On Sunday afternoon, Albania’s Eurovision 2020 singer Arilena Ara didn’t exactly “Fall from the Sky”. But she did rise above Tirana inside a giant white birdcage.

Arilena, who won the most recent edition of Festivali i Këngës, did so as part of E diela shqiptare (Albanian Sunday) — a weekly six-hour talk show hosted by Albanian music legend and former FiK winner Ardit Gjebrea. You can watch the performance from 5:57 — yes, five hours and fifty-seven minutes — in the video below.

Arilena, who never misses a chance to create a fashion moment, makes the most of her cage — slipping into a black leather body suit with floor-sweeping cape. Her spaghetti strap top shows off her stunning décolletage, while her strong, feathered shoulders convey 80s businesswoman realness, crossed with the theatrics of Cersei Lannister.

The fabric of her cape billows in the wind to convey something ethereal and light. But the colour black and her pained tones convey the unsettled nature of a song about a woman gripped in battle. Fashion really can tell a story.

Arilena Ara: Birdcage performance on E diela shqiptare

As we all know, Albanian broadcaster RTSH recently confirmed its Eurovision 2021 participation and said that Festivali i Këngës would once again serve as the national final as long as the festival can go ahead in these difficult times defined by coronavirus.

But what if the festival can’t happen? It’s not yet clear how the artist will be chosen. Is it possible that Arilena might get her chance at ESC if FiK doesn’t happen?

Prior to the performance, host Ardit — who famously wrote Juliana Pasha’s “It’s All About You” — asked Arilena if she’d be participating in Eurovision. Her response was somewhat beguiling: “Eurovision 2021 will happen with me or without me.”

While this is definitely a statement of fact, it raises more questions than it answers.

Arilena’s birdcage will be familiar to anyone who watched her official music video for her Eurovision entry.

In the song, she sings as a woman that’s trapped in a seemingly abusive relationship — at least emotionally. The other party — it could be a lover, maybe a relative or even a supposed friend — has planted seeds of doubt in her mind. And instead of being her true self, she’s being held back. Her wings are clipped.

“Fall from the sky / Always making me hold back my wings / When I’m destined to fly” she sings. In this section of the music video, Arilena is found in the same human-size birdcage, imprisoning her.

In these scenes Arilena brings a strong, wild anger. She’s wearing a white moto jacket and her hair is big and curly — and there’s a sense that she’s fed up and ain’t gonna take it much longer. While she is imprisoned in a cage, her emotions can’t be contained.

Did you enjoy Arilena’s journey in the sky? Do you think she could be the FiK back-up artist? Let us know down below!

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Kaden
Kaden
2 months ago

This was one of the best songs for ESC2020 – my second place behind Bulgaria. Would have loved to see how it would have faired on the finals night……….

ESCFan2009
ESCFan2009
2 months ago

Queen! Imagine a dark cage, Arilena in a white dress and fire on stage <3

Esc addict
Esc addict
2 months ago

The girl can sing no doubt, maybe the big cage was the idea of the albanian team for their supposed staging for 2020, anyway it’s a good idea and it fits well the song.

esc2021rotterdam
esc2021rotterdam
2 months ago
Reply to  Esc addict

The official page of Albania in eurovision said it was supposed to be the 2020 staging

Christian
Christian
2 months ago

that would have been a big improvement in terms of staging for Albania

RoyalPilot116
RoyalPilot116
2 months ago

Let’s just all take a moment and appreciate the fact that Arilena can have Winner staging if she goes to Eurovision and give Albania its best result ever, no matter what the song is…

Briekimchi
Briekimchi
2 months ago

She was my 2020 winner and was really looking forward to seeing her perform but I don’t know, just always got the impression that Eurovision itself wasn’t like a “dream” or anything for her. Can’t imagine she’d compete in FiK again.

ani
ani
2 months ago

they already said fik will be held no matter what and it will be used for eurovision. Earlier eurovision albania announced all the rules including foreign writers allowed to be apart of the song like last year. Arilena’s statement is hinting that she will participate in fik 59.

Christian
Christian
2 months ago
Reply to  ani

another Dimitrov victory? I see that a little critical

Ashton
Ashton
2 months ago

don’t like the song (shaj was better by 100000%) but by GOD arilena can sing. will be waiting for some new music from her