The first competitor for Eurovision 2016 has been chosen, as Eneda Tarifa won the final of the Albanian national selection competition this weekend and will now represent Albania at Eurovision 2016 with the song ‘Përrallë’. The winning entry was chosen by an expert jury.
Tarifa won out over 22 entries, who themselves arrived at the final after surviving two semi-final rounds.
This 2016 win for Eneda Tarifa is not the first time she has attempted to represent Albania at Eurovision, however. She also participated in the 2004 and 2008 Eurovision national selections.
As for ‘Përrallë’, it’s a big song, which suits Eneda Tarifa’s big voice perfectly. And with an indie rock feel to it, it’s definitely not mainstream Eurovision. The song title translates as ‘Fairytale‘, and was composed by Olsa Toqe.
My only comment on it, though, would be that she needs to get the staging absolutely perfect for this one as, during the national selection, that spaghetti-strapped top and long floaty skirt she wore, while absolutely beautiful, did not fit the feel of the song at all. In fact, something more modern and edgy is definitely needed here.
Tarifa also needs to do a major push around Europe, singing in as many countries as she can get to before Eurovision 2016 in May as, while her voice grabs you the first listen through, the song takes two or three hearings before you realize what a good song it really is.
In fact, if I was advising her at all, I would say look at what Conchita Wurst did in the lead up to Eurovision 2014 (she sang in any country that would have her, and forged strong relationships with the press while she was at it), as doing the same will help her push this very good song much higher up the final standings.
Speaking of Conchita Wurst, however, sadly Eneda Tarifa herself has been called homophobic after she criticized the lovely Ms. Wurst back in 2014, asking “Where is Europe going with music, and how do I tell my daughter that this phenomenon will be widespread?”
(And can I just ask, why do homophobes always bring their children into it? Because it’s usually the children themselves that have no homophobic feelings whatsoever. Not until their parents teach them to be so).
Her comments prompted LGBT activist Kristi Pinderi to question how “smart” she was, and to accuse her of being homophobic.
Let’s just say, I hope Tarifa simply made a mistake with her comments, and doesn’t turn out to be as homophobic as she sounded. As that won’t help her chances at Eurovision at all if she is.
As for Albania and Eurovision, the first time Albania entered the Eurovision Song Contest was in 2004 with Anjeza Shahini’s song ‘The Image Of You. She ended up in seventh place, an excellent start for a new contestant.
Albania’s best placing, however, was in 2012 with Rona Nishliu and her song ‘Suus’. She finished out the competition in fifth place.
And this is one of the biggest things I love about the Eurovision Song Contest. We get introduced to talented artists we may not have been familiar with before. Artists like Albanian Eneda Tarifa, who has a spectacular voice and a commanding stage presence.
Because, with this first announced entry for Eurovision 2016 so far, I do like what I see. Now I’m just holding out to find out what kind of person Tarifa is.