Aussievision votes: Albania's top 10 Eurovision songs
Today is Independence Day in Albania, also known as Flag Day; it commemorates Albania gaining independence from the Ottoman Empire in 1912.
To mark the day, the Aussievision team has looked back at Albania's performances on the Eurovision stage and ranked their favourites.
Albania is a country that often punches above its weight at Eurovision: the nation has competed on 17 occasions and qualified for the Grand Final with 10 entries.
Twelve members of the Aussievision team re-watched and ranked every Albanian entry (including the entry for the cancelled 2020 Content).
Join us as we run through all 18 entries, to which voters awarded points using the familiar 12-to-1 format.
18. Aida & Frederik Ndoci - ‘Hear My Plea’ (2007), 4 points 17. Hersi - ‘One Night's Anger’ (2014), 6 points 16. Olta Boka - ‘Zemrën E Lamë Peng’ (2008), 6 points 15. Luiz Ejlli - ‘Zjarr E Ftohtë’ (2006), 14 points 14. Ledina Celo - ‘Tomorrow I Go’ (2005), 14 points 13. Adrian Lulgjuraj & Bledar Sejko - ‘Identitet’ (2013), 19 points 12. Anjeza Shahini - ‘The Image Of You’ (2004), 21 points 11. Eneda Tarifa - ‘Fairytale’ (2016), 26 points
And now for the Top 10:
10. Aurela Gaçe - ‘Feel The Passion’ (2011) 36 points
Highs: 10 points from Guy, 8 points from Emma
A rock anthem with powerful vocals, Aurela Gaçe's ‘Feel The Passion’ was a strong entry from Albania, but it unfortunately didn’t quite strike a chord with the Eurovision audience in 2011: it finished 14th in the first semi-final. Today the Aussievision team has placed ‘Feel The Passion’ comfortably in the top 10, with six teams members giving it points.
9. Lindita - ‘World’ (2017) 42 points
Highs: 10 points from Josh, 8 points from Hayley
Famous for Lindita's long note, ‘World’ showcases powerhouse vocals and features a strong chorus. Unfortunately for Lindita, she finished 14th in her semi-final and thus failed to qualify for the Grand Final in 2017. A total of eight team members out of twelve gave 'World' points.
8. Elhaida Dani - ‘I'm Alive’ (2015), 42 points
Highs: 10 points from Hugo and Hayley
Elhaida went to Eurovision with a completely different song to the one that won her Festivali i Këngës, the Albanian National Final. 'I'm Alive' saw Albania return to the Grand Final after two consecutive non-qualifications in what was a very strong year. Seven team members gave ‘I’m Alive’ points.
7. Kejsi Tola - ‘Carry Me In Your Dreams’ (2009) 46 points
Highs: 12 points from Fleur, 8 from Dale
Famous for the dancer wearing a blue full body suit, Kejsi finished in 17th place in the Grand Final in Moscow in 2009. ‘Carry Me In Your Dreams’ featured eight times in the team's top 10s.
6. Juliana Pasha - ‘It's All About You’ (2010) 49 points
Highs: 12 points from Dale, 10 from Wade, 8 from Mike
Armed with simple staging and powerful vocals, Juliana finished 16th in the Grand Final in Oslo in 2010. Eight team members voted for 'It's All About You', with scores ranging from a 12 points down to one point.
5. Anxhela Peristeri - ‘Karma’ (2021) 54 points
Highs: 12 points from Josh, 8 points from Guy
Anxhela’s staging may not have been complicated, but it was certainly effective. Albania’s most recent entry made it to the Grand Final, where it finished in 21st place at the 2021 Contest. Nine out of twelve team members voted for 'Karma'.
4. Jonida Maliqi - ‘Ktheju tokës’ (2019) 56 points
Highs: 12 points from Hugo, 8 from Fleur
A moving ballad about migration, Jonida’s haunting vocals struck a chord with Eurovision juries and fans alike. She finished 17th in the Grand Final of the 2019 Contest. Eleven team members voted for ‘Ktheju tokës’.
3. Arilena Ara - ‘Fall From The Sky’ (2020) 68 points
Highs: 12 points from Kyriakos, 8 from Steven, Tim, Wade and Josh
The only entry not to make it to the Eurovision stage due to the cancellation of the 2020 Contest, ‘Fall from the Sky’ still has fans amongst our team and finishes third in the Aussievision vote. Ten team members voted for the song.
2. Rona Nishliu - ‘Suus’ (2012) 75 points
Highs: 10 points from Steven, Tim, Kyriakos, Emma and Mike
Famous - amongst other things - for *that* big note, Rona is responsible for Albania’s best result to date. After finishing second in her semi-final, she came fifth in the 2012 Grand Final. Ten team members voted for ‘Suus’, with half of them giving it a score of 10 points.
1. Eugent Bushpepa - ‘Mall’ (2018) 118 points
Highs: 12 points from Steven, Tim, Wade, Hayley, Emma, Mike and Guy
Bringing a different type of song to those for which Albania is usually known, Eugent Bushpepa started what some might describe as a bit of a renaissance for Albania. After three consecutive songs in English and two consecutive non-qualifications for Albania, Eugent keep his song in Albanian and qualified for the Grand Final. Eugent also began a run of three consecutive qualifications for Albania.
'Mall' was the Aussievision team's clear winner, with all but one team member voting for it and the vast majority of team members crowning it their favourite Albanian entry of all time.
Don't forget to catch our coverage of the Albanian national final 'Festivali i Këngës' 60 (FiK60), starting on 27 December 2021 (28 December 2021 here in Australia).