Yesterday the Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of musical unprofessionals — caught a ferry to the seaside city of Durrës and explored the ancient Roman Durrës Amphitheatre. Afterwards, we took a seat amongst the ruins and reviewed Albania’s Eurovision 2015 singer Elhaida Dani and her song “I’m Alive”. Did her song spice up our lives? Or were we left feeling dead? Read on to find out…

Albania’s Eurovision 2015 song

Reviews: Elhaida Dani with “I’m Alive”

William: Take a song about female empowerment, throw in faultless vocals and you have the recipe for a potential Eurovision winner. “I’m Alive” brings together the best of R&B, easy listening and pop and unites it with sleek production. The song constantly progresses with shifts in tone, rhythm, tempo and style at 0:36, 0:50, and 1:50. The swirling bridge is subtle yet significant and sets up the fierce final minute brilliantly. Other divas shout their way through the three-minutes but Elhaida glides. This is perhaps the smoothest, most expensive-sounding song of the year. Tirana 2016?

Score: 10/10

Padraig: Whether this is Albania’s best ever entry is debatable. It’s certainly their most mainstream effort. But in a year of radio friendly ballads is that enough? “I’m Alive” is definitely stirring, and it will surely qualify with a singer as talented as Elhaida at the helm. Whether it’s unique enough to win is another thing – I can’t imagine Elhaida sporting a necklace of hair. But hey, it has the Silvia Night seal of approval – which can only be a good thing!

Score: 7.5/10


Josh: 
Gone are the days of “Diell” and the sun has fully risen on the phenomenal song “I’m Alive”. Elhaida’s vocal is ON POINT and, paired with a catchy mid-tempo tune, this song was born for the top of the scoreboard. I’d love for this to match or beat Rona from 2012 – the song is that great! Elhaida is all that I need, she’s my everything. Nice job, Albania!

Score: 9/10

Angus: Realism alert: excessive vocal gymnastics aren’t impressive – they’re annoying. “I’m Alive” might be the best Albanian song ever but it would be even better if Elhaida and her team had cut a few of the vocal flourishes. Sometimes less is more.

Score: 7/10

Elhaida Dani – “I’m Alive” live at Eurovision In Concert

 

Chris: Obviously “I’m Alive” is a better song for Eurovision than any version of “Diell”, but there’s still something not quite there for me. I struggle to remember the verses of the song and it’s only the hook of the chorus that is memorable. Elhaida will need some good staging because I fear that she might be forgotten otherwise. Even with all those negatives though, I can’t deny the core strength of this song. I just don’t see it as a lock for the top ten as others do.

Score: 7/10

Denise:  I have to admit that I didn’t have much faith in Albania after Elhaida announced that “Diell” was dead. But my God was I wrong. This is so much better. Her voice is amazing, the video is great and the R&B style sounds incredible. The best part comes in the second half with and after the big note, where she sounds out of this world for 10 seconds. Go Elhaida, go Albania.

Score: 9.5/10

Skyping with Elhaida

Ramadan: Modern, catchy and radio-friendly, this song gives me Jessie J and Beyonce vibes. I’m over the moon that Elhaida will represent Albania in the Eurovision Song Contest. I followed her journey in Italy and was so proud when she won The Voice of Italy. I’m glad that they’ve changed the song as I prefer “I’m Alive”. It really showcases her voice and the professionalism of the composers, Zzap & Chriss. Tirana 2016, anyone?

Score: 10/10

Bogdan: I am undoubtedly in minority when I say that I preferred “Diell”. What a song that was! Oh well. RIP. “I’m Alive” fails to touch me exactly because it’s very radio friendly. I hear this kind of music on the Romanian radios all the time and I don’t feel any emotion when I hear it. I am impressed with Elhaida’s voice, but that’s about it.

Score: 3/10

Wiwibloggs talks to Elhaida Dani at Eurovision In Concert

Deban: Diell” moved me, but “I’m Alive” takes me to the cemetery. I appreciate Elhaida is making the best of an unfortunate situation. However, the overcompensation here is the overkill. Eurovision’s Next Top Model? Yes, I’ll hand it to her. Unfortunately, I don’t envisage music experts abiding with this composition.

