Bulgaria in the Eurovision Song Contest

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Member stationBulgarian National Television (BNT)
National selection events
National final
  • 2005–2012
  • 2013 (song)
Internal selection
  • 2013 (artist)
  • 2016–2018
  • 2020–2022
Participation summary
Appearances14 (5 finals)
First appearance2005
Last appearance2022
Highest placement2nd: 2017
External links
BNT page
Bulgaria's page at Eurovision.tv
Song contest current event.png For the most recent participation see
Bulgaria in the Eurovision Song Contest 2022

Bulgaria has participated in the Eurovision Song Contest 14 times since making its debut at the 2005 contest in Kyiv. The country's best result is a second-place finish for Kristian Kostov and the song "Beautiful Mess" at the 2017 contest also in Kyiv.

Bulgaria has failed to qualify for the final in 9 out of 14 appearances at the contest, most narrowly in 2012, when Sofi Marinova lost out on the 10th qualifying place from the second semi-final in a tie-break with Norway. However, on three of the five occasions that they have reached the final, they have finished in the top five: placing fifth with Elitsa and Stoyan in 2007, fourth with Poli Genova in 2016 and second with Kristian Kostov in 2017. In Bulgaria's two most recent final appearances, supergroup Equinox placed 14th in 2018 and Victoria placed 11th in 2021.



The first participant on the Eurovision contest of a Bulgarian origin is Nora Nova, a jazz and a pop singer who left Bulgaria for political reasons in 1959 and later in 1964 represented West Germany. Her song, "Man gewöhnt sich so schnell an das Schöne", had the longest name in Eurovision Song Contest history alongside C'est le dernier qui a parlé qui a raison which represented France in 1991, until both were succeeded by The Social Network Song (Oh Oh - Uh - Oh Oh) which represented San Marino in 2012.


Bulgaria had previously planned to debut at the Eurovision Song Contest in 1993, 1996 and 2003; the latter year the broadcaster was unable to take part after the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) decided that too many countries would be relegated from participation in 2003 if the country took part.[1][2][3]


Bulgaria ultimately debuted 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's first qualification for the final came in 2007 when Elitsa Todorova and Stoyan Yankoulov performed the song "Water". This was the first Bulgarian-language song to compete in the contest, placing 6th in the semi-final with 146 points. Todorova and Yankulov repeated their song in the final and received 157 points, placing 5th in a field of 24.

In previous years, if a country placed in the top 10 countries in the final they 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 Four" countries, would automatically qualify to the final. As such, Bulgaria was obliged to compete in one of the two semi-finals of the 2008 contest.

At the 2008 contest, Bulgaria were represented by Deep Zone and Balthazar with the song "DJ, Take Me Away". They, however, could not repeat Todorova and Yankulov's result and received only 56 points, placing 11th of 19 competing in the second semi-final, thereby failing to qualify Bulgaria for the final.

Bulgaria competed in the 2009 contest in Russia, with a two-phase national selection process beginning in October 2008. The winner was Krassimir Avramov with his song "Illusion". It failed to qualify for the final, coming 16th out of 18 participants in the first semi-final.

In October 2009, BNT announced that Miroslav Kostadinov would represent Bulgaria at the 2010 contest in Oslo, Norway, with the song "Angel si ti". It was the first song since 2007 to be sung in Bulgarian.[4][5][6][7] However, for the third consecutive year, Bulgaria's entry failed to qualify for the final, coming 15th out of 17 participants in the second semi-final.


In 2011, Bulgaria was represented by Poli Genova, and the country's entry was sung in Bulgarian for the second consecutive year. Her song was called "Na inat", and missed out on a place for the final after coming 12th in the Semi-final 2, 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.

Sofi Marinova represented Bulgaria in the 2012 contest in Baku with "Love Unlimited". 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. Bulgaria's entry tied with Norway for 10th place in its semi-final; 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 qualify.

