Bulgaria has officially announced their withdrawal from the Eurovision Song Contest 2019.
After a weekend of speculation and uncertainty, Bulgarian national broadcaster BNT has released a statement confirming their withdrawal from the Eurovision Song Contest 2019 to be held in Tel Aviv, Israel.
“The decision is based on financial reasons because the costs of the project far exceed the financial capacity of BNT according to the Management of the broadcaster,” read a tweet from the official BNT Eurovision Twitter account.
OFFICIAL STATEMENT | 15 OCTOBER | Sofia, Bulgaria
We are sad to announce that Bulgaria withdraws from #Eurovision. The decision is based on financial reasons because the costs of the project far exceed the financial capacity of BNT according to the Management of the broadcaster
— BNT Eurovision Bulgaria ???????? (@bg_eurovision) October 15, 2018
Late last week, rumors began circulating regarding Bulgaria’s participation in the contest after tweets from the BNT Eurovision thanked the Bulgarian delegation for their work. A now-deleted tweet from Friday sent a good luck message to Joana Levieva, the Head of Delegation, and Vasil Ivanov, the Head of Press, as well as other members of the team. BNT Eurovision also promised on Friday, via tweet, that more information would be “released soon” on the future of the project.
“This is not the last you see from our team,” tweeted Ivanov earlier today. “We will return better and stronger!”
#Bulgaria will not take part in #Eurovision 2019, but our journey continues! As Head of Press of @bg_eurovision I promise to keep the #ESC spirit alive in my country. This is not the last you see from our team. We will return better and stronger! (1/3)
— Vasil Ivanov ???????? (@VIvanovIvanov) October 15, 2018
Bulgaria’s withdrawal in 2014 was also reportedly due to budget cuts and lack of funding. Their expected return in 2015 did not pan out either, with officials citing both financial reasons and the political situation in their country.
Today’s announcement comes on the heels of Bulgaria’s most successful run of entries since its debut in 2005. After a string of non-qualifications from 2008 to 2013, BNT withdrew from the 2014 and 2015 contests. They returned in 2016 with Poli Genova’s “If Love Was a Crime,” which was Bulgaria’s highest-placing entry in the contest until the next year, when Kristian Kostov’s “Beautiful Mess” took the runner-up place. Last year, in Lisbon, Bulgaria qualified to the grand final yet again with “Bones” performed by the group Equinox, taking 14th place. All three of the songs were written by teams including Bulgarian composer Borislav Milanov and Swedish music producer Joacim Bo Persson. Bulgaria’s only other song to qualify to the final was in 2007, with Elista and Stoyan’s “Water” which placed 5th.