Eugent Bushpepa FiK 56 winner eurovision 2018 albania

On Friday evening 22 acts became 14. And on Saturday, during a four-hour spectacle inside Tirana’s Palace of Congresses, Festivali i Këngës 56 reached its grand conclusion. Inis Neziri demonstrated powerhouse vocals well beyond her 16 years. Orgesa Zaimi worked her sexy librarian meets Yoko Ono styling to take us to the dance floor. And Bojken Lako delivered a unique brand of hipster rock that was somehow touching and stirring. But in the end Eugent Bushpepa lived up to days of hype, winning the night with his song “Mall”.

Ahead of tonight’s result, Eugent told the press that his song was written while he was performing abroad for several months. The song captures the longing he experienced and applies to anyone missing their beloved. “Nothing in this world can express the feeling when hearts join and beat like one,” he sings. “I’m away from you, let me fight when my powers are exhausted, I even dream it when I’m awake…”

Scroll down for performance video

Eugent enjoyed growing support from fans and critics alike from the moment his song was released. Wiwiblogger Sebastian named Eugent his favourite prior to the semi-finals, suggesting that Eugent marks a healthy and welcome change for FiK.

“The days of solo female power ballads from Albania is over — rock is in the house!” he said. “‘Mall’ transforms the tired old soft rock style often wheeled out in Festivali i Këngës into something powerful and anthemic. Passionately delivered by Eugent Bushpepa, ‘Mall’ is a definite grower and a true standout this year amongst old rockers and diva powerhouses.”

Eugent becomes the first artist of Eurovision 2018 to have released his song. Of course, his current track is more than four minutes, which will force a revamp in order to fall within the three-minute rule at Eurovision. In many ways this gives him the opportunity to strengthen his song. A shorter version may actually give it more oompf and streamline the track. Albania’s revamps have had mixed results in years past, but given the strength of his existing instrumental this seems more straightforward.

FiK 56 results

1. Eugent Bushpepa

2. Redon Makashi

3. Inis Neziri

On Saturday morning, hours after the second semi-final, we ran a flash poll on wiwibloggs, collecting 2,810 votes from our readers in about 15 hours. Our readers placed Eugent on top with 38% of the vote, followed by Inis with 25% and Orgesa with 13%.

  1. Eugent Bushpepa, “Mall”: 1,069 votes (38%)
  2. Inis Neziri, “Piedestal”: 707 votes (25%)
  3. Orgesa Zaimi, “Ngrije zërin”: 376 votes (13%)
  4. Artemisa Mithi, “E dua botën”: 134 votes (5%)
  5. Mariza Ikonomi, “Unë”: 112 votes (4%)
  6. Manjola Nallbani, “I njëtji qiell”: 96 votes (3%)
  7. Tiri Gjoci, “Orë e ndalur”: 86 votes (3%)
  8. NA & Festina Mezini, “Tjetër jetë”: 63 votes (2%)
  9. Rezarta Smaja & Luiz Ejili, “Ra një yll”: 53 votes (2%)
  10. Denisa Gjezo, “Zemër ku je”: 37 votes (1%)
  11. Bojken Lako, “Sytë e shpirtit”: 29 votes (1%)
  12. Elton Deda, “Fjalët”: 17 votes (1%)
  13. Redon Makashi, “Ekziston”: 16 votes (1%)
  14. Voltan Prodani, “E pamundur”: 15 votes (1%)

Total Votes: 2,810

Do you think that Albania can make it out of the semi-finals this year? How much of a revamp do you want ahead of Eurovision? Do you hope the song stays in Albanian? Let us know in the comments box below.

READ MORE ALBANIA EUROVISION NEWS

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Darcy
Guest

The song itself has all the ingredients but the execution is lacking. The guitar opening is pleasant and catchy, as is the almost tribal chanting from the backing singers. However it is way too long at the moment. What I recommend is that they shorten some of the unnecessary sections and make the guitar and backing more prominent but it certainly stands out more than some of their previous entries.

Andy
Guest
Andy

it’s deep and he’s got spirit!! good choice Albania

The Anders
Guest
The Anders

OK song, but not so much more than that. It was the right winner, but only because almost everything in FiK was a bore. Far too many songs were in the same mood (dramatic power ballads with screaming vocals), and I couldn’t tell them from each other. Here there’s a bit of folk in the music. It’s not a great song, and it is by no means original. Moreover the singing can become too much when he hits the high notes. But I like the guitar playing at the intro. I’m not convinced about its place in the final. At… Read more »

