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April 5, 2024

🇦🇱 Road to Malmö: Albania

We can not wait for the Eurovision Song Contest in Malmö. Therefore, we have a closer look at one of the contestants every day. Today: Albania. Besa Besa Kokëdhima, known as Besa, is a famous singer from Albania. She was born on May 29, 1986, in Fier, Albania. When she was 15, she moved to the UK to study. Her music career started in 2003 with her first song, “Më Beso,” which won an award. She released her first album in 2006 with songs made with famous Albanian musicians. Besa has done really well in music contests. She won an R&B award for her song “Lëshoje Hapin.” She tried to get into Eurovision with “Nothin’ Gonna Change” and won an award for Best Female Singer in 2010 with “Kalorësi i Natës.” She’s also known for songs like “Fishekzjarre” and “Burning.” Besides singing, Besa judged on The Voice of Albania and released albums that got great reviews. In 2022, she sang “En Equilibre” in French. Recently, she was chosen to represent Albania in Eurovision 2024 with “Zemrën n’dorë” after winning the televote. Festivali i Këngës Festivali i Këngës is a prestigious music competition held annually in Albania, beginning in 1962. It’s famous for showcasing new talents and original songs across various genres, becoming a cornerstone of Albanian culture. Over the years, it has evolved but always remains true to celebrating Albanian music and creativity. This festival also serves as Albania’s method for selecting its Eurovision Song Contest entry since 2004, adding an international dimension to its significance. Winners gain not only national fame but also the chance to represent Albania on the Eurovision stage, making it a highly anticipated event in the country’s musical calendar. Since last year, a jury decides the winner, televote decides who will represent Albania in the Eurovision Song Contest. Besa won the televote this year with the song “Zemrën n’dorë”, which is now translated into English, titled “Titan”. Albania in the Eurovision Song Contest The first ever Albanian eurovision song was “The image of you” by Anjeza Shahini in 2004. “Titan” will be the 20th Albanian Eurovision song. Over the years, Albania has reached the Grand Final in many occasions. However, only one time the Albanians managed to reach the top-5: that was in 2012 with Rona Nishliu and her song “Suus”; she reached the 5th place. The Bookmakers Currently, Albania is 32nd in the betting odds to win the contest. However, the experience is that Albania reaches the final quite easily, so there is serious hope for Besa. The song And this is the song:

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🇲🇹 Road to Malmö: Malta

We can not wait for the Eurovision Song Contest in Malmö. Therefore, we have a closer look at one of the contestants every day. Today: Malta. Sarah Bonnici Sarah Bonnici is a singer from Malta, born in Gozo on May 30, 1998. Her dad, Marcel Bonnici, is a big deal, being the CEO of Mercury Towers and a football club. Sarah is super smart too, with a master’s in accountancy. When she was younger, Miriam Christine taught her about music. In 2009, she did really well in a song contest in Malta, getting third place. The next year, she won a singing festival with a song Miriam Christine wrote and was even named the best singer there. She also danced in the Junior Eurovision Song Contest that year. As a teenager, Sarah sang in song contests all over, like in Bulgaria, Romania, and Hungary. She even won a festival in Romania with her song. In 2018, she was on X Factor Malta and kept making music. In 2022, she sang “Heaven” in another big Malta song contest. Then, in 2023, she sang “Loop” and won, making her Malta’s choice for the Eurovision Song Contest in 2024. Malta Eurovision Song Contest The national preselection in Malta is called Malta Eurovision Song Contest. This year, four semifinals were held with 9 songs each. Kurt Calleja (eurovision 2012) was one of the participants, but didn’t make it to the final. Twelve other songs did. Sarah Bonnici’s “Loop” was the clear favourite of the jury, while the televoter prefered Matt Blxck’s “Banana”. However, it was not enough for “Banana” to win the contest.  Malta in the Eurovision Song Contest The first ever Maltese entry came in 1