Score: 4/10

Robyn: I’ve heard this song so many times but I can never remember how it goes. Elhaida is an expressive performer with a strong voice, but even though the song is full of dramatic intensity, it just doesn’t stick. The success of this song will depend on whether a powerful performance can override a less than amazing song.

Score: 5/10

Elhaida live at the London Eurovision Party

Our jury consists of 29 people, but we only have room for 10 written reviews. Here are the remaining 19 scores. 

Anthony: 8/10

Francheska: 5.5/10

Judit: 6/10

Kristin: 7/10

Liam: 10/10

Luis: 9.5/10

Marek: 9/10

Mario: 10/10

Max: 7.5/10

Mike: 10/10

Mikhail: 10/10

Patrick: 9/10

Renske: 8/10

Rezo: 9.5/10

Sami: 6/10

Sinan: 10/10

Sopon: 6/10

William C: 8.5/10

Zach: 8/10

To reduce potential bias, we drop the highest and lowest scores prior to calculating the average. We removed a low of 3 and a high of 10.

WIWI JURY AVERAGE: 8.02/10

SEE OUR CURRENT EUROVISION 2015 REVIEWS AND RANKINGS

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Leon
Guest
Leon

Melodic with star quality. 8/10

TeleRoger
Guest
TeleRoger

Some reviews say amazing and 10/10
I just don’t get it
The songs seems all over the place for me, yes there’s a underlying beat but no real hook for me and doesn’t make me want to listen again
Sorry not for me

ESCaddict
Guest
ESCaddict

I agree with Tim. I love “I’m Alive” while I’m listening to it but as soon as the song is over, I’ve forgotten it.
Sits at number 20 with me.

jessicafranz
Guest
jessicafranz

Original Song – 7/10
Live Performance – 2.5/10 – Her live performnces are just TERRIBLE! If she keeps singing like that she won’t even qualify from Semi-Final

albb jane
Guest

Pfff… Hahaha! Your reviews suck! Elhaida you’re the best!!!!How can be the Iceland’s song better than I’m Alive. Wake up WIWI jury!

NoYesNoMaybe?
Guest
NoYesNoMaybe?

Anyone got the laughing part when Patrick says he didn’t like the Albanian entries? Coz I didn’t. I think it was rude.

Mar
Guest
Mar

I personally would have rated this higher, but taking her recent live performances into account, 8.02 is an adequate score. Now, Iceland is so ridiculously overrated, it has no bussiness being in front of Elhaida.
I’m really hoping Albania will slay in the semi and the final, the song is so good and so engaging, it would be a real shame to see it flop. Maybe she sould turn the screeching down a bit? It seems like it’s gotten out of her control.

Ian
Guest
Ian

A fantastic song and def one of my favorites this year. I can see it doing very well.

Dez
Guest

I agree with everyone who said that Albania is lower than Iceland on the wiwi rankings. In fact, I hate the Icelandic song.

10/10 for Elhaida because she has power.

CookyMonzta
Guest
CookyMonzta

She didn’t qualify in my first evaluation because I thought the song itself didn’t live up to the video. In my second evaluation, I thought differently.

It remains to be seen how I will judge this entry in my final evaluation, but for the moment, she sits at #16 in the final.

Daniel
Guest
Daniel

Love it. 10/10.

Leon
Guest
Leon

I love the studio version but I think this song is gonna flop live unless she drastically improves from her The Voice performance. My favorite Albanian entry and definitely one of my top 10 favorites this year.

