Albanians Steal the Grand Final at Eurovision Song Contest

Lisbon, Portugal – May 09 (Tirana Echo) – Three Albanian-born singers have stolen the show at the Eurovision semi-final last night, with Albania, Cyprus and Italy all in Saturday’s Grand Final.

Albanian fans were overjoyed last night as three Albanian born singers representing Albania, Cyprus and Italy have now been confirmed for the Grand Final taking place on Saturday night in Lisbon.

Favorite to win is Cyprus with Albanian-born singer Eleni Foureira who rocked the stage last night with her song “Fuego”. Her chances of winning the song contest have gone from 66-1 to 5-2 after the semi-final at Lisbon’s Altice Arena.

For the first time in twelve years, Albania is sending a male solo artist to the contest, Eugent Bushpepa who was born in 1984 and started singing when he was only six years old. In December 2017, the Albanian national selection ‘Festivali i Këngës’ chose Bushpepa to represent his country at the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest with a rock song ‘Mall’ (Longing) , which he wrote and composed himself.

Eugent Bushpepa smashed the stage last night with his high rock voice showing strong vocal skills and a solid performance which gives Albania hope to be in the top ten at the Grand Final.

Italy’s Ermal Meta and Fabrizio Moro come with ‘Non Mi Avete Fatto Niente’ which in English translates as’ You Did Not Do Anything To Me’, and its subject matter is far more serious than you might expect from a Eurovision entry – with lyrics relating to war and terrorism across Europe and the Middle East.

Since ending their 14-year Eurovision exile in 2011, Italy have twice come close to winning the competition – coming second in 2011 and achieving a third place finish in 2015.

This time round they clearly have their sights set on doing even better, and have recruited one of the country’s most successful songwriters, Albanian-born Ermal Meta, to help achieve that goal. Ermal will take to the stage alongside fellow singer-songwriter Fabrizio Moro. Italy goes automatically to the Grand Final as part of the Big 5.

After a thrilling first Semi-Final, the ten ecstatic qualifiers gathered for a press conference to talk about their experience. They also drew from a bowl to find out whether they would perform in the first or second half of the Grand Final on Saturday, the 12th of May.

Cyprus’ Eleni Foureira thanked the audience for all the love and support, and was asked if she is going to make history as Cyprus’ best result in the Eurovision Song Contest – which they reached three times – was 5th place.

I have no idea. I wish I could change that, so I’m going to try and make history. But if I don’t, I’m going to be happy too.” – Eleni said. Cyprus drew to perform in the second half in Saturday’s Grand Final.

Talking about his performance on the big stage in Lisbon, Albania’s Eugent Bushpepa said: “As long as you can convey emotions, it’s the same singing either in a small pub or in front of this enormous crowd.

He went on to dedicate the song “to all the people that I love, it’s about missing the people that you care for the most, so I dedicate it to all Albanians.”Albania drew to perform in the first half in Saturday’s Grand Final.

The 63rd Eurovision Song Contest is about to take place, for the first time in its history, in Portugal, a country that had a reputation – until last year – as the competition’s biggest loser.

The Grand Final will feature 26 participants including Portugal (host), the Big-5 (Germany, Spain, France, Italy and United Kingdom), the top 10 from the first semi-final and the top 10 from the second semi-final which takes place on Thursday night.

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