Eneda Tarifa Albania Nicky Byrne Ireland

At long last, Eurovision season is heating up! We’ve known the identities of several acts for months now, but actual songs have been very slow to materialise — six had been selected by this time last year. However, that’s all changed as we now know two of the entries which will be performed in Stockholm next May. They are Albania’s Eneda Tarifa with “Përrallë” (Fairytale) and Ireland’s Nicky Byrne with “Sunlight”. This means that we can start choosing favourites. Which act do you like best? 

You can listen to both tracks and watch our video reactions below. Then vote in our poll. Choose wisely, you can only vote ONE time. Voting ends on Saturday 16 January — just ahead of Belgium’s national final on 17 January. We will then relaunch the poll to include Loïc Nottet’s successor.

Eurovision 2016: Our top two so far

Albania: Eneda Tarifa “Përrallë” (Fairytale)

Eneda Tarifa’s “Përrallë” saw off competition from 29 other songs to emerge victorious at Festivali i Këngës 54. The Wiwi Jury described the ballad as “dark, dramatic, energetic”, stating that it “sounds like it belongs on the soundtrack of an action film”. That’s all well and good, but can it actually succeed at Eurovision? Of course, that’s presuming that “Përrallë” actually makes the journey to Stockholm. Remember last year when Elhaida Dani’s “Diell” was left aside in favour of “I’m Alive”.

Ireland: Nicky Byrne “Sunlight”

For the first time in its 51 year Eurovision history, Ireland has selected both its artist and song behind closed doors. The result is Nicky Byrne singing “Sunlight”. He sold over 40 million records as part of Westlife, but this is his debut solo effort. Can he cope without the support of his bandmates? The early signs are promising. The track is co-written by Byrne and proven hitmakers Wayne Hector and Ronan Hardiman. The mid-tempo number is already creating a buzz and has been compared to last year’s winner “Heroes”. The true test of strength will come when we hear the live version.

Who is your favourite Eurovision 2016 act so far? Vote now!

This poll is now closed. See the results here.

VOTE IN ALL OUR EUROVISION 2016 POLLS.

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PP
Guest
PP

Albania, we know that they will change language and improve song with new arrangment like they did very in past.

Simon
Guest
Simon

Ireland by far. Is it a pre-requisite that all Albanian entries must be screeching and awful?

Leaf
Guest
Leaf

Ireland is average
Albania is shouty, old fashioned and quite boring (we know it is not the final version tho)

but as things stand

Ireland > Albania

Felix Prochain
Guest
Felix Prochain

Ireland

Bogdan Honciuc
Editor

Favourite act? Nicky
Favourite song? “Përrallë”

Rhys
Guest
Rhys

I wish I could vote for both! By a close margin, I gave my 10/10 Albania the vote (Ireland got a 9.99/10 from me) but both of them will probably end up somewhere in my Top 10 once all 43 songs are confirmed. Unless everyone else is this good, then I have some tough decisions to make…

bartosz
Guest
bartosz

Definitely Albania. Irish song is really going nowhere – I have never thought that rather uptempo song might by that boring and uninteresting

AberSam
Guest
AberSam

Whilst Ireland’s is better produced, there seems to be more in Albania’s entry. Especially the power in the chorus.

cheesecake
Guest
cheesecake

Albania!

Uros
Guest
Uros

Ireland has a good song, better than Albania, but, at the moment I don’t want to compare them because Albania will sing in English.

Irish song and video reminds me on Mans’s ‘Heroes’

Ola
Guest
Ola

Ireland. By. Far!!

Racal
Guest
Racal

People who criticize Ireland for being cheesy make me laugh… It’s Eurovision, it IS cheesy. Like “Heroes”, “A million voices” or “Rise like a Phoenix” were not cheesy at all…

Johnny from Portugal
Guest
Johnny from Portugal

Albania by far, Ireland has a very meh ,generic song ,not my cup of tea

Lucy
Guest
Lucy

I don’t understand the hype about Albania’s song. The song doesn’t go anywhere, it’s very boring. Seriously Albania last year was much better. Really disappointed with them this year. But everyone has their opinion.

Roelof Meesters
Guest
Roelof Meesters

Hard, but i think Albania slightly better. I think Ireland outdone itself.

Bouke
Guest
Bouke

Albania by far. I don’t understand why everyone loves Ireland so much. For me Ireland is average

DenizNL
Guest
DenizNL

Ireland for me.

