The Albanians are doing their Albanian thing. Business as usual,in other words.
According to Jonida Maliqi’s Wikipedia page, which is actually rather elaborate unlike most of her competitors, she is a singer, television host, media personality, philanthropist, style icon and entrepreneur. We suppose this makes her the Tone Damli Aaberge of the Balkans, or something like that. Or forget that, she seems way cooler. A quick google image search confirms that this is one stylish woman who knows her way around the latest trends. Moreover her impressive CV speaks for itself, she has the brains and a nose for business as well. And by golly, she can sing! Ok, we hate her. Jokes aside, we find it rather fascinating with these renaissance men and women succeeding in everything they do, helping the disabled and saving cute puppies from the streets while constantly looking drop dead gorgeous.
We instantly get Jonida’s star quality, she is obviously born to enter the Eurovision stage and she will deliver the goods. She will do Albania proud and all the Albanians scattered around Europe and beyond will vote in droves for this anthem written for and about them. Ktheju tokës (Return to your land in English) has a beautiful, heartfelt and touching message, but unfortunately not easily accessible for the rest of us. The Albanians must rely heavily on the TV commentators’ ability to communicate the back story and we’re afraid Jonida will be outshone by Italy having a more instant and universal appeal in the same department this year.
It’s always hard to get a grip on the outlandish Albanian entries, the structure is different, there’s not a proper chorus, out of the blue there’s a guitar solo, then awkward wailing in the wrong places, and when kept in Albanian we don’t understand the lyrics. Vocally it’s always brilliant and the deliverance is brimming with emotions. Sometimes this translates across cultures and beyond language barriers, like last year. But most of the time it doesn’t. We fear 2019 is business as usual for the Albanians.