Bulgaria once struggled at Eurovision, so much so that between their debut in 2005 and 2013, the nation qualified to the final only once. There was a significant turnaround in 2016, when the nation returned and finished in 4th place. The following year, they finished in 2nd place, and have since cemented their position as a strong competitor at the contest. This year is no exception, with VICTORIA back to represent Bulgaria with the song, Growing Up is Getting Old.
Anita (Eurovision Union)
Song and Vocals
Bulgaria held an interesting selection this year, with candidate VICTORIA releasing her EP, one song at a time. One of those songs would become her Eurovision entry this year, and her team wanted feedback from fans on which song would give her the best chance at Eurovision this year. All the potential entries were strong, with qualification at Eurovision seemingly a certainty. In the end, VICTORIA and her team chose Growing Up is Getting Old.
Coming off a potential Eurovision winner with Tears Getting Sober, it was going to be difficult to top. There was perhaps one song in the selection that I thought had similar winning potential, and unfortunately, it wasn’t this song. Growing Up is Getting Old is certainly a strong entry from Bulgaria, but it lacks the same charm, at least in my opinion. Tears Getting Sober was a song that I felt compelled to listen to on repeat, and that connection was made from the first listen. I didn’t get the same effect with this year’s entry, but I can’t necessarily explain why. The vocals are enchanting, the melodies are nice, and the song reaches a strong peak at the end. Yet, there’s something missing.
Of course, I am one of millions of people who will watch the contest, and what doesn’t catch my attention could, and will, catch the attention of others. What we know for certain is that VICTORIA will deliver a stellar vocal performance, and the staging will likely be extremely strong. If they can capture that intimate feeling on stage, this will certainly appeal to many, both public voters and jury.
Performance and Act
One of the biggest strengths of VICTORIA is that she manages to tell stories through her music, both literally in the lyrics, but also in her performance style. If the team can manage to create an intimate setting for VICTORIA, I think it will allow viewers to really connect with her. They may choose to keep with the vintage theme similar to the music video, which also naturally suits this song. I have high expectations for this entry in terms of the staging.
While I think there was a better choice from VICTORIA’s EP, Growing Up is Getting Old is a strong entry from Bulgaria that seems likely to reach the Top 10. This has appeal with the televote and jury vote, but I can’t quite see her winning this year. Rehearsals might change my mind!
Song and Vocals
The Bulgarian song by Victoria is listed high with the bookmakers again and it’s very understandable. It’s a song in a style that you hear on the radio currently. Victoria sings in a way which gets her emotions across to the listeners, making her a very strong vocalist and performer. She opens up and shows a vulnerable and likeable side of herself. The way the composition of ‘Growing up is getting old’ is build-up is also very strong, with a musical climax with all the orchestral sounds towards the end of the song.
Performance and Act
Victoria is a convincing live singer. She tells a story, rather than singing a song. I think, with a strong staging team like Bulgaria had with Kristian Kostov, this can make a very big impact. I’m not ruling out, if everything falls together and some other strong ballads are falling behind, Bulgaria could be the best slow song of this year.
Bulgaria was the favourite of the bookmakers to win Eurovision 2020 and are in the top-3 for 2021 again. I also still see them as a serious option for the win in this year and expect their odds to improve even more when their first rehearsal has been held. High expectations for this one!
Additional Scores from Eurovision Union and ESCDaily editors:
Average Score: 8.6/10