Festivali i Këngës – 1st Semifinal

The first semifinal in the Albanian Festival I Këngës has been presented. It was only a presenting procedure, no results will be announced. Twenty songs performed.

The show started on 20.30 CET. The show is hosted mainly by Elsa Lila. And the twenty good songs are performed.

1. Dorina Garuci – Dite 1 jetë (Life one day)

The show started with a jazz style by Dorina and her three backing singers. She performed quite strongly with the song. The orchestra in the back adds a lot to the atmosphere of the song and of the festival.

2. Endri & Stefi Prifti – Ti bere faj (You made the fault)

The couple had a ballad song as Albanian’s choose ballads since 2006. Overall it’s a dramatic entry in a musical style that is probably made more for the stage than for the radio or record.

3. Evis Mula – Unë jam dashuria (I am love)

The popular singer in Albania who finished the festival third, three years ago. Unë jam dashuria is another ballad, involving electric guitar solos and saxophones. As she is not a newcomer to the festival, it is no surprise that her performance is very professional.

4. Juliana Pasha & Luiz Ejlli – Nje jetë (A life)

A duet by two Albanian stars. Luiz represented Albania in the Eurovision Song Contest 2006 with the song Zjarr e ftohtë and finished 14th in the semifinal. Juliana finished 3rd in last year’s Festival. Although they had microphone problems at the begining of the song, they acted very well with their ballad song. 

5. Group West Side Family – Jehonë (Echo)

The lyricist of Zjarr e ftohtë sung a rap song with Albanian influences. The song is typical of the genre and although it stands out in the competition, it might not be memorable. At the end of the song, it was quite obvious people liked it.

6. Shpat Kasapi – Aromë mediterane (Mediterranean aroma)

The song sounds more like it came from the middle east and not from Albania, and it includes various words in Italian, Greek and Arabic – which is definitely reminding of "it’s my way to say i want you – sagapo je taime i love you – te amo o pashut ohev otach…".

7. Kejsi Tola – Më mërr në ëndërr (Take me in your dreams)

This is a huge favorite to win this edition of the festival. An ethno-electronic number is performed by the lady in the green dress. Although Kejsi is alone on the big stage, the music and her voice seems to fill the space of the venue with many different instruments involved in the song. It may remind some people of last year’s runner up, Jeta kërkon dashuri.

8. Marjeta Billo – Era e tokës (Scent of the earth)

It was a folk-ballad from Marjeta. It was a quite different song from others, and Marjeta can make suprise at the end of the final show with her result.

9. Rovena Dilo & Gent Bushpepa – S’jam balade (I’m not a ballad)

The song is a rock-ballad, sung by two of Albania’s best singers. Rovena’s vocals are flawless and along with the two electric guitars, this is a very strong entry.

10. Agim Poshka – Fajtor për ngrohjen globale (Guilty of global warming)

The performance begins with a traffic sign saying "Festivali I Kenges 1974" and soon it turnes to a salsa song. It was also quite different entry for the festival.

11. Julian Lekocaj – Nuk je ti (You aren’t)

Another rock-ballad by Julian. The song is not outstanding and the singer is off-key throughout the whole performance. This is probably not a potential winner.

12. Group Burn – Jam i pari i jettes sime (I’m the first of my life)

This is pure rock. The group includes the lead singer, two guitarists and a keyboard player, who is holding the whole keyboard like a guitar. The violins add an interesting effect to this song.

13. Erga Halilaj – Dikush mungon (Someone’s missing)

Another ballad song was from Erga, as many ballad songs has been watched before at this year’s Festival I Kenges. Although Erga seems to have some problems performing the song, the overall performance is fine.

14. Emi Bogdo – Kur buzet henen e kafshojn (When the lips bite the moon)

The song and the performance is reminiscent of Greta Koci, who reached 5th place both in 2007 and 2008. Emi’s song is a simple pop-rock song. She performs it along with some backing dancers, who all wear blue dresses. A fast moving and active performance.

15. Kujtim Prodani – Nostalgji (Nostalgia)

Kujtim continues with his style and his song is rock-jazzy. He’s alone on stage and he walks round and round like always. The song is average and it seems that it can’t fit in the Eurovision Song Contest.

16. Adelina Thaci – Oret e fundit (The final hours)

Another avarage song performed by Adelina in rock style. The vocals work with the entry but the overall performance is not among the strongest ones tonight.

17. Era Rusi – Shpirt i humbur (Lost soul)

A very powerful entry that also includes a blues guitar instrumental, which seems to be obligatory this year, came from Era. Era has a very strong voice that is sometimes even almost too loud for the song.

18. Vedat Ademi – Po me prite (You waited for me)

Vedat delivers an authentic performance of this ballad. However, the song might not be catchy enough to be remembered in a field of many songs. The Albanian jury seems unlikey to choose this song for Moscow.

19. Besa Kokedhima – Ajer (Air)

Including an acrobat hanging from the ceiling, this is obviously one of the entries tonight with the most effort put in the visual impression. The song is very dramatic and a ballad that is typical for Albanian national finals. Regarding the results in recent years, this could be one of the dark horses even if it might not have the biggest chances in the Eurovision Song Contest.

20. Soni Malaj – Zona zero (Zone zero)

The show ends with an uptempo song that includes some hip-hop influences. The performance is based somewhere between go-go and cabaret and works with the song. The vocals are strong (but again very loud) and this is one of the entries that could do well in the contest.

This was the first semifinal night from Festival I Kenges. Tonight the second semifinal will be performed with duets with popular singers.
The Festivali i Këngës will also be available to watch via internet from festival website by clicking here.

Source: EuroVisionary
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