At just 17 years of age he’s the youngest competitor at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest. But on Wednesday Bulgaria’s Kristian Kostov reminded us that age doesn’t limit ambition or talent as he took to the stage for his first rehearsal.

Singing about a world in crisis, Kristian sought to convey a sense of isolation. He did so with a dark colourway consisting mostly of black and grey, albeit with flashes of white and dark blues. Kristian himself wears black, low-slung trousers and an asymmetrical jacket, which hides white sleeves with a strap between his thumb and index finger. It’s avant-garde and smacks of Keanu Reeves in The Matrix. That other-worldly, minimalist bent continues with the LED floor, which at times resembles a vast grey space — emphasising Kristian’s singularity. Perhaps the most dramatic moments comes when large, rectilinear rain drops fall from the LED, creating the effect that Kristian is in the middle of a storm. The angle of the camera makes it almost look three-dimensional.

On-screen camera effects — including white squiggles and rays bursting forth from Kristian — weren’t quite working (at least in the press centre feed) and at times they were rather distracting. The performance is so polished and austere. Having happy bubble lines seem decidedly out of place and somewhat Junior Eurovision. But producers will no doubt tweak these to make them fit.

 

Kristian Kostov — “Beautiful Mess”: Reviews and Reactions

Bulgaria: First rehearsal at Eurovision 2017

Bulgaria: First press conference 2017

Read all of our Eurovision rehearsal reviews

Read all of our Belarus Eurovision news here

Photo: Eurovision.tv (EBU)

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Live me alone
Guest
Live me alone

Does anyone know the name of Kristian’s clothes stylist?
I like them very much!!!

Bella
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Bella

I like Bulgaria although Bulgaria hasn’t been one of my favorites but this is a classy performance! He will do well (as everyone else has already figured out). 😉

Maria Teresa
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Maria Teresa

Kristian’s karma is to win the ESC 2017… it is just like that…good night, see you next year

Purple Mask
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Purple Mask

Kristian sings like he belongs on a big stage. He’s someone very special, that’s for sure.

Bella
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Bella

I agree, and so are you. You are someone special! 🙂

Briekimchi
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Briekimchi

He sounds great and it seems as if Bulgaria plan to go all out this year to win this. It will come top three and I am so excited to see the final product. Poli was just the entree, Kristian is the main course!

Polegend Godgarina
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Polegend Godgarina

I wonder why his odds drifted despite the good response for this performance? Probably because nobody wants another downtempo winner – except Jamala’s song had soul in it, this one feels totally disconnected from the singer despite it being well produced and performed.

Boriss
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Boriss

I m very hapy for Kristian,because song is not political it’s very modern american still.
But Italian song is copy Jamala 1944 = rusia-fhobie and Italian is tactical east-fhobie.
Good luck democratic ” deuce” Europe bla bla bla.
Just Respect for tallent boy Kristian !!

Gippa
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Gippa

Stop saying that in every post you write, you just seem like a crazy russian that read too much conspiracy theories.
Italy has nothing against Russia, Francesco was even coming to perform to Moscow pre-party if it wasn’t canceled.

And you’re not really doing a favour to Kristian if you are spamming this section in this way. 🙂

Boriss
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Boriss

wester parody bla bla bla viva “Politic”Vision not EuroVision

Gippa
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Gippa

Have you at least read the comments of other people, or are you one of that trolls who just annoy other people with nonsense copy and paste about something “politic” that only you can see?

Gippa
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Gippa

*And have you read read mine too? (it was implied)
Because I said a thing that has nothing to do with your answer.

Boriss
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Boriss

It’s my opinion musically Francesco should not win but because he sings western karma will win as he did 1944 Jamala

Gippa
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Gippa

Ok, but what does it has to do with what I wrote? Anyhow it’s not that other countries in the rest of Europe feel so strongly towards Russia that they write a song against you to send to Eurovision (a part from your direct neighbourgs with whom you are/were at war). Don’t flatten yourself too much, Russia is not at the centre of the universe, so I can assure you that the Italian song (since I can understand perfetly the language) is definetly not against Russia. This persecution mania is exageratted, not everyone hates you (well, you do a lot… Read more »

Enthusiast
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Enthusiast

Boriss, I totally love Kristian and his Beautiful Mess but you do not make him a favor with some of your comments. The Italian song have nothing to compare with Jamala’s, especially politically. First of all the message is just the opposite of what you claim – it mocks our western ignorance and lack of deeper knowledge, understanding and so on… And it’s true – there is lack of intuition in our western culture. But… here comes the solution of the untouchable love: that’s what may connect us with higher state of mind and with each other as well. And… Read more »

MistyEyes
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MistyEyes

You guys haven’t even seen the special effects yet. You’ll see how great the staging truly is on Saturday. If you don’t feel like waiting that long, here’s a sneakpeak of the special effects: http://i.imgur.com/u44Rdq0.jpg
It’s probably the best staging I’ve seen this year.

