Albania has decided: Rona Nishliu to Baku!
After a marathon 20-song final and jury vote, we have a winner! Representing Albania in 2012 (and hoping for a return to the Finals) will be Rona Nishliu with “Suus”. After a jury-led vote, Rona took a commanding lead, grabbing five sets of maximum scores from the seven-member jury. She also took the jury’s award for “best interpretation”. Here is her dramatic performance from the semifinal:
A bit of trivia: Rona Nishliu will be the first Kosovan to perform at Eurovision. This also marks the fifth year in a row that Albania has been represented by a solo female singer (the last male to do so, Frederic Ndoci, scored no points in tonight’s final). “Suus”, the fiftieth winner of the Festivali i Këngës, will likely undergo some measure of rearrangement before springtime, either musically or linguistically (one of the benefits of picking one’s song so early in the National Final process).
As for my personal opinion? Rona has one heck of a voice, and it’s not easy to keep control of that instrument. This isn’t a song for the Euroclub, and I guarantee that many fans will turn up their noses at “Suus”. When I hear it, however, I’m reminded of the fact that Lithuania shocked the heck out of most people by qualifying to 2011’s Finals, and Alyosha’s “Sweet People” made the Top Ten for Ukraine. It’s also so early in the National Final season, that it’s hard to gauge what’s coming up around the bend.
What do you think of Rona Nishliu and “Suus”? Let me know in the comments!