Another day, another set of Eurovision rehearsals. Today 15 acts take the stage for their second rehearsals at Eurovision 2018. We’ll be reviewing these in groups of three, kicking off with Azerbaijan’s Aisel, Iceland’s Ari Olafsson and Albania’s Eugent Bushpepa. Let’s review this!

Reaction: Azerbaijan, Iceland and Albania

Azerbaijan: Aisel with “X My Heart”

During her first rehearsal Aisel’s open-front costume revealed the upper extremities of her thighs. She and her team clearly found that a bit too skin-tillating, as they’ve now sewn her translucent cape partly shut. The outfit moves from open-front to simply having a deep thigh split that offers a tantalising hint of what lies beneath.

The first rehearsal, while very sound, did seem to drag at times. Today quicker camera cuts — including more swooping cutaways — give this a sense of pace and energy that it lacked previously. The three minutes just speed by. Aisel, who remains so strong vocally, seemed more confident today. She put real vigour and thrust into her choreography. Luna moon her up!

During the final take, the performance started with Aisel laying amid a sea of fog. It provides an enticing intro that really draws you in. Even more remarkable? The use of on-screen, augmented reality graphics. Her starscape looked more expensive and realistic today, turning her into a mystical queen guiding the stars. This is moving in the right direction and surely further tweaks will take it even higher.

Aisel, “X My Heart”: Performance Preview

Iceland: Ari Ólafsson with “Our Choice”

This felt much classier today. A series of red and golden lights give the performance a much more elegant feel, and they play well on Ari’s red and white outfit. His backing vocalists all arrived in their formal wear, creating a lovely sense of a family gathering. We’re not talking family meal at McDonald’s. It’s more sophisticated Christmas gathering where everyone is warm and cozy.

Ari Ólafsson, “Our Choice”: Performance Preview

Albania: Eugent Bushpepa with “Mall”

Eugent begins his performance bathed in dark blue lighting, which transitions to bright red when he enters the first pre-chorus. At the same time he starts clapping to encourage the audience to do the same. It fits the rhythm of the drums and makes you want to tap and clap along.

Simple does not mean boring. Despite the lack of fireworks, fog, flames and augmented reality, Eugent still keeps your interest — mostly through his voice (flawless) and passion (watch that face, y’all). And there’s also a very effective shot where the lights go black and the camera zooms out quickly. It’s dramatic, spirited and effective, capturing the essence of this anthem in a single moment.

People are whispering that this could be Albania’s best entry ever. It’s easy to see why.

Eugent Bushpepa, “Mall”: Performance Preview

Check out all of our rehearsal news here

Photo: Thomas Hanses (EBU)

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116 Comments on "Second rehearsals at Eurovision 2018: Azerbaijan, Iceland and Albania"

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Anita
Guest

Have you seen this. He is such a warm person https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A_xqw16nBOQ

Lilja
Guest

Why do people keep saying that Ari’s rehearsal was bad? Like you may not like the song but that doesn’t mean the rehearsal was bad? I mean he nailed the song, and that high note!

Erzzza
Guest

vote Cyprus for first semi final, we need the votesss, and the song is greattt,
vote Cyprus everyone

Alex
Guest

no

Yearnie
Guest
Albania is helped a lot by Eugent’s vocals and his looks. He is very cute, especially when he smiles as he is singing, or when he makes that type of singing seem effortless. I’ve noticed they’ve kept the blue-red-purple theme throughout the FIK video presentations and performance. I wonder what the camera or light work does when he sings the highest pitch part? I think that part requires a special emphasis so that it doesn’t look like it’s just a random note being sung. I love the part when everything goes black and zooms in on him, there should be… Read more »
Yearnie
Guest

Yeah after watching it a few more times I definitely think they should do the same blackout/zoom camera-lights thing when he sings the highest pitch part, it’s the only way to properly capture that moment. Just clear all lights at that point and zoom in on him slowly. Maybe just add a lightening effect as the note goes at its highest. It will make it memorable even after the other 16 entries are performed. But definitely more pressure on him to get it right. 🙂

Alex
Guest

DM him your suggestion haha

Clément
Guest

Albania ??? amazing performance ?

kela
Guest

Ari is such a nice guy, with such a powerful vocal. He needs more support. I loved his cover of Mall, if i can call it a cover.

