Eurovision 2009: Albania
READ REVIEWS: Semi-Final One | Semi-Final Two | Grand Final
SONG REVIEW | REHEARSAL NOTES | PERFORMANCE NOTES
I was conflicted about this song. She has a great voice (demonstrated in the bottom video on this page) during her national selection programme and I thought I might have been persuaded after her first rehearsal, but the dancing around and especially the Turquoise man really ruined things for me during the second rehearsal and definitely during the semi. It’s an OK pop song but I’m seeing this as a weaker moment in the final.
Yes Kejsi Tola can belt reliably (see below) and perhaps I was a little too harsh with the disparaging comments about the “boy scouts”. They are perhaps the only gentlemen in this year’s contests where heavy eyebrows are allowed and actually compliment the general look of things. Reviewing this at 8am (BST) is probably not the fairest time for Albania, but the truth is there’s no spark here for me. I’m not entirely convinced about the taller chap now dressed in sparkling turquoise (or is it blue?).
I am going to be a bit controversial. I’m going to overlook the two boy scouts leaping around behind Kejsi Tola and the tall gentleman who grabs hold of her microphone at one point during the dance break. The key thing about this particular performance is that Kejsi really can sing very, very well. Not only can she belt, but she can belt reliably. You know when you hear her sing that she’s not going to go all flakey on you. Thus my controversial point is this: I actually think this is a considerably more plausible performance than a lot of others in the second semi-final, Sakis’ especially.
This isn’t the greatest song in the world. My extensive notes drawn up as I listen to each song for the first detail how I felt alienated by Albania’s song almost as soon as the band struck up.
Yes. As soon as the band struck up. Yes people. That’s the thing which has saved Albania’s efforts this year. Kejsi Tola may well look like a sack of potatoes on stage (I’m sure she’ll be sorted out by the time she gets to Moscow) but she has demonstrated one very important thing in performing her song “Carry me in your dreams”. She can deliver a song with an orchestra and contrary to what the backing track Eurovision fans may think, that live orchestra still has a place in the Eurovision world.
OK, so maybe it’s a flimsy reason to applaud Albania for their song. Maybe there are more deserving entries this year. Personally, I’m pleased with their efforts. And if they were to host it I’d be more than happy to go. Just as long as they had an orchestra in the big event.