In 2013, Elitsa Todorova and Stoyan Yankoulov were chosen through an internal selection to represent Bulgaria for a second time. Their song "Samo shampioni" placed sixth in the second semi-final's televoting results, but 17th place (last) in the jury's results. The duo placed twelfth, with 45 points, thereby failing to qualify Bulgaria for the final for the sixth consecutive year. The nation subsequently announced on 22 November 2013, that they would not be participating in the 2014 contest due to financial problems.[8]

On 15 September 2014, it was announced that Bulgaria had submitted a preliminary application to compete in the 2015 contest,[9] but the following month, it was announced that they would not be returning to the contest.[10] On 31 October 2014, it was announced that Bulgaria's participation was still undecided due to the political situation of the country. The EBU granted an extension and awaited a final decision.[11] On 18 December 2014, BNT confirmed via their official Eurovision Twitter account that they would not take part in the 2015 contest.[12]

On 15 September 2015, it was announced that BNT sent a preliminary application in order to compete in the 2016 contest,[13] and the effective participation was further confirmed on 26 November 2015.[14] Poli Genova was selected to represent Bulgaria for the second time, having previously done so in 2011. With "If Love Was a Crime", Poli performed twelfth at the second semi-final on 12 May 2016, and qualified for the final by finishing in 5th place with 220 points. In the final on 14 May 2016, she performed eighth and placed 4th with 307 points.

In 2017, Kristian Kostov represented Bulgaria with "Beautiful Mess", being the first singer at Eurovision to have been born in the 2000s decade. He placed 1st in the second semi-final, with 403 points, the best score ever in any semi-final, qualifying Bulgaria to the finals for the third time. Kristian Kostov ended up getting the best result for Bulgaria to date, finishing in 2nd place with 615 points.

In 2018, BNT selected Equinox with "Bones". The group performed tenth in the first semi-final and qualified for the final, placing 7th with 177 points. Bulgaria reached the final for the fourth time, finishing 14th with 166 points.


On 10 September 2018, it was announced that Bulgaria had submitted a preliminary application to compete in the 2019 contest,[15] but on 15 October 2018, BNT announced that they would not take part due to financial difficulties.[16]

On 30 October 2019, BNT announced that Bulgaria would return for the 2020 contest.[17] The country internally selected Victoria as its representative with "Tears Getting Sober".[18] However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the contest was cancelled, and Victoria was later retained as Bulgaria's representative for the 2021 contest. Her entry for 2021, "Growing Up Is Getting Old", was internally chosen from a selection of songs from her EP A Little Dramatic,[19] with input from the public and various focus groups.[20] Victoria performed thirteenth at the second semi-final and qualified for the final, placing third with 250 points, thereby achieving Bulgaria's fifth final appearance. She then went on to finish 11th with 170 points.

In 2022, BNT selected Intelligent Music Project with "Intention". The group failed to qualify for the final, finishing 16th in the first semi-final with 29 points. BNT later confirmed its absence from the 2023 contest, citing financial constraints.[21]

Participation overview[edit]

Table key
1 Winner
2 Second place
3 Third place
Entry selected but did not compete
Year Entrant Song Language Final Points Semi Points
2005 Kaffe "Lorraine" English Failed to qualify 19 49
2006 Mariana Popova "Let Me Cry" English 17 36
2007 Elitsa Todorova and Stoyan Yankoulov "Water" Bulgarian 5 157 6 146
2008 Deep Zone and Balthazar "DJ, Take Me Away" English Failed to qualify 11 56
2009 Krassimir Avramov "Illusion" English 16 7
2010 Miro "Angel si ti" (Ангел си ти) Bulgarian, English 15 19
2011 Poli Genova "Na inat" (На инат) Bulgarian 12 48
2012 Sofi Marinova "Love Unlimited" Bulgarian[a] 11 45
2013 Elitsa Todorova and Stoyan Yankoulov "Samo shampioni" (Само шампиони) Bulgarian 12 45
2016 Poli Genova "If Love Was a Crime" English, Bulgarian 4 307 5 220
2017 Kristian Kostov "Beautiful Mess" English 2 615 1 403
2018 Equinox "Bones" English 14 166 7 177
2020 Victoria "Tears Getting Sober" English Contest cancelled X
2021 Victoria "Growing Up Is Getting Old" English 11 170 3 250
2022 Intelligent Music Project "Intention" English Failed to qualify 16 29


Marcel Bezençon Awards[edit]

Year Category Song Composer(s)
lyrics (l) / music (m)
Performer Final
Points Host city Ref.
2018 Composer Award "Bones" Borislav Milanov, Trey Campbell, Joacim Persson, Dag Lundberg (m & l) Equinox 14 166 Portugal Lisbon

Related involvement[edit]

Heads of delegation[edit]

The public broadcaster of each participating country in the Eurovision Song Contest assigns a head of delegation as the EBU's contact person and the leader of their delegation at the event. The delegation, whose size can greatly vary, includes a head of press, the contestants, songwriters, composers and backing vocalists, among others.[24]

Year Head of delegation Ref.
2016–present Joana Levieva-Sawyer
Year Head of press Ref.
20162021 Vasil Ivanov

