Bulgarie 2016

Bulgaria participated in the Eurovision Song Contest 2016 with the song « If Love Was a Crime » written by Borislav Milanov, Sebastian Arman, Joacim Bo Persson and Poli Genova. The song was performed by Poli Genova, who had previously represented Bulgaria in the Eurovision Song Contest in 2011 where she failed to qualify to the final with the song « Na inat« . In November 2015, the Bulgarian broadcaster Bulgarian National Television (BNT) announced that they would be returning to the Eurovision Song Contest after a two-year absence following their withdrawal in 2014 due to financial limitations. On 19 February 2016, the broadcaster announced that Poli Genova had been selected to compete at the 2016 contest in Stockholm, Sweden. The song that Genova competed with, « If Love Was a Crime », was also internally selected and was presented to the public on 21 March 2016.

Bulgaria was drawn to compete in the second semi-final of the Eurovision Song Contest which took place on 12 May 2016. Performing during the show in position 12, « If Love Was a Crime » was announced among the top 10 entries of the second semi-final and therefore qualified to compete in the final on 14 May. This marked the second time Bulgaria managed to qualify to the final, which they achieved after nine years since their last appearance in the final in 2007. It was later revealed that Bulgaria placed fifth out of the 18 participating countries in the semi-final with 220 points. In the final, Bulgaria performed in position 8 and placed fourth out of the 26 participating countries, scoring 307 points.

Background

Prior to the 2016 Contest, Bulgaria had participated in the Eurovision Song Contest nine times since its first entry in 2005.[1] The nation achieved their best result in the contest in 2007 with the song « Water » performed by Elitsa Todorova and Stoyan Yankoulov, which placed fifth. To this point, their 2007 entry is also the only Bulgarian entry to have qualified to the Eurovision final; the nation had failed to qualify to the final with their other eight entries. In 2013, the Bulgarian broadcaster internally selected Elitsa Todorova and Stoyan Yankoulov to once again represent the nation as they were the only act that managed to qualify Bulgaria to the final. However, their song « Samo shampioni » failed to qualify, making it the sixth consecutive qualification failure for the country.

The Bulgarian national broadcaster, Bulgarian National Television (BNT), broadcasts the event within Bulgaria and organises the selection process for the nation’s entry. In the past, BNT had alternated between both internal selections and national finals in order to select the Bulgarian entry. After consistently being present for every contest since their debut in 2005, the Bulgarian broadcaster announced in November 2013 that the country would not participate in the 2014 contest citing an expensive participation fee and limited funds due to budget cuts as reasons for their decision.[2] Limited finances also prevented the broadcaster from returning in 2015.[3][4] Following their two-year absence, BNT confirmed Bulgaria’s participation in the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest on 26 November 2015.[5]

Before Eurovision

Internal selection

On 19 February 2016, BNT announced that the broadcaster’s managing board had internally selected Poli Genova to represent Bulgaria in Stockholm.[6] Earlier on 24 January 2016, the broadcaster had announced via their official Twitter account that they had internally selected a female performer for the competition.[7] Poli Genova previously represented Bulgaria in the Eurovision Song Contest 2011 where she failed to qualify to the final with the song « Na inat« . In November 2015, Genova hosted the Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2015 which was held in Sofia.

Poli Genova’s song « If Love Was a Crime » was internally selected and presented on 21 March 2016 through the release of the official music video via the official Eurovision Song Contest website eurovision.tv.[8][9] The song was written by members of the songwriting team Symphonics & REDFLY, Borislav Milanov, Sebastian Arman, Joacim Bo Persson, as well as Poli Genova herself. The instrumental recording of the song also features Bulgarian flutist Theodosii Spassov. In regards to the song, Genova stated: « The song is powerful, engaging and casts the one and only universal message – love is above all other circumstances. Love is something we discover everywhere around us and it is a feeling that is an essential part of us. It brings us energy and faith. And we feel exactly the same way, because we know love is what makes us unstoppable. We want this message to reach everyone in this world ».[10]

