The Contender was first aired in October 2010 with the idea to show the inside story of “Slavi’s Show” – the number of tasks a host needs to do, what decisions should be taken.
6384 candidates signed up to participate in the project. Slavi’s team chose 150 for an audition. After a long process the committee selected 12 finalists. Among them were a radio host, a model, an actor, an accountant, a hotel manager, students, a bellboy, a casino dealer, a longshoreman, and a TV host.
The contestants showed various skills in different challenges before reaching the finals. Among them were: a monologue on a current affairs topic, a sketch with an actor, solo performance of a song, dances, a quiz show, presenting one’s best friend, telling a joke.
The winner of The Contender was Toma Goranov – a controversial figure from Pleven who lived in Spain, worked as “Bonaparte” in Paris and returned home to Bulgaria not for the money. The latter became clear at the finals when Toma was offered a choice: to work on the show or 25 000 leva. Toma made his choice and is now part of the show’s team.