Commentators and spokespersons[edit]

Year Commentator Spokesperson Ref.
1968 Unknown Did not participate [27]
19691970 No broadcast
1971 Unknown
1972 No broadcast
19731974 Unknown [28]
19751976 No broadcast
1977 Unknown
19781980 No broadcast
1981 Unknown [29]
19821989 No broadcast
19901991 Unknown
19922004 No broadcast
2005 Elena Rosberg and Georgi Kushvaliev Evgenia Atanasova [30]
2006 Dragomir Simeonov [31]
2007 Mira Dobreva [32]
2008 Valentina Voykova [33]
2009 Yoanna Dragneva [34]
2010 Desislava Dobreva [35]
2011 Maria Ilieva [36]
2012 Anna Angelova [37]
2013 Yoanna Dragneva [38]
2014 No broadcast Did not participate
2015[b] Elena Rosberg and Georgi Kushvaliev [39]
2016 Anna Angelova [40]
2017 Boryana Gramatikova [41]
2018 Yoanna Dragneva [42]
2019 No broadcast Did not participate
2021 Elena Rosberg and Petko Kralev Yoanna Dragneva [43][44][45]
2022 Janan Dural [46][47]
2023 No broadcast Did not participate [48]


See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]


  1. ^ The song also contains phrases in Arabic, Azeri, English, French, Greek, Italian, Romani, Serbo-Croatian, Spanish and Turkish.[22]
  2. ^ In 2015, BNT screened only the grand final. The semi-finals were not screened.


