Best of the Bunch: The Trials – Albania

Through our Best of the Bunch series, we gave a recap on the Eurovision entries from 2006 to 2015 and gave you the opportunity to choose your Best of the Bunch. As you may remember, the current Best of the Bunch winners were put into our ‘Ultimate Eurovision’ but it’s time to see which of the latest three entries have remained as your favourites! In our Best of the Bunch: The Trials series, we are going to recap the entries from a certain nation starting with 2016 and continuing through to the latest Eurovision season of 2018. Your job is to simply enjoy the music, and vote for your Best of the Bunch winner!

Today we’re going to travel to Albania. The nation first participated in 2004 with Anjeza Shahini, who ended up getting one of Albania’s best results, only to be topped by Rona Nishliu in 2012. Overall, Albania have had a mixed history at the contest, however either just miss out on the final, or just scrape through. Despite that, the nation has sent some truly memorable performance, whether they have qualified or not! Today we’re starting at 2016, so let’s get into it!

Albania 2016

We begin our journey with the entry from Eneda Tarifa, which was originally called Përrallë however in true Albanian style, the song was changed to English for Eurovision. Also in true Albanian style, the translation to English transformed the song but perhaps not in a positive way. Although the melody remained the same, the song didn’t hold the same power as the original, despite Eneda’s confident vocal performance. The stage show was ok, if not a bit too plain and static, but overall it just wasn’t enough to reach the final. The Fairytale just didn’t come true, having finished in 16th place in the semi-final.

Albania 2017

A year later, Albania showcased yet another powerful vocal talent in Lindita who performed her entry World at Eurovision. Much like the year before, and many years before that, the nation decided to transform their entry from the Albanian language version to English, and although this revamp had a better reception than the previous, the song still struggled through the semi-final. It was a fairly strong stage performance, with impressive and unique visuals but the brief deer in headlights moment at the beginning of the performance was slightly off putting as a viewer. Despite that, Albania once again proved that vocally they have some incredible performers, and it’s demonstrated in this performance. Overall however, it was the second year in a row of not seeing Albania in the final, as Lindita finished in 14th place in the semi-final.

Albania 2018

It had been a number of years since we saw Albania represented by a male vocalist, and boy did they pick well. Although Lindita’s vocals were impressive, their 2018 representative Eugent Bushpepa truly blew audiences and the juries away with his effortless vocals in each and every performance of his song Mall. The difference between this and the previous two entries is that Eugent chose to keep his entry in national language which could have been the difference in the results in the song. Keeping the song in Albanian held the strength of the song, but also it helps that Eugent really is a vocal powerhouse. The efforts paid off, as Albania not only qualified, but finished in 11th place which is the nation’s third best result in their history after Rona Nishliu, and Anjeza Shahini.

So now you’ve seen all three performances, it’s time to vote for your Best of the Bunch!

If you want more Best of the Bunch from Albania, check out our original series:

If you want to check out who made our Ultimate Eurovision, check it out here:

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