Loonatique
Guest

Our love for Eugent is like a natural phenomenon, getting bigger and bigger until it explodes on the finals. He is absolutely amazing, he gave us 5 perfect emotional energetic and hopeful live performances. I just cannot express how i feel about this song.

Eric
Guest

It is an average song with a good singer. Might qualify but will end up in the bottom of the scoreboard if so

WiwiBloggs Moderator
Guest

@Eric: You have been trolling enough from that Serbian IP address. Quit it or get banned! This is our final warning to you!

Jo.
Guest

Ok
Azerbaijan: Huge improvement, but still performing too early in a semifinal with many similar songs;
Iceland: No comments;
Albania: He gest it!
Dear Santa, I’ve been a good boy…Now gives me Albania in the final!
AMEN!

Joseph
Guest

Why are you even commenting?! Albania slayed, the rest failed! Simple as that!

AngieP
Guest

I like when the lights go slightly off during Albania’s performance, before the last part of the song. He’s great every time he rehearses. Honestly, he’s ready for the semi, he doesn’t need anything. Azerbaijan looked also great. Iceland was fine.

Jo.
Guest

Yass, Eugent…Can’t wait to watch the video…

Caption
Guest

Azerbaijan seems a bit overcalculated, but very solid at the same time. Watching some unexpected failures (Belgium, Finland) this one may snatch a place in the final.

Iceland. I’m sorry this wonderful guy has the second worst song this year (after San Marino) Enjoy the semifinal my friend.

Albania. Eugent is such a staging filler. His voice does it all. He turns an average-to-good song into a gem. Albania is in the final and he’s seeking the best position ever for Albania.

Percy
Guest

In alphabetical order:

1. Albania: Simply marvelous! Impressed the audience, the journalists, and soon will impress all the juries. May struggle a bit with televote in certain countries but it will be on the final.

2. Azerbaijan: Weak overall. May become the first Azerbaijani entry to disqualify since their debut.

3. Iceland: So bad, I feel sorry for him!

poe-tay-toe-chips
Guest
Azerbaijan: The song is on the generic side, but the staging and the fact that she has a good voice should be good enough to get her through to the final. Overall this song is a good opener for semi final 1 Iceland: We all knew a long time ago that this song has no chance of qualifying no matter what they do with it. He has one of the best male voices this year and he’s super cute, ….but not even that is going to help him much. Albania: Honestly, it will be a HUGE crime if this doesn’t… Read more »
ted
Guest

Azabajan – the song is not the best, but the staging lifts it. I didn’t think these were worthy to qualify before the previews, but now it wouldn’t surprise me if they do qualify.

Albania. Yes, this needs to qualify

Iceland – You have to feel for this lad. Yes he can sing, but his song belongs to 1999 and that so dated westlife era.

GREAT!
Guest

Albania’s rehearsal was otherworldly! My country would give multi millions for such a great rock artist!

Anita
Guest

@wiwibloggs – I am a little bit disappointed because it feels like you are not much interested in Albanias performance – I could only see that little snipped, but aren’t there too many wide shots and aren’t these stripes in the background a little bit too distracting from Eugent himself – I think it needs one coloured background.
But I haven’t seen the full thing. I am really afraid about his not making it into the final.