Promotion

Poli Genova made several appearances across Europe to specifically promote « If Love Was a Crime » as the Bulgarian Eurovision entry. On 2 April, Genova performed during the Eurovision PreParty Riga, which was organised by OGAE Latvia and held at the Spikeri Concert Hall in Riga, Latvia.[11] On 9 April, Poli Genova performed during the Eurovision in Concert event which was held at the Melkweg venue in Amsterdam, Netherlands and hosted by Cornald Maas and Hera Björk.[12] Between 11 and 13 April, Genova took part in promotional activities in Tel Aviv, Israel where she performed during the Israel Calling event held at the Ha’teatron venue and recorded a performance of « If Love Was a Crime » for the Israeli web portal Walla!.[13][14] On 17 April, Genova performed during the London Eurovision Party, which was held at the Café de Paris venue in London, United Kingdom and hosted by Nicki French and Paddy O’Connell.[15]

At Eurovision

Poli Genova during a press meet and greet

According to Eurovision rules, all nations with the exceptions of the host country and the « Big 5 » (France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom) are required to qualify from one of two semi-finals in order to compete for the final; the top ten countries from each semi-final progress to the final. The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) split up the competing countries into six different pots based on voting patterns from previous contests, with countries with favourable voting histories put into the same pot.[16] On 25 January 2016, a special allocation draw was held which placed each country into one of the two semi-finals, as well as which half of the show they would perform in. Bulgaria was placed into the second semi-final, to be held on 12 May 2016, and was scheduled to perform in the second half of the show.[17]

Once all the competing songs for the 2016 contest had been released, the running order for the semi-finals was decided by the shows’ producers rather than through another draw, so that similar songs were not placed next to each other. Originally, Bulgaria was set to perform in position 13, following the entry from Romania and before the entry from Denmark.[18] However, following Romania’s disqualification from the contest on 22 April and subsequent removal from the running order of the second semi-final, Bulgaria’s performing position shifted to 12 and the nation would now perform following the entry from Slovenia.[19]

The two semi-finals and the final were broadcast in Bulgaria on BNT 1 and BNT HD with commentary by Elena Rosberg and Georgi Kushvaliev.[20][21] The Bulgarian spokesperson, who announced the top 12-point score awarded by the Bulgarian jury during the final, was Anna Angelova.[22]

Semi-final

Poli Genova during a rehearsal before the second semi-final

Poli Genova took part in technical rehearsals on 5 and 7 May, followed by dress rehearsals on 11 and 12 May.[23] This included the jury show on 11 May where the professional juries of each country watched and voted on the competing entries.[24]

The Bulgarian performance featured Poli Genova performing a choreographed routine in a black, white and nude outfit with LED enhancements that light up during the final chorus of the song.[25][26][27] The stage colours were black and white and the LED screens displayed black and white elements, television static and rows of dancers performing the same choreography as Genova. Five backing vocalists joined Poli Genova on stage at the end of the song: Borislav Borisov Dimitrov (Bobo), Cesár Ken Charleston (Cesár Sa) and the members of the group LaTiDa, Desislava Hristova, Elizabet Nesheva and Yana Baleva.[28] The stage concept for the Bulgarian performance was developed by Swedish choreographer Ambra Succi, who completed the choreography of performance together with Bulgarian choreographer Milen Dankov.

At the end of the show, Bulgaria was announced as having finished in the top 10 and subsequently qualifying for the grand final.[29] This marked the second time Bulgaria managed to qualify to the final, which they achieved after nine years since their last appearance in the final in 2007. It was later revealed that Bulgaria placed fifth in the semi-final, receiving a total of 220 points: 122 points from the televoting and 98 points from the juries.[30]

Final

Shortly after the second semi-final, a winners’ press conference was held for the ten qualifying countries. As part of this press conference, the qualifying artists took part in a draw to determine which half of the grand final they would subsequently participate in. This draw was done in the reverse order the countries appeared in the semi-final running order. Bulgaria was drawn to compete in the first half.[31] Following this draw, the shows’ producers decided upon the running order of the final, as they had done for the semi-finals. Bulgaria was subsequently placed to perform in position 8, following the entry from Israel and before the entry from Sweden.[32]

