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  • Writer's pictureDale Roberts

Albania: Aussievision's Festivali i Këngës 60 rankings

Last week Albanian broadcaster RTSH released the 20 songs competing in their national selection, Festivali i Këngës.

The Aussievision team has been busy listening and ranking their Top 10 from the competing entries.

In total, 15 contributors voted and we have the results...

10. Rezarta Smaja - 'E jemja nuse' (34 points)

Highs: 12 points from Fleur, 6 points from Laura

Lows: 0 points from Liv, Estelle, Kyriakos, Mike, Cooper, Dale and Emma

"I like the variety of this song. It has the ethno beats, rock influences and pop. It somehow comes together in a nice tidy little package. Rezarta’s voice works really well in such a complex song too." ~ Fleur

"This hybrid between soft rock and salsa is an interesting combination. It sounds like a James Bond theme but with the energy of a fiesta. The instrumentation is a little unusual but I appreciate it for what it is and with a live orchestra it could be amazing." ~ Laura

"There is a LOT going on in this song. I'm not sure it all works together, and yet I still quite like it. Especially the part that sounds like it could feature in the soundtrack to an 80s Bond film. I'll be interested to see how this is staged." ~ Steve

9. Olimpia Smajlaj - 'Dua' (35 points)

Highs: 12 points from Tim, 6 points from Cooper and Craig

Lows: 0 points from Josh, Guy, Liv, Steve, Kyriakos, Dale, Estelle and Mike

"There's just something so catchy about this song. It just sounds like a fun song that i think would stand out in this year in FiK and maybe even in Turin. It may be the jazzy sound to it but it sounds similar to Christina Aguilera which should provide us with an impressive vocal display. I know not many will love it but I think it really stands out among the other songs and could provide a bit of an upset." ~ Tim

"I really like this entry, it's different, has a jazzy vibe to it. I would've put it much higher if it didn't have the really strange production choices that make it feel a lot messier than it should be. There are a few really weird instrumental cuts and pauses that throw the pace out and stops this entry from being higher on my ranking." ~ Cooper

8. Evi Reci - 'Me duaj' (37 points)

Highs: 8 points from Dale, 5 points from Estelle, Fleur, Josh, Emma and Craig

Lows: 0 points from Tim, Liv, Laura, Cooper, Guy, Steve, Mike and Kyriakos

"Really lovely song here from Evi, she delivers the domestic audience and judges just what they want to hear but it's still palatable to an international ear. It doesn't particularly "go" anywhere but it's a really pleasant and toe-tapping journey to be with with her on." ~ Dale

"I don’t mind a little Albanian French-style café music. Although I could see this go in the way of Latvia’s 'Carousel' from 2019." ~ Fleur

7. Gjergj Kacinari - 'Në ëndërr mbete ti' (38 points)

Highs: 10 points from Estelle, 8 points from Mike, 7 points from Cooper

Lows: 0 points from Craig, Emma, Steve, Josh, Laura, Fleur, Tim and Liv

"I really like the slow build up of this song and the simple chorus which has quite a “Heroes” vibe." ~ Estelle

"A modern pop song with a great bass line to hold onto to. The live performance of this will be crucial to it's chances of making the final night. She will need to bring impact on the stage. I fear it could be a little to modern for the FiK juries." ~ Mike

"I'm a sucker for anthemic 'oooohs', its a very solid entry in the competition. I enjoyed listen to it. It's definitely a song that it nice to have in a national final but would never expect it to make it to Eurovision." ~ Cooper

6. Ester Zahiri - 'Hiena' (43 points)

Highs: 10 points from Emma, 7 points from Fleur

Lows: 0 points from Laura, Hugo, Estelle and Liv

"This reminds me a lot of Deep Forest for those that can remember them from the 90's. It has a very world music feel. I love the use of the pan pipes and drum beats which elevate this from your typical Albanian ballad. A very pretty song to listen to." ~ Emma

"This might be the traditional Albanian song that wins and gets an English revamp, but Ester’s voice is so beautiful and fits this song so perfectly. It’s what makes it work." ~ Fleur

"I like Ester's voice and she has an opportunity to hit a "big" note (which could win her plaudits). The song sounds reasonably modern and is pretty decent overall. I was humming it after a couple of listens. I could really do without the voice manipulator though." ~ Steve

5. Kejsi Rustja - 'Vallëzoj me ty' (55 points)

Highs: 8 points from Tim and Estelle, 7 points from Hugo and Dale

Lows: 0 points from Emma, Josh and Fleur

"A catchy little upbeat pop number, high energy and good vocals." ~ Estelle

"This song is just really pleasant and easy to listen too. The fast pace of it just feels really comforting. Her vocals sound really great and I feel like this could do well in a live setting. Its not going to change the music world but it feels very homely and enjoyable and I really like it." ~ Tim

"Pretty modern sounding and an overall nice pop song. Easy listening, and I like the instrumentation." ~ Hugo

4. Janex - 'Deluzional' (72 points)

Highs: 10 points from Fleur and Mike, 8 points from Cooper, Steve and Craig

Lows: 0 points from Kyriakos, Dale, Estelle and Liv

"A modern pop song with a great bass line to hold onto to. The live performance of this will be crucial to it's chances of making the final night. She will need to bring impact on the stage. I fear it could be a little to modern for the FiK juries." ~ Mike

"This was great to listen to, although it might be too modern for traditional FiK aficionados. I really liked it. There’s something about synth beats that just grabs me." ~ Fleur