Juste
Guest
Juste

I just love when eurovision season starts with good songs. Feels promising

Vanuatu
Guest
Vanuatu

Great election. It was my fav from all FiK’56, so im very glad he won. the 2nd place is a wtf to me and the 3rd very overrated imo, but at the same time, predictable (she was one of the favs as well as eugent). But yeah, love his live performances, almost sounded as studio version, and the song is folk mixed with rock, with a pretty catchy melody. Very good 1st song for Eurovision 2018, and a huge step up for Albania from recent years. Lets wait for more countries and songs to be revealed to predict if this… Read more »

Adrian Isaksson
Guest
Adrian Isaksson

Lisbon2018 will be the best ESC ever… So, Albania, after the absolute magic of Salvador Sobral last year, this was the only one OUT OF THE MAINSTREAM, with real chances of winning. An atmospheric song, will fit very well in the Lisbon scenario. Smart decision. And never, never in English!

Denis
Guest
Denis

Only one song has been released. It is to early to speak about being a winner when there is nothing to compare it with. Only when other songs are released can we talk about winners.
And this is clearly not anything like Salvador. That was new, this isn’t. singing in national language doesn’t make someone a winner.

LalehForWD
Guest
LalehForWD

Sorry all fans, but I think it’s a clear non-qualifier and even if a I truly dislike the concept of “outdated”, it is exactly my reaction to the song.

João Miguel
Guest
João Miguel

How do you know when you have heard only this song so far? How can you compare and even rank ?!

LalehForWD
Guest
LalehForWD

Well, you’re technically right of course. It’s about what you could call “gut feeling”. Right now very few knows how the other songs sounds like and we can probably only do “fair” comparison when the songs occur in the same circumstance under similar conditions. Even then the comparison is personal and only valid for that circumstance under those conditions. Moreover, overtime your personal taste and preferences will probably change several times. It’s a process involving a lot of aspects like visual appearance, charisma, show-act, affection, politics etc. Therefore, if not the song, we can pretty accurately guess some of these… Read more »

Mandy
Guest
Mandy

Thank God Albania has decided for a male singer instead of a screamin’ diva. Let’s admit men’s entries are far better than women’s or for couples and picked the best choice for Eurovision. If it was a choice to win FiK, not involving Eurofestival, Ekziston would be the perfect song.

James
Guest
James

Do you like screaming divos?

Jo
Guest
Jo

I don’t like when they scream just to get the jury. It’s the typical “jury bait”, either man or woman… Eurovision should be about the song, first of all, imo.

Nitzan
Guest
Nitzan

Great song and singer! Most people here hoping the native language stays is not surprising since Eurofans always tend to vote that way. But I don’t see how this specific song can benefit (points wise)@ from being sung in Albanian.

Jo
Guest
Jo

Very nice to see that most comments here are positive about this entry, even from some fans of Piedestal. Looks very promising…

AngieP
Guest
AngieP

That’s exciting! Eurovision season has began and we have the very first entry.

I’m so happy Eugent won! His song was the best and he deserved it. However, I’m afraid about the revamp, they should be careful. They can give the song strength but without ruining it. Also, although I think it would be as good in English, I believe there is no need to change the language. Keep it real and keep it in Albanian.

With the right staging and an amazing performance Albania can qualify in Lisbon. Good luck to them!

Leo M
Guest
Leo M

I like the last part but it takes a while to get going and I kind of lost interest halfway through. It’s likely to get a big revamp though per usual for an Albanian entry

Dew
Guest
Dew

I’m so happy he won!!!!!
His vocals slay the pack, giving the song a big chance to be a qualifier for me.
Please keep it in Albanian and make the song more memorable in 3 minutes!

Héctor
Guest
Héctor

So happy with this… “Mall” was my favourite entry. I hope they keep the Albanian lyrics and the revamp is successful, not like every other year…

It seems the Eurovision Season begins great for me!

Jeremsback
Guest
Jeremsback

I am sorry but don’t like it, I saw comments and thought, hey it seems we have a good song there, and after listening it, I am so disappointing, Albania continue to surf on screaming singers with timeless song and forgetable song …. prefered piedestal ! Just my opinion …..

Étoile
Guest
Étoile

Congratulations Eugent for winning the Festivali i Këngës. I really like his performance. I’ll see with the revamp version what his song’ll become but I’m very pleased that Albania is sending something different. Good Luck to Albania. :3

Zebb
Guest
Zebb

Great result for Ekziston, well deserved!
Very good winner, stable and strong. Now fingers crossed for fine shortening and perfomance improvements. My guess the build-up till chorus will become shorter and there’s a chance that they’ll rework second part. 4:30 is that much longer that it may even open another perspectives and profit for this tempo.

Zebb
Guest
Zebb

Also a note: cameras were utilised much better for Ekziston. I feel like coming up to stage routine, it’s yet to be solved for Eugene and his team.

