Bulgaria in the Eurovision Song Contest

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Member stationBulgarian National Television (BNT)
National selection events
Participation summary
Appearances12 (4 finals)
First appearance2005
Best result2nd: 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 2021

Bulgaria has participated in the Eurovision Song Contest 12 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 eight out of twelve 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 four occasions that they have reached the final, they have finished in the top five: placing fifth with Elitsa & Stoyan in 2007, fourth with Poli Genova in 2016 and second with Kristian Kostov in 2017. Bulgaria reached the final for the fourth time in 2018, with supergroup Equinox placing 14th.


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's first qualification for the final came 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, 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 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's result 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 October 2009, BNT announced that Miroslav Kostadinov would represent Bulgaria at the Eurovision Song Contest 2010 in Oslo, Norway. He sang the song "Angel si ti" (Ангел си ти). It was the first song since 2007 to be sung in Bulgarian.[1][2][3][4] However, for the third consecutive year, Bulgaria's entry failed to qualify for the final, coming 15th out of 17 participants in the semifinal.

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", 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 proceed 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.


On 22 November 2013, Bulgaria announced that they would not be participating in the Eurovision Song Contest 2014 due to financial problems.[5]

On 15 September 2014, it was announced that Bulgaria had submitted a preliminary application to compete in the Eurovision Song Contest 2015,[6] but one month later it was announced that they would not be returning to the contest.[7] 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.[8] On 18 December 2014, BNT confirmed via their official Eurovision Twitter account that they would not take part in the 2015 Contest.[9]

Return and second withdrawal[edit]

On 15 September 2015, it was announced that BNT sent a preliminary application in order to compete in the 2016 contest,[10] and the effective participation was further confirmed on 26 November 2015,[11] thus marking the return of the country. Poli Genova represented Bulgaria for the second time (the first time being in 2011) Poli performed twelfth at the second semi-final on 12 May 2016, and qualified for the final by finishing in 5th place on 220 points. In the final on 14 May 2016, she performed eighth and placed 4th of 26 with 307 points.

In 2017, Kristian Kostov represented Bulgaria with the song "Beautiful Mess", he is the first singer at Eurovision to have been born in the 2000s decade. He placed 1st in the second semifinal, with 403 points, qualifying Bulgaria to the finals for the 3rd time. Kristian Kostov ended up getting the best result to Bulgaria so far, reaching the 2nd place, with 615 points, 143 points away from the winner Salvador Sobral (Portugal) who finished with 758 points.

In 2018 BNT selected Equinox with song Bones. The group performed tenth at the first semi-final and qualified for the final by placed 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 Eurovision Song Contest 2019,[12] but on 15 October 2018, BNT announced that they would not take part in the 2019 contest in Tel Aviv, Israel due to financial difficulties.[13]

Second return[edit]

In October 2019, BNT announced that Bulgaria would return for the 2020 contest in Rotterdam.[14] The country internally selected its entry for the contest, and Victoria was revealed as the artist on 25 November 2019.[15] However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the contest was cancelled. Victoria would represent her country in 2021 instead.


Table key
1 Winner
2 Second place
Entry selected but did not compete
Year Artist Language Title Final Points Semi Points
Kaffe English "Lorraine" Failed to qualify 19 49
Mariana Popova English "Let Me Cry" 17 36
Elitsa & Stoyan Bulgarian "Water" 5 157 6 146
Deep Zone & Balthazar English "DJ, Take Me Away" Failed to qualify 11 56
Krassimir Avramov English "Illusion" 16 7
Miro Bulgarian, English "Angel si ti" (Ангел си ти) 15 19
Poli Genova Bulgarian "Na inat" (На инат) 12 48
Sofi Marinova Bulgarian[a] "Love Unlimited" 11 45
Elitsa & Stoyan Bulgarian "Samo shampioni" (Само шампиони) 12 45
Poli Genova English, Bulgarian "If Love Was a Crime" 4 307 5 220
Kristian Kostov English "Beautiful Mess" 2 615 1 403
Equinox English "Bones" 14 166 7 177
Victoria English "Tears Getting Sober" Contest cancelled X
Victoria English[17]


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.[19]

Year Head of delegation Ref.
2018 Joana Levieva-Sawyer

Commentators and spokespersons[edit]

Year Commentator Spokesperson Ref.
2005 Elena Rosberg and Georgi Kushvaliev Evgenia Atanasova [21]
2006 Dragomir Simeonov [22]
2007 Mira Dobreva [23]
2008 Valentina Voykova [24]
2009 Yoanna Dragneva [25]
2010 Desislava Dobreva [26]
2011 Maria Ilieva [27]
2012 Anna Angelova [28]
2013 Yoanna Dragneva [29]
2014 No broadcast Did not participate
2015[b] Elena Rosberg and Georgi Kushvaliev [30]
2016 Anna Angelova [31]
2017 Boryana Gramatikova [32]
2018 Yoanna Dragneva [33]
2019 No broadcast Did not participate


Notes and references[edit]


  1. ^ The song also contains phrases in Arabic, Azeri, English, French, Greek, Italian, Romani, Serbo-Croatian, Spanish and Turkish.[16]
  2. ^ In 2015, BNT screened only the grand final. The semi-finals were not screened.