#IrelandeDouzePointe
Guest
#IrelandeDouzePointe

It’s hard to say, because the Albanian song will be shorter and maybe they’ll do something else to it too. So, we haven’t heard the final version yet. But Ireland sounds really really good. Ireland’s best song in 2010s.

Niki
Guest
Niki

I don’t like any of these two songs…

Vladimir
Guest
Vladimir

Albania: a good song with a strong performance.
Ireland: the singer is a good choice and the song is not bad, but it doesn’t have a “wow” moment. I think it needs stronger production.

We’re off to a good start. Greetings from Serbia!

AM Casablancas
Guest
AM Casablancas

why?

Graph
Guest
Graph

Uhh . . . I’m not a big fan of either of these. Albania – It has some great moments, and the ending is strong, but overall it lacks a sense of direction. Ireland – Wow! Ireland, is this really you? I’m glad that they’re trying a very different style than what they’ve become known for here lately. I have a feeling this song will get a lot of pre-contest hype because it’s very contemporary and it’s not classic Eurovision material. However, outside of Eurovision, this is the kind of song you hear all the time, so it may not… Read more »

fikri
Guest
fikri

i like ireland’s… like a LOT. it’s a shame we need to settle for a westlife’s backup singer, but hey, the song is good! and he’s HOT! i don’t like the live version of albania’s but the studio version i totally ADORE. inb4 they cahnge it come may 2016.

Nikos
Guest
Nikos

My vote goes to Albania, whose song has grown on me a lot since I first heard it and sort of dismissed it. Very interesting elements in the song that with the right revamp and Eneda’s good vocals could do fairly well.

I actually like the easy listening vibe of the Irish song (their best in years), but the lyrics are very cliche with some rhyming for the sake of rhyming and of course the awkward “lover boy” line in the bridge.

Adrien
Guest
Adrien

I will vote for Nicky because he is hot.

Zanderzion
Guest
Zanderzion

I may not understand Albanian but to compare well its a way better, theirs power and soul in her voice while Nicky’s voice and the song are so weak, its a typical genre sang in a typical range of most male voice; there’s nothing special on it. No wonder he got none front act during the times of westlife. I prefer if Ireland make another song for him those can lift up his capacity in singing.

D
Guest
D

Albania easily. Ireland is unlistenable.

mawnck
Guest
mawnck

What’s behind door #3?

MarioMario
Guest
MarioMario

Albania by far. The Irish song has no impact. Very very bland.

Peyton
Guest
Peyton

Albania for me. While I’ll admit Ireland is more catchy, it just doesn’t do anything for me and is very underwhelming and it feels like it’s missing something. Albania on the other hand is powerful and I finish the song wanting to listen to it again time after time.

?L?A?L?A?
Guest
?L?A?L?A?

albania by FARRRR
ireland is cheap and uninteresting…
not understanding why its leading the poll.. wait yea i do
eurofans boring and predictable taste in music 😀

Laburnum
Guest
Laburnum

I really like both, but I like Albania more. I still think this could be an awesome year for Eurovision. 🙂

AzerBoy96
Guest
AzerBoy96

Both are good. But my vote will go for Albania. 🙂

Ben Rafter
Guest
Ben Rafter

Both are good however I like the Irish song so far more.

SpirK
Guest
SpirK

Ireland is pleasant but nothing special. Albanias song has some parts that the music is great and I think it will become even better after the revamp. Albania for me.

Paul D
Guest
Paul D

Albania, and it wasn’t upgraded yet …

Eugene
Guest
Eugene

Gooosh. Ireland is soooooo cheesy

Fenistil
Guest
Fenistil

Both songs are really nice, but Albanian one is slightly better and more original.

EF0912
Guest
EF0912

‘Përrallë by far

Hippo
Guest
Hippo

Not a massive fan of either but Perralle for me so far, I hope it does survive and stays more or less the same. Sunlight too easy and predictable for me, inoffensive but unspectacular.

mocosuburbian
Guest
mocosuburbian

ireland more like irebland
at least peralle is kind of unique being in albanian and whatnot

jr esc nl
Guest
jr esc nl

I like albania just a little bit better.
We’ll get a big wave of entries at the end of februari, 8 songs in one weekend with 6 on the 27th 😀

Iberian
Guest
Iberian

Not a doubt: Ireland.