lowest scores are dropped. This is to remove outliers and reduce potential bias. We have removed a low of 3 and a high of 9.5.
Wiwi Jury verdict: 7.25/10
What do you think of this song? Share your own score and review below!