Merry Christmas you all
Guest
Merry Christmas you all

YEARNING A long wait sweet and fiery A few steps beat like a heart tonight I follow her rhythm Two hands that guide feel the warmth This yearning that burns doesn`t know boundaries nor distance Nothing in this world can explain this feeling when two hearts unite and beat like one I want to hush tonight lay in this bed where the divine dreams heal every wound. To see her portrait Moments pass by seconds don`t forgive hours go but they can`t stop the feeling, no As by magic, the moon gazes our stares it brings me your vision. Undried… Read more »

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

Wow. Full marks for lyrics.

Nikki
Guest
Nikki

The lyrics are beautiful. I lover it even more now I know what it actually says.

azaad
Guest
azaad

I think it drones on, but the Albanian lyrics are certainly beautiful. If they’re opting for a revamp rather than a new song, they should stick with Albanian (although given Salvador’s victory, I think they’ll be more inclined to do so than previously).

AzeriChico
Guest
AzeriChico

Well, even though my favourite was Piedestal, I am glad they are trying something different this year. I like the song, I like him. Hopefully he will make Albania proud. (plz do not translate the song!) Good luck

CROlena
Guest

The song is great
Something new from Albania, male vocal, refresh and i hope it will go to final.
Past years it was not good, screaming woman and other.
Good luck Albania, great song 🙂

Ülker
Guest
Ülker

What a strong entry! I love it and it will do very well in Lisbon, mark my word! Certainly a qualifier, and in case there is no other stronger entry it may even win ESC 2018. And if it does win, it will be among my all time favorites: Every Teardrop & Heroes.

Roelof Meesters
Guest
Roelof Meesters

Piëdestal was My absolute favorite, but Mall was the best choice, Piëdestal was like Bote and they didn’t qualify, and Inis Probably wouldn’t qualify as well. Mall Will stand out even If it’s just a little bit.

Merry Christmas you all
Guest
Merry Christmas you all

Good for you Albania. Take note Germany.

Jo
Guest
Jo

The shade is getting thicker here…

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

It’s not dark yet, though.

Jo
Guest
Jo

Mods delete it. Well done!

Jo
Guest
Jo

*deleted

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

Something was deleted and I didn’t notice? 😮

West
Guest
West

He wasn’t my favourite before the contest – I didn’t hate the song, it just felt it was missing something. But his live performance was amazing – he definitely deserved to win.
I wonder however if after shortening the song doesn’t loose it’s oomph – like Italy’s song this year.
Also I hope they give it English name, but keep the lyrics in albanian.

Erasmus
Guest
Erasmus

Another non-qualification for Albania… Yeah, it’s not bad, but not good enough for Euroviion final, and as someone said before “Time” was better than this, and it was send by Ukraine, a country that always does well not matter what. But please keep it at least in Albanian.!

WALLY SPAIN
Guest
WALLY SPAIN

Perhaps it’s early to anticipate it, but Eugent Bushpepa probably will be in my Top10. A magnificent job from Albania. It’s the best beginning we could imagine for Lisbon 2018.

EUROFAN MEXICO
Guest
EUROFAN MEXICO

this is top 10 song congrats ALBANIA

St. Claus + MC
Guest
St. Claus + MC

My favourite was Inis, but I am happy that Albania tries something different this year. Hopefully they will keep it in Albanian and do not kill it with revamp. :p

Roy Moreno
Guest
Roy Moreno

Inis was my winner but I’m sure Eugent will do very well, his voice is great and I only hope the revamp will not ruin the song

Gobio
Guest
Gobio

Yessss I have a new favorite, and I think this one will last for a while.

Win
Guest
Win

Told you Eugent would win, and Redon was going to be close. They are two powerhouses in their respective genres, so it’s no surprise Eugent rocked the rock and Redon dominated the romance. Eugent was undisputable, although Inis is a really strong newcomer in the industry. Anyway, here is Eugent imitating some cool singers, including everyone’s favorite FIK daddy Kozma Dushi, and Suus by Rona (minute 12:00): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o2Kkg1fOm5g

Bb
Guest
Bb

So happy Eugent won. “Mall” is a great song, bound to put Albania back in the final so long as he keeps it in Albanian which he has indeed said will likely be the case in post FiK interviews.

D
Guest
D

Almost every year I love the Albanian entry when it wins FiK, but then as other songs are revealed it starts to fade away, and the revamp absolutely kills it. I’m hoping this won’t be one of those years, because I really love “Mall”.

Esbiørn
Guest
Esbiørn

Lovely nordic vibes! Certainly a qualifier, if it wins, it would be next to my favorite ESC winners: Only Teardrops and Heroes

Steven
Guest
Steven

Ugh. Orgesa should’ve won.