Poli Genova once again took part in dress rehearsals on 13 and 14 May before the final, including the jury final where the professional juries cast their final votes before the live show.[33] Poli Genova performed a repeat of her semi-final performance during the final on 14 May. Bulgaria placed fourth in the final, scoring 307 points: 180 points from the televoting and 127 points from the juries.[34]

Voting

Voting during the three shows was conducted under a new system that involved each country now awarding two sets of points from 1-8, 10 and 12: one from their professional jury and the other from televoting. Each nation’s jury consisted of five music industry professionals who are citizens of the country they represent, with their names published before the contest to ensure transparency. This jury judged each entry based on: vocal capacity; the stage performance; the song’s composition and originality; and the overall impression by the act.[35] In addition, no member of a national jury was permitted to be related in any way to any of the competing acts in such a way that they cannot vote impartially and independently. The individual rankings of each jury member as well as the nation’s televoting results were released shortly after the grand final.[36]

Below is a breakdown of points awarded to Bulgaria and awarded by Bulgaria in the second semi-final and grand final of the contest, and the breakdown of the jury voting and televoting conducted during the two shows:[30][37][38][39]

Points awarded to Bulgaria

Points awarded by Bulgaria

Split voting results

The following five members comprised the Bulgarian jury:[35]

  • Michail Belchev – Chairperson – poet, singer, songwriter
  • Joanna Dragneva – pop singer, artist, represented Bulgaria in 2008 as part of Deep Zone Project
  • Teodora Katzarova – singer, songwriter
  • Stoyan Yankoulov – artist, musician – drummer and percussionist, represented Bulgaria in 2007 and in 2013 with Elitsa Todorova
  • Angel Zaberski – conductor, composer, musician

