Today the Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of music unprofessionals — travelled to beautiful Tirana to soak up the rich history of one of the smallest countries in Europe. Whilst we sight-saw we decided to review Albania’s entry for Junior Eurovision 2016. Were we blown away by Klesta Qehaja‘s song “Besoj” (I Believe) and her powerful voice? Read on to find out…
Albania’s Junior Eurovision 2016 song
“Besoj” reviews – Klesta Qehaja
Jason: I loved the first version of “Besoj” for its subtle balance of power and emotion, and of course, Klesta herself. The new and improved cut takes this entry to even greater heights. It has been delicately preened and polished and is ready to take on the favourites. So they better watch out, because Klesta is not messing around.
Robyn: I really liked the original version of “Besoj”, and I like the revamped version even more. It has a punchier sound, contemporary styles mixed with orchestral drama. The English lyrics underscores the message – it’s a peace song, y’all. The hopeful message of the song, delivered with Klesta’s sweet and powerful vocals, is just what the world needs right now.
William: “Besoj” — I Believe — isn’t just a matter of faith. It’s a matter of stirring vocals, credible delivery and unbelievable control. The power is so immense it’s as if tiny Klesta is hiding an army of backing vocalists in her pink hairpiece. This song has real soul. With the right staging and a lucky draw, Albania could improve on last year’s triumph.
Bernardo: Close your eyes and start listening to “Besoj”. One minute later open them and be shocked to find little Klesta Qehaja singing the tune. Klesta won me over with the first chorus and had me hooked until her last word. Three minutes of power, raw emotion and beautiful stage presence. Following the smooth, easy-listening of Mishela Rapo’s “Dambaje”, the juries will appreciate the intensity of this performance as much as I do.
Edd: Monumental vocals on a beautiful (yet terrifying) orchestral ballad — classic Albania. It’s difficult to fully appreciate this song when she’s stood in a tiny studio dressed as a pretty pink bridesmaid. But when I visualise her on the big stage wearing some dramatic black headdress and a whole load of Rona Nishliu-esque red spotlights, it’s something really quite powerful.
Chris: Klesta is this year’s version of Krisia Todorova: an adorable young girl with a voice that’s beyond powerful for her age. “Besoj” has a tenderness to it that also helps to accentuate the power notes when they do come. I don’t see this as the winner, but Albania should once again come away from JESC feeling very proud of themselves.
Deban: Klesta is a mini Nana Mouskouri. She serves raw emotions and packages it in a voice that expands more than an accordion. How many octaves does she have?! “Besoj” calls for extraordinary vocal gymnastics, and pitch perfect vocal delivery. The adult music experts will respect this. Children will stop, listen and be amazed — but may hesitate to join in.
Andy: This girl can sing! You will be hard-pressed to find a vocalist who feels her song as deeply as this young starlet. The song is a tad dated and a little slow in parts, but it is at no fault of the singer who slays this power ballad like the most experienced adult songstress.
Josh: Power and drama. Not only are these the names of my thighs, but they are the two words that perfectly sum up “Besoj”. Klesta is an absolute vocal powerhouse, and delivers the song with such conviction and intensity that my jaw just about hits the floor. And to deliver that sort of emotion at such a young age — I tip my hat to Klesta for being an absolutely dynamic and theatrical performer. Yaaassss!
Renske: Such a big song for such a small girl. Klesta is incredibly talented and has a stunning voice for her age. The song, however, might be a bit too big for her. I think that if she had waited a few years, the combination of the song and her would have been even better than it is now.
Our jury for 2016 consists of twenty-one jurors, but we only have room for ten reviews. The remaining eleven scores are listed below.
The highest and lowest scores are not counted prior to calculating the average score. This is to remove outliers and potential bias. We have removed a low of 6 and a high of 10.