Sabrina
Guest
Sabrina

I hope they don’t translate it to english and that they cut it without a big revamp, just bringing the chorus earlier. Oh, and keep things classy on the stage please. Lindita’s stage was a huge mess.

I’m still on the fence about the chances of a song like this (the running order will be very important), but I’m happy for Eugent, because he delivered it even better than on the semifinal.

edrina
Guest
edrina

i totally agree with you, especially about the scene. I hope they make it simple like in the official music video of FiK.

Maybe Eugent reads this?

Eduardo Fernandes
Guest
Eduardo Fernandes

I really liked it. Great performance. Great song.

Alex
Guest
Alex

Wonderful vocalist. It’s a shame that the quality of the audio on this recording isn’t great.

Honestly, the song is about a 6/10 for me. It’s good but I hope it sounds better than the live performance, in terms of the instrumentation. I’m reminded of Deli from Mor ve Otesi (ESC 2008), and that song was much better.

Denis
Guest
Denis

A male solo singer? Refreshing..
The song is nice and is a qualifier but doubt it will do well. It’s a bit outdated and forgettable but he performs the hell out of it! Still a spot in the finale is a win for Albania..

João Miguel
Guest
João Miguel

You can listen to the studio version here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DocjosVM5cU

Crystal
Guest

I looked back on Albania’s Eurovision entries on Wikipedia, and he is actually the first male solo artist to represent Albania since 2007! Since then, only one other male act has represented Albania (a duo in 2013), but I believe all the other Albanian acts since 2007 have been female artists. I thought it was worth noting.

Briekimchi
Guest
Briekimchi

I noticed that, too!
One of the reasons that I thought that Inis was probably going to win.

Bartosz Morawski
Guest
Bartosz Morawski

I’m excited because this song was my favorite. On the revamp, I would personally petition to the reference group to keep the original time. I know that won’t happen, but I believe the song would song good in either language because the song allows for that.

Bartosz Morawski
Guest
Bartosz Morawski

*be

João Miguel
Guest
João Miguel

This screams ESC winner to me! Good luck Eugent!

Marcus (Day One)
Guest
Marcus (Day One)

Meh
Good for Albania but that’s not really saying much.
Likely to come between 9-13 in the semi with it being a borderline qualifier.

Still sad about Orgesa not winning as it would be the most modern entry from Albania since 2015.

Nikki
Guest
Nikki

Congratulations Eugent, see you at Lisbon

Robyn Gallagher
Editor

After he performed, the crowd was chanting his name and I thought, if he doesn’t win there’ll be rioting. It’s a really good choice for Albania. “Mall” is strong enough as it is and doesn’t need a lot to be Eurovision ready – just editing down to 3 minutes, not a revamp. Albania to the grand final, please!

Utahrangerone
Guest
Utahrangerone

The man has a heaven-sent tenor voice, if I’ve ever heard one. And the fire in his eyes when performing.. he truly feels this thru every fiber of his being. The sign of a masterwork. Without understanding a single word that I can tell, I’m picked up and carried away with him in the well of energy and passion.. and then let down calmly and gently at the end. This is one I’ll “wear out” so-to-speak due to its sheer listenability. I’ve now seen the “Suus” footage from the link provided by Joao Miguel above… and good lord that man… Read more »

Polegend Godgarina
Guest
Polegend Godgarina

I’m listening to this for the first time now, and I must say I really like it. I love the timeless sound, the extraordinarily versatile vocals, and the nostalgic vibe. I’m relieved the Piedastal screamfest didn’t win, they’ve realized their screaming girl formula isn’t the tea.

Azaesc
Guest
Azaesc

Good choice, good luck Eugent!

Yael
Guest
Yael

What a beautiful song!!

blondboybc
Guest
blondboybc

Yes! Absolutely overjoyed at this result! Congratulations, Eugent! My fave from the beginning! I was confident he’d win after the first semi….he’s a welcome change from the last several years…will be at top of my list! He’s the ability and talent to make it to the final in Lisbon! Good to hear he’s going to keep it in Albanian!!
Little surprised at Redon getting second ahead of Inis, but there you go. The latter is young, so she’s got more opportunity in the coming years to win.

Rasmus
Guest
Rasmus

Right now i would say YES for Albania to qualify. In Albanias case i usually say no but this time i feel like they did the right choice.

This time they have a great melody in the song so i dont think the translation would be worse then the original song like usual.

Jo
Guest
Jo

He said he will keep it in Albanian. He seems to be competent, so I’m kind positive towards the final cut.

josh
Guest
josh

Source please?

Jo
Guest
Jo

I saw it on Twitter from one of these ESC blogs, not sure which one. However, many Albanian fans said this too, according to the after-show interview.