  1. ^ Roxburgh 2020, p. 131.
  2. ^ Roxburgh 2020, pp. 255–260.
  3. ^ Bakker, Sietse (27 November 2002). "No new countries at next Eurovision Song Contest". ESCToday. Retrieved 23 July 2009.
  4. ^ Floras, Stella (18 October 2009). "Bulgaria: Miro selected for Eurovision 2010". ESCToday. Retrieved 18 October 2009.
  5. ^ Siim, Jarmo (18 October 2009). "Miro to represent Bulgaria". European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 18 October 2009.
  6. ^ Dahlander, Gustav (28 February 2010). "Miro flying to Eurovision on angelic wings". European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 28 February 2010.
  7. ^ Hondal, Víctor (28 February 2010). "Miro will sing Angel si ti in Oslo". ESCToday. Retrieved 28 February 2010.
  8. ^ Jiandani, Sanjay (22 November 2013). "Bulgaria: BNT will not participate in Copenhagen". ESCToday. Retrieved 22 November 2013.
  9. ^ Jiandani, Sanjay (20 September 2014). "Bulgaria: BNT confirms preliminary participation in Eurovision 2015". esctoday.com. ESCToday. Retrieved 20 September 2014.
  10. ^ Jiandani, Sanjay (10 October 2014). "Bulgaria: BNT will not participate in Eurovision 2015". esctoday.com. ESCToday. Retrieved 10 October 2014.
  11. ^ Jiandani, Sanjay (31 October 2014). "Bulgaria: No final decision on Eurovision 2015 yet". esctoday.com. ESCToday. Retrieved 31 October 2014.
  12. ^ Jiandani, Sanjay (19 December 2014). "Bulgaria: BNT will not participate in Eurovision 2015". esctoday.com. Retrieved 19 December 2014.
  13. ^ Jiandani, Sanjay (15 September 2015). "Bulgaria: BNT confirms participation in Eurovision 2016". esctoday.com. Retrieved 15 September 2015.
  14. ^ "Bulgaria returns to Eurovision Song Contest". eurovision.bnt.bg. Bulgarian National Television. 26 November 2015. Retrieved 26 November 2015.[permanent dead link]
  15. ^ Jiandani, Sanjay (10 September 2018). "Bulgaria: BNT confirms preliminary participation in Eurovision 2019". esctoday.com. ESCToday. Retrieved 10 September 2018.
  16. ^ "Official: Bulgaria withdraws from the Eurovision Song Contest". esc-plus. 15 October 2018.
  17. ^ Petyov, Georgi (30 October 2019). "Bulgaria: Eurovision 2020 Return Confirmed". Eurovoix. Retrieved 23 November 2019.
  18. ^ "Финалисти - Виктория". novatv.bg. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016.
  19. ^ "VICTORIA represents Bulgaria at Eurovision 2021 with song from 1st EP". eurovision.icard.com. Retrieved 4 February 2021.
  20. ^ Jumawan, Tim (18 February 2021). "VICTORIA releases "growing up is getting old", the sixth potential Eurovision 2021 song". ESCXTRA.com. Archived from the original on 22 February 2021. Retrieved 20 February 2021.
  21. ^ "България се отказва от участие в Евровизия 2023 - Култура". offnews.bg (in Bulgarian). Retrieved 19 October 2022.
  22. ^ "Lyrics of "Love unlimited"". European Broadcasting Union. Archived from the original on 8 June 2012. Retrieved 15 July 2012.
  23. ^ "Here are the winners of the Marcel Bezençon Awards 2018!". eurovision.tv. 12 May 2018. Retrieved 8 December 2019.
  24. ^ "Heads of Delegation". European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 27 May 2019.
  25. ^ Weaver, Jessica (14 May 2018). "Bulgaria: Head of Delegation discusses Eurovision 2018 results; participation in 2019?". esctoday.com. Retrieved 7 December 2019.
  26. ^ Wright, Sharleen. "Bulgaria: Eurovision Insight Podcast: Insight Asks Bulgarian Head of Press Vasil Ivanov". escinsignt.com. Retrieved 7 December 2019.
  27. ^ Roxburgh, Gordon (2012). Songs for Europe: The United Kingdom at the Eurovision Song Contest. Vol. One: The 1950s and 1960s. Prestatyn: Telos Publishing. pp. 454–470. ISBN 978-1-84583-065-6.
  28. ^ Roxburgh, Gordon (2014). Songs for Europe: The United Kingdom at the Eurovision Song Contest. Vol. Two: The 1970s. Prestatyn: Telos Publishing. pp. 113–128. ISBN 978-1-84583-093-9.
  29. ^ Roxburgh, Gordon (2016). Songs for Europe: The United Kingdom at the Eurovision Song Contest. Vol. Three: The 1980s. Prestatyn: Telos Publishing. pp. 86–103. ISBN 978-1-84583-118-9.
  30. ^ Eurovision Song Contest 2005. Kyiv, Ukraine. 21 May 2005.
  31. ^ Eurovision Song Contest 2006. Athens, Greece. 20 May 2006.
  32. ^ Eurovision Song Contest 2007. Helsinki, Finland. 12 May 2007.
  33. ^ Eurovision Song Contest 2008. Belgrade, Serbia. 24 May 2008.
  34. ^ Eurovision Song Contest 2009. Moscow, Russia. 16 May 2009.
  35. ^ Eurovision Song Contest 2009. Oslo, Norway. 29 May 2010.
  36. ^ Eurovision Song Contest 2011. Düsseldorf, Germany. 14 May 2011.
  37. ^ Eurovision Song Contest 2012. Baku, Azerbaijan. 26 May 2012.
  38. ^ Eurovision Song Contest 2013. Malmö, Sweden. 18 May 2013.
  39. ^ Eurovision Song Contest 2015. Vienna, Austria. 23 May 2015.
  40. ^ Eurovision Song Contest 2016. Stockholm, Sweden. 14 May 2016.
  41. ^ Agadellis, Stratos (1 May 2017). "Bulgaria: Boryana Gramatikova to announce the "douze points"". esctoday.com. ESCToday. Retrieved 12 May 2017.
  42. ^ Eurovision Song Contest 2018. Lisbon, Portugal. 12 May 2018.
  43. ^ ""Евровизия" 2021 – на 18, 20 и 22 май в Ротердам – По света и у нас – БНТ Новини". news.bnt.bg (in Bulgarian). Archived from the original on 31 January 2021. Retrieved 24 December 2020.
  44. ^ "ТВ Програма". start.bg. Retrieved 22 May 2021.
  45. ^ "ТВ Програма". start.bg. Retrieved 22 May 2021.
  46. ^ "Музиканти от Whitesnake, Twisted Sister и Rainbow пожелаха успех на Intelligent Music Project и България на Евровизия 2022 - Българска национална телевизия". bnt.bg (in Bulgarian). Retrieved 14 April 2022.
  47. ^ Granger, Anthony (5 May 2022). "🇧🇬 Bulgaria: Janan Dural Revealed As Spokesperson For Eurovision 2022". Eurovoix. Retrieved 11 August 2022.
  48. ^ "БНТ програма". bnt.bg (in Bulgarian). Retrieved 5 May 2023.


  • Roxburgh, Gordon (2020). Songs for Europe: The United Kingdom at the Eurovision Song Contest. Vol. Four: The 1990s. Prestatyn: Telos Publishing. ISBN 978-1-84583-163-9.