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  • Writer's pictureLiv Webster

Eurovision Fan of the Week - Andel from Albania

We welcome today our first Albanian Fan of the Week - Andel (@common_face on twitter)! He shares with us his long history with Eurovision and love of the contest:

Thank you for being our Aussievision fan of the week! Tell us a little about yourself:

The pleasure is mine. I've wanted to do this for so long.

Hi everyone who is reading this. My name's Andel, born and raised in Albania. My hometown is called Elbasan, a nice city in Central Albania, very close to the capital, Tirana. Currently I'm living in Germany, because of my graduate studies. I don't know if this sounds interesting, but I'm a huge pasta lover, you'll find me eating pasta at least 4 out of 7 days of the week. No worries, been doing this since when I was a child, no health problems so far.

~ Mr International! WELCOME - for all readers this has been almost a 3 month project getting this one together so THANK YOU Andel for your patience with me (Liv)

How did you get into Eurovision? What was the first year you watched?

Eurovision has been a family thing. Since when Albania debuted in 2004, we have been watching it religiously. I think my parents aren't AS excited about it as they used to be, but that's not the case for me. I still love it and follow the main events from the National Finals to the Grand Final in May.

Whom is your favourite Eurovision performance and why?

A tough question. The first thought that came to my mind was 'Tick-Tock' (Ukraine 2014), so I'm sticking to it. There were so many things that could go wrong in that performance, but it was perfect and Maria delivered vocals and choreography. So happy it managed to get a Top 10 result! ~ Another CRACKING entry from the Ukraine! Love this one myself and what an amazing glow up the revamp was from the initial Vidbir performance (Liv)

Did you enjoy Festivali i Kenges (FiK) this year? Are there any artists you would LOVE to see return?

It was an unusual year for FiK, but i appreciate their efforts in putting on a show despite the situation there. I enjoyed the songs, they were very competitive this year.

I would LOVE to see Inis Neziri return. I am not sure if she will anymore, but I really hope to see her on the Eurovision stage one day. Incredibly talented, she just needs the right song.

~ 110% agree Inis was a standout performance and was probably a little hard done not to make the Top 3, my personal and Aussievision teams winner from FiK this year, would LOVE to see her return with perhaps a more authentic entry (Liv)

What is your opinion on your entry for 2021 - ‘Karma’?

I am not worried about Anxhela delivering a good performance. She is a very professional singer and her live performances are better than the studio versions. Overall, it's a solid entry. I think it will do well in Eurovision.

Which Albanian artists would you love to see on the Eurovision stage?

A lot.

Sara Bajraktari with a beautiful ballad like her 2019 FiK entry 'Ajër'.

Inis Neziri with a Christina Aguilera kind of song. I don't know why she always goes for ballads, she can do more than that.

Kamela Islamaj with a jazz song. This is so not something we would send, but I would like us to dare and send something different in the future, regardless if it gets appreciated or not.

Which national final do you look forward to the most?

My parents also love Sanremo, so I'm into it as well. There is a great line-up this year and I'm looking forward to it. It is somehow similar to FiK, they are traditional and are not afraid to show it.

~ My sentiments exactly! (Liv)

You mentioned you now live in Germany! As we know Ben Dolic (representative for 2020) won’t be returning in 2021 - do you think a national final like Unser Lied fur Lissabon or another internal selection would be more successful for Germany?

I'm sad for him, his song was one of my favourites last year. Well, it's not clear which way can be more successful for them. Both of them have their hits or misses. However it would be exciting for us to have an extra National Final to watch and let the German public decide about the song. Their last winner came from a National Final after all.

What is your opinion on returning artists? Is there one you would like to see again?

I see no problem with it, most artists say ESC is a memorable experience. Why not try to do it again?

Yes there are. From Albania, I'd like to see Elhaida return, she is very talented and deserves a second chance to show her real vocal capabilities. Valentina Monetta too! Just kidding, in general I would like to see the artists, who fail to qualify, come with better songs. Timebelle (Switzerland), Jurij Veklenko (Lithuania) deserve a second chance in my opinion.

If you could pick only three performances to encourage new people to watch Eurovision what would they be:

1. Loreen - 'Euphoria' (pretty obvious)

2. AySel & Arash - 'Always' (beautiful woman singing, dancers, fire, ethnic sounds - typical Eurovision)

3. Maria Yaremchuk - 'Tick-Tock' (if I loved it, they will too haha)

~ Am upbeat tasting platter of Eurovision from East to West - very nice! (Liv)

Which Eurovision song:

Is the best winner?

Objectively, Loreen - 'Euphoria'!

Has the best live vocal?

Eugent Bushpepa - 'Mall'

Was the best Albanian entry?

Jonida Maliqi - 'Ktheju Tokes'. She's an icon.

~ In my Top 10 Eurovision entries of ALL TIME, amazing woman with an incredible song. We stan. (Liv)

Was the best German entry?

Lena - 'Satellite'

Was robbed?

Lena - 'Taken By A Stranger.' The song was overshadowed by the fact she won last year, in my opinion. She deserved a higher spot in 2011, a weak year entrywise.

Is your guilty pleasure?

Slavko Kalezic - 'Space'

Is your favourite National Final song?

I'll rely on the number of my Spotify streams for this:

It's Dotter - 'Bulletproof' (Sweden)

And finally which Australian entry is your favourite…

Dami Im - 'Sound of Silence'

I want to thank Aussievision, for making me part of this. You have been doing a great job so far, I listen to your podcast episodes regularly and I'm impressed with the level of information you have for the European countries and our national finals, despite being part of the Eurovision community for only 5 years! Keep up with the good work!

You're most welcome Andel and thank you for your praises! We are always very humbled to hear such positive feedback from the Europeans who are the heart of this contest we love so much. Good luck to Albania this year at Eurovision and fingers crossed we see Elhaida and Inis Neziri return to Eurovision in the future!


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