Studio Version: 9/10
Live version: 4/10

Noah
Guest
Noah

I like the songs, but her “live” skills worry me. Yes, she is the winner of “The Voice” BUT I’ve heard her singing her song couple of times, on various “live” shows and…it is really bad. I hope that she’ll be “alive” and well on her NF night. “Saving herself” for May isn’t the answer one professional singer should give, by the way.

ct
Guest
ct

* Anna Rossinelli

ct
Guest
ct

?’ve written this before. This is a fine pop production to listen to at the radio perhaps. In a song festival among 26 other songs (assuming she gets to the final) I don’t think it will make much of an impression. It reminds me a lot of Anna Rosselinni for Switzerland in 2011. Everybody thought she would do well in the final but in the end as a friend told me when he heard her “it’s only good to listen to while you’re washing the dishes”… This is the wrong song to showcase her voice which leads her to overdo… Read more »

Daniil
Guest
Daniil

Bogdan, this is actually the first time I agree with you!
I know I am one of the few ones, but I really don’t like this song at all! She’s too agitated and the song is just noise to me… Not as much noise as Finland, obviously, but she needs to take a chill pill!

2015
Guest
2015

Diell was one of the worst songs i’ve ever heard, people who prefered that song over i’m alive have a really bad taste…
Albania 2016? Only if the live performance is great, else not. Nobody should worry about her vocals, cause there great. 9/10

Illyric
Guest
Illyric

Cant believe, Iceland in front of this masterpiece ? Anyway, Elhaida is going to win Eurovision, have no doubt on that. I saw her live singing, trust me, she will explode at Vienna stage and everyone will be like WOW. She doesnt wanted to show her best on these concerts. She is the WINNER. 🙂
10/10

ChrisMo
Guest
ChrisMo

Some fellows at wiwiblogs have NO idea what r&b is and keep seriously butchering the term. To my understanding there’s no r&b ballad or song in this year’s competetion.

Alex
Guest
Alex

I’m still amazed that anyone actually cared for Diell. This song is so much more, well, alive.

Kaz
Guest
Kaz

The Wiwi jury score means absolutely nothing, as the vast majority only love diva ballads and dance beats – everything else is awful. Last year they gave the Common Linnets a 4.4 and predicted it wouldn’t even get through the semi-finals.

wozzeck
Guest
wozzeck

I must be missing something here. The song is OK, but I can’t understand the hype around it. The chorus is undefined and not memorable at all. She can sing and she is hot, but I wouldn’t be shocked if it doesn’t qualify. I guess it will since everybody is loving it.

Anyway… if the wiwi jury is loving it, it probably wont do that good at the end of the day.

4/10

Eris
Guest
Eris

Well, as an albanian i must say this is the 2nd time i have and albanian song in my top 5 . This is my 3rd fav song of this year’s contest. I hope she does well and rests for the time being since her voice is not even at the level it was at the Voice of Italy. She has been tired the past weeks thus making me doubt wether she can achieve a top 5 ( but oh well Safura in 2010 did it so why not her :P). 8.5/10 from me.

WTF
Guest
WTF

Lol, still below Iceland… This is getting ridiculous.

Francisco
Guest
Francisco

It’s a nice song and her voice is cute, but frankly, meh

sophiaamsterdam
Guest
sophiaamsterdam

live version to amsterdam so worst. i dont like elhaida. my points 0/10

Aleksi
Guest
Aleksi

Nothing special…

Deniz@TurkNL
Guest

9,7/10

2th favourite!
Very American, R&B styled and modern. If this wins it could end up just like Euphoria, very popular. But Elhaida should really work on her live vocals, will it be a worthy winner.

Arianator
Guest
Arianator

This is my 2 big love

danielesc
Guest
danielesc

8.02??? i dont like this songggggggggggggggggggggggggggg

Daniel
Guest
Daniel

The best song this year. It’s phenomenal! 10/10

Steven
Guest
Steven

@Robyn Gallagher I interpret the song more to be about someone having passed away. The video gives me that impression and the lyrics “you live within me , that’s why I’m alive” would also fit that. There is no anger in the lyric ” you shut down my dreams” so it feels like an acceptance of always caring for someone who is no longer alive and that’s why she is determined to do more with her life. It’s personal interpretation of course but I have never seen this song as just being about breaking up with someone and pining for… Read more »

Han
Guest
Han

I can’t believe that this got a lower score than the Icelandic song. This song has 9.5/10 for me. It’s a great and catchy song with a great singer that always slays on stage

Antranig Shokayan
Editor

That score is REALLY low. Currently my 2nd favourite song and it’s about to become #1 tbh.

