Bulgaria will not participate in the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest, the country's national public broadcaster BNT announced today.
BNT on Twitter:
"We regret that Bulgarian National Television (BNT) has taken the decision not to enter the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest in Tel Aviv. BNT has been an enthusiastic participant and enjoyed great success in the contest in recent years," an EBU spokesperson said. "We look forward to welcoming them back in the future."
Bulgaria made their Eurovision debut in 2005, and qualified for the first time for the Grand Final in 2007. The country continued their participation until 2013, but withdrew in 2014 and 2015.
In 2016, they returned to the Eurovision Song Contest and participant Poli Genova gave the country its best ever result of fourth place in the Grand Final.
In 2017 Kristian Kostov beat Poli's record and went on to finish second in the Grand Final with his song Beautiful Mess.
This year's Bulgarian participant EQUINOX qualified for the 2018 Grand Final and reached 14th position.
It is not unusual for broadcasters to occasionally take a break from participating in the contest, as Ukraine did in 2015, only to come back in 2016 to be crowned the winner. In 2016, Portugal also took a break, and returned the following year, also taking home the trophy in 2017. We will have to wait until 2020 to find out whether this could work for Bulgaria too.