Sasha
Guest
Well I’m not sure how wiwibloggs is supposed to fix their performance. But, the bookies say Albania will not be in the final. Historically, in terms of predicting who will go to the final, the bookies are only wrong about 1 entry per semi-final. I suppose it could be Albania that makes it instead of one of the others, but it could just as well be any one of the others not predicted to qualify. So… in the end, it’s not the end of the world if he doesn’t make it. He’ll have a good performance and I’m sure you’ll… Read more »
Anita
Guest

We are not happy regardless the outcome. We need Eugent in the final! There are plenty of reasons – And I expected from wiwibloggs a more differentiated review – I can’t really remeber what they said about it, and maybe they didn’t really watched it – or only with one eye

Anita
Guest

We are not happy with it regardless the outcome. We need Eugent in the final so that our heart is in the final too. And I expected from wiwibloggs a more differentiated review – I can’t really remember what they said about it, and maybe they didn’t really watch it – or only with one eye. When you wish an entry to succeed you think hard about what could be improved and will find something.

Mow
Guest

What are you talking about?! Wiwibloggs gave it a positive rehearsal review! William even laid his card that Albania will be on the final!

Thiago
Guest

Anyone know how those in the US can watch the semis this year? Will SVT make it available again?

Tobias
Guest

The Eurovision’s grand final will be broadcasted in the US via Logo TV. Hope you’ll enjoy it.

Julia
Guest

Albania has really, really impressed me! I am not much into rock but Eugent makes this genre easy-listening to everyone. I will certainly support him in this contest and remain a loyal fan afterwards.

Ana
Guest

If Eugent stays in the semi, I’m gonna cry. Don’t let me, please 😀

Anitta
Guest

Me too 🙁

titto
Guest

We should all acknowledge the fact that this entry was the best today.

Helvetic
Guest

Albania has delivered the best rehearsals of all 43 entries! Eugene is unquestionably the best male act in the Eurovision since 1982 but unfortunately the EBU won’t let it win, just like in 2012. Otherwise, he is the deserved winner contrary to most pop troll guesses.

Kit Kat
Guest

If they won, imagine all the comments about “poor country”, “not able to organize it like us”, “don’t deserve to host such an event”, …
It would be “disdain to Portugal” power 1’000…

John
Guest

Unsure what you even mean by that?! Europe’s poorest countries have hosted the Eurovision (Serbia, Ukraine, Greece, and in the past, Yugoslavia), and you are suddenly stating this about a well-respected and a progressive country like Albania which is a member of NATO and of all major global organizations and instances! Albania would provide the most innovative Eurovision in its history but the EBU does not want it to win yet…

Get Real!
Guest

@Kit Kat: LOL! Dead countries like Ukraine and Serbia hosted it, but Albania wouldn’t! Hahaha!!! Only 10 year-old morons would utter such nonsense! Albania is a billion times wealthier than Ukraine and Serbia, and it keeps San Remo alive, let alone Eurovision! Get real peeps!!!

Paul
Guest

Now, that was a funny one from Kit Kat. I mean, even Serbia and Azerbaijan hosted it, let alone a European country like Albania which has one of the most powerful music industry in EU! In this regard, Albania ranks among the United Kingdom, Germany, and France, sweetheart!

Marcelo
Guest

Azerbaijan is actually very rich, they have lots of oil money and they even built an entire arena because of the contest.

Not sure how to compare Serbia, Ukraine and Albania. Also 2006 Greece isn’t the same as post-bailout Greece, just saying.

Kit Kat
Guest

I was NOT meaning they could not host (hence I used ” “) ! But all of you already read comments/critics from people who consider only (their) rich countries deserve to host ESC and I was being ironic!
Actually, I really like Albania’s stage/song and really want him to be there on 12th 🙂

Kit Kat
Guest

It was irony: hence I used ” “. I was simply meaning that if he won many people would talk about how Albania would organize it. Just like they did with Portugal: they don’t know anything about the other countries but keep critisizing …

Jürgen
Guest

No one would say that except for jealous serbian trolls. The rest of Europe and the world, knows who Albania is!

dope
Guest

Albania is the mother of coming up with funds when needed lol.