AngieP
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AngieP

I also noticed there’s not sth special in the rehearsal! I think I expected more to happen! But I think we’ll see more in the 2nd rehearsal!
I generally enjoyed the performance!

Pop
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Pop

I don’t think we will see more in the next rehearsals since the BG delegation said that there are some special effects and tv angels that are going to shape the final product. I guess we shall wait untill SF2

AngieP
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AngieP

William kept referring to “The Matrix” in the review video and that’s exactly what I was thinking when I saw the video of the rehearsal!
The outfit, the background, the colours! Everything seemed to be taken out of a sci-fi movie! However, I believe it fits the song!

BTW, William, I love your shirt today! Aloha!

Julie
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Julie

He is sounding really good! With each performance he is showing more and more confidence. Watch out, this 17 year old might just steal the whole show!

Denis
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Denis

Best of the ballads but not a winner. It’s not strong enough. You can hear it’s one of those “Swedish songs not representing Sweden”.
And the staging don’t do him any favours either, it’s to bland and generic.

Hsinaps
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Hsinaps

I hate Kristian so much D:
He’s so tallented, he is so charismatic and he is only 16. I’m ROTTEN with envy because of this kid lol
I hope he gets a top5 or better.

Bella
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Bella

You have to do you and BELIEVE in yourself! 😉 You’re fabulous in your own way! 😀

Kristian also is very talented though but I thought he was 17?

Paul
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Paul

Oh, these bulgarians always have some tricks under their sleeve. Cant wait for the performance.

Ariana
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Ariana

I can promise you, the staging looks so cool! (I’ve seen pictures of it)
People are underestimating it because they didn’t show the special effects in his rehearsal today, but they will be blown away when they see it on the 2nd rehearsal. Bulgaria is totally the 1st qualifier for semi-final 2.

Sandy
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Sandy

After this rehearsal I don’t see it as a winner. His incredible song and voice will secure him a top 5 ranking for sure. They should of taken concepts from the video clip. The staging and outfit makes it look like a k-pop inspired performance. Well maybe because it’s celebrating diversity??

Boriss
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Boriss

westers karma whats a parody??
Kristian is the real winner

nudiecrudi
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nudiecrudi

Hating italian song doesn’t make bulgaria’s a winner.
As an italian, i like kristian song and don’t behave like you.
Otherwise i could say for this song….heard a hundred times…..very normal verses, nothing that we haven’t heard……..or this is not JESC…… or Nathan, Brendan, Issaiah and Kristian are very similar.
So enjoy your favourite singer without hating others.

Boriss
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Boriss

Just Italian song is politized Wester?? WTF??

Joe
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Joe

It’s Western culture (America, Europe) and Eastern culture (Asia, mainly), not Western/Eastern Europe, which means Bulgaria is also a Western country.
Just adding to nudiecrudi’s comment, hating on Francesco will only make Italians to avoid voting for Bulgaria.

Boriss
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Boriss

And we both know this is far from being the case. In Europe there is a wicked and western block, and mostly western countries think of the eastern ones. For that I am angry, this is a tactical political song. I hope then the eastern bloc will NOT vote for Francesco

Joe
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Joe

You should know that this song wasn’t even meant to be in Eurovision. It’s a San Remo song.
What do we think about the Eastern ones? I’d like to hear more please (at least 3 paragraphs).

Boriss
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Boriss

To sing a san remo and because he sings western karma hop and ideal political song for PoliticsVision bla bla bla

Italian/Bulgarian
Guest
Italian/Bulgarian

Anyway Italy can not vote for Bulgaria cuz the italians will vote in the first semi final 🙂

Joe
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Joe

in the final…

Boriss
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Boriss

It’s my opinion musically Francesco should not win but because he sings western karma will win as he did 1944 Jamal?

Eve
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Eve

Beautiful, pure, simmple, just him and his wonderful voice, amazing outfit! <3

Boriss
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Boriss

Cristian’s adventure is his child’s face, the incredible voice and the sure support of the Eastern Jury and Televote,as well as the West Jury!
Ochidenental karma to be a hit in Italy but not in Europe!

