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Bulgaria: Poli Genova – If Love Was a Crime

Having confirmed Poli Genova earlier this year, Bulgaria have scrambling around to find a song. Today, Bulgaria finally presented If Love Was A Crime which will be performed in the second half of semi-final 2. Bulgaria have only qualified for the final once in nine previous attempts. The breakthrough came 2007 when Elitsa & Stoyan qualified 6th in the old, larger semi-final format and went on to finish 5th in the final. That sort of song wouldn't do well in today's jury-influenced Contest, so it's refreshing Bulgaria have returned with a competent song. The reason for the delay in presenting If Love Was…
Song Appeal
Vocal Strength
Staging Potential
Likely Televote Appeal
Likely Jury Appeal
Cohesiveness of Package

Gen-ious

If Love Was A Crime is a wonderfully infectious foot-tapper of a song with a surprisingly catchy Bulgarian hook.

User Rating: 3.87 ( 43 votes)

Having confirmed Poli Genova earlier this year, Bulgaria have scrambling around to find a song.

Today, Bulgaria finally presented If Love Was A Crime which will be performed in the second half of semi-final 2.

Bulgaria have only qualified for the final once in nine previous attempts. The breakthrough came 2007 when Elitsa & Stoyan qualified 6th in the old, larger semi-final format and went on to finish 5th in the final. That sort of song wouldn’t do well in today’s jury-influenced Contest, so it’s refreshing Bulgaria have returned with a competent song.

The reason for the delay in presenting If Love Was A Crime, was because their original songwriter, famous for his JESC compositions, withdrew at the last minute, leaving Poli without a song. Whether If Love Was A Crime was on the list of submissions, or was bought in as quick replacement is unknown; either way, it’s a wonderfully infectious foot-tapper of a song with a surprisingly catchy Bulgarian hook.

The market reaction was muted, and despite being matched as low as 24/1, Bulgaria has since drifted out to 70/1, which reflects the general uncertainty as to how well they will do in Stockholm, though it feels like a slightly more commercially relevant Lăutar and maybe a similar finishing position will be on the cards. The undercooked verses and pre-chorus are the main concern, but the punch of the Bulgarian ‘О, дай ми любовта’ parts really help make the song more memorable.

I can’t help feeling that the song needs a some sort of visual branding during the refrain along with a few simple, but recognisable dance moves that lock in the song’s strongest element with TV viewers. However, if Poli fronts most of the song alone with a fairly limp dance routine behind her, then I suspect qualification will be the ceiling. If they inject some Pasha Parfeny fun, then Bulgaria could challenge for top-10.

Do you love Bulgaria’s chances this year?

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20 comments

  1. Probably qualify and not do too much damage in the final, a bit like Lithuania last year. Having said that, semi 2 is a nightmare to predict- hopefully the running order might clear things up if we get it soon.

  2. Great way to close the pre-Eurovision part!!! Catchy, radiofriendly, not the typical-eurovision-song. Bravo, Bulgaria. (¿Has Italy the intention to show us the final version before May or…?!)

  3. I think Bulgaria have a decent chance at qualification. There last two attempts qualified in the televote but the jury held them back, I can’t see that happening here as far as televising goes. In a 26 song field I can’t see it standing out in a televised contest (If it was a radio contest it could be a dark horse but in this format I doubt it) As for qualification this will get the Slovenia treatment and be given a plum draw and with a few friends voting I’d say out of all there previous qualification attempts since 07 I’d say this is there best chance. I know it’s quite stupid to consider JESC in this argument but they did come 5th in televoting there despite having an awful package (Singers + a song that was pure fluff)

  4. Stephen Colville

    Generic pop song with the depth of a puddle. Genuinely don’t understand the love with this. Considering the artist, this could, and should have been a lot more interesting.

  5. The only crime would be if Kaliopi would not qualify. By the way I am looking forward to back it no matter of the running order.

  6. Yeah, slightly disappointed with this. Not much going on in the arrangement and the chorus lacks punch, but hopefully this will get them through to the final. Poli might lift this a bit because she’s fantastic live, but I personally prefer Na Inat to this, it was catchier.

  7. I like this. A catchy, cool, very radio-oriented song. It does a lot more for me than Na Inat, more accessible too. Bulgaria drawing the second half should serve them well. The second half, if Jamala isn’t your cup of tea, will be crying out for something good to really grab the viewers, and Poli Genova might just be good enough. I’d call Bulgaria a likely qualifier, especially if SVT give them a late spot in the running order.

  8. I love this. Personal favourite of this year’s contest. It’s Modern, radio friendly and the flute riff at 2.00 is great. Unfortunately it’s not winning but once it qualifies I wouldn’t rule out a top 10 finish. It Will do very well with the televote but not sure how the juries will take to it.

  9. Great song,Poli has re-created herself and looks younger than she did back in Düsseldorf.Im not 100% convinced she can deliver this contemporary song live though.Most people wont agree with that,but im not sold on her vocals suiting this.I wont be touching Bulgaria on the betting front until i see/hear the rehearsals,or at least a high quality live delivery.

  10. when is the draw for the SF running order?

  11. Stephen Colville

    When is the review for this going up?

  12. Surprised you think it is more televote friendly, I would have thought it was more of a jury song but that’s just me I guess.

  13. Iv taken a position on this now at 50s and some top 5.I loved the song,but was worried if Poli could pull it off live and get the staging right. Fredrik “Benke” Rydman has started to follow Poli on Instagram in the last few days.This could mean he is involved in the staging in some way.If he is 50s will look big as he will get the staging perfect probably,though its only a guess hes involved at the minute.I expect this to go past Croatia in the betting at some point as it and Serbia are far superior for me from the Balkans.

  14. Rydman choreographed the opening number at the Eurovision Song Contest in 2013 ,he also co-developed and choreographed the stage presentation of Måns Heroes, for both Melodifestivalen and the ESC

    • Like i say just a guess he is involved, but hes added himself to her Instagram.He might simply like her or the delegation could be going to hire the Bounce Streetdance Company he is part of.Gav might be able to to get some info from his Swedish contacts to see if there is anything in it.

  15. We can’t hear what was sung down the Mic at EIC but I thought she was much better last night then in Riga. I still think they need a bit more in the stage performance to make this song standout more.

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