Production problems are becoming a recurring theme in first rehearsals.

And in Albania’s first rehearsal at Eurovision 2019, Jonida Maliqi faced an uphill battle to land the package.

Her performance itself was fantastic. She has perhaps the strongest female vocal in the field and put in a note perfect performance.

The vocal drips with emotion and facially she translates the Albanian language lyrics effortlessly.

Unfortunately the staging felt empty. The promised eagle failed to materialise, even by final run through, and like so many other stages this year it felt too dark.

There was a promising fire rain effect on the screens, but it’s lost because the overall stage is too black.

Albania also appear to be using the manoeuvrable plinths from the stage, but because lighting is too subtle again they appear to blend into the background.

Essentially Albania’s issue is that the production is squandering their artist’s potential.

Jonida Maliqi — “Ktheju tokës”: Reviews and Reactions

Albania: First rehearsal at Eurovision 2019

Albania: First press conference 2019

Read all of our Eurovision rehearsal reviews

Photo Credit: EBU

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Jo.
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Jo.

pls qualify ;(

Because I can
Guest
Because I can

Someone should tell her Cleopatra was Greek/Egyptian, not Albanian.

Bad Hajri
Guest
Bad Hajri

Who cares about Cleopatra, we have queen Teuta ?
Google it and learn a bit more, maybe you can get a bit smarter than ??

Lourdes
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Lourdes

I think this is such a let down. They should just add smoke and fire, just like the video. No need for eagles and rain. They should have also kept the same dress like the video, or something similar, with earth-y colors. I thought they had a clear vision, and I hope they go back to that.

Nicolas
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Nicolas

The tattoos OMG, Albania once again banned in China for the second consecutive year.

Hannah
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Hannah

Good for China, otherwise they would be forced to listen this totally off the key performance…no really, woman have powerful voice, but she is totally out of tune…. it was horrible…song in official video was ok, but live…arrrgh!!

alex
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alex

Hopefully, they can iron out the staging and visuals. They NEED IT.

Geo
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Geo

Vocally amazing, but the staging looked too simple. I thought they’ll at least use the effects from the video on the leds in the background. A wiser staging could lift Albania’s chances…. Otherwise, I’m afraid it’ll get lost and other poor songs but with eye catching performances (Norway, Denmark, Moldova) will qualify instead of Albania, and it’ll be a pity….

Sabrina
Guest
Sabrina

The lack of a more elaborate staging is understandable, since last year it worked well when they put all the focus on how amazing their vocalist was (I still feel ghoosebumps when I rewatch Eugent’s performance). Jonida is also great and her singing alone can do the trick, but we shouldn’t forget that there was a band along with Eugent, which made the whole thing a rock concert. So Albania should really amp the lighting and get this eagle right, because this song deserves the final and at least another left-side of the scoreboard placing.

ESCJudge
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ESCJudge

That’s when you spend most of money for the dress.
Albania’s songs have such a potential… and in the end… forefight because of staging.
Again.

Still one of my favourites.

Maria
Guest
Maria

she change everything

Maria
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Maria
Staging Mess
Guest
Staging Mess

The stage is ridiculous, they might as well have kept the blinking traffic lights and it would have been more eventful. This is like watching that static Eneda Tarifa stage all over again. When they said “to be continued at Eurovision”, we thought the whole storm and fire and eagle effects where going to be brought on stage. A better stage would have been just a pitch black stage with nothing in it but her. The current one looks cheap and outdated. The dress also makes her triple in size, and not in a good way like Australia. Albania didn’t… Read more »

lolspain
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lolspain

Don’t worry guys. Just texted Jonida, her composer and the head of the Albanian delegation on Instagram. Told them what’s wrong with the stage and why you guys here on wiwibloggs think it’s gonna hurt the song chances.
So I hope they’ll read the long message I wrote.

Loin dici
Guest

Since this is, once again, a very nationalistic entry, it’s… sort of… normal to have her staged in traditional Albanian dress and surrounded with black and red. I do think it’s too simplistic regarding the backdrop.

Ksenija
Guest
Ksenija

I don’t like the dress, i get it’s traditional but it doesn’t look modern. Her vocals are flawless as always.

Colin
Guest
Colin

”it’s traditional but it doesn’t look modern” That’s exactly what that means. Why should it look modern anyway?

Ksenija
Guest
Ksenija

She doesn’t wear an actual traditional outfit like poland this year, if that was the case i wouldn’t say a word; her dress is actually stiled/designed and it doesn’t look modern at all, on the contrary, it looks like a mess

Ezal
Guest
Ezal

Look how tastes differ, I think Polish girls have awful costumes, it doesn’t look traditional, it’s overcrowded with veils and some things on their’s head

Colin
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Colin

Watching YT response thus far:
CRO + 1139 – 774 (mixed reviews)
MAL + 2487 – 454 (positive reviews)
LIT + 949 – 471 (mixed reviews)
RUS + 4792 – 858 (positive reviews)
ALB + 1290 – 259 (positive reviews)

EDIT:
NOR +90 -10 (very positive reviews)

Una
Guest
Una

Colin, I don’t understand the Maths here. Can you help?

