Likely Televote Appeal
Likely Jury Appeal
Cohesiveness of Package
Might Kristian become the unofficial surrogate for Russian diaspora, as well as the Bulgarian diaspora and regional support?
Earlier today, Bulgarian Broadcaster, BTN announced The Voice Kids Russia finalist and X Factor Bulgaria runner-up, Kristian Kostov, as their Eurovision 2017 representative. Then just a few hours ago they unveiled the delicate Beautiful Mess as his song.
Russian born Kristian will perform Beautiful Mess in the second half of semi-final 2.
Following Monday’s song release, the Betfair outright price shot from around 20s to over 40s and has since gradually been backed in to below 20s. The initial reactions were probably ‘oh no, not another ballad’, or ‘this isn’t another If Love Was a Crime‘, which clearly overlooked the fact that even though Beautiful Mess is ‘another f*cking ballad’, it’s a chart worthy song performed by a telegenic kid that straddles two diaspora blocs. As Beanie mentioned in the comments: “he is very accessible – quite James Arthur-esque and more current than the few other male ballads this year”.
The gentle build of the Beautiful Mess may sound too understated to achieve mass appeal, but it’s as relevant as Australia and Belgium and both of those songs are equally soft in approach; and as hinted above, Bulgaria benefits from greater regional influence. More on that in a moment…
Belgium has been matched at much lower prices than Bulgaria so far, yet while Belgium’s City Light’s is credible, it is very alternative and lacks the call to action one would expect from a top-4 entry. Bulgaria, on the other hand, fits the more conventional Eurovision and chart-worthy structure while promising an evocative and cinematic stage show.
A number of folk (not on here) have criticised Kristian for looking too young and suggested he’d be better suited to Junior Eurovision. Erm… he’s not eligible. He’ll be 17 once he gets to Kyiv, and as you’ll see from this video, and this video, mums and girls will be quite smitten with his innocent looks and vocal maturity. Cute and innocent works at Eurovision with the likes of Roberto Bellarosa and Donny Montell being fine examples of over achievement owing to some sense of insecurity and innocence. The good thing for Bulgaria is that Kristian has a cracking song and is a worthy contender for the win.
As mentioned at the start of the review, Kristian was born in Russia and even took part in the Russian version of The Voice Kids. It’s also worth reminding everyone that Russia’s entry is well below average this year, so might Kristian become the unofficial surrogate for Russian diaspora, as well as the Bulgarian diaspora and regional support? If I were part of the Bulgarian PR team, I would be promoting Kristian all over Russian TV and across the ex-USSR nations to harness and galvanise that support.
Last year Poli scored well from Balkan nations, as well as in places like Germany, Spain and the UK where there are high levels of Bulgarian diaspora. I think Kristian has the potential to score even higher if you accept that Beautiful Mess will appeal to the international juries. If so, then Bulgaria could be dangerous if given a second-half draw.
Beautiful Mess, or delicate dark horse?