History of Bulgaria in the Eurovision Song Contest
Bulgaria first competed at the Eurovision Song Contest in 2005, represented by the jazz-inspired band Kaffe with their song "Lorraine". Receiving only 49 points, they placed 19th in the semi-final and failed to qualify to the final. They were succeeded by Mariana Popova with "Let Me Cry", however she also failed to qualify for the final, coming 17th with 36 points in the semi-final.
Bulgaria first qualified for the final in 2007 when Elitsa Todorova & Stoyan Yankoulov performed the song "Water" (Bulgarian: Voda/Вода). This was the first Bulgarian language song to compete in the contest, and was also the first, and so far only, Bulgarian song to qualify for the final, placing 6th in the semi-final with 146 points. Todorova and Yankulov repeated their song in the final and received 157, placing 5th in a field of 24.
In previous years, if a country placed in the top 10 countries of the final they were automatically qualified to the final of the next contest. Had this rule remained for the 2008 contest, Bulgaria would have directly qualified for the final. However, a change in rules due to the large intake of countries participating in the contest meant that only five countries, the host country and the Big 4 countries, would automatically qualify to the final. As such, Bulgaria were forced to compete in one of the two semi-finals of the 2008 contest in Serbia.
At the 2008 contest, Bulgaria were represented by Deep Zone & Balthazar with the song "DJ, Take Me Away". They, however, could not repeat Todorova and Yankulov and received only 56 points, placing 11th of 19 competing.
Bulgaria competed in the 2009 contest in Russia. Bulgaria was the first country to begin their selection for the fifth Bulgarian entry to Eurovision, with 'Be A Star', the national final, beginning in October 2008. The winner was Krassimir Avramov with his "Popera" song Illusion. It failed to qualify for the final in Moscow coming 16th out of 18 participants in the first semifinal.
In 2011 Bulgaria was represented by Poli Genova, and the country's entry was sung in Bulgarian for the third consecutive year. Her song was called "Na Inat", translated as "For Spite", and missed out on a place for the final after coming 12th in the second semi-final, making 2011 the fourth year in a row that Bulgaria didn't reach the final. In that year she competed with 18 more singers in the final of "EuroBGvision" (where by means of SMS voting the TV audience selects who will represent Bulgaria in the Eurovision Song Contest). This was her fourth time in which she took part in the "EuroBGvision" and her first win.
The singer Sofi Marinova represented Bulgaria in the 2012 Eurovision contest in Baku with a song called Love Unlimited (Bulgarian: Lubov bez granitsi/Любов без граници). Her song was mainly in Bulgarian but it also contains the phrase 'I Love You' in 12 other languages including Turkish, Greek, Spanish, French and Serbian and others. Bulgaria's entry tied with Norway for 10th place in its semifinal; however, the tie broke in favor of Norway because it received points from more countries, making 2012 the fifth year in a row that Bulgaria didn't get through and sing in the final.
In 2013, Elitsa Todorova and Stoyan Yankoulov were chosen through an internal selection to represent Bulgaria for a second time, this time in Malmö. Their song, Samo shampioni (Bulgarian: Само Шампиони), placed sixth in the second semifinal's televoting results, but 17th place (last) in the jury's results. The duo placed twelfth, with 45 points, thereby excluding Bulgaria from the final yet again.