It’s the time of year when the Post-Eurovision depression is in full swing, but there’s no better cure than to reminisce! Together with ESCDaily Editor, Dennis Van Eersel, we will be discussing each of this year’s competing nations – from their results to how we think they could improve in the future!
Predictions, Personal Scores and Results
Prediction: Top 10
Results: 11th, Final
Did Bulgaria live up to expectations?
A: I think in general, the answer would be no, but for me, it lived up to expectations. Many people saw Bulgaria as a potential winner this year, even through the rehearsals, but for me, I never really got those winner vibes. The song choice wasn’t my favourite from the potential Eurovision songs, and I think that lack of connection carried through to the live performance for me personally. I wasn’t wowed by the stage performance, and I think in the end it was overshadowed by better slower songs on the night. I expected this to do reasonably well, but this didn’t strike me as a Top 10 finisher.
D: Like Anita it’s also a ‘no’ for me. Bulgaria was seen as one of the contenders for a top 3 result, maybe even the win. When you fall short of making it to the top 10 in the actual result, that’s of course a big disappointment.
How do you personally feel about the song for Bulgaria at Eurovision 2021?
D: Bulgaria had one of the better songs of the year for me. A composition with a meaning, sparking emotion. Not connecting with the camera at all points, this probably did not connect with enough viewers and jurors on the night. Sad, because the potential of Victoria was big. We saw this in 2020 when she was even considered the top candidate to win by the bookmakers. She did not live up to those expectations, especially with the live performance, in a field with multiple strong slow songs.
A: It’s hard for many of the 2021 artists, as they will always be compared to their 2020 entries. For me, Victoria had the better song in 2020. Tears Getting Sober screamed Eurovision winner, whereas her 2021 entry didn’t have that same feel. I do think that some of the other potential entries for Victoria could have achieved higher results, but I also understand that Growing Up is Getting Old was the song she connected with the most.
Could Bulgaria have done anything different?
D: Maybe the staging and concept of ‘Growing up is getting old’ was a bit too complex. Let’s not forget that Victoria is still a young performer, standing at the beginning of a bright future and career. Especially with this song, and the strong personal meaning it has to her, the focus should have been just on Victoria and her emotions. It was that factor that could have given the ballad that ‘wow-factor’ that Anita spoke off, which was lacking in the presentation a bit.
A: I think even if the concept of the staging doesn’t get through to viewers, it should at minimum look spectacular. I don’t know that that was the case for Bulgaria this year. It all just felt a bit toned down, monotone, I guess. I just wasn’t wowed by it at all. The live show proved not to be Victoria’s best performance of the 2 week period, but it certainly wasn’t a disaster. I just think it fell a bit flat in the end.
A: Bulgaria is doing a great job at Eurovision at the moment. Fantastic singers, strong songs and they are really trying to nail the staging as well. It’s crazy to think about the journey they have had at Eurovision, and it just goes to show that with the right team, any nation can achieve success. I think if they keep the end goal in focus, they can continue heading closer and closer to that trophy.
D: When they take part, Bulgaria always gives it their best at Eurovision. It’s a country worthy of a win in one of the upcoming years. Usually they come with impactful songs, combined with strong staging, sung by powerful vocalists. If they still have more of those, I am sure Bulgaria will keep up their good streak at Eurovision.
Which was better, the live-on-tape performance or the actual performance?
D: Bulgaria knew what they wanted, since the back-up tape had a lot of the elements we also saw in Rotterdam. Even more than in the performance at Ahoy, Victoria is not connecting to the camera at all in the first half of the song. Her vocals also echo in the empty in Bulgaria. Later on they added even more aspects to the performance, with the sand coming from the air and Victoria looking at a picture of her father. I still think they should have emphasized more on Victoria working the camera more and making the people at home feel her emotion. Overall, the performance in Rotterdam was better than the one in the live-on-tape performance.
A: Bulgaria is another example where the concepts were locked in early on. We see the same props, minus the sand and the picture frame. I think the camera work was decent in the back-up tape, but as Dennis said, her lack of interaction was limiting the audience’s ability to connect. I didn’t particularly enjoy the lighting and colour themes, but that was carried through to the live Rotterdam performance. In general, the Rotterdam performance was better.