Carlos
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Carlos

Are you rusian? why eastern europe is so partialists

Boriss
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Boriss

Yess i m Russian.
But Italian song is politizet ” wester carma” this is big parody ever !
Ukrain 1944 and Italy “wester carma” is absolutley big parody for Eurovision!
This is Song Contest not Political Contest!!

Gippa
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Gippa

How is it politicized? You know, I’m Italian, I can understand directly the words, please enlighten me…

Do you have a vague idea what Western culture and Eastern culture means? You know that Russia is (mostly) considered a Western country or it’s considered in his own league as an Euroasiatic country but it’s absolutely not an Eastern one such as Japan, Cina, and India?
I know that you are allergic to the word West but it’s a manner of defining a similar culture, there’s nothing offensive in simple words, only in the meaning we want to attibute them.

Boriss
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Boriss

hahahh you are veryy tactical funny tipical wester boy this is ironic democrasy

Karen
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Karen

I’m so excited to see Italys performance that I do not care about the other songs. Is that bad?!???

AAA
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AAA

Francesco will slay it because he’s ARTIST!

Daniel
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Daniel

From the stupid Francesco? Hahahahaha, that will flop so hard 😛

Gippa
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Gippa

@Daniel How old are you? 10? Hahaha

Boriss
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Boriss

I do not care about the ironic Francesco. He’s so naughty
And the song speaks of the Western Bloc it is politicized, then unite and give them lessons from the East and make the winner Christian or Yodel It

Gippa
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Gippa

@Boriss it’s impossible to understand what’s your point. Good luck to your theory though.

Iggema
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Iggema

Good job, but no winner. Great voice, average song.

Jemima
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Jemima

We will have to wait until we see the full rehearsals. Kristian’s vocals are good but the staging is not what I was expecting. It may look better with all the special effects.

Michaela
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Michaela

I don’t understand – how can this basic ballad be the contender to win as people says? Top 5 for sure but I hope not for the win ’cause I would be so disappointed again…

L'oiseau
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L'oiseau

From what I saw, I was expecting much more… Nothing that stands out or that adds to the studio cut. Of course it will qualify, but maybe not win the SF.

Harry
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Harry

The best male vocalists this year are Kristian and Isaiah.

Atlas
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Atlas

Salvador sobral

Essy
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Essy

He looks quite lost on that stage…

Amanda
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Amanda

I think that the winner is still not certain until the final moment. It can be anybody in the top 10 or a non favourite. I’ll be happy if one of my favourites won. Azerbaijan, Australia & Bulgaria.

Dew
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Dew

According to the bookies after the rehearsal today, it doesn’t bode well for him to win the whole thing.

Americanvision
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Americanvision

Still my favorite song from SF2, but Belarus won the day. I’m sure it will change for the 2nd rehearsal.

M_K
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M_K

It looks promising!

Joe
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Joe

I think it will look better when it’s finished, now it looks kind of messy (something like Russia 2016). Bulgaria will probably win SF2.
In the final I think he will face competition against Australia that have a similar song, but Isaiah’s staging doesn’t look very good now with almost all revealed.
I’m glad his face is not in the background.

Jason
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Jason

The winner this year will be a dark horse. Bulgaria has the potential to be in the top 5 but not a winner.

Marc
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Marc

Which Dark Horse?
We’ve already seen most of the rehearsals and there’s no dark horse this year.

Jackson
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Jackson

@Marc
We’ve only seen about 30-40 seconds of each rehearsal. Have you actually seen all the performances in full? Everybody is still working on overall presentation, angles etc. It also comes down to their vocal strengths in the live performance.
The winner might not be a fan favourite. Last year Jamala was the dark horse. Her song wasn’t the best but her performance sealed the deal.

Marc
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Marc

36/42 rehearsals seen

Last year Jamala impact at the first rehearsal.
Same happened with Conchita or The Common Linnets.
This year, it hasn’t happened yet.

Joe
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Joe

Yeah, 36/42. I’m only expecting something from France now.
No dark horses this year.

Atlas
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Atlas

Portugal

Boriss
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Boriss

The Winner

Ananas
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Ananas

Ok… I decided. This is my winner of Eurovision Song Contest 2017! I praise him for having such a strong and beautiful voice at that young age! The song is my definite grower and raised from 16th overall to 1st! I can already see the image of Eurovision 2018 logo with Bulgarian flag in it 😀
#Sofia2018