Marcelo
Guest

“Suus” didn’t deserve to win nothing. The cult following around that song is really shocking.

Percy
Guest

I wanna know who asked you anything?

navseeegda
Guest

I think Mall will not only qualify but also bring Albania their best result ever

Anita
Guest

I am afraid that they might not qualify – their competitors have very strong support: Austria, Lithuania, Finnland, Belgium, Greece
Israel, Bulgaria, Estonia, Czech Republic, Cyprus – these 5 are sure qualifiers.

Paul
Guest

@Anita: Based in your viewpoints, you seem very young. Albania is a sure qualifier, while either Austria, Belgium, Greece or Finland will certainly go home! As per Lithuania – their chances to qualify are equal to those of Iceland.

Anita
Guest

? What viewpoint in detail shows what you are assuming? If I have to decide Albania qualifies – my point was, that there are a lot of people that prefer the other songs… I wrote down just the ones the odds let qualify at the moment.

Percy
Guest

I honestly do not understand your obsession with odds!? You and that “Lourdes” keep babbling about them in pretty much every Wiwi post. The fact that this Albanian entry is a fan and a journalist favourite, and yet it is not topping the betting odds, just shows how terribly inaccurate they actually are!

Percy
Guest

To clarify, I meant how terribly inaccurate those betting odds are! Wake up, people!

Jo.
Guest

I think he will. Belgium is more likely to stay in the semis, she reminds me Iceland 2016.

Darren
Guest

I mean starting to realise that I’m totally wet for Eugent Bushpepa.

Eurovision Voting Army
Guest
Eurovision Voting Army

Albania has officially become a top qualifier and possibly a winner! My Eurovision Army consists of 103 people that will cast 2060 votes for it! See you in the final or perhaps see you in Tirana 2019!

kela
Guest

for reall, are you kidding?

Denis
Guest

Yes om pretty sure he is

Eurovision Voting Army
Guest
Eurovision Voting Army

I have stated that very seriously! Our Eurovision Army votes were partially reserved for Bulgaria but they failed to impress us during the rehearsals, so the precious 2060 votes will go to Albania instead. Unlike Equinox, Eugene is real!

kela
Guest

Welcome to the club.

Yep Bulgaria!
Guest

Care to elaborate how is Equinox “unreal”?

Eurovision Voty Army
Guest

I don’t owe an answer to anyone but since you’ve asked nicely, you’re getting it. I was personally present during the rehearsals and it became obvious to everyone that Equinox was there just for one thing, which is their illusory “victory”! There is no passion and no chemistry between them whatsoever, that’s why it is not working out! In short, it is a fake product and it yells SCAM from a mile!

Taavi
Guest

Exactly. Those guys barely know each other because they were teamed-up overnight just for the Eurovision, and unfortunately for them, the audience feels and hates their lack of passion and teamwork. Perhaps their fate will be like Estonia’s in 2004, or worse yet… alright, let’s not say it.

Anita
Guest

I love you for this!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Radakiel
Guest

Ok Eugent got me this time
I want him in the gf so badly
Not as much as Mace… fyrom, but I still want him

Esteban
Guest

Albania has the greatest solo vocalist of the past twenty Eurovision editions! There’s no need to even discuss this any further!

Lourdes
Guest

Can someone explain to me how come each time Eugent performs, it goes down with the bookies? Each time he performs, it gets better and better, people everywhere seem to love it, my goosebumps are getting out of control, and it get lower and lower with the odds? I don’t get it!

Diana (Eurovision Juror)
Guest
Diana (Eurovision Juror)

Here in the Eurovision, we do not care about odds! Here we play our own cards, so relax!

Lourdes
Guest

Yes, I know. It just scares me a bit, since they’re right 80% of times. I hope Eugent is part of that 20%. I just can’t see him not qualifying and not being rewarded for his unbelievable voice and song!

ieva
Guest

Dear Lourdes, odds (try to) predict, they don’t decide. Fans decide.

