The comeback of the year is of course the comeback of Poli Genova. From a non-qualifier for Bulgaria, to the best result they ever had at Eurovision. Let’s look at the aftermath in Bulgaria.
Remember when Bulgaria came second at Junior Eurovision two years ago and went crazy? Eurovision got big over there, with the country hosting Junior Eurovision and broadcaster BNT returning to the big contest. The Twitter account of BNT has become a fan favourite, with their clever and witty remarks.
After the announcement of Poli, host of Junior Eurovision in Sofia, it took a long time until we heard her song for the first time. Mixed reactions followed after ‘If love was a crime’, but fans and bookmakers never saw it coming: This would become the best Bulgarian entry ever. That is not very hard though, Bulgaria only reached the final once, where it got a fifth place, in 2007.
Poli Genova was greeted by many fans and press at the airport after reaching 4th place at the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest. Poli was ecstatic: “I think it’s a new chapter for the Bulgarian participation at Eurovision and therefore for our music as a whole.”
The Bulgarian Head of Delegation Joana Levieva-Sawyer stressed the importance of the Eurovision Song Contest and the opportunities it offers for all the participating artists: “It’s the biggest stage in Europe and the only one that could be compared with the biggest concerts in America. And this is one of the main responsibilities of the public broadcasters – to create opportunities for the people of art.”
What can we learn from the surpising success of Poli? According to Rob Furber from EntertainmentOdds “Bulgaria’s 4th place highlights how, sometimes, being at rehearsals can work against you. Initial impressions in Stockholm were, Bulgaria had ruined its chance with lousy staging. And yet, it ended up leaping out from the 8 slot – as the first burst of energy in the final – Poli performed it superbly and instead of suffering at the hands of juries, they rated it highly in 7th with a televote 5th pushing it into 4th overall.”
“Bulgaria won the Balkan battle with Serbia well and truly sunk. Top Balkan continues to be something of a Eurovision nemesis with Romania losing this in 2015 and Greece in 2014. This curse WILL be broken in 2017.”