Participant(s): Elitsa Todorova & Stoyan Yankoulov Song: Samo Shampioni (Only Champions) Writer(s): Elitsa Todorova, Christian Talev Composer(s): Elitsa Todorova, Christian Talev Start position: 07. (2. Semi-Final)
Bulgaria had the biggest success in the Eurovision Song Contest with the duo Elitsa & Stoyan, who made a fabulous 5th place in the grand final in Helsinki 2007. That’s why the Bulgarian broadcaster BNT has chosen the famous duo to represent Bulgaria again. In a TV show three songs were presented and the first choice was the song “Kismet”, which received the majority of televotes and jury votes. Just before the official EBU deadline the song has been changed again, BNT has taken the second placed song “Samo Shampioni”, official due to legal reasons.
The duo has met at the Bulgarian music festival in Canada in 2000; three years later they formed the group “Elitsa & Stoyan”. Both share the same passion for music which is mainly Bulgarian folk, jazz, percussion and improvisation.
Elitsa was born in 1977 in Varna. She plays the piano, studied music specialized folk singing and percussion. She has joined several choirs e.g. “The Mystery of Bulgarian Voices” and “Cosmis Voices of Bulgaria”, attended concerts and received several awards like the Golden Phenomenon statuette 2005 as achievement for promotion Bulgarian culture around the world.
Stoyan, born 1966, is the most popular and renowned drummer and percussionist in Bulgaria has graduated from the musical school Lyobomir Pipkov in Sofia (percussion instruments), he is playing rock and jazz, has joined folklore ensembles and attended festivals in Europe and the US.
The song “Samo Shampioni” is a kaleidoscope of Bulgarian music fragments the mystic voice of Elitsa combined with parts of bagpipes and percussion interludes. The mix might sound quite exotic and uneasy for an audience in Central and Northern Europe, no clear line and climax like “Water”. The preliminary choice “Kismet” would have had more power and convincing elements. Even if this duo has reached a phenomenal 5th place, it’s hard to come near this time. In some years even winners like Charlotte Perelli or Niamh Kavanagh could not reach good places with very good songs. It all depends on the moment if Europe is ready for “Samo Shampioni”.
Biggest success: 5th place 2007 “Water” by Elitsa Todorova & Stoyan Yankulov
Bulgaria had its debut in 2005 with “Lorraine” by Kaffe, 18th rank in the semi final. By now it’s the 9th time for Bulgaria in the Eurovision Song Contest. It took a while since Bulgaria joined the Eurovision family, while the neighbour country Romania has debuted in 1994 already. Unfortunately, Bulgaria only made it once into the grand final with the spectacular percussion performance “Water” by Elitsa Todorova & Stoyan Yankulov in 2007 (5th). This was also the best place ever!
Bulgarian entries were not bad at all, but maybe the international audience did not believe in successful songs from Bulgaria. The verve for the ESC in Bulgaria has increased from year to year. The two closest songs for a place in the final were: “DJ, Take Me Away” by Deep Zone & Balthazar in 2008 (12th) and “Na inat” by Poli Genova in 2011 (12th) and “Love Unlimited” by Sofi Manirova” in 2012 (11th).