Bulgaria’s Eurovision 2018 Entry

Bulgaria is looking to keep its hot streak alive with “Bones.”

Equinox is pop quintet formed for Eurovision. Members include Zhana Bergendorff, who won the second series of X Factor in Bulgaria; Johnny Manuel, who made it to the semifinals on the 2017 edition of America’s Got Talent; and Vladimir Mihailov, a singer and actor who sang backing vocals for Kristian Kostov at last year’s Song Contest.

Bulgaria is coming off a second place finish at Eurovision. Given its success the past couple of years, anticipation around their entry has been high. They recruited Eurovision fans to be a part of the jury to select a song, which helped generate even more buzz.

“Bones” is by Borislav Milanov and Joacim Persson, who co-wrote previous Bulgarian entries “If Love Was a Crime” and “Beautiful Mess,” along with Dag Lundberg and Equinox member Trey Campbell. Milanov and Persson–under their nom de plume Symphonix–have become hot Eurovision songwriters in recent years: in addition to their Bulgarian songs, they wrote last year’s Serbian and Macedonian entries, this year’s Austrian entry, and a song that competed in Malta’s national final in February. We were pretty excited to hear what they came up with.

Then the song came out. It’s not bad.

The thing is, “Bones” lacks the immediacy of “Beautiful Mess” and “If Love Was a Crime” and the pop songs Symphonix have provided Eurovision the past few years. It sounds less like a single and more like a performance piece without the performance attached. It feels incomplete.

This wouldn’t be the first Eurovision entry that only soars when you see it staged. We look forward to seeing what Bulgaria does with it. But we’ve been such big fans of Bulgaria’s recent output that maybe we just wanted a little more. That might be the drawback for setting expectations so high.