Today’s Eurovision Throwback is taking us back to Eurovision 2006, a year with mixed genres and mixed quality. Although I’d consider this edition of Eurovision to still be part of the ‘dark ages’ of Eurovision, there are some diamonds in the rough. Some of those diamonds unfortunately failed to qualify, but is Bulgaria’s entry one of them?
There are a few non-qualifiers I would have easily substituted in, and Bulgaria is likely one of them. The big shock of the semi-final was to see Belgium miss out on the final having been a favourite of the competition, but I also think Bulgaria should have qualified, and if not, at least finished closer to the qualifying position. Being early in the running order seemed to be quite a big disadvantage, as only two songs in the first 10 performances ended up qualifying so already the odds were stacked against them.
The song mixes a more traditional pop melody with some ethnic flair, which is always a winning combination in my book. The verses are quite mellow and for a first time listener, you may not expect the intensity of the choruses. Speaking of, the choruses are easily the highlight of the song, even if they feature some pretty basic rhymes in the lyrics!
Overall, the vocals in the performance are good, but if you know this song well, you know where this discussion is headed. Fast forward to the bridge of the song and we see an unexpected solo from the very eccentric performer (and in this case, backing singer) Azis. He also chimes in as Mariana is performing the final chorus, and although amusing, it doesn’t positively add to the performance of the song.
Visually the performance was ok, but I can’t quite work out whether the dancers added to the stage performance or whether they could have been omitted with no real impact on the performance. Additionally, more eye contact to the camera from Mariana might have helped to connect more with the audience at home.
Overall, I think this is quite a good entry from Bulgaria. In this case, I think the running order played a big part in their non-qualification, and perhaps even the questionable solo from Azis transformed the song from a big ethno pop ballad to a memorable entry but for the wrong reasons. Despite that, finishing in the semi-final at 17th place seems a bit undeserving, and I would have thought it to be more reasonable for the song to perhaps finish in the 11-15 territory.
This is a song I wouldn’t actively seek to listen to, but if it’s on, I’ll enjoy the three minute performance. For me, it’s a 7/10.
Artist: Mariana Popova
Song: Let Me Cry
Final Ranking: 17th in the semi-final