Take nothing for granted. That’s perhaps the lesson to remember today as Bulgaria — one of the powerhouses of the Eurovision Song Contest since BNT’s return in 2016 — has announced that it is withdrawing from the Eurovision Song Contest.

The broadcaster has said that financial reasons are behind its withdrawal. The decision overturns the country’s initial plans to participate in the 2019 contest.

BNT’s official statement on withdrawing

In a statement on its official Twitter account, the broadcaster wrote, “We are sad to announce that Bulgaria withdraws from #Eurovision. The decision is based on financial reasons because the costs of the project far exceed the financial capacity of BNT according to the Management of the broadcaster”.

The confirmation follows days of speculation and cryptic deleted tweets, which suggested that at the very least, a major overhaul was taking place with BNT’s Eurovision team.

But didn’t Bulgaria already confirm for Eurovision 2019?

One month ago, Bulgaria had provisionally confirmed, but — like all countries — it was within the period the broadcaster could still withdraw from the contest without being penalised by the EBU.

There are several examples of national broadcasters confirming for Eurovision only to do a 180 and withdraw after circumstances change.

In September BNT’s Eurovision team said — in a sharp departure from recent years — that they wouldn’t reveal anything about the selected song until it was presented.

The news was confirmed by BNT on Twitter, in response to a query from a Eurovision fan. The fan asked the broadcaster, “When should we expect to hear more news about the Bulgarian entry? Any teasers? Are entry confirmations open yet – maybe you’re returning to a national final?”

A lot of questions were asked, but only one brief answer was given from the broadcaster: “No details will be published this year until the song presentation/selection.”

The tweet also confirmed that Bulgaria would again use internal selection and not return to using a national final to select their entry for 2019. Speculation around a national final was reignited earlier in the year when HoD Joana Levieva-Sawyer told an interviewer, “We would love to do a national final and we are slowly getting there”.

Bulgaria’s withdrawal takes the total number of Eurovision 2019 provisional confirmations to 39. Russia, Moldova and San Marino are still to confirm their participation.

What do you think? Are you sad that Bulgaria won’t be competing at Eurovision 2019? Leave your thoughts below!

Read more Bulgaria Eurovision news here

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Trh
Guest
Trh

Well, one less Swedish entry… No harm done, really…

BULSCHIET
Guest
BULSCHIET

Now I understand why Bulgaria gave up on Bulgarian producers. That was one of the worst scream shows I ever witnessed.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Mz8EA_cpo4

Charli Cheer Up
Guest
Charli Cheer Up

Kristian and EQUINOX both delivered great entries that put Bulgaria back into the map but it’s better for them to just take 1 year break from the contest then return again when they’ve got a new team and saved enough money to have another crack at winning. See you again in the future Bulgaria!

mimi
Guest
mimi

EQUINOX was good but Kristov not.

Loin dici
Guest
Loin dici

I was not happy to see them withdrawing, but I prefer the old Bulgaria more than the new Bulgaria. Their comeback participation felt so ambitious with too much desperation, and seemingly went for the popular demand, resulted in the three last entries going less and less unique. I would be so sure if Bulgaria was not represented by Poli in 2016, you would not start to consider them as a powerhouse.

Balint
Guest
Balint

While it’s sad that they withdrew (I loved their entries),
It’s better to withdraw and possibly come back with a strong song then participating and sending an entry that’s like their 2009 song.

angelika
Guest
angelika

This is not about the financial stuff. It’s a mask. Actually, this is just because Konstantin Kamenarov , the general director of BNT decided himself there is no need to spend the money for Eurovision, instead of something else. He doesn’t like the method the Bulgarian entry was chosen, especially in 2018.

Aga
Guest
Aga

He is right. Bulgaria has no pre-selection and the songs are written by one musician and he give his friends to Eurovision without any preselection. it’s unfair. People who are not friends of this musican do not have a chance to get to the festival. That’s why I’m not surprised that the general director dosent like it.

Jane
Guest
Jane

I really wish Morocco would come back to the contest.

L'oiseau
Guest
L'oiseau

Yes me too!

