Albania Eurovision 2017 odds
Albania’s Festivali i Këngës was the first national final of the Eurovision 2017 season and it reached its glorious climax. After two semi-finals and hours of intervals, American Idol alum Lindita Halimi emerged victorious with her song “Botë” (World). Lindita had quite the competition on her hands to win this national selection, going up against 23 other participants. Points were awarded by 12 jurors, five of which lived outside of Albania, and a televote acted as a thirteenth juror. Second place was a whole 35 points away from her. However, she came third in the televote; Yll Limani won the televote with “Shiu”.
Kosovo-born Lindita found fame after winning the Albanian song contest Top Fest in 2009. And she gave her career another boost by taking part in Festival i Kenges in 2014, where she gave a jaw-dropping performance of her entry “Ste fal”, conferring her the status of fan favourite alongside eventual winner Elhaida Dani.
“It’s a big honour, just the fact that we get to be in an audience such as Eurovision, that’s so big, and the fans are amazing — they’re on fire all the time. And I feel like Albania’s always brought it…I will have to try to keep the same high standards that we always had.” she said at the press conference after her FiK victory.
Earlier 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, earning high praise from judges Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban and Henry Connick, Jr.
Those concerned about her ability to sing in English should cool it. Lindita speaks perfect English, is married to an American, lives in the United States and wrote the English lyrics to Elhaida Dani’s “I’m Alive”.Lindita revealed her intentions in a Facebook comment posted on Christmas Day: “The song’s language will change [to English] to make the message universal,” she wrote, adding that she’s already working on the text.
“Botë” is a strong and soulful ballad. It’s highly catchy and is one of those songs that you want to hear again. Lindita is a powerful singer, she blows us away with her ability to hold and stretch a long note; if she pulls that off perfectly on the Eurovision stage, it will sound amazing; just like Paula Seling did with Ovi in 2014 with their song “Miracle“.
Albania will compete in one of the 2 semi-finals for the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest on either the 9 or 11 May 2017, with the nation bidding for a place in the Grand Final on the 13 May 2017.
On 2nd of January, during an interview via skype for wiwibloggs, Lindita has teased a short part of her song revamped in English, adding that she is not sure if the part she sang will remain as it was at that moment because she hasn’t decided yet. Nevertheless, she is definitely converting into a fan favorite and taking into consideration that her ballad looks to be right on the taste of the ESC lover, Lindita’s chances of qualifying Albania to the Eurovision final after an absence of 1 year are growing.
Odds on Eurovision Song Contest 2016: Will Albania qualify for the final?