Bulgaria names contestant for Eurovision 2020 in Rotterdam

Young singer Victoria, a former X Factor Bulgaria contestant, will represent Bulgaria at the 2020 Eurovision Song Contest in the Dutch city of Rotterdam in May, a news conference in Sofia on November 25 was told.

The announcement was made by public broadcaster Bulgarian National Television (BNT) and Victoria’s producers from Ligna Studios, part of the creative hub Missia23.

The song with which she will compete in Rotterdam will be selected internally and will be presented in early March 2020.

“In the beginning of 2019, I just couldn’t imagine how many opportunities will open up for me,” Victoria said.

“I am proud to be the Bulgarian artist in Rotterdam. I am privileged to be able to make music that I believe in and to have the freedom to be who I am. Being the Bulgarian ambassador on such a huge stage is a big responsibility, as the Eurovision Song Contest matters to so many people in Bulgaria.”

The young artist, who became popular after her participation in the fourth season of X Factor Bulgaria released “I Wanna Know”, her first single in English, in summer 2019. The project was aimed for the global market. “I Wanna Know” gained hundreds of thousands of streams across YouTube and Spotify this summer. The Ligna Studios artist’s debut solo album is expected to be officially released later in 2020, after her participation at the Eurovision Song Contest.

Ligna Studios CEO Genoveva Christova, producer and manager of Victoria, said that she believes that Eurovision will be the next step in Victoria’s future as an international artist.

Christova is confident that the return of Bulgaria will open many doors for the local creative industry in the country: “I would like to thank BNT for the trust and the co-operative attitude.

“I believe that Eurovision is a platform that should be used for the development of the whole creative sector in Bulgaria. Our effort is to unite the skills and the dreams of the creative people here and to give them international exposure.

“We are also extremely proud to help the Eurovision cause in Bulgaria as we feel committed to the values the contest represents. I hope that someday Eurovision will come to Bulgaria. We feel clearly represented by the slogan of this year’s Eurovision ‘Open Up’ and we will do our best to bring that message to every corner of our country.”

Bulgaria announced its return to Eurovision in October 2019 after a year out of the contest.

Although the show was not broadcast in Bulgaria in 2019, the audience stayed loyal to Eurovision with more than 700 000 viewers from Bulgaria – 10 per cent of the country’s population- watching Eurovision content-on-demand.

“I would like to express my gratitude to our partners from Ligna Studios as Eurovision Song Contest sets new opportunities for the Bulgarian creative community,” BNT director-general Emil Koshlukov said.

“For us as a public broadcaster this project is also a priceless opportunity to extend our partnership with such an important organisation like the EBU. I am also happy that this partnership happens amid the celebrations for the 60th anniversary of BNT. This corresponds with our vision for the future of the public broadcasting in Bulgaria as one of main drivers for positive change in society.”

The 2020 project is a public-private partnership between Ligna Studios and BNT. The Bulgarian song for Eurovision will be distributed in partnership with the UK based label Ostereo. The strategic media production and planning consultancy will be in the hands of Entiendo, led by Deyan Yordanov and Vasil Ivanov, who were a vital part of the core Eurovision team of Bulgaria in 2016, 2017 and 2018. The project is also widely supported by one of the biggest radio groups in Bulgaria BG Radio and various members of the creative industry in the country, including Forbes Bulgaria, the design studio ARC Academy and the popular local NGO Tuk-Tam.

Ostereo CEO Howard Murphy said: ”For us this partnership is a strategic move that allows us to position ourselves in new markets.

“Victoria is an artist with outstanding individuality and a voice that moves you. We see her potential as an artist that knows what they want to say to their audience. At the end of the day, music is just that – your way to share your beliefs with the audience and your way to influence them.”

The executive director of BNT, Simeon Kasabov, will lead the Bulgarian delegation, together with the long serving head of delegation, Joana Levieva-Sawyer. Both will provide their experience to the core team of the project, thus ensuring the continuity in the renewed approach of the broadcaster since 2016, a media statement said.

The new partnership will introduce significant changes to the approach of the Bulgarian team towards the contest: “Our goal will be to guarantee that Victoria will have a significant boost in her career after the contest. This will be an example of what opportunities Eurovision can bring to the Bulgarian artists, who aim to reach an international audience,” Entiendo managing director Deyan Yordanov said.

“We would also like to build commercial partnerships that will be available for other Bulgarian contestants and production companies after 2020.”

Vasil Ivanov, head of press of Bulgaria and Entiendo’s executive director, believes there will be new opportunities for the positioning of the show in Bulgaria.

“Eurovision is a family show that gathers a wide audience in Bulgaria, so we will focus on bringing value to all members of the family. Our goal is to showcase what the Eurovision Song Contest is all about – music, creativity, passion, unity, diversity and strong connection with the rest of Europe and Australia. The commercial success of Victoria and our audience are our top priorities in 2020,” Ivanov said.

Eurovision 2020 will see semi-finals on May 12 and 14 and the final on May 16, in what is the world’s most-watched live television show barring global sports broadcasts such as the Olympics.



The Sofia Globe staff

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