Aga
Guest
Aga

Bulgaria have not preselection. Its not fair against the other countries. And in my opinion Mr Krostov is vocally very weak and deserved not the second place. I am glad that Bulgaria will not participate, they shoukd have preselection like the other countries.

Pandaman
Guest
Pandaman

Do you mean the national selections? What’s wrong with internally selecting the artist and the song?
If so, you should probably know that Ireland, Croatia, Russia, FYR Macedonia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Netherlands, Australia and Georgia also chose their acts internally. Should they all withdraw, or what?

Aga
Guest
Aga

Yes I mean the national selections. I think that the regulations should be the same for all countries. It’s unfair that some people have to fight in pre-selection and others get easy on Eurovision. besides, one should not write one song, but different people. Why did the same musician write the song of Mr. Krostov from Bulgaria and Mr. Sampson from Austria? Mr. Sampson sang in Mr. Krostov’s choruses. They both did not have pre-selection. It gives me to think …

Pandaman
Guest
Pandaman

One thing is that national selections are an additional cost that not all the countries are able to pay, and if the EBU regulations stated that each country has to pull those off, we’d lose another several participants. The other thing – some of the countries are somewhat troubled with the popularity of the show from artists’ perspective. Sweden can easily get over 2000 song submissions for Melodifestivalen, Finland got around 300 for UMK (which were later discarded in favour of Saara Aalto), and Montenegro received circa 30. Considering San Marino’s population, it would be incredibly difficult for them to… Read more »

Kirby
Guest
Kirby

Bulgaria: Please be more Bulgaria and less Sweden.

Tibor
Guest
Tibor

I still cannot fathom how Equinox placed so low in 2018, for me it was by far the biggest surprise (and injustice) of this year. Bulgaria withdrawing after such a quality entry and overall very good results over the last years is really unfortunate. Is participating in Eurovision really that expensive?

Charles II
Guest
Charles II

To me it was overly dramatic and humorless staging, not to mention that back singer doing most of the work.
But all of this is water under the bridge now.

nim90
Guest
nim90

Was it ever confirmed if that impressive last note was sung by a hidden ghost singer?

Andrey
Guest
Andrey

As a bulgarian I really feel devastated after this decision, but please stop with comments like “save Bulgaria”, “sign a petition ” “find a sponsor ” “help BNT” and etc. It is kind of offending. We dont need charity. It is not a matter fo life and death.
It is pragmatical decision. They don’t have enaugh money and decided not to participate. When BNT have enaugh money they will come back to the contest. It is not such a big drama.

Darren
Guest
Darren

They were definitely ones to watch since their return in 2016. If I was to give a list of countries that I think could win Eurovision in the next few years, Bulgaria definitely would have been one of them. However I wouldn’t exactly call them a “powerhouse”. They certainly were not but the potential was there to be I guess. I’ll miss them in Tel Aviv, their 2016 entry is still one of my favorites, I love me some Poli Genova. Hope to see Bulgaria back in 2020 though and it’s not a case of pulling an Italy and disappearing… Read more »

An American ESC Fan
Guest
An American ESC Fan

I don’t think they’ll pull an Italy or a Luxembourg — both of them were losing interest in the contest before they eventually withdrew. It’s clear that Bulgaria still has interest in the contest, it’s just that they don’t have the money as of now.

bastian
Guest
bastian

Byeee, won’t miss them. I hated their last two entries. Give me something with a real heart, with real emotions but not this generic crap.

Mr. Vanilla Bean
Guest
Mr. Vanilla Bean

Thank you for being one of the few fellow people here who also see through the complete sham that was Bones. So true.

Rose
Guest
Rose

Exactly! We already have Sweden and their generic songs.

Trh
Guest
Trh

Totally agree. I didn’t hate the entries as such, but the whole fake participation really has put me off.

Bulgarian
Guest
Bulgarian

Geez, that is so embarassing! I hate BNT!

Roma
Guest
Roma

Well, I knew Bulgaria was poor, but this is another level already.

Fatima
Guest
Fatima

Can’t the EBU make it cheaper for countries to enter?

Jo.
Guest
Jo.

Fans are already complaining about the arena for being “too small”, imagine about the show.

Jo.
Guest
Jo.

