Here’s a quick roundup of what’s been happening in Euroland over the past week:
Albania: The Albanians clearly don’t give a fig for Christmas with the 50th edition of the Festivali i Këngës taking centre stage. The two semi-finals have been held and 20 songs have made it through to the festival’s Final where they will do battle and the victor shall earn the right to represent Albania at next year’s Eurovision Song Contest. In the meanwhile, a massive Gala is planned to celebrate the 50th year of the festival, with many Albanian superstars lined up to perform evergreens from FiK, including former winners Frederik Ndoçi and Aurela Gaçe.
Serbia: Željko Joksimović, the country’s representative for 2012 has set up a blog on the nation’s Eurovision site chronicling his road to the Eurovision Song Contest. In his inaugural post, he expressed his excitement at having another go, after a highly successful run in 2004, finishing second with Lane Moje and third in 2006 for Bosnia & Herzegovina as a composer with Lejla. That’s some serious Eurovision pedigree. Apparently the melody is done and the lyrics are in the process of being written. Željko promises Serbia’s entry to be “strong and in Eurovision spirit”.
Cyprus: The titles of the songs in the running to represent Cyprus, though floating around the Internet recently, have been officially ‘revealed’. They are Call The Police, La La Love (uptempo pop numvers) and You Don’t Belong Here (a rocky ballad). Ivi Adamou will sing all three songs on 25th January for the nation to decide.
And that was some of the news!
Albania apparently views Eurovision as more of a reason to celebrate than Christmas, having held the 49th edition of their national final Festivali i Këngës on the 25th of December. Popular singer Aurela Gaçe won the competition quite convincingly with her song Kënga ime, which can be translated as My Song. Check it out the winning performance below:
At this point, I’m rather ambivalent about the song. But then again, I’m not too worried as this seems to be standard practice with Albania. They select the song and then reproduce, remix and translate it for the Eurovision Song Contest, so much so that it ends up as a virtually different (and much better) song. I was underwhelmed by their selections in 2009 and 2010 but was completely blown away by their ‘Eurovision Versions’ as it were.
And this seems to be the fate of Kënga ime, and it does have the makings of a good Eurovision entry though only time will tell.