Albania selected its Eurovision entry last month and we finally have a first impression of Lindita’s “BOTË.” We’ve been busy? Albania revamped its Eurovision selection process Festivali i Kenges for 2016. First, two semi-finals whittled the field of 24 songs down to a manageable1 14 finalists. Second, the viewing public got to vote along with 12 jurors on who would win a ticket to Kyiv. A nice idea, though the home vote had zero effect on how the jury ranked the 14 finalists. Lindita Halimi’s “BOTË” had an insurmountable lead with top marks from five jurors and points from six more. She received points from the home vote, but ranked third in that category. Let’s take a listen to the selection: I am always secretly rooting for Albania and have been frustrated with many of their entries in the last few years. This is far and away their best entry since “Suus” in 2012. Lindita’s reality competition experience — including American Idol and Ethet (Albanian Idol) — shines through this performance. She manages to avoid over-singing the song despite the orchestra behind her, which could have easily tripped up anyone. We already know that this song will be reworked quite a bit between […]
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