Be Bulgaria. Don’t try to be something else on the stage. This high-tech ultra expensive dystopia is not you. Be original!

BULSCHIET
Guest
BULSCHIET

Apparently Swedish producers are expensive. People hail this country for sending 3 decent songs that were mostly created (and sometimes even performed) by foreigners. Eurovision is supposed to be about your local artists, not about American guys who sing to you for money.

Sangfreud
Guest
Sangfreud

Bulgaria 2016: Fun and amazing
Bulgaria 2017: Heavy-handed but pretty good
Bulgaria 2018: Trying WAY too hard and dumb, dumb, dumb
Bulgaria 2019: (takes a nap)
Bulgaria 2020: Fun and amazing??

Geo
Guest
Geo

I think it’s just a call for more money and that’s it. By miracle the budget will be realocated by the powers in charge or even my the government (if necessary) and ta-daaa Bulgaria will be back just in time for Eurovision 2019!

José
Guest
José

loool that’s ridiculous. It seems Bulgaria’s really poor.

Rositsa
Guest
Rositsa

Yhap we are 🙁 that is why i am not living in my country

Rob
Guest

I’m afraid this withdrawal is entirely self-inflicted assuming the coffers are bare. They hemmorrhaged cash this year pumping money into Betfair to keep the Bulgaria price artificially low for the sake of positive PR – it would have been a six figure sum. They must have paid a lot of money to get the likes of Johnny Manuel signed up. Plus, all the marketing they ploughed into the ‘Common Framework’. Basically, their desperation to win has come at an enormous cost. I will get pelters for suggesting it but it also looked like they paid someone within the EBU or… Read more »

Mr. Vanilla Bean
Guest
Mr. Vanilla Bean

What is this “common framework”?

The draw is fixed every year, now that people decide it and not the odds. Personally, I was baffled that Bulgaria came second in 2017, but I’m baffled at so many results.

Henrikh Mugosa
Guest
Henrikh Mugosa

Very true. Currently there is no draw at all.

Eurovision fan since 2014
Guest
Eurovision fan since 2014

Am I the only one who does not feel actually sad about that? I mean it’s true the more the merrier, but I cringe when somebody is telling me Bulgaria is a Eurovision powerhouse just because they sent *inhales* TWICE a “good” song with international producers behind it. Personally, I was never fond of Bulgarian entries since their return in 2016, with all due respect to the country. I hope they’ll return with some changes and show us something we haven’t seen yet (it’s going to be hard though) 🙂

Mr. Vanilla Bean
Guest
Mr. Vanilla Bean

I agree with every word you said. One country less with one Baptiste involvement less and one fake hype less is not going to affect the contest at all. Not negatively, anyways.

Jane
Guest
Jane

i agree. im not sad either, can we bring morocco or luxembourg back instead?

Weißbrot
Guest
Weißbrot

These are some awful news 🙁 I really liked all the songs they’ve sent since they came back and I was sure that Bulgaria was up there to take home a victory in the next years. Oh man, Eurovision season is already starting quite sad…

Alex
Guest
Alex

You will be missed Bulgaria ;(

David
Guest

this is so sad Alexa play “beautiful mess”

Jackqulen
Guest

Hi iavid

Skiwalko
Guest
Skiwalko

Of course it’s a really bad news, but let’s think the other way, if the rule of winning returning countries will continue (let’s say Israel counts, because of the drama during the voting in 2017), it may mean, that Bulgaria is going to win in 2020, right?

PS I’m really sorry for the Bulgarian fans, it must be an awful feeling.

Jonas
Guest
Jonas

Israel definitely counts, they missed 1997 but came back strong and won in 1998!

An American ESC Fan
Guest
An American ESC Fan

Well that’s just terrific. My favorite country withdrew 😀

There may be hope, though — the final list of participating countries isn’t coming out for at least another month. And even if Bulgaria isn’t on that list, it doesn’t look like a permanent withdrawal (at least not from what BNT is saying). At least they withdraw now rather than later, when it would take much longer to get the money needed and they would have a longer withdrawal.

I just hope they can resolve the situation as soon as they can so they can get back into participating.

