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
Photo: Eurovision.tv (EBU)