Discuss: Albania’s Elhaida Dani can go Top 5 with “I’m Alive”

Diell is dead, but Elhaida Dani is alive! Just two days after its video release, “I’m Alive” has racked up 450,000 views and nearly 10,000 likes. Since the release, Albania has been climbing the Eurovision odds table and is now a favourite to win the first semi-final. It’s a huge jump: Previously the bookies had Elhaida in dead last. Could Albania be a dark horse this year? We definitely think so.

After revealing that she was ditching Diell, fans speculated that her new Eurovision song was going to be a typical ballad like her winning song from Festivali i Këngës 53. Thankfully it’s not, and she’s avoided the ESC ’15 trend of women singing ballads about love and pain. Instead she brings a modern, mid-tempo R’n’B song that showcases her beautiful voice. As her fans know, her voice is flawless live. She’s the kind of singer who sounds even better live than in a video. Given that the video is already very good, we cannot wait to hear her throw this down. Zzap & Chriss have done yet another amazing song. #teamalbania

Potential staging

The biggest problem with Albania in Eurovision is the staging. Back in 2006 we had the young Luiz Ejlli who just stood there performing with a bunch of old men wearing traditional Albanian costumes. In 2013, it was over-the-top with pyros which likely sent some people into an epileptic fit.

Thankfully Elhaida is a seasoned performer with extensive experience in Italian productions. She won’t let things get out of control. We already know that three backing vocalists will join her on stage in Vienna. Hopefully she can carry the simplicity and beauty of her video to the stage. With the right staging, this could do a lot of damage. She’d tear through the ballads like an eagle in the open sky.

“I’m Alive” has been well received among Albanians and the Albanian media. We’re our own worst critics, and such a positive response hasn’t been seen since Rona Nishliu reached fifth in Baku back in 2012. Albanians have been following the contest very closely this year, and it’s partly because Elhaida is so loved by her countrymen and women. She’s reminding them about the virtues of Eurovision. In our books that makes her a winner already.

Review: Elhaida’s “I’m Alive”

I’m Alive lyrics – Elhaida Dani

I was too afraid right from the start
To even let you welcome in my heart
You cut it deep and left it bleeding hard
Will I ever heal these painful scars?

I just can’t help it
I’m out of breath, I’m trying to find the words to say
Time pass by
Now it’s broad daylight

I know you will come with the speed of the light
You’re my everything, all that I need
You shut down my dreams, but I’m not gonna cry
You live within me, that’s why I’m alive
I am alive cos you are my life
You are my sun
I am alive cos you are my life

Your name is printed crystal clear on glass
From all the sighs coming out my breath
I’m blinded by
This love can’t stop screaming out your name so loud
Where are you at?
Baby, won’t you come back?

Baby, please come back
Baby, please come back
Baby, please come back

I know you will come at the speed of the light
You’re my everything, all that I need
You shut down my dreams, but I’m not gonna cry
You live within me, that’s why I’m alive
I am alive cos you are my life
You are my sun
I am alive cos you are my life

Photo: Orsola Mema by Class Photography