Review: Bulgaria’s Potential Songs For Eurovision 2021

The singer Victoria Georgieva was internally selected to represent Bulgaria at Eurovision 2021.
In fact, the singer has been internally selected to represent the country at Eurovision 2020 which was canceled due to the Covid-19 pandenic

Last summer, Bulgarian broadcaster BNT held a song writing camp to help Victoria get the right song for Eurovision 2021.
In the end, Victoria and her team shortlisted 6 songs. One of them was released in November 2020, while the 5 other songs were released in February 2021 and they are included in her new EP “A Little Dramatic”

In this post, I will review the 6 competing songs of Victoria.

#1. Ugly Cry

It’s a mid-tempo pop song with elements of electro music.
The song starts with keyboards and strings playing, while Victoria is telling us the story.
The song deals with the difference between our public persona and the private real persona.
The spokesperson tells us that she is in a crisis (“my heart burns”) but no one knows it (“no one hears the hurt”). There is a better side which she presented to the public but it isn’t her real character.
She becomes almost invisible, the time doesn’t influence her anymore. The only thing that bothers her is the moment when she will fall apart. However, that moment will be a private event and will be done quietly
In the first verse, she sings with processed vocals. There is a mysterious atmosphere in the song, even something cinematic. There is a soft echo accompanying her voice.
Pre-chorus is effective and creates a good connection between the verses and the chorus itself.
The chorus is faster and thereafter there is a short instrumental part.
The bridge is the best part of the song. We hear Victoria reaching high notes and an interesting change in the melody.
The song ends with a repeating of the sentence “Tell me that you love my better side”.
First of all, if the song is chosen for Eurovision it will have to be shorter.  My recommendation here would be to end the song with the bridge, where Victoria sings in a higher voice
Although I like the song, I see it as less competitive compared to some of the others

#2. “Imaginary Friend”

It’s a ballad with contemporary production.
The song has a light symponic style, while the central element is Victoria’s voice.
The first verse is slow. The lines are suddenly interrupted.
The chorus arrives early but it plays a main role in the structure of the song. It’s catchy, unforgettable and exciting.
The second verse includes a gentle beat while string instruments are added.
The second occurrence of the chorus is much more powerful, we can hear a choir singing that consists of Victoria‘s vocals (as a lead vocal and as backing vocals).
One of the most important components of the song is the humming (which reminds me a little bit of her entry for Eurovision 2020)
The arrangement makes the whole package excellent.
The message is strong and it hits me like a punch in the stomach:
“How can you miss someone that you never knew at all?” – The imaginary friend gets here 2 optional meanings:
First, someone virtual that the spokesperson has never met, but she is still connected to him.
Second, a lover that she lost. She is having difficulties overcoming his absence/ the fact they ended their relationship.
It is a unique song that can do really well with the right staging.

#3. “Dive into Unknown”

It’s a dark pop song.
The song starts with piano playing and humming. The first verse’s melody is simple and is namely relying on Victoria’s voice, humming effect and simple accords on the piano.
To my ears, the song is the one who is most similar to “Tears Getting Sober” (her Eurovision 2020 song). The chorus is a little bit faster and Victoria puts more emotions in it. My favorite part of the chorus is the second half where she sings the words in a higher voice.
The first verse starts with a very short electric section. Thereafter, the song includes some beats.
The peak of the song is around 2:30 where Victoria is singing in a high voice (almost falsetto) and thereafter we can hear drums and choir singing.
The song talks about bravery, being able to take a risk without knowing the result in the future
“I might lose but at least I know if I stay I will never grow”.
Although the magic of the song is its intimacy, I would like to see the production pushing it forward.
Another problem I have here is that the theme of the song isn’t strong enough as a message to rely on.

#4. Phantom Pain

It’s a modern indie pop song.
The song starts with recorded talking sessions alongside dramatic sound (may someone kill someone else?).
The song is the upbeat one in the potential songs list. The first verse is buit on talking-speaking which I don’t like. There is an electronic beat that dominates the melody. The chorus just continues the verses directly. The only difference is that the chorus has a stronger beat and humming singing. They are both being added to the verses afterwards.
I find the lyrics quite predictable, regarding the title “Phantom Pain“. The beat keeps on changing and it is deeper, until it breaks. Towards the end, we have a stop which I see as a connection to the “The Funeral Song“. The melody is completely different and it feels like we are listening to another song. I see this phenomenon as something positive (because the song is too repetitive at a specific point). However, I can also see it as a drawback: combining 2 different songs in one is almost always a recipe for mess
Victoria has hinted that it’s her favorite song from the EP “A little dramatic“. However, that doesn’t mean it will be the chosen song for Eurovision 2021. I don’t think the song is good for Eurovision, since I feel that Victoria is better in ballads. In addition, the song sounds like an abandoned song by Billie Eilish.

#5. “The Funeral Song

The song starts with piano playing. We can hear some strange voices in the background.
The first verse is pretty basic in meaning of melody. At the end of the first verse, we can hear the expected humming and choir singing. The chorus is catchier and I think it’s because it’s more complicated. The chorus ends with a happy instrumental part which emphasizes the dichotomy between the title of the song and the content of the song.
Thereafter, the song becomes more rhythmic as a soft electonic beat is included. When the chorus arrives, the beat disappears. The second chorus again ends with happy vibes.
Lyrics wisely, this is the most dramatic song among the 6. In contrast, the melody isn’t that sad.
I just have difficulties seeing the song being translated to the Eurovision stage. Following the fact that the song isn’t dramatic, we can’t match it with a dramatic dark staging.

#6. “Growing Up Is Getting Old”

It’s a ballas with orchestra elements. The first verse is built on a symphony and harmony of percussion and strings. We can hear the clock ticking as time passes by and it supports the title of the song. The first verses are being performed effortlessly. However, the chorus is just beautiful and simple, Victoria is singing it with a high voice and emotional interpretation.
The second part of the song (after the chorus) is classical, the melody includes cello and violin playing. The peak of the song is being performed in a high voice and a wonderful choir singing combined with orchestra. The song ends with spoken lyrics that are being said without any melody.

I see a lot of similarities between the songs. Most of them are ballads that are being performed in the same way and same arrangement. Exceptional songs may be the most divisive and “too special”.

My Personal Ranking

Imaginary Friend
Dive Into Unknown
Growing Up Is Getting Old
Ugly Cry
The Funeral Song
Phantom Pain

Prediction

I think this selection is very hard to predict. Some of the songs can be improved by clipping them into the 3 minute limit. Nevertheless, some of them can lose their magic.
I feel that the song won’t be “Ugly Cry” (unless she has to include it in her EP).
Among other things, I feel that the fans will be satisfied with “Imaginary Friend” (and so will I).

Bulgaria will compete in the second half of semi-final 2 at Eurovision 2021.

You can find all the relevant information on our Eurovision 2021 homepage:

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Eurovision-2021-Homepage.jpg

I live in Israel and watch Eurovision since the early 2000s. I work as a mathematician but have a big interest in singing, music, and writing

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