More new versions and videos released!

As expected, Albania has revamped their entry for Düsseldorf.  What was once Aurela Gaçe’s “Kënga Ime” is now “Feel the Passion”:

I feel like I’m in the minority here, but I loved Aurela’s song the first time I heard it, and this revamp only solidifies my position.  Aurela is this year’s diva, and whether she wins or not, she is making this her show.  (It’s funny, though; I was talking with my friend Slavi yesterday before we saw the new video or heard the translation, and I told him how I imagined that the clip would somehow involve Aurela standing on top of a mountain or other high point, a wind machine fluttering around some epic dress, and an eagle soaring.  I should have placed money on it!)

On the other end of the Eurovision world (geographically speaking), the Icelandic representatives have released the English-language version of “Aftur Heim“, “Coming Home”.

It seems that “Aftur Heim” was, in fact, originally written with English lyrics, with the text eventually refined by the wife of the late Sigurjón Brink.  The song was performed in Icelandic for the National Final, as per the network’s rules, but the door was always open to have it performed in English.  We all know the story of Sigurjón and his tragic passing by now, but hearing this song in a language that I can understand just makes the whole thing even more powerful.  “Coming Home” is performed admirably, and is truly a celebration of Sjónni’s life and work.

Also releasing an official video clip is San Marino’s Senit, with her ballad “Stand By”:

(Sharp-eyed ESC fans might recognize some of the same landscapes and landmarks as seen in MiOdio’s video for “Complice“.  Then again, considering that San Marino is only about 24 square miles (61 sq km), that’s not too difficult.)

Only slightly bigger, at 121 square miles (316 sq km), is Malta, which coincidentally also released their official preview video today for Glen Vella’s “One Life”:

(It appears that half of Malta’s population took part in this year’s National Selection, and the other half appears in Glen’s video!)

Finally, Croatia’s new preview video has been released: Daria Kinzer’s “Lahor” “Break a Leg” “Celebrate”!

I’m sure more videos are coming down the pipeline within the next few days, as the official “Heads of Delegation” meeting is happening now in Düsseldorf.  We’ll also have the official draw for the running order tomorrow afternoon (or, for me, morning!).  Even though Preselection Season is officially over, there’s still lots to do before the First Semifinal on May 10th!

Posted on March 14, '11, in 2011, Albania, Croatia, Iceland, Malta, San Marino. Bookmark the permalink. 12 Comments.

  1. I definitively like Albania now. I didn't like them before.I really like the Icelandic song in English now! I was really sour that Yohanna did not win but with this song in English, I can understand slightly why she didn't win.

  2. I wasn't expecting to like that Albania song very much at all just now, but you're right, Samantha, she really, REALLY sells it. I'm now converted, haha. Iceland's song is simply beautiful (it almost made me a cry at a few points), and having it in English is just the icing on the cake. San Marino's kind of feels too low-key (I usually don't use that term, but for some reason it seems to describe that song well) to go very far, but I still liked it.

  3. Kate's verdict:Albania is amazing, in love <3Iceland, so sweet, simple, also loveSan Marino, ehh, kind of forgettable..Malta, Silly, but I love the video.Croatia, the lyrics are wow horrible. And its strangely downbeat. "shine like a comet in a musical galaxy" really?

  4. Kate, I totally agree with you!

  5. Albania: Looks like you are scoring converts! You even managed the trick of swaying me quite a bit!The opening notes of the song interestingly took me back to Athens 2006. They reminded me of those postcards used for that year.It really is a great song, better than I anticipated. The melody is especially intriguing. I think, though, that a more bilingual version, with either the verse or the chorus fully in Albanian, with the other in English, would be worth investing in for Düsseldorf. I read a comment once saying that original language suits ethnic songs, while English suits more mainstream pop. I myself do not believe in such a polarized view, but there may be some truth to that in the case of Albania.Iceland: I was admittedly disappointed to find out After Heim would be in English. It is so fascinating how what began as a happy song like this starts to sound more and more sad once we peel the onion layers of its amazing story. Even with a sorrow-ridden interior, it remains optimistic, which is such a beautiful story in and of itself, no? Beautiful sentimental video, too!San Marino: Still a tough sell. How will she sell this one?Malta: Very nice video, which probably goes without saying, since everyone else says so.Croatia: I just realized, Daria is a cross between Erin Andrews and Drew Barrymore! Her opening low notes sound nice. I get the idea behind the shouting in the verse at the "hands up" part, but it is not quite working for me. This new version sounds much nicer than the previous version.I do not mind the lyrics, as I have heard much worse. If you do not like "shine like a comet in a musical galaxy", you can always try for fun, "shine like a comic in a musical one-night-stand"! Just a thought.-Finland

  6. I'm a member of the "Second Chance UK" jury (aka SECHUK…, and the old version of "Kënga Ime" wasn't rated incredibly highly by either the UK or the International juries…I'll be interested in seeing if Aurela's scores will rise now that this new version has been released!When you guys hear "shine like a comet in a musical galaxy", does anybody else think of the line from Zoli Adok's "Dance With Me"…"it's an overload in a disco fantasy"? I keep thinking of the wrong lyrics! 😛

  7. I thought Second Chance referred to songs that competed in national Finals but did not win the right to represent the country.I just thought: perhaps the reason I am not so excited as others about the new version from Albania is because I pretty much expected it to sound much like what it is now. The changes made were, in my view, very good, but predictable, but if others do not think the same way as I do, then the new version may indeed garner higher points in your Second Chance system! I always recognized the potential, and maybe others saw it not the same way.Mix up Croatia 2011 lyrics with Hungary 2009 lyrics? I cannot say that ever crossed my mind!-Finland

  8. The OGAE Second Chance contest takes some of the "best of the rest" from the National Finals and has them competing against each other…the SECHUK jury is a bit different…check us out! 🙂

  9. I checked out the site. I noticed that you have a Finnish juror, but not a Greek juror! Is it possible for me to become the Greek juror, since I am half-Greek? Is there an application process involved?I still do not get why the title "Second Chance" is applied to this system, though.-Finland

  10. Hey, Stefanos,I really don't have much to do with the jury selection, personally…I'd contact the folks over at SECHUK for more information. The Jury vote for this year has wrapped up, but it seems like we're doing a public vote, as well! Are you an OGAE member (if so, for Greece or Finland)? Might help you get on the list for next year, possibly.

  11. Hello!No, I am not an OGAE member.How would this public vote be conducted? Who votes, and how?-Finland

  12. Hi, Stefanos,Well, the public vote is open on the SeChUK site (, and everybody is welcome to vote, no matter where they're from. You can rank your top 20 songs, giving 20 points to your favorite, 19 to your runner-up, et cetera. Anyway, for more information on the Finnish OGAE Club, check out . (The General OGAE site is available at ) Hope this helps! 🙂

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