Hey everyone and welcome back to the ‘What If…’ series! Today, I’m going to take you to James’ favourite country EVER; Bulgaria! Why, you ask? Well obviously, Bulgaria originally chose ‘Kismet’ to go to Eurovision on behalf of them, but then, they chose their minds and went with ‘Samo Shampioni’. But what I, and I’m sure you too, would like to know is what would have happened if they hadn’t changed their minds and stuck with ‘Kismet’?
So, cast your minds back to February of this year. It’s been announced that Elitsa Todorova and Stoyan Yankoulov have been chosen to re-represent Bulgaria after they represented the country 6 years ago and qualified for the first time in the history of Bulgaria’s participation record. You’re told that they’re going to reveal three songs and the winning song in the NF will represent the country at Eurovision. What kind of song do you expect? Something like ‘Water’, or something completely different to what they would normally do? Well if you were thinking of the latter; how wrong were you?! Elitsa & Stoyan composed three ethnic songs, their specialty, for the national final. Each song was as diverse as each other, but they still had the trademark sound that the duo are notorious for. It was obvious from the beginning that ‘Samo Shampioni’ was the fan favourite of the three songs, with ‘Kismet’ closely following in second and the last one, ‘Dzupai, libe boso’ (which actually had English AND a beat-boxer in it!), dragging along in third. So when it came to the night of the NF, it would be fair to say that the people had a hard decision in choosing which song would represent Bulgaria in Sweden. And that’s what the outcome was! Both ‘Kismet’ and ‘Samo Shampioni’ tied for first place, but as the public had the ultimate decision and ‘Kismet’ received more public points than ‘Samo Shampioni’, ‘Kismet’ was declared the winner.
A mere 8 days after ‘Kismet’ was selected to represent Bulgaria, however, BNT announced that ‘Kismet’ was withdrawn (much to my EUPHOOOORIA!) and would be replaced with second-placed ‘Samo Shampioni’. BNT cited that the reason it was being withdrawn was because it couldn’t secure the copyrights needed by one of the writers of the song that the broadcaster was unaware of. So they obviously decided to go for ‘Samo Shampioni’, but not without making a few changes to the song before May that I guess were to ‘improve’ the song (although I did prefer the old version, oh look at how old-fashioned I am!). When we did get to May though, the song was accompanied by a rather unusual performance including that mask that drives away bad spirits that looked really freaky; a slightly younger, yet more attractive man playing the bagpipes (his name’s Vensi if you want to Google him), a rather bored-looking group of backing singers that looked like they weren’t really enjoying themselves and of course, the over-usage of drums. All these elements combined into what you see below.
Nevertheless, they didn’t qualify and now that the Netherlands qualified with Anouk this year, Bulgaria is now currently the country with the longest non-qualifying streak. But when the results were published, the song finished in 12th place, just behind ValMon! And when the split results were revealed, it became clear that the song was loved by the public, but absolutely hated by the juries, averaging last place by the juries. Personally, I loved the song and I was very, VERY annoyed that they didn’t qualify, because for me it was an *amayzin* song. But I guess you can’t change the past so we have to move on…
So had all the copyright issues been sorted and the song was allowed to go to Malmö, what would have happened if ‘Kismet’ represented Bulgaria at Eurovision? Well, the song did contain a lot of ethnic long notes and was quite ‘lyric-less’ and like the performance of ‘Samo Shampioni’, the backing singers didn’t look like they were having a good time. If they actually kept the song like it was in the NF, it would not have fared well. I mean, look at Esma! She had all her long notes and her lelele-ing and she ended up in second-last place in the semi-final, although Vlatko did sing his bits fairly well, but it wasn’t enough I guess. Two songs in one semi-final containing long ethnic notes that didn’t sound hugely great would have been too much for the ear, I would say. I actually think that had ‘Kismet’ gone to Malmö, Elitsa & Stoyan would have finished lower than they did with ‘Samo Shampioni’, but is that just me or do other people think that?
What would you think would have happened if Elitsa and Stoyan sent ‘Kismet’ to Eurovision instead of ‘Samo Shampioni’?
Seth Wezendonk from the Netherlands: Probably a lower place. I was very happy Samo Shampioni went instead of this at least.
Bruno Seferović from Croatia: Samo Shampioni is better.
Jack Cuffe from the United Kingdom: They still wouldn’t have qualified, and would have probably finished even lower…
Michael Romano from Australia: It would’ve gotten a worse result because I doubt the televoters would have backed Kismet like they did with Samo Shampioni.
It’s clear that ‘Kismet’ would have fared worse than ‘Samo Shampioni’, and my hypothesis is now proven that fans wouldn’t have voted for the song. But I still think that even if they did sort out the copyright issues and everything, they would have ditched ‘Kismet’ and decided to go for ‘Samo Shampioni’, but that’s just my opinion. But what do you think? Would you have preferred to see ‘Kismet’ or ‘Samo Shampioni’ at Eurovision or neither? Feel free by letting us know by commenting below!