"'Deluzional' has a funky instrumental arrangement, and gives Janex lots of opportunities to show off some really interesting vocals which switch register all over the place. It's not the sort of thing that FiK audiences have traditionally gone for, but this is quality and I hope it does well." ~ Craig

3. Mirud - 'Për dreq' (85 points)

Highs: 12 points from Kyriakos and Steve, 10 points from Guy and Hugo

Lows: 0 points from Tim, Cooper, Mike and Estelle

"What a beautiful ballad by Mirud! He is my favourite again for Festivali i Këngës. There is so much emotion in his voice. It is a love song longing for someone who has gone and dealing with being alone. Hope he goes for some simple staging with some emotional delivery which will take Mirud far this year." ~ Kyriakos

"This is a well-crafted song with progression (I *love* the build afforded by the guitar solo) that holds together well and indeed held my attention until the end. I can envisage dramatic staging potential and I'm sure there'll be eye-catching costumes. If Mirud's live vocals are as good, then this is a genuine contender. It *just* takes out my douze points." ~ Steve

"A different approach from Mirud this year, coming back with a more downtempo, but still highly impactful song. Everything about it is quality - It's very well written, produced beautifully, and Mirud sounds fantastic on it." ~ Guy

"I really like Mirud’s tone here, the low register suits him well with such a silky smooth voice. The song builds very well when that chorus hits, and I love that guitar break. I can see some dramatic staging in typical Mirud style." ~ Hugo

2. Alban Ramosaj - 'Theje' (133 points)

Highs: 12 points from Dale, Craig, Guy, Josh and Hugo

Lows: 0 points from Fleur, 2 points from Estelle

"Based off past FiK winners and Albania's history of being the ultimate country in Eurovision for bringing ethnic power ballads almost every year, this song has it all. Alban's very masculine vocal and simultaneous audible emotion comes through strongly in this epic composition. Alban is the one to beat this year, good luck everybody else!" ~ Josh

"This is a big powerful song and Alban is the kind of performer who is likely to take it to another level still in the live performances. The vocals on the studio version are perfection and I can't wait to see the performance." ~ Guy

"A clear standout at this year's FiK, 'Theje' has excellent vocals, a powerful arrangement with good use of percussion, and a memorable hook. It builds well over the three minutes, and has potential for interesting staging. I see no downsides here!" ~ Craig

"This is everything I love in a FiK entry - it is all about the vocal and the drama. This song was written for a live competitive performance and being within three minutes it delivers both FiK and Eurovision elements in one. The way it builds and then finishes with a flourish of drums and vocals gives me goosebumps. This has potential winner written all over it. " ~ Dale

"What power in that voice. Grips the attention, so theatrical, so haunting, so dramatic; can see this on stage now. It still has those ethnic elements, just a fantastic composition all up." ~ Hugo

1. Ronela Hajati - 'Sekret' (135 points)

Highs: 12 points from Liv, Laura, Cooper, Emma and Mike

Lows: 0 points from Estelle, 6 points from Tim

"What a FEAST of a song - literally Ronela has thrown so much in there you're bound to like at least a morsel of the song. I'm getting diva. I'm tasting drama. I'm practically inhaling a dance break. The quality of artist, production and performance potential is hard to deny. Ronela has all the chances here to take it home...will the juries give her a shout though?..." ~ Liv

"It's no 'Sekret' that I love an ethnobanger, this song has everything! Starting off as a dramatic ballad with a choir, the song transitions into a full-on banger complete with drums, eagle sounds, and powerful vocals from Ronela herself. To me this song stands miles above the competition, it stands out in this FiK lineup and is extremely memorable and catchy. The combination of traditional and modern elements in this song ticks all the boxes for me. I hope the staging is full of drums, dancers, and pyro! I would absolutely love it if Albania chose this song to be their 2022 Eurovision entry!" ~ Laura

"Finally an Albanian song I can get behind! This has's almost too much but I don't care! From a catchy chorus and ethnic drum beats which should lend itself to some great choreography and staging opportunities...this has everything and I'd love to see it in Turin." ~ Emma

"WOW! This is what I want from an ethnic bop. The contrast of the airy, celestial vocals in the chorus into the club heavy beat. This is the first song of the season that I continue to listen to over and over again. Definitely my favourite song out of FIK for a very long time." ~ Cooper

"Starting as a very dramatic ballad this entry quickly progresses into a classic Albanian pop banger. Lots of traditional elements will please the FiK audience and there is a lot of room for drama in the performance. Has all the elements of a winner." ~ Mike

The rest of our rankings from 11th to 20th:

11. Denis Skura - 'Pse nuk flet, mama?' (33 points)

12. Endri & Stefi - 'Triumfi i jetës' (32 points)

13. Kelly - 'Meteor' (32 points)

14. Viola Xhemali - Eja si erë' (31 points)

15. Urban Band - 'Padrejtësi' (28 points)

16. Shega - 'Një' (15 points)

17. Kastro Zizo - 'Kujë' (11 points)

18. Xhuliana Pjetra - 'Baladë' (11 points)

19. Eldis Arrnjeti - 'Refuzoj' (9 points)

20. Sajmir Çili - 'Nën maskë' (5 points)

You can access the full playlist of songs on the RTSH YouTube channel.

Festivali i Këngës 60 will take place on 27, 28 and 29 of December which will be early morning on the 28, 29 and 30 of December here in Australia.


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