First, a tip of the hat to Bulgarian television network BNT, who put on a very good (but long) national selection show. They staged great group dance numbers, and between entries we were treated to pre-recorded Eurovision-style dance interludes. During the voting they had nearly non-stop musical entertainment.
Unfortunately, the broadcast amounted to little more than a Christmas present with beautiful wrapping paper and ribbon, and when you open the present, you find a rock that was picked up in the road. Bulgarian Eurovision hopefuls gave us gas masks, a Vegas-style wedding, and lots of bad singing. Such a shame. The less said about the other entries the better. With twice as many votes as the 2nd place finisher, the Bulgarian public spoke loud and clear. Here’s Sofi Marinova with “Love Unlimited”:
The song is a dance club number with the Romanian sound–some have compared it to “Mr. Saxobeat.” I guess, but for me it all just doesn’t quite add up. Listening to the audio track, I wish the vocal was more chill, letting the beats drive the energy of the song. Instead of singing it straight, Marinova goes for drama and feeling: “I love you so much.” Worse, the chorus hits the upper part of her register, which is shrill and off putting. But the biggest problem in the national final was her staging. Marinova performed “Love Unlimited” solo and in a ballgown–which is completely at odds with the mood of the piece. For the ESC, Bulgarian organizers need to think seriously about scrapping the performance and starting from scratch. How about bringing in some of those dancers that performed on the broadcast? Or I’m sure the “Angel si ti” dancers would be glad for the work…
Last year I wrote that Bulgaria’s Eurovision entries don’t suck, they just don’t stand out. Well, I am seriously missing Poli Genova right now. Based on what I saw tonight, 2012 isn’t shaping up to be a good Eurovision year for Bulgaria.