Briekimchi
Guest
Briekimchi

Should be Sweden’s biggest competition. As a song it is pretty close to perfect, especially the last minute! The only question is whether she can deliver “I’m Alive”…live. If she can, next year in Tirana!
9.5/10

blondboybc
Guest
blondboybc

Wow! Totally concur with William and Patrick on the jury. This is in my top 3! Loved it since I first heard it! Fantastic melody, lyrics, vocals…everything! Great job, Elhaida! 9.5/10! Threat for top 5 if she nails the live performance with good staging. 😀

eurana
Guest
eurana

overrated

JonathanUK
Guest
JonathanUK

Once again, the WiwiJury have undermarked it! While I like Iceland, it is arrant nonsense to think that Unbroken is better than I’m Alive. You are alive Elhaida, and keep shinning! 🙂 🙂

Allen
Guest
Allen

This is a very good song. The thing I like about Albania in Eurovision is they never fail to send a good singer. Well, maybe some Albanian songs were not my favourites, but they always have decent singers. Elhaida is a great vocalist and this song is very good and she obviously likes to sing it. I just don’t know what kind of staging can fit this song. And Albanian delegation shouldn’t forget that staging is the key for Eurovision success or failure. Suus is still my favourite Albanian entry (and my second favourite in 2012) so we’ll see if… Read more »

Jerome
Guest
Jerome

9/10 I liked this song enough when I first listened to it. After a couple more listens, I love it! It’s number 8 in my Top 40, therefore it’s one of the ten Eurovision 2015 songs I have in my playlist. So much better than Diell in my opinion. Her voice makes the song progressive and powerful which carries me through the three minutes. The lyrics in the song can be very relatable which I also like. May not be the best Albanian entry ever (Anjeza Shahini 2004), but it’s the best that Albania has sent in recent years. I… Read more »

marklebron
Guest
marklebron

I can’t believe Iceland scored better than this.

Eugene ESC UK
Guest

Mike has been passing round his bag of 10’s I see!! You can’t make a poor song brilliant by changing a few things; you just have to just replace it. That done, this song really grew on me, and I really really like it but I’m not sure Elhaida is the right person to sing it and live she can be squeaky and can complicate the vocals. Avoiding THAT high note or missing it as in London is not a good sign. Easily Albania’s best entry, a quality song, it’s just so now and this is the direction ESC songs… Read more »

Fatima
Guest
Fatima

I’m with Deban. I don’t think she’s going to make it.
1) We have another woman wailing ay-ay-ay in the same semi after Trijntje
2) Her vocals are not always spot on as London showed
Not qualifying

Glasgow
Guest
Glasgow

I love Albania so much!

Deven O'Kearney
Guest
Deven O'Kearney

The only problem with Albania though is the best stadium is in Elbasan. Which is 30 minutes outside of Tirana and transport infrastructure is very poor in Albania. They don’t have the money to build a new arena. But maybe RTSH and the EBU can be creative and find solutions to Albania’s venue problems. Perhaps an old shed with a capacity of 10,000 or a tent capable of holding 10,000 to 15,000 people. That’s all if Albania win this year. Which I would not mind one bit because it’s great to see countries that you never thought could win Eurovision… Read more »

Ben
Guest
Ben

As a song, its solid and can easily trouble the top 10. However, her live performances are somewhat weak considering what she has done on the Voice of Italy, and the fact that she is saving her voice, while also showing signs of strain. If she can keep it together by May, its an 8.5/10. If she keeps going downhill, it could be a borderline qualifier. Don’t want to jinx for worse!

Deven O'Kearney
Guest
Deven O'Kearney

I love this song. The bookies have royally shafted this song to 50/1 odds. Why???????????? This is undoubtedly Albania’s best ever entry. This will storm through to the final and top 10 is very much on the cards. 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Thiefo
Guest

I always knew Elhaida has an amazing and powerful voice and I’m glad she finally got a good song to prove it, before the replacement of Diell Albania was at the bottom of my list, now she’s on my top 5, and I certainly wouldn’t mind if she in fact wins.

I just hope she won’t be the injustice of 2015 and place anywhere below the top 10!