Përshëndetje Shqipëria! The Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of music unprofessionals — has landed in Tirana. After admiring the sights from Mount Dajt and putting our selfie sticks to good use, we gathered to discuss Albania’s entry for Eurovision 2017 — “World” from Lindita. Did Lindita rock our world or crush it? Read on to find out!
Lindita – “World”
Kosovo-born, America-based Lindita, 28, found fame after winning the Albanian song contest Top Fest in 2009. She gave her career another boost by taking part in Festival i Këngës in 2014, where she gave a jaw-dropping performance of her entry “Ste fal”, conferring her the status of fan favourite. In 2016, she participated in the last series of American Idol. There, Lindita made it to the final 51, but missed out on a place in the final 24 — despite wowing all the judges, including Jennifer Lopez. Lindita returned to Festival i Këngës 2017, where she slayed the competition with her Albanian-language song “Botë”, which she later revamped into “World”.
“It’s about all the wars worldwide and all the things people are going through,” she told us in an interview in January. “It says, ‘How many tears? How much pain in this world? I can’t take it any more and I wish I was stronger.’ That’s basically a cry out for help. But at the same time there is positivity. We can do better.”
Robyn: Unlike a lot of FiK entries, “World” was specifically written with Eurovision in mind so the transition to the ESC version has felt very organic. There’s plenty of drama, ample opportunities for Lindita to show off her powerhouse vocals, a hearty orchestral backing and a message. And it works! I like it a lot more than I thought I would, and I’d be very happy if “World” makes it to the final.
Marek: They have “Skyfall” and we have “World”! From the beginning when I heard the Albanian version I was in love, a song with an immense potential. Violins, screaming, drums, trembling — everything! The tension that’s built throughout the whole song and having a climax in the ending sequence — that’s amazing. After having one listen you’re sure of one thing — that girl can scream.
Padraig: “World” is a strange one. Initially, I was inclined to paint it with the same brush as Malta and Georgia – namely an anonymous melodramatic lady ballad. But over repeated listens, I’ve come to appreciate some of the song’s charms. Sadly, most Eurovision viewers won’t have the pleasure of hearing this more than once. And while Lindita is undoubtedly a fabulous singer, it’s hard to see past her poor diction and over-exuberant vocal showboating. A little restraint wouldn’t go amiss.
Anthony: Albania may have faced criticism for singing in English and going for the added revamp can be risky. Thankfully, they’ve avoided a repeat of last year’s disaster. While “Përrallë” had all the life sucked out of it, Lindita managed to maintain some of the emotional impact “Botë” delivered. And the song allows her to show what a talented singer she is with those powerhouse vocals.
William: If I were judging this solely on Lindita it’d be a perfect 10. The woman has the voice of a Mariah and the energy of a Mariah after some go-go juice. The song itself is slightly safer, but Lindita really sells it. The revamp has pulled this into today, mixing traditional strings with contemporary production that’s mysterious and in-your-face. The added vocal runs showcase her precision power and control. Over-the-top and at times unhinged, it’s a ballad of extremes, which I extremely enjoy.
Chris: In the end, it doesn’t feel like “World” lost or gained anything really from the switch to English. Ultimately, my score would be the same for either version of the song. Perhaps that’s because the real star here isn’t the song, but the singer. Lindita has the potential to challenge for best vocals of the contest: at least “World” allows her to show it off. Perhaps it becomes a little too much at times, but it’s solid regardless.
Deban: “Botë” was my world, and although I respect the intentions behind the re-vamp, much of the mystery and orchestration of the original have been stripped away in favour of a more current sound. Undoubtedly, Lindita’s vocal flourishes is the main driver here. This girl can belt! For that reason alone, she deserves a spot on the left-hand side of the final scoreboard.
Score: 6.5 /10
Jordi: Lindita is all about power and drama with her song “World”. Even if I truly loved “Botë” more than her English revamp, the soulful essence in her composition is still there — and just magical. Odds may say one thing now, but she will surely blow up the stage with her performance. Even if the original lyrics matched the song’s spirit better, this is already growing on me. From suspense to dramatic vocals, the melody is on point. There’s no way she’s not qualifying!
In our Wiwi Jury, we have 38 jurors but only room for eight reviews. The rest of our scores can be found below:
Before calculating the average score, the highest and lowest scores are dropped. This is to remove outliers and reduce potential bias. We have removed a low of 0.5 and a high of 9.5.
Wiwi Jury verdict: 5.92/10
What do you think of this song? Share your own score and review below!