Only hours after Mariana Popova won the second ever Bulgarian Eurovision Song Contest selection with the song Let me cry, claims are being made by her opponents that elements of the voting system were unfair.
Popova was declared the winner after receiving 24.05% of the total votes, representing around 15,000 SMS votes and 4,700 phone calls. However, in an open letter addressed to the director of Bulgarian broadcaster BNT, artists have protested that technical faults occured which affected the outcome of the contest.
The complaint made focuses on the time limit imposed by BNT on the voting window. Up to five calls could be made from a single number, within a ten-minute period. The finalists claim that many of their supporters were unable to get through in this short time, and call for a fresh round of voting.
BNT will be hoping that the cycle of scandals and accusations will not become a tradition for their Eurovision Song Contest selections. Claims of irregular voting also cast a shadow over the first Bulgarian selection of 2005, after it was alleged that winners Kaffé had been involved in a SIM-card scandal that inflated their total votes. The news broke live in Sofia as the result was announced, and caused uproar amongst the audience in the hall. Despite this, the band went on to represent Bulgaria for the first time ever with the song Lorraine, which failed to pass through the qualifier round in Kyiv.
Mariana will sing Let me cry at the international qualifier round in Athens due to the poor result of Bulgaria's debut.