Roelof Meesters
Guest
Roelof Meesters

Extremely sad, but it sounds like Macedonia last year, and Ukraine in JESC this year. I think they can still sort it out.

Nicola
Guest
Nicola

Online petition to bring back Bulgaria:
https://www.change.org/p/bulgarian-national-television-??????-????????-??-???????-??-?????????-2019-we-want-bulgaria-to-participate-in-esc-2019

Daniel
Guest
Daniel

How expensive is participating actually? When did it become such a huge deal? I remember times when countries that really wanted to participate would just get a song written and send an artist just for the sake of participating, sometimes without a conductor, sometimes in the middle of their most troubled times when the whole delegation was just one person (Exstra Nena in 1992 comes to mind, and there are of course other examples).

Ridiculously extravagant shows and promo-work a-la-Angelica Agurbash are not mandatory… (It didn’t help her either…)

Henrikh Mugosa
Guest
Henrikh Mugosa

I second that! “Ridiculously extravagant shows and promo-work a-la-Angelica Agurbash are not mandatory…”

I did not see this coming & I’m very sad and disappointed. Bulgaria is one of my favourite countries @ ESC.

Jonas
Guest
Jonas

Right, Daniel…but the EBU still charge a huge participation fee which in itself can be prohibitive.

lola
Guest
lola

Sasha Jean Baptiste never elevated a song, K.Kostov and E. Foureira did well because of the song, not the staging. On the other hand…. Fokas Evangelinos single handedly put Doredos in top 10.
Bulgaria, you deserve your fate.
Enough with Swedish team.

Henrikh Mugosa
Guest
Henrikh Mugosa

Aw, come on! The staging for Artsvik’ s Fly With Me was very well thought off & very well executed. I love watching that performance. It’s just that… it din’t give Armenia a great result.

lola
Guest
lola

How much Portugal spent to promote Amar pelos dois? Guess zero.
Jamala went only to the preparty in Amsterdam.
Just find a song , a really local song, and be in Tel Aviv, enough with Swedish producers, and that talentless Swedish choreographer Sasha Jean Baptiste that destroyed Australia too (Isaiah).

Charles II
Guest
Charles II

So true.
This is what happens when you pay a fortune for external parties who are just useless.
Find a song and come perform. You don’t HAVE TO win it. Just be there.

Héctor
Guest
Héctor

With that good record they should have tried other options first, but not just withdrawing. In fact, most of the cost were financed by the participant’s label, right? Or BTN only asked for a whole project, but not for money?

Azerbaijan
Guest
Azerbaijan

Don’t worry guys, maybe this mens they will return to jesc in 2019! 🙂

Polegend Godgarina
Guest

How exciting… NOT

Alex
Guest
Alex

Uhm wut? They are withdrawing because of FINANCIAL DIFFICULTIES and probably don’t want to participate in JESC anymore. They even stated they won’t return to JESC 2018 without reason.

Hrvatska
Guest
Hrvatska

I am shocked Bulgaria, which is the new power of Eurovision and gave up Wow only surprised me financial translation, like the rest of the Balkans have a more difficult financial situation and I hope that the BNT Bulgaria will come back 2020 and win esc, and now I am sad

Charles II
Guest
Charles II

This requires a whole new thinking about this competition.
These are not the Olympic games, but the costs are just becoming too high to even participate, not to mention hosting the event.
I’ve seen some fans complaining about the small venue, no led lights, etc. Well, you know what? Better not to get bankrupt.

Polegend Godgarina
Guest

Lmaooo Moldova, Macedonia and Albania manage to participate consistently every year (with a less successful record) and Bulgaria can’t? They’re just mad their ~common framework~ flopped.

Alex
Guest
Alex

Bulgaria’s projects were too expensive.

Polegend Godgarina
Guest

Expensive projects don’t always succeed, Portugal 2017 and Italy 2018 were totally inexpensive and they were huge successes.

Denis
Guest
Denis

I hope it¨s temporary, and not permanent wihdrawl!
But honestly, they only got themselves to blame. Throwing all that money on “Bones”, hiring foreign choregrapher, promoting the hell out of it, only to end up outside top 10. No wonder it exceded the financial capacity, that¨s waht you get when you use your entire budget to hype something that wasn¨t even that good!