  1. ^ Floras, Stella (18 October 2009). "Bulgaria: Miro selected for Eurovision 2010". ESCToday. Retrieved 18 October 2009.
  2. ^ Siim, Jarmo (18 October 2009). "Miro to represent Bulgaria". European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 18 October 2009.
  3. ^ Dahlander, Gustav (28 February 2010). "Miro flying to Eurovision on angelic wings". European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 28 February 2010.
  4. ^ Hondal, Víctor (28 February 2010). "Miro will sing Angel si ti in Oslo". ESCToday. Retrieved 28 February 2010.
  5. ^ Jiandani, Sanjay (22 November 2013). "Bulgaria: BNT will not participate in Copenhagen". ESCToday. Retrieved 22 November 2013.
  6. ^ Jiandani, Sanjay (20 September 2014). "Bulgaria: BNT confirms preliminary participation in Eurovision 2015". esctoday.com. ESCToday. Retrieved 20 September 2014.
  7. ^ Jiandani, Sanjay (10 October 2014). "Bulgaria: BNT will not participate in Eurovision 2015". esctoday.com. ESCToday. Retrieved 10 October 2014.
  8. ^ Jiandani, Sanjay (31 October 2014). "Bulgaria: No final decision on Eurovision 2015 yet". esctoday.com. ESCToday. Retrieved 31 October 2014.
  9. ^ Jiandani, Sanjay (19 December 2014). "Bulgaria: BNT will not participate in Eurovision 2015". esctoday.com. Retrieved 19 December 2014.
  10. ^ Jiandani, Sanjay (15 September 2015). "Bulgaria: BNT confirms participation in Eurovision 2016". esctoday.com. Retrieved 15 September 2015.
  11. ^ "Bulgaria returns to Eurovision Song Contest". eurovision.bnt.bg. Bulgarian National Television. 26 November 2015. Retrieved 26 November 2015.[permanent dead link]
  12. ^ Jiandani, Sanjay (10 September 2018). "Bulgaria: BNT confirms preliminary participation in Eurovision 2019". esctoday.com. ESCToday. Retrieved 10 September 2018.
  13. ^ "Official: Bulgaria withdraws from the Eurovision Song Contest". esc-plus. 15 October 2018.
  14. ^ Petyov, Georgi (30 October 2019). "Bulgaria: Eurovision 2020 Return Confirmed". eurovoix.com. Retrieved 23 November 2019.
  15. ^ "Финалисти - Виктория". novatv.bg. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016.
  16. ^ "Lyrics of "Love unlimited"". European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 15 July 2012.
  17. ^ @bg_eurovision (21 October 2020). "Hey, Jack. As we said - the language choice is based on the artist's direction. @Victoriageorge_ is very much aiming at the international music market and performing in English is a logical choice. We are sure soon we will be able to hear Bulgarian on the #Eurovision stage" (Tweet). Retrieved 23 October 2020 – via Twitter.
  18. ^ "Here are the winners of the Marcel Bezençon Awards 2018!". eurovision.tv. 12 May 2018. Retrieved 8 December 2019.
  19. ^ "Heads of Delegation". European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 27 May 2019.
  20. ^ Weaver, Jessica (14 May 2018). "Bulgaria: Head of Delegation discusses Eurovision 2018 results; participation in 2019?". esctoday.com. Retrieved 7 December 2019.
  21. ^ Eurovision Song Contest 2005. Kyiv, Ukraine. 21 May 2005.
  22. ^ Eurovision Song Contest 2006. Athens, Greece. 20 May 2006.
  23. ^ Eurovision Song Contest 2007. Helsinki, Finland. 12 May 2007.
  24. ^ Eurovision Song Contest 2008. Belgrade, Serbia. 24 May 2008.
  25. ^ Eurovision Song Contest 2009. Moscow, Russia. 16 May 2009.
  26. ^ Eurovision Song Contest 2009. Oslo, Norway. 29 May 2010.
  27. ^ Eurovision Song Contest 2011. Düsseldorf, Germany. 14 May 2011.
  28. ^ Eurovision Song Contest 2012. Baku, Azerbaijan. 26 May 2012.
  29. ^ Eurovision Song Contest 2013. Malmö, Sweden. 18 May 2013.
  30. ^ Eurovision Song Contest 2015. Vienna, Austria. 23 May 2015.
  31. ^ Eurovision Song Contest 2016. Stockholm, Sweden. 14 May 2016.
  32. ^ Agadellis, Stratos (1 May 2017). "Bulgaria: Boryana Gramatikova to announce the "douze points"". esctoday.com. ESCToday. Retrieved 12 May 2017.
  33. ^ Eurovision Song Contest 2018. Lisbon, Portugal. 12 May 2018.

External links[edit]