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”.
OFFICIAL STATEMENT | 15 OCTOBER | Sofia, Bulgaria
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
— BNT Eurovision Bulgaria ?? (@bg_eurovision) October 15, 2018
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!