Cash-stripped Bulgaria gives up Eurovision contest

Bulgaria's state-owned TV channel BNT announced it has decided to withdraw from the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest in Denmark over budget cuts and financial issues.

“Bulgaria will no longer participate in the Eurovision contest due to the rising fee the competition charges and the reduced budget of the national television channel. This is just the first step of financial restrictions that BNT will introduce,” Bulgarian National Television (BNT) said in a press release on Friday evening.

The fee that BNT has to pay for Bulgaria to participate in Eurovision contest next year has doubled in comparison with 2005 when the country made its debut, it added.

Bulgaria has participated in the Eurovision Song Contest nine times since its debut in 2005, but it was only the drumming duo Elitsa and Stundzhi that brought success to the country and reached the finals in 2007.

Bulgaria's song Water grabbed the fifth spot at Eurovision final in Helsinki in May 2007, while another Balkan country - Serbia came in first

Combining a modern drumming beat, a traditional Bulgarian folk song and impressive performance, Water won wide support in Europe.

Bulgarians were awarded the maximum 12 points from neighbouring Greece, while Cyprus and Spain placed us second with 10 points from each country. Macedonia placed Water 3rd, with 8 points.

After the initial excitement over their participation in the contest many Bulgarians already consider the Eurovision experience to be either sloppy or dire, a competition decided mainly by political back-scratching.

Still amidst a period of effacement and chalga-risation of Bulgarian music, the intensity of Bulgaria's duo Elitsa and Stundzhi convinced many that the music jamboree still matters, at least as a medium of the traditional and authentic on a modern note.

Adapted from Novinite