Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Bulgarian Eurovision Song Contest Reforms? Why?

I have put the whole of this report inches post to give the full background of the mess and controversy earlier this year. Having gone through the whole saga here it is no surprise that something had to be done, but doesn’t the Eurovision Song Contest demand ridicule? Perhaps things should be left as they are as the freaky Eurovision contest demand more antics and attention away from actual music.

Bulgarian Eurovision Song Contest Reforms? Why?
Bulgarian National Television (BNT) has decided to change the way Bulgaria's representative at the Eurovision song contest is selected after previous choices caused much public tension and distress.

As the public broadcaster, BNT has the task of selecting the Bulgarian song and artist who represent the country at Eurovision. On September 28 2009, BNT said that this year, which will be Bulgaria's sixth participation, the selection procedure will change.

The main change is the way the winner will be selected. Until now, the procedure included candidates to appear in a semifinal and a final, shown live on BNT, where viewers selected the winner by sending text messages.

Eighteen candidates appeared in the semifinal: nine were selected by a BNT committee formed by TVs journalist and prominent composers and singers. The other nine reached the semi-final following a text vote. Of these 18 songs, nine progressed to the final, picked by a jury different from the semi-final one. In the final, TV viewers had the last word by sending text messages.

Now, BNT decided to change the procedure by eliminating the semi-final stage. The choice of the Bulgarian representative will be made after BNT surveys 51 "proven professionals from the music industry, including composers, journalists and directors," BNT said.

The winner will be asked to perform five songs, commissioned and produced by BNT, after which BNT viewers will select the song that will represent Bulgaria at 2010 Eurovision contest in Norway.

The change follows the scandal caused by the choice of Krassimir Avramov, who won the contest to represent Bulgaria at the Eurovision final in Moscow in May 2009, where he promptly exited at the semi-final stage.

The choice of Avramov and his song Illusion caused an uproar and led to people asking for Avramov to be disqualified.

As in previous years, conspiracy theories started suggesting that the voting had been rigged and that Avramov had hardly looked surprised when he heard his name announced as the winner.

The big gap between the winner and the second-ranked singer was one of the reasons why many questioned the objectivity of the voting procedure. Avramov won 55.52 per cent of the vote, which was done through text messages, with runner-up Poli Genova getting 11.74 per cent.

Many popular Bulgarian musicians also expressed their frustration at the choice of Avramov, given his live performance on February 21 2009. Some asked him to step down rather than bring shame to Bulgaria in Moscow. An initiative committee supporting Genova asked BNT to send her instead of Avramov who, they said, had a "non-traditional sexual character".

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