Eurovision 2017 Entry: Bulgaria — Kristian Kostov — Beautiful Mess

Bulgaria has finally cracked the Eurovision code! Can Kristian Kostov earn another top five finish with "Beautiful Mess"?

Kristian Kostov will represent Bulgaria at the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest in Kyiv, Ukraine (Photo: Diliana Florentin / Virginia Records) Kristian Kostov will represent Bulgaria at the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest in Kyiv, Ukraine (Photo: Diliana Florentin / Virginia Records)

Country: Bulgaria
Song Title: “Beautiful Mess”
Artist: Kristian Kostov
Second Semi-Final: Position 15
Last year’s entry: “If Love Was a Crime” – Poli Genova (4th Place)

Bulgaria is still riding high after last year’s Eurovision Song Contest, where Poli Genova not only earned the country’s second trip to the Grand Final but finishing in fourth place overall. I mean, even my mom called Bulgaria her favorite. That’s a tough act for Kristian Kostov to follow — is “Beautiful Mess” up to the task?

Yes. Yes it is. Bulgaria took a deliberative approach to choosing its entry this year, waiting until almost the last minute to announce their artist and their song. If a country is going to do an internal selection, this is the way to go about it, as the broadcaster can evaluate both the field of the semi-final as well as the field overall.

In terms of singers, there aren’t many in the second semi-final where you could do an apples-to-apples comparison with Kristian Kostov. Ireland’s Brendan Murray comes closest in age and sound, but the plaintive delivery of “Beautiful Mess” is way more interesting than the wispy “Dying to Try.” As for the song, Hungary’s “Origo” is the closest in terms of bringing cultural music traditions to the track, but the songs are so distinct from one another that it hardly puts the two in direct competition. As a result, “Beautiful Mess” stands out because it is well delivered and there are no other songs in the second semi-final quite like it.

Looking at the full field of likely competitors in the Grand Final, there isn’t as much direct competition there either. Portugal’s entry by Salvador Sobral, like Hungary, brings specific music traditions, but again you would not confuse one for the other if heard back-to-back.1 The only direct competition comes from Australia’s Isaiah Firebrace, who also has a powerful voice and a catchy ballad. It is my hope that they do not draw the same half for the Grand Final, because that would be a disaster for both entries.

That’s right: I have no doubt that Bulgaria will be making another visit to Saturday. I’m not sure if Kristian Kostov will be able to beat 4th place — there’s a lot of competition for the top five this year — but a top 10 finish would be a beautiful mess.

Eurovision Song Contest Second Semi-Final
May 11, 2017

AustriaBelarusBulgariaCroatiaDenmark • Estonia
FYR Macedonia • Hungary • IrelandIsraelLithuaniaMalta • Netherlands
NorwayRomaniaRussia • San Marino •  Serbia • Switzerland

  1. Such as the offerings from Spain and Austria this year.  

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