NF Throwback: Elhaida Dani – Diell

The Albanian national finals are an interesting piece of television, and in my experience of waking up at ungodly hours of the morning to watch them, I’ve often questioned why I’ve in fact made that decision. More often than not, I find myself wondering why a lot of the songs sound exactly the same, and rarely does a song stand out in the Albanian Eurovision context. Enter Diell, the light of my Eurovision Albania life.

Yes, it’s a ballad, and they’re not always what Europe is looking for in a song to declare winner of Eurovision, but this is more than just a ballad, this is a thing of beauty. To give context, Elhaida Dani did indeed win the national final with this exact song, however not long after, issues with songwriters and the rights to the song couldn’t be resolved, so Elhaida sent a whole new song to Eurovision – which on a side note, was an amazing song in the studio version (not as well executed at Eurovision, sorry to say), but nowhere near the Diell level of excellence.

This is a song I fell in love with at first listen. The song is just one of those songs that is so well sung live that it just moves you. Naturally, having the song in Albanian language helps the situation, as it gives the song more charm. Even though it is a simple ballad, I find that it isn’t outdated which some Eurovision ballads can be. Interestingly, I don’t think the studio version of this is nearly as good as it was performed in the national final, which demonstrates the vocal capability she has – that’s if she’s having a good night, which she clearly was for the NF.

I think this song not making it to Eurovision was a blessing and a curse. On one hand, this is a song which for me stands out a winning song. Many may disagree, but this has what it takes to get a great result PROVIDED it was in Albanian language. If the song had the green light to be performed at Eurovision, judging of Albania’s recent history, Albanian language doesn’t really appear as much at Eurovision because there’s a clear preference for English (2017 is no different, as it seems), and so Diell may not have made it to the Eurovision stage as Diell – but by its English name. Without even hearing what it would have been in English, there’s almost a guarantee that it wouldn’t have had the same effect, so in that sense it’s probably better this didn’t make it to the Eurovision stage, as it remains untouched.

This is probably one of my favourite and most stand out National Final entries since I began watching National Finals a handful of years ago. I have no hesitations to give this a 10/10.

Song Profile

Year: 2015

Artist: Elhaida Dani

Country: Albania

Song: Diell