This year marks Albania’s sixth participation at Junior Eurovision, and over their brief history at the contest, the nation has only once managed to place inside the Top 10. Their best result came in 2015 with Mishela Rapo and her song Dambaje which finished in 5th place overall, but since then Albania has struggled to really make a mark. This year, the nation will be represented by Isea Çili and her song, Mikja ime fëmijëri. Will this year bring success to Albania?
Song + Vocals
Albania can be very hit or miss with their entries, but they do often change things up. We’ve had some big ballads, and in contrast we had an upbeat number last year, but the nation is yet to find the winning formula, be it a ballad or an upbeat entry. They are going down the ballad road once again, and I have to say, I do really enjoy this song.
The delicate piano at the very beginning of the song is enough to grab my attention, and the melody that unfolds in the first verse is incredibly beautiful. The song builds as it approaches the chorus, and then we reach the powerful chorus where Isea’s voice really gets a chance to shine. All is well until we reach the last minute or so, and I would say at that point the chorus gets a little too repetitive. It could have been avoided with longer verses. Perhaps even if she vocally just changed up the choruses, for example to have the first chorus after the bridge a little more reserved, then she can absolutely belt out the final chorus to make the final impact. They dial back the music in that portion, but Isea herself keeps the same intensity.
The only other change I would have had would be to really amp up the string section in the backing track. It’s such a moving song that could have benefited greatly by just adding a bit more depth with the instrumentals.
The highlight of this entry, other than the melody itself, is clearly the vocals. Isea is vocally very confident and we can expect a fantastic performance at Junior Eurovision.
Act + Performance
Isea’s previous experience on the Voice Kids would have likely made her a more confident performer, and on stage she looks very comfortable. With a more structured stage performance with set camera angles, she will be able to quite easily connect with the viewers at home.
I would hope that the Junior Eurovision performance has more of a storytelling aspect to it, especially since no portion of the song is in English. Not to say that not having English is a detriment, because I don’t necessarily believe that it is, but the visuals will be able to assist the viewers in understanding the emotion behind the song.
Albania are notorious for having their performers on stage alone, and this year, I think that works in their favour. Isea can command the stage alone, and the visuals will hopefully be used wisely.
It would not surprise me at all to see this criminally underrated at the contest, as Albania has been in the past. I would hope for a decent jury vote, and hopefully a strong enough televote to help propel this into the Top 10. I think it’s deserving of at least a Top 10 finish.
If you support Albania at Junior Eurovision this year, vote in our Poll here.