Likely Televote Appeal
Likely Jury Appeal
If the semi-final consisted of just 11-nations, I'd still put money on this just missing out.
Albania become the first nation to select their song for Eurovision 2019 following the 57th edition of Festivali i Këngës.
The night was riddled with sound issues, but Jonida Maliqi won with the song, Ktheju tokës, and will represent the nation in Tel Aviv in May.
It’s worth remembering that Eugent Bushpepa qualified in 8th place in Lisbon: the juries ranked Albania an impressive 3rd in semi-final 1, whereas the televote only placed them 11th. That tells us that Albania has to send something quite exceptional to make the final (Suus 2012, Mall 2018) or needs a decent running order slot to creep over the line (I’m Alive 2015).
Both Rona and Eugent boasted an astounding vocal range and deservedly earned recognition from the juries. Elhaida qualified on the back of a beneficial running order slot in a reduced lineup of just 16 entries and English lyrics. It was genuinely a shock to see Albania make the final in 2015!
Without wanting to sound too negative, I am a fan of the enthic sounding Ktheju tokës, but unfortunately it doesn’t do much during the 3-minutes. The average Eurovision viewer will be eager for the next song after just 1-minute! To offer some credit, there is some nice folk instrumentation and percussive elements that should feature in the staging – this would certainly be more visually effective than the current contemporary dance concept. Nevertheless, that doesn’t change what is a paper-thin song with lots of wailing.
In current form, Ktheju tokës would be used as a filler song in the semi-final running order. Obviously much of this is subject to the quality of the other songs selected for Tel Aviv, as well as the infamous Albanian revamp! Having said that, experience tells us that good Albanian revamps are few and far between. So good I can’t remember one. If the semi-final consisted of just 11-nations, I’d still put money on this just missing out.
Can Albania make it two successive qualifications?