Taavi
Guest

@Lourdes: Odds are right at 80% of times?! You are drop-dead-wrong, miss! Odds function like horoscope – they are mere predictions by random people! It is audience and juries who decides in the Eurovision – NOT gamblers!

Lourdes
Guest

That’s what I’ve read from analysis of other years. I really hope I’m wrong though!! He deserves a much much higher ranking!!

Percy
Guest

Albania does quite well in the Eurovision but never at odds. However, if something crazy happens and Eugent doesn’t get the place he deserves this year, it will be a sad moment for every person of high taste but the apocalypse won’t happen. Eurovision is literally a game so people should take it easy.

Sabrina
Guest

Azerbaijan: It seems very slick and professional, but also cold. This was supposed to be vibrant and upfliting.
Iceland: It must be hard to keep going when almost everybody rule you out so early in the game. I hope Ari and the Icelandic delegation can enjoy the experience at least.
Albania: It looks great and Eugent will really shine with his vocals and expressions. It feels organic and the contrast with the first acts can be very positive. But somehow, this entry keeps being overlooked.

Jack
Guest

Azerbaijan: Well she has the performance and the song is good too.
Iceland:Blank sorry.
Albania: Im truly in love with everything there. Eugent needs to pass for real. Fingers crossed!

George
Guest

He needs to win, not just to pass!

beccaboo1212
Guest

You bet! #Tirana2019

Rasmus
Guest

The languague in here is like there is a lot of 13-18 years old that havent got a great education. My tip is if you dont like a song, just say why and not curse or say something rude. I know you have a brain in there 🙂 Im 22 and i can talk like a grown up 🙂

Kappes
Guest

Iceland only receiving a brief mention in this article – oh the shade. 😀

Well well
Guest

No point in even reading these articles. The Ingrosso cover-up followed by the Waylon-bashing has really discredited this site. Just like Daily Mail, straight to comments!

Ally
Guest

Does anybody actually read articles, lol

Alex
Guest

Lol

Alex
Guest

Fav is Albania, it’s just so much better than most of these live songs.

alessio
Guest

albania the dark horse of this esc

Alexa
Guest

My dad plays in a rock band and hates the Eurovision but he just heard Albania’s song as I was watching the rehearsal video, and said: “That’s a great one! You should listen to such music but what language is that? Italian?” Well, his choice is great and his language guess wasn’t far 😀

Mattias Sollerman
Guest

This is becoming too real for comfort.

P!nk Forever
Guest

Eugent Bushpepa needs to qualify because:

A) He‘s the first man coming from Albania after so many divas. A change was necessary.
B) He has better vocal technique than most of his predecessors (Lindita, Eneda, Aurela,…). Because screaming is not singing.
C) He does a lot of play with his face. He‘s a handsome, sexy, charismatic man who knows how to work the camera.

Rasmus
Guest

I think Albania can do it :). Azerbaijan is a maybe i think but personally i dont think they should because there are 10 better songs. and Iceland a very big NO sadly.

Anita
Guest

This is all correct – the question you must ask yourself, can Albania kick out one of these: Belgium, Finnland, Greece, Austria, Lithuania
because Israel, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Cyprus are sure qualifiers.

Krisztina
Guest

Eugene’s voice always thrills me. Albania will surely qualify instead of Belgium or Finland.

Netta is a feminist, bad bad. Im not a toy.
Guest
Netta is a feminist, bad bad. Im not a toy.

Haha, good joke. Belgium maybe, but not Finland.
Albania should qualify instead of Azer, Lithuania and Belarus. Also Armenia.

George
Guest

Finland won’t qualify, but if it eventually does, it will be last on both, semi and final. That being said, it is better not to qualify at all than to become the semi’s barely-qualifier and the grand final’s loser!

