Albania’s estranged world

When we have nothing interesting to say about an entry we’re reviewing we usually turn to the artists’ bio on Eurovision.tv. What a goldmine of useless information and general nonsense, mostly written in poor English. This is also the place where we can pick up a few random fun facts about everything from where the artists have obtained their university degrees, how many talent shows they have attended and perhaps also won, and whether they have a (lucky) routine before they go on stage. Continue reading

First impressions from the first dress rehearsal of the second semi final

ukraine ebu andres putting
– No, no, no, Andres Putting, don’t come any closer! Pic by EBU/Andres Putting

Yay, we remembered there were 18 more songs to go and just saw the first dress rehearsal for the second semi final. It is also brewing up to be a great show, of course. The undisputable highlight being our favourite Schlagerboys appearing on the big screen, driving around in a taxi, which we’ve heard is shady business in Stockholm. This is what else to expect:

01 Latvia Justs Heartbeat

Has shown a vast selection of leather jackets, so it is a bit disappointing that he chose the black one for the stage. Maybe he should borrow Poland’s stylist? Other than that, douze points for effort. Will be in the run for best performance in the final together with Hungary’s Freddie.

02 Poland Michał Szpak Color Of Your Life

After the Bosnia & Herzegovina disaster in the first semi final, we are happy there is at least half a cello left for Poland. Michal wants people to sing along, and we can now reveal why you know that melody so easily: it echoes the riff of “I will survive”, which is a message we keep repeating to ourselves every morning these days. Clever little thing that Captain Jack Sparrow. Continue reading

Albanian Fairytale

Albania was one of the first countries to pick their entry and one of the last ones to submit the final rearranged version of it. Business as usual in other words.

The seasoned Eurovision follower knows that the Festivali i Këngës winner selected around Christmas time at best can be considered to be a draft of what we’ll end up with in May. Usually what the Albanians think is a pretty swell tune goes through a metamorphosis to adjust to the European taste buds, whatever that is. Continue reading

OMG! The first semi-final is today!

– Here’s a sneak peak of Mr. Putin’s expansion plans. Go ahead and vote for us, suckers!

Sadly you won’t find your favorite Eurovision bloggers reporting live from the press center and from premier VIP seating inside the arena this year. Due to a series of unforeseen circumstances, which we won’t bore you with the details. But we promise to be back on location next year when it’s Italy’s turn to host Eurovision again!

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The Voice of Albania

So here’s the thing. We really didn’t get why Elhaida Dani’s I’m Alive received that amount of accolade when it replaced Diell as Albania’s entry for Vienna virtually seconds before the submission deadline expired. We were rather pleased with the inaccessible yet strangely captivating Festivali i Këngës winner, which would have been fine with a solid revamp. It had the potential to stand out, and it was an entry that would further consolidate Albania’s image of being the unpredictable oddball in this competition. We have loved them for daring to unleash Suus on us and present stagings and promo videos so disturbingly weird we wonder whose socks they have been smoking over the years.

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First rehearsals. Impressions and fun facts

In case of emergency, please unfold the parachute. Photo: Andres Putting (EBU)
In case of emergency, please unfold your own parachute first, then help your children. Photo: Andres Putting (EBU)

So. First semi final is no more than a week away and rehearsals are well on their way. Here are some of the most important facts we have picked up on this far:

  • Georgia is way funnier than first anticipated.How unbelievably cool is it to bring a parachute onstage? If you are to dance around high as a kite onstage, why not bring your kite, we say. And there is a slight possibility Israel’s lady might blow us all up, so security equipment is welcomed.
  • Speaking of Israel, we have an announcement to make: Three pair of pants have been found lurking around the airport looking for their owners. Mei and choir chicks can report to the information desk in order to get fully dressed for next week.

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Albania lost in translation

It’s impossible to review Albania’s entry this year without commenting on the preview video they have made to promote it. We know, it will make no impact whatsoever on the night of the semi-final, as no one outside the diehard fan base of ESC would have paid any particular attention to it, and the stage presentation may bear no resemblance to it. But wow, just wow. How is it even possible to put together a more visually unattractive, messy, and completely meaningless video? Continue reading