Colin
Guest
Colin

First numbers represent number of likes the official rehearsal video got, while the second number are dislikes. By that we can see majority of voters liking every song but Lithuania and Croatia.

Ezal
Guest
Ezal

Very nice costume, ”Cleopatra” style suits epic-ethno flavour of the song, vocals good.. But, I expected more things going on the stage, this song definitely has potential for better staging.. Still, it’s a qualifier imo

Una
Guest
Una

Where does “Cleopatra” come from? And doesn’t Albania have a strong female figure? Be it Jonida herself.

Ezal
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Ezal

What do you mean, you don’t like costume?

Una
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Una

No, I don’t mind the costume at all. It’s fine. It’s just that I don’t see the connection between an ancient Egyptian Queen and Albania.

Melody
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Melody

It has nothing similar to Cleopatra

Purple Mask
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Purple Mask

The funny thing is, I too thought of “Cleopatra” when I saw Jonida. I’m not sure why – maybe the outfit just enhances that look of hers that she has already? A curiosity.

Ezal
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Ezal

Yes ofc it’s not Cleopatra, that’s why I put it as ”Cleopatra”, but it reminded me too when I saw it.

o yes
Guest
o yes

I hope they can fix these production issues before the live shows, I absolutely adore this song and her voice and it would be a shame if they didn’t qualify because of the staging.

Quint
Guest
Quint

WHY are they turning the LED screens?! Last year we didnt have them so please use them now, i think if they showed the full screen it would look better

Solo
Guest
Solo

Poor. It’s just a song, and there’s nothing more interesting.

Denis
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Denis

She has the voice but I expected more from such an ethnic entry. It’s underwhelming.
Will reach final though and end up between 12to 17 place.

Skiwalko
Guest
Skiwalko

I don’t know about you, but I really like that look – I definitely prefer it to her dress from NF. The staging seems to be minimalistic, yet I think it was a good way to present this song on stage. Vocally, she’s on another level.

TheRainFromAbove
Guest
TheRainFromAbove

Very strange dress……

melody
Guest
melody

if you had a minimal knowledge about the traditional costumes of Albania, wouldn’t find it strange

Polegend Godgarina
Guest

she looks like demetria lovato there, living for this look. she’ll outshine sergey whew

Name
Guest
Name

The delusion…

Polegend Godgarina
Guest

well she has a good song and he doesn’t to begin with

Colin
Guest
Colin

They both do. Both should do well IMHO.

Ugna
Guest
Ugna

I‘m actually soooo worried about this, she‘s my favorite but idk how the juries/televoters will react to this

Hrvatska
Guest
Hrvatska

I hope that the second time will be better because there is potential, and the Queen of the Balkans must show her strength and the Balkan soul Jonida Maliqi my queen Balkan

Because I can
Guest
Because I can

Balkan Queen? Lmao.
Nevena, Katerine, Tamara and Ester deserve this title more. These are real queens. Beautiful, strong and memorable.

Melody
Guest
Melody

Why do they deserve it more? none of them deserve it but definitely she isn’t less than them. You’re just being racist. Are you from ex Jugoslavia?

Ksenija
Guest
Ksenija

I don’t know where is he/she from but Romania and Greece weren’t part of Yugoslavia so i don’t get this question. And how is stating his/her musical opinion racist? These days everything is racist, the word doesn’t have any weight anymore.

Una
Guest
Una

I think the misunderstanding comes from the fact that both Greece and Romania are part of the Balkan peninsula. I think almost all of Greece of the “continent” part, not the islands. And a small part of South-East Romania in the vicinity of the Black Sea is part of the Balkan peninsula. Just in strict geographical terms.

Melody
Guest
Melody

Are you his/her advocate?

Luli
Guest
Luli

Queen of Balcan??
Sooo dramatic. She is good but not to god.
I can see prettier and better vocals her.

Salem
Guest
Salem

Slightly underwhelmed by the stage, but Jonida’s stand-out voice and hearfelt expressions will send this one through, I’m sure Extra points for being the only song in semifinal 2 performed fully in it’s native language 🙂

Polegend Godgarina
Guest

not everyone has to overdo it. it’s cute some artists make their song and talent speak for themselves.

Salem
Guest
Salem

I do agree. The most impressive part of this act is without doubt Jonida herself and her voice, so as long as the shots focus on her (and preferably quite close up so we can see her facial expressions), this will stand out. I still hope they fix the issues with lighting though.

Maria
Guest
Maria

in her dress she heave only gold 24k

Bigger
Guest
Bigger

Well first of all she sang again perfectly and every time it catches my attention. I don’t think I have ever heard her sing badly these weeks, and I hope that people would see the potential because in the odds she for some reason seems to be borderline qualifier (11 of semi final?)

But I’m a little shocked about the outfit. I don’t know if I like it. I liked her look in the preshows much better. A bit more basic, but more “her”. Anyway I can’t wait to see the camera shots

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

Owh nooo!
I really like Jonida’s song, and I’m a bit upset about this one. Hopefully the Second Rehearsal can fix things in time.

Alessio
Guest
Alessio

.