During Night 1 of Festivali i Këngës, Era Rusi had us shouting “you glow girl!” Bedecked in what appeared to be gold lamé with golden fringe, she surrounded herself with backing dancers also wearing gold. Call it Yellow Brick Road realness or a treasure trove of gold with Era as the crown jewel — either way this performance burned a bright image onto our retinas and we’re still admiring it.
Known for her infectious rhythms and ability to translate traditional sounds into modern pop, Era whipped her hair, stomped across the stage and stayed the centre of attention even as flames shot into the air and men and women beat on oversized drums. It’s no wonder Twitter was alight with positive comments for one of their pre-contest faves.
Prior to the filming of the grand final, Era caught up with our Erdi in Tirana. Why’d she come back after losing out last year? “I think artists should never stop dreaming and trying to achieve their dreams,” she says. “My dream is to perform in a big stage with so many people. This is my dream.”
The idea to return stemmed from a meeting with the “Zjarri im” songwriters. That translates as “my fire” and fits well with Era’s interest in the flame.
“I liked it very much. The thing I like the most is fire. I have a feeling that this song is one of my best.”
Well aware that she has a growing international following, Era promised to release an English-language version after the contest.
“Even if I will not win the Festivali i Këngës, I want to make it in English. We will have another version of the song. It’s all for the fans.”
This does not, however, mean that she’d want to sing in English at Eurovision. That remains unclear.
Do you think that Era could win it all? Is her song among your favourites? Let us know in the comments box down below!