Eurovision 2018 Review: Albania – Eugent Bushpepa – Mall

eugent bushpepa

Albania goes rock with Eugent Bushpepa’s ‘Mall’
Albania is always one of the first countries to host their national final for the Eurovision Song Contest, but it might take longer for us to hear the final version. In the Albanian contest, there is no 3 minute rule, so the actual winner often has to change their song in order to be able to participate in Eurovision. This goes for Albanian winner Eugent Bushpepa as well, whose song ‘Mall’ was initially over 4 minutes long. He trimmed it down to 3 minutes and is ready to rock the Eurovision stage in Lisbon in May.

Albania has not been doing exceptionally well in Eurovision in recent years. In their past seven attempts they only made it to the grand final on two occasions, with Rona Nishliu’s 5th place in 2012 as their best result so far. It seems very unlikely they are going to top that result this year. ‘Mall’ is not a bad song in the slightest, but this Albanian languaged rock song misses the spark that is needed to excel at Eurovision. Participating in the first semi final from a spot early in the starting order, it will be difficult enough to even qualify for the final. Eugent’s powerful pipes however, will certainly appeal to the judges. I am not sure if this will be enough as ‘Mall’ is not one of the most accessible songs on first listen and might be forgotten once all 19 countries have performed. Albania is not in my personal top 10 for the first semi final, but if they make it, their rock vibes will at least give us a more diverse show!

Review of Semi Final Performance:
Albania brought some rock to the Eurovision stage. Eugent Bushpepa is an experienced performer and vocally he was one of the strongest of the night. The lower parts in the verses, the high notes towards the end, he totally killed it! His song ‘Mall’, performed completely in Albanian, was the only one in its genre in the show tonight and that must have helped him qualify for the final. Based on his performance, he thoroughly deserved it though!

Review of Final Performance:
Albania’s Eugent Bushpepa was one of the surprising qualifiers in semi final 1, but with that vocal performance he thoroughly deserved it. He sure is one of the best singers in the contest this year and his rock song ‘Mall’ perfectly showcased this. Looking at the result, it is clear that Albania this year was a juries darling. If it wasn’t for the juries, he would not even have made the final. Televoters placed him on place 11 there, while juries awarded Eugent a spot in their top 3. In the final, juries voted him 7th, while televoting placed him 18th. Overall, this gave him the 11th position, which sure is nothing to be sad about.


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