Charles II
Guest
Charles II

Another proof of the Swedish Eurovision downfall.

Denis
Guest
Denis

The decision is entirely with BNT. No one else

Burundi
Guest
Burundi

From what I’ve read, it sounds like they’ll be back in 2020, so maybe in two years we’ll be looking at a Bulgarian victory. It sounds like they aren’t out for good, they’re just out for this year.

Polegend Godgarina
Guest

They should do like Moldova and find sponsors to cover the costs. Or they should send Gery-Nikol who can afford to pay everything herself.

Regina Phalange
Guest
Regina Phalange

🙁

Mr. Vanilla Bean
Guest
Mr. Vanilla Bean

Are we really to believe that it was too expensive for them to compete when even Moldova can manage their way into the contest again and again?

Polegend Godgarina
Guest

Moldova makes the contestants/sponsors pay, and will only cover the costs if they reach top 10, which they did in the past two years. Maybe they haven’t confirmed yet fearing they’re going to go top 10 again?

Mr. Vanilla Bean
Guest
Mr. Vanilla Bean

Then they should send another Swedish reject. That’ll keep em out of the top 10.

KESC
Guest
KESC

Sorry, but I am so disappointed with this decision. They made a great comeback in 2016 and became one of the powerhouses. However, if they wouldn’t have made all that hype around Bones, and parlty with Beautiful Mess as well, they wouldn’t be in this trouble. I’m pretty sure working with Sacha Jean Baptiste wasn’t the cheapest thing!

Fatima
Guest
Fatima

Oh no! They will be awfully miss…i hope at least Ukraine will make it or i will be super sad…

Martin Cardno
Guest
Martin Cardno

This is dreadful news. I’m just baffled and angered by this, from doing so well both in the junior and adult contests Bulgaria’s success in Eurovision over the past few years has been thrown in the bin. If BNT REALLY wanted to compete in Eurovision they would find a way and on a budget. Just look at Moldova, they are one of the poorest countries competing at the contest but year on year they bring something different to the contest, on a budget and have finished in the top ten in the past two years. I feel the the broadcaster… Read more »

Cesar's salad
Guest
Cesar's salad

The cost of the bloated event will tear Europe apart and not bring together anymore.

Eastman
Guest
Eastman

Bulgaria withdrawing has nothing to do with the cost of Eurovision. The new head of BNT doesn’t like Eurovision and doesn’t want BNT to participate anymore. The claim of financial issues is a red herring.

Fast Food Music Lover
Guest
Fast Food Music Lover

They’ve spent too much on Zhana’s wig this year.

Polegend Godgarina
Guest

Eleni Foureira kept snatching that wig so all their budget went into re-buying it

Jonas
Guest
Jonas

How very awful.

An article from this past weekend’s Irish Times describes the high levels of corruption and poverty in Bulgaria – “the word’s fastest shrinking nation”. Bleak reading…

“The European Parliament estimates that corruption costs Bulgaria about 15 per cent of its gross domestic product (GDP) each year, and graft reaches into every facet of life – from rigged tenders, opaque contracts and kickbacks in multimillion-euro deals to the need for ordinary citizens to pay bribes to smooth their path through the country’s health and education systems and its Byzantine bureaucracy”…

https://www.irishtimes.com/news/world/europe/welcome-to-bulgaria-the-world-s-fastest-shrinking-nation-1.3658819?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

Mr. Vanilla Bean
Guest
Mr. Vanilla Bean

Yet the EU welcomed them with open arms. Very telling as to how strong the values of the Commission are..

well..
Guest
well..

Many good things happened in Bulgaria after EU . No matter how bad Bulgaria is now, it was worse before EU.

EscAU
Guest
EscAU

need to get a bulgarian ralph siegel or serhat to save the day

CookyMonzta
Guest
CookyMonzta

Anyone resembling Ralph Siegel will guarantee that their Grand Final qualifying streak will end at 3. 🙁

Nicola
Guest
Nicola

Someone create a GoFundMe page

Conor K
Guest
Conor K

Awful news 🙁 Let’s try and see some positive, they say absence makes the heart grow fonder, so who knows maybe they will return and win in 2020?