Rezarta Smaja – “Pse prite gjatë”
Kai: I’m a big Rezarta Smaja fan but after hearing her new song it felt like some evil person popped my balloon with a pin and took off my pointy party hat and stamped on it. I was so upset. Not upset because it was bad, but because it was not what I wanted. From the moment I heard “Ti?” back at the end of 2012, I fell in love with Rezarta’s voice and the way she performed. I love her singing dramatic ballads or tasty electro pop. I wasn’t expecting a mild summer hit style song. Looking back, the song is in no way, shape or form bad. In fact, it’s rather charming. I adore the way Rezarta performs it and her vocals are absolutely delightful and just full of life. The chorus is starting to creep it’s way into my head. This is a grower, and I think only Rezarta Smaja has the power to make me love a song like this.
Ferdi: As Kai already said, this song gives me some summer vibes. It really cheers me up, but like some other songs in this selection, it doesn’t make me squeal in joy or anything like that. Rezarta has some nice vocals here – she is truly one of the better singers in this edition – but those would have probably been better in another song.
Calvin: Rezarta is one of my favorite singers not just in Albania but anywhere, and while this is a tougher sell on me than any of her other entries or songs outside the contest, it’s still very nice, mostly thanks to the touches she adds to it, including a charismatic performance at the actual festival. I have a few issues with the song, mostly relating to it sounding a tad bit…unfinished? It feels like there are some details that probably should’ve been cleaned up before it was ready for primetime. Still, I’m already looking forward to what she gives us next year.
Edea Demaliaj – “Besoj në ëndrra”
Kai: Albania getting Bond-esque again with this one. Edea is lacking the vocal depth of Xheskika, but “Besoj në ëndrra” is an incredibly powerful song, and she’s giving it her all. There’s a real grandness on display here, and the song twists and turns gloriously. The horn section of the orchestra are working their butt off. The opposite of Lindita’s song, “Besoj në ëndrra” is handing it to you on a plate from pretty much the get go, and then some. This for sure has the best chorus of all the ballads in the final.
Ferdi: Well, let’s start out with the negative stuff. I don’t like Edea’s voice at all. No, I’m not one of those people who think “Suus” is just screeching and Rona Nishliu’s singing is just one big scream – however, Edea’s vocals are (to me) not impressive at all and for me it only weakens the song, which was already mediocre. The instrumentals between verses and choruses are very nice, but unfortunately these are overshadowed by Edea’s voice for the biggest part of the song.
Calvin: By the end of this song, I’m sold. It concludes beautifully and with some strangely haunting high notes that demonstrate talent, uniqueness and emotion. However, the song opens with her voice in a place that really doesn’t suit it, and I’m a little bit irked. Her head voice isn’t as strong as when she’s belting, so it’s a shame that the song is there for a pretty solid portion of it.
Yll Limani – “Shiu”
Kai: As beige as Xhesika Polo’s glorious frock, except she wears it well. This song sounds like something handed down from Sanremo that they didn’t want. A song of no identity, just floating in the middle of nowhere. I don’t despise it, but this kind of cookie cutter balladry is wearing me down now.
Ferdi: Just a nice ballad. There’s nothing wrong with this but it doesn’t really stand out either. There’s little variation until the last 40 seconds, when the song speeds up slightly – but while I do like the song, this isn’t enough to really pull me over the line to say “Oh my, this is a masterpiece!” A big plus here though are his vocals.
Calvin: There are some things about this song that stop me from flat out disliking it, but I’m having a difficult time for sure. The falsetto bits are really nice, but they’re too fleeting, and the song and performance surrounding them are sufficiently dull that it really leaves me lacking any kind of serious impression. Would have been a disappointment if this had emerged victorious.
LYNX – “Sot”
Kai: A loud pop rock track. There’s stuff here I like, but there’s stuff that’s also putting me off. I love rock music and this has got some fine distortion going on, but overall the package here is very safe. It’s big, it’s loud, but ultimately it’s quite nondescript, once i’ve chewed on that little bit of distortion. Georgia 2016 this isn’t, sadly.
Ferdi: It’s a nice pop-rock track. I like the drums in here and this guy’s vocals sound very well. The guitar riff near the end really gives the song a boost into it’s final chorus, which ends with an epic high note – for me, this feels like a very fitting ending.
Calvin: While this song was playing, I was actually enjoying it somewhat. There were some very interesting things happening in parts of the production, and the anthemic sounding moments hardly bugged me. It was only after the show that I started to pick out things in this song that I wasn’t fond of, including the way the instrumental breaks go. As a package, it ended up feeling very pat to me.