Eric
Guest

Albania sends its usual SCREAM fest songs. It is ok and might qualify though.. There it will place in the bottom

Alex
Guest

He’s a ROCK SINGER, lol this guy has the right to scream. The other divas didn’t haha

Anitta
Guest

You don’t know nothing about good music… He is not screaming .. but anyway i willnot open e discussion with you about truly music ..

Frisco
Guest

Alright, I give up my hope for Azerbaijan making it through. There’s no way!

Edgar
Guest

Albania was professional like usual. Iceland was terrible again, while Azerbaijan is getting there.

Vrede
Guest

Everytime I hear Eugent, I get goosebumps.

My god, this guy deserves to qualify. To win this semi. To win the entire thing.

#Tirana2019

Gérard
Guest

Eugene Bushpepa is super-humanly talented! I am speechlessly fascinated by his unbelievable poignancy and technical precision! If this one does not impress you, nothing ever will!

Netta is a feminist, bad bad. Im not a toy.
Guest
Netta is a feminist, bad bad. Im not a toy.

This is wrong place.. but do you think that Finland will qualify? For example, Azerbajdzjan and Lithuania are not better. Remember todet vote for Finland if you like the song.

Poster.
Guest

Lithuania is better than that basic trash. Cyrpus will completely cancel Finland, sorry!

Netta is a feminist, bad bad. Im not a toy.
Guest
Netta is a feminist, bad bad. Im not a toy.

Poster, your countrys song is trash.

Susan
Guest

I think, because it’s ESC, everything is possible. I mean we even get year after year surprise Q, even when no fans or journalists thought they get through. About Finland, I think she have a lot of fans, who vote for her no matter what and juries won’t put this song in the end, so I think Finland is qualifier.

Anitta
Guest

i think SAARA will pass the semi ..i;m 50/50 about lithuania ..and Azerbajzan im pretty sure tha she wiil not make it for final

Denis
Guest

Azerbaijan: It is impressive but I don’t expect them to do better than they have recently.
Albania: He is a great vocalist and performer. Just don’t know if the song is good enough to pass
Iceland: Well someone has to end up last. Sadly Iceland will be the only Nordic country not making it

POV
Guest

Finland won’t make it either.

Netta is a feminist, bad bad. Im not a toy.
Guest
Netta is a feminist, bad bad. Im not a toy.

You are just a hater. Saara Aalto has many fans.

Qer
Guest

I don’t get why people say “Mall” could be Albania’s best entry. I think it’s one of their worst entries. Yes, Eugent has the voice and charisma, but i think it song is oldfashioned and it makes me bored. I’m sorry.

Rosenrot
Guest

Suck off, moron!

looveeurovision
Guest

i share the same opinion!only an ( incredible btw) high note doesnt make a song great!ari from iceland is singing the same note right after that.

Frisco
Guest

My professional opinion remains the same: This is the one of the best Albanian entries in the Eurovision. Thirteen years old kids like you may stick with Czech Republic and Sweden. That’s fine with us professionals.

Alex
Guest

Lol maybe you should listen to *hear my plea* Albania 2008….. the worsr!

Luwye
Guest

That was Albania 2007. Get your facts straight, toots!

Alex
Guest

no one cares

Draculesc
Guest

@Alex: You seem to care enough to comment about it. Grow up, kiddo.

Alex
Guest

Lol i always have the last word. I dont remember replying to you. But anyway i love attention. Haha

please
Guest

The best albanian entry would be suus. That song is just on another level. But i don’t share your opinion about this being one of the worst. I think is more in the middle ,but better than the last 2 years.

Jack
Guest

Fellas chill. Dont u have smth else to do rather than to spread hate and mean comments all over the place. Like,get a life dude.
PEACE!

Anitta
Guest

It’s not an old fashioned song ..it’s a rock ballad..but i think you dont know about this kind of music ..He is a great artist with an amazing song