Eugent Bushpepa brings something unique to the Eurovision stage. Take a peak in our gallery or hear him speak about his song, and why he wrote it in our complete the sentence video interview.
Albania is competing in the first semi-final with start number 3. The country is represented by Eugent Bushpepa and his song Mall, which is written by Eugent himself.
Opinions expressed during our second rehearsal coverage are personal from the mentioned writers.
Michael, United Kingdom (in the press centre) This song sounds very like the music of the Highlands in Scotland. The vocals of this rock song, yet not quite so rock that it isn’t commercial, are the highlight. The melody is pleasant enough too, but with it so early on in the running order could be forgotten. Enjoyable performance though.
Jens Erik, Denmark (in the arena) Before arriving in Lisbon for Eurovision I was not sure that Albanian rock was my thing. Now I know it is. Watching the rehearsals, I found out that I like Eugent Bushpepa and his song Mall quite much. The visual show is ok, but what gets to my heart is his voice. It can easily fill the entire arena, and the roof does lift a little during his performance. He’s very powerful and I’m very impressed. I have no idea how the rest of Europe will receive this, but I think Albania and Eugent deserves to be in the final.
Complete the sentence
Third country to enter the stage at the Altice Arena is Albania. Today the Albanian rock singer Eugent Bushpepa had his first rehearsal.
The performance of Mall starts rather dark in blue lights, however, when the song kicks off in the chorus the stage turns red and yellow. The camera work seems a bit confusing though, with several close ups in the beginning of the song of the guitar player. The close ups seem a bit random, but it would probably be fixed for their second rehearsal in the following days.
Eugent Bushpepa himself is wearing a jacket and an open shirt. The jacket turns out to be some sort of straight jacket, when the camera shows him from behind. The members of the backing band are wearing different types of “rock-bad-ass” outfits with leather pants and black t-shirts.
The first rehearsal was good and Eugent Bushpepa made a fine impression. His professionalism and experience can easily be detected, and it was a well delivered pop-rock performance.
How Eugent Bushpepa was selected
Festivali i Këngës is the longest running television show in Albania. It started in 1964, decades before Albania joined the Eurovision Song Contest in 2004. Since it’s Eurovision debut, the Albanian broadcaster has used this TV show to select their entry.
Two semi-finals held on the 21st and the 22nd of December 2017 featured a total of 22 entries. 11 of them made it to the final 23rd of December. A professional jury consisting of five people chose Eugent Bushpepa as winner over, among others, 2006 Eurovision participant Luiz Ejlli.
Albania at the Eurovision Song Contest
Eugent Bushpepa will be representing Albania in their 15th Eurovision appearance. The country is yet to win, and have a 5th place from 2012 by Rona Nishliu as best result.
It has been a struggle for Albania to gain any consistency as they in average have failed to reach the final every second year. In 2016 and 2017, the country was left out and not even close to qualifying ending 14th and 16th in the semi-finals.
When Albania joined the Eurovision Song Contest in 2004 nothing indicated that things would get tough for the country. Anjeza Shahini sang The Image Of You and finished 7th, after a 4th place in the final.