Orges Toçe – “Shi diamantësh”
Kai: What a deep and gravelly voice. This isn’t setting me on fire but it’s totally listenable, if a bit bland. Not the best rock infused track of the night, but not bad. His shocking voice elevates things here greatly.
Ferdi: The instrumental fuses drums and other rock instruments with… bells? Anyhow, it sounds very nice, although it’s not outstanding – merely nice. I’m not really a fan of Orges’s voice – he surely doesn’t sound bad, but at points (mainly in the beginning of the song) he sounds a bit too raspy for my taste.
Calvin: I thought I was going to find this unappealing when it started, but his voice is nothing short of spectacular. It’s emotionally and vocally nuanced with the ability to support very deep notes very well. It makes the song feel genuine and artful. I’m very much a fan.
Genc Salihu – “Këtu”
Kai: This song was always going to be my favourite. It’s doing so much right for me. Dark, down-tempo and moody. Wonderfully peculiar and left field, even by Albania’s standards. About half way through it heats up and I get a chill down my neck. It’s the kind of song that you can swim in if you allow it to engulf you. This is easily my favourite but I think it’s too out there for Eurovision. It wouldn’t be understood, and would be appreciated by very few. But remember the initial reaction after “Suus” won, and then the massive turnaround once Rona reached Eurovision? And I think “Këtu” is the most special song Festivali i Këngës has delivered since “Suus”.
Ferdi: As Kai already said, this is quite dark and down-tempo. I tend to enjoy entries of this kind – which might be why I’m being disappointed here – but for me this song starts out way too slow; the start doesn’t capture me at all. After the speaking part halfway through the entry, things get better – luckily. There’s some more variation in instruments, but it’s still not enough to get me into this song.
Calvin: I want to enjoy this far more than I do. It’s probably the “best” song here, with an incredibly interesting composition and a deeply emotional performance. The only issue is that in parts, it sort of struggled to hold my attention, and it was a bit difficult to listen to. When I’m in the right mood for it, though, and ready to take on its challenging subject matter, there’s nothing like it. If only that were always.
Below, you can find the votes cast by the three writers participating in this revote. All of them cast their votes in traditional Eurovision-style.
10 Eva jam unë
8 Besoj në ëndrra
6 Pse prite gjatë
5 Mos harro
1 Shi diamantësh
7 Eva Jam Unë
6 Me Ty
4 Mos Harro
3 Pse Prite Gjatë
12 Eva jam unë
8 Mos Harro
6 Shi Diamantesh
5 Pse Prite Gjatë
2 Besoj Në Ëndrra
Here are the results of the “televote”, the poll which we opened. The writers distributed a total of 174 points. Alas, a song that has received 10% of the televote will receive 17.4 points – this will be rounded to 17 points. 17 people have cast their votes, and have distributed a total of 33 votes.
Macka, Metropol and Shi Dimantësh received no votes at all and won’t get any points from the televoters.
Me Ty, Shiu and Këtu received 3% of votes and earned 5 points.
Eva Jam Unë, Shkon e Vjen, Osiris and Pse Prite Gjatë received 6% of the votes and will therefore receive 10 points
In Fourth is Rezarta Smaja with Pse Prite Gjatë which received 9% of the votes and 16 points!
Third place goes to LYNX with Sot! This song received 12% of the votes and earned 21 points.
In second is Dilan Reka with Mos Harro. He received 21% of the votes and received 37 points.
In first place is Lindita Halimi with Botë! She received 24% of the votes and received 42 points.
That brings us to the Final results!
Lindita Halimi – Botë – 60 points
Dilan Reka – Mos Harro – 54 points
Xhesika Polo – Eva Jam Unë – 39 points
Rezarta Smaja – Pse Prite Gjatë – 30 points
LYNX – Sot – 27 points
Flaka Krelani – Osiris – 24 points
Franc Coruni – Macka – 23 points
Genc Salihu – Këtu – 21 points
Edea Demaliaj – Besoj Në Ëndrra – 20 points
XUXI – Metropol – 12 points
Lorela – Me Ty – 11 points
Fabiola & Agnesa – Shkon e Vjen – 10 points
Yll Limani – Shiu – 7 points*
Orges Toçe – Shi Dimantësh – 7 points*
*Shiu received more points in the televoting and is therefore ranked above Shi Dimantësh.
And now it’s time for a big CONGRATULATIONS! to Lindita Halimi and her beautiful ballad “Botë”! It seems we all pretty much agreed that Lindita was a very worthy winner of Festivali i Kengës.
Will NAVI do as well in the revote of the Belarussian national selection? You can decide so! Voting is now open here: http://www.easypolls.net/poll.html?p=5890f531e4b08a3105b59bfd