References

  1. ^ « Bulgaria Country Profile ». EBU. Retrieved 16 January 2016. 
  2. ^ Fisher, Luke (22 November 2013). « Bulgaria: BNT not entering in 2014 ». escXtra.com. Retrieved 23 November 2013. 
  3. ^ Jiandani, Sanjay (10 October 2014). « Bulgaria: BNT will not participate in Eurovision 2015 ». esctoday.com. ESCToday. Retrieved 10 October 2014. 
  4. ^ Jiandani, Sanjay (19 December 2014). « Bulgaria: BNT will not participate in Eurovision 2015 ». esctoday.com. ESCToday. Retrieved 19 December 2014. 
  5. ^ « България ще участва на Евровизия 2016 в Стокхолм ». bnt.bg (in Bulgarian). BNT. 26 November 2015. Retrieved 16 January 2016. 
  6. ^ Brey, Marco (19 February 2016). « Bulgaria: Poli Genova returns to Eurovision ». eurovision.tv. European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 19 February 2016. 
  7. ^ Granger, Anthony (24 January 2016). « Bulgaria: Female Singer For Stockholm ». eurovoix.com. Eurovoix. Retrieved 25 January 2016. 
  8. ^ « Вътрешна селекция 2016 ». bnt.bg (in Bulgarian). BNT. 18 February 2016. Retrieved 19 February 2016. 
  9. ^ Brey, Marco (21 March 2016). « Bulgaria: Premiere of « If Love Was A Crime« « . eurovision.tv. European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 21 March 2016. 
  10. ^ Brey, Marco (14 March 2016). « Bulgaria: « If Love Was A Crime » presented next week ». eurovision.tv. European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 14 March 2016. 
  11. ^ Roxburgh, Gordon (3 April 2016). « Overview of the Eurovision Pre-Party Riga 2016 ». eurovision.tv. European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 7 April 2016. 
  12. ^ Roxburgh, Gordon (10 April 2016). « Highlights of the 8th Eurovision In Concert ». eurovision.tv. European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 11 April 2016. 
  13. ^ Roxburgh, Gordon (14 April 2016). « First ever preview party held in Israel ». eurovision.tv. European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 14 April 2016. 
  14. ^ « מיוחד: נציגת בולגריה לאירוויזיון 2016 בהופעה באולפן וואלה! NEWS ». walla.co.il (in Hebrew). Walla!. 13 April 2016. Retrieved 7 May 2016. 
  15. ^ Roxburgh, Gordon (18 April 2016). « Review of the London Eurovision Party ». eurovision.tv. European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 18 April 2016. 
  16. ^ Jordan, Paul (21 January 2016). « Semi-Final Allocation Draw on Monday, pots revealed ». eurovision.tv. European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 25 January 2016. 
  17. ^ Jordan, Paul (25 January 2016). « Allocation Draw: The results! ». eurovision.tv. European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 25 January 2016. 
  18. ^ Jordan, Paul (8 April 2016). « Running order of the Semi-Finals revealed ». eurovision.tv. European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 8 April 2016. 
  19. ^ « TVR (Romania) no longer entitled to take part in Eurovision 2016 ». eurovision.tv. European Broadcasting Union. 22 April 2016. Retrieved 22 April 2016. 
  20. ^ « Поли Генова: ЗАВРЪЩАНЕТО МИ НА ЕВРОВИЗИЯ ПРИЕМАМ… – BNT Eurovision Bulgaria ». facebook.com (in Bulgarian). BNT. 8 May 2016. Retrieved 9 May 2016. 
  21. ^ « От тази вечер Европа е музика! Евровизия 2016… – BNT Eurovision Bulgaria ». facebook.com (in Bulgarian). BNT. 10 May 2016. Retrieved 10 May 2016. 
  22. ^ Petersson, Emma (14 May 2016). « De presenterar jurygruppernas röster 2016 ». svt.se (in Swedish). Sveriges Television. Retrieved 14 May 2016. 
  23. ^ « Media Activities » (PDF). eurovision.tv. European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 3 May 2016. 
  24. ^ Roxburgh, Gordon (11 May 2016). « Time for the juries to make their choice ». eurovision.tv. European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 11 May 2016. 
  25. ^ Brey, Marco (5 May 2016). « Day 4 at the Globe Arena ». eurovision.tv. European Broadcasting Union. Archived from the original on 5 May 2016. Retrieved 5 May 2016. 
  26. ^ Salmon, Josh (5 May 2016). « Bulgaria: Poli Genova lights up during first rehearsal of #ILWAC ». wiwibloggs.com. Wiwibloggs. Retrieved 5 May 2016. 
  27. ^ Brey, Marco (7 May 2016). « Day 6 at the Globe Arena ». eurovision.tv. European Broadcasting Union. Archived from the original on 7 May 2016. Retrieved 7 May 2016. 
  28. ^ « Poli Genova: If love was a crime ». eurovisionartists.nl (in Dutch). Eurovision Artists. Retrieved 5 May 2016. 
  29. ^ Roxburgh, Gordon (12 May 2016). « 10 more finalists through to the Grand Final ». eurovision.tv. European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 12 May 2016. 
  30. ^ a b « Eurovision Song Contest 2016 Second Semi-Final ». eurovision.tv. European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 14 May 2016. 
  31. ^ Brey, Marco (12 May 2016). « The Second Semi-Final winners’ press conference ». eurovision.tv. European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 12 May 2016. 
  32. ^ Brey, Marco (13 May 2016). « Running order for the 2016 Grand Final revealed ». eurovision.tv. European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 13 May 2016. 
  33. ^ Roxburgh, Gordon (13 May 2016). « Juries voting tonight for the 2016 Grand Final ». eurovision.tv. European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 14 May 2016. 
  34. ^ Roxburgh, Gordon (14 May 2016). « Ukraine wins 2016 Eurovision Song Contest ». eurovision.tv. European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 14 May 2016. 
  35. ^ a b « Here are the judges for Eurovision 2016! ». eurovision.tv. European Broadcasting Union. 29 April 2016. Retrieved 29 April 2016. 
  36. ^ Jordan, Paul (18 February 2016). « Biggest change to Eurovision Song Contest voting since 1975 ». eurovision.tv. European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 18 February 2016. 
  37. ^ « Eurovision Song Contest 2016 Grand Final ». eurovision.tv. European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 14 May 2016. 
  38. ^ « Bulgaria in the Eurovision Song Contest 2016 Second Semi-Final ». eurovision.tv. European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 14 May 2016. 
  39. ^ « Bulgaria in the Eurovision Song Contest 2016 Grand Final ». eurovision.tv. European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 14 May 2016. 

External links