The Bulgarian Ken Lee Phenomenon

When I lived in Bulgaria, bored teenagers would occasionally try to start trouble by swearing at me and my companion in English. Most of the time they had the swear words down pat – even if that was the only English they knew. The best way to handle these situations was to pretend like we didn’t know what they were saying. In Bulgarian we’d ask them what language they were speaking and what they were trying to tell us. More often than not, this would frustrate the potential troublemakers and give us an in to befriending them – thus avoiding any future problems or confrontations.

I was reminded of this when I saw the following YouTube video from the Bulgarian knockoff of American Idol. Here a wannabe Bulgarian Idol contestant trying to sing a Mariah Carey song “Without You.” However, her English still needs some work. (For those who don’t understand Bulgarian, this version has English subtitles.)

For a few of my readers who I know speak (or used to speak) Bulgarian, who want to see how much Bulgarian they can still understand, check out this version.

And for those who want to see a Bulgarian news follow up (with English subtitles) of the “Ken Lee” phenomenon she started, you can watch that below.

(Thanks to HitCoffee for alerting me to this video.)

Update: You can watch Valentina Hasan entire performance below. What's interesting is skipping through the songs and watching the critiques at the end. They really have tried to model it after American Idol thought the Bulgarian Randy and Bulgarian Simon just aren't as good as the American ones. I like the Bulgarian Paula Abdul better than the real one.