Eugent Bushpepa announced his arrival in a big way during his first rehearsal in Lisbon. The rocker, whose vocals never stray from flawless, hit his high notes yet again, all the while staring into the camera that occasionally spun around him. Rock performances have a tendency to work on simple stages and this is no different. Flashing lights — including plenty of Albanian red — create a tasteful environment that feels so organic to this genre. Even better: They manage to fill the entire stage with their instruments and charisma. Eugent is a small guy, but he doesn’t disappear.

What else works? The black stage outfits, which run from suited and booted (Eugent) to a bit more edgy and t-shirt/tank (with the dummer). There’s cohesion with all the members on the stage. It comes off as a touring band performing a gig — and with some very attractive female backing vocalists in glittering black dresses.

Eugent Bushpepa — “Mall”: Reviews and Reactions

Albania: First rehearsal at Eurovision 2018

Keep checking back for more reviews of Albania’s first rehearsal

Albania: First press conference 2018

Read all of our Eurovision rehearsal reviews

Read all of our Albania Eurovision news here

Photo & Footage: Courtesy of EBU & RTP

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Eni
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Eni

Eugen is the best singer for this year . To my opinion i think he should win this year why not , he can sing so good and the song is so beautiful .

Marlena
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Marlena

That moment when he hugged his wheelchaired fan was so touching! I just couldn’t help my tears…

Alvino
Guest
Alvino

Before you ask Marlena, the press conference video has been posted above. Skip to 17:40.

Martyna
Guest
Martyna

Thank you, Alvino. Eugene means a lot to his fans all over Europe and not only to die-hard rock ones. I suffer from scoliosis but my older brother took me from Malbork (Poland) to Amsterdam just to see him live. Eugene hugged and washed my tears with his own hand after the concert and he promised that he will be on the final just for me. Please, please support him on my behalf! Thank you all!

Sigmund
Guest
Sigmund

Albania and Estonia have already won the “Best Rehearsal Poll”, leaving FAR behind all those hyped troll-acts! Talent always win!

AngieP
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AngieP

One of my highlights of the day. I liked the red color, his outfit was great and he once again slayed vocally. I’m already in love with this song! This MUST qualify!

Mr Gold
Guest
Mr Gold

Next country lost.

Jack
Guest
Jack

Lets hope for a qualification. Go Eugent. Rock on ?

Javier
Guest
Javier

I knew Eugent would make their high quality artistry show on stage. He ruled rehearsals today with his powerful voice. I’m happy for Albania and I’m keeping my prediction that this could turn into the best result ever for Albania.

Jamala
Guest
Jamala

He looks like a vampire with those weird eyes. Very unpleasant face and voice. 😀

Elina
Guest

Are you kidding ?

WiwiBloggs Moderator
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WiwiBloggs Moderator

@Jamala: We have been monitoring your troll activity on the WiwiBloggs and this is the final warning before we permanently ban you! Keep your serbian trolling elsewhere!

Sabrina
Guest
Sabrina

Eugent’s vocals are insane! This is just the first rehearsal and he already sounds like this, it’s impressive. I think Albania made the right call. Focus on the singer (he’s also a very convincing performer), bandmates on the stage, good rock n’ roll lights. It’s simple, but effective. And coming right after Iceland may help them much more than I was expecting.

M_K
Guest
M_K

Even in a low-quality rehearsal video he sounds better than many artists in the actual live show. I really want him in the final.

Maybe he should wear a hat, it might help people remember him (“I guess I’m going to vote for the dude with the hat at the beginning”).

Miguel
Guest
Miguel

Wow! I’m pleasantly surprised!
Eugent is top. His vocals are awesome. The background effects are nice and don’t distract from what is happening on stage. This is just a snippet but looks promising. I think he may qualify.

This was a never in my top 10 but he deserves to qualify.

CAT eurofan
Guest
CAT eurofan

I totally agree!

Denis
Guest
Denis

He is better than the song. The performance will make him qualify.

Hada
Guest
Hada

Honestly I didn’t even notice if he has good staging, bad staging or no staging because THAT VOICE. He’s a dark horse for the win for sure.

Radakiel
Guest
Radakiel

Not my favourite to go through, but he really has potential
He may qualify if people don’t skip Albania because Albania, just like they do with some other countries
I like his outfit tho, I could wear that all day

George Bonev
Guest
George Bonev

After watching Israel, I’m pretty confident Albania is the best of this semi.

Rory
Guest
Rory

Wow!
Hope he qualifies!
Sure points from Macedonia.
Good luck!

Music is Art
Guest
Music is Art

Certainly, the best voice this year together with Amaia and fully deserves to be in the Final! A pity the song is not actually my style, but that voice! Good luck!

Stop bullying
Guest
Stop bullying

Omg! STFU! BENJAMIN INGROSSO has the right to criticise other songs especially when they are not good songs! I for one agree with him, Albania is SHOUTING! Stop bullying him!!!! He can say whatever he want including he HATE Eugent’s song if he wants to!! It’s called freedom of speech!

Jo.
Guest
Jo.

Who’s talking about that video here? Go throw your garbage anywhere else. I’m tired of this unnecessary drama.

Alex
Guest
Alex

lol calm down, someone needs a hug

James T
Guest
James T

Haha. You referred to Jürgen’s comment below right? Mate, get it together. He didn’t mention about the video. 🙂

Kappes
Guest
Kappes

Calm down Beyonce!

alessio
Guest
alessio

1.Albania
2.azerbijan
3.Island
4.belgium(worst ever)?

Malin
Guest
Malin

I don’t like this kind om music., but what a voice!! Seems to be a great performance.

Good luck from Sweden

Reya
Guest
Reya

Where is the LED? Why is there only light? I thought Eurovision has LEDs. This rockstar needs rockstar treatment! The organisers need to get their act together!

Alex
Guest
Alex

Fabulous!

George Bonev
Guest
George Bonev

I love his outfit.

Vrede
Guest
Vrede

This 30 second snippet is already so powerful. I cannot wait to see the full performance on Tuesday evening!

Tianxia
Guest

With love and support from Eugent Bushpepa’s Chinese/Hong Kong Fanclub. ?
Website: http://www.eugenebush-hk.webnode.com

Héctor
Guest
Héctor

I hope he can qualify! These vocals and this emotional song must be in the Grand Final. Too bad Albania is in the strongest SF 🙁

Ria NL
Guest
Ria NL

This is my BIG NR. 1 , I love the song from the very first time I heard it !! Albania MUST go to the big final !! Eugent is a very great singer and his Mall is absolutely AMAZING !! His first rehearsel is very good. Go Albania, to the big final !! You deserves it !!

Esgalnor
Guest
Esgalnor

It’s basic but unlike Iceland, it suits the song and he’s got charisma. This could be a borderline qualifier.

Kappes
Guest
Kappes

Come on Albania – this year you can do it!

George Bonev
Guest
George Bonev

100% qualifier, top 3 of this semifinal together with Israel & Finland.

Jo.
Guest
Jo.

Boy Eugent slaying? What a surprise…
So glad this year we will break many stereotypes at ESC. One of those is that Albania always have bad staging. Not this year, my friends.
I still prefer the FiK outfit (the black one), but this one isn’t bad at all. Like they said in the video, it gives a more contemporary and edgy vibe to the song, just the perfect pinch.

Anita
Guest
Anita

I think the cool bassist might be better on the right side, what do you think?

Anita
Guest
Anita

Oh no – my avatar is gone again 🙁 what happened?

city lights
Guest
city lights

Absolutely stunning! I have a feeling it’s a qualifier

Clément
Guest
Clément

Albania will qualify, no doubt ?

Olly the Swede
Guest
Olly the Swede

This will most likely stand out and be one of the “breath of fresh air” moments of the night, to the extent where both Belarus, Armenia and Azerbaijan might not make it through to the Final. His vocals are amazing and the staging fits in with the song, so does the backing vocalists and it all feels genuine. Knowing the lack of rock entries in SF1 (other than Switzerland’s pop-song), this surely will get voters going on the night.

Roelof Meesters
Guest
Roelof Meesters

Given Iceland is performing before him and Belgium after, this will stand out and might make the final. I got goosebumps from his high notes and the jury will appreciate it. I am very happily surprised 😀

kela
Guest
kela

Greeeat! Perfect! Buttt please someone say to those back vocalists to not wave their hands like they did in the end of the song.

Darren
Guest
Darren

One to watch methinks.
If there is a surprise qualifier, I have a feeling it will be Albania.
The underdogs of this semi, (Albania, Ireland, FYR Macedonia) are miles better than some of the “favourites” that are ranked so highly, yet nobody seems to realise this.

Frisian esc
Guest
Frisian esc

I’ve seen many people complement albania and macedonia on esc platforms actually. Especially macedonia seems to be a fan favorite.

Zebb
Guest
Zebb

Agree on all three!

Jo.
Guest
Jo.

I don’t think Albania is a surprising qualifier anymore. He’s sailing through.

Aisling
Guest
Aisling

You’re right about Ireland being an underdog. They’re gonna be bringing those dancers from the music video onto the stage so I can’t wait for rehearsals to see what happens.

Anitta
Guest
Anitta

GO ALBANIA <3 <3 <3 Amazing voice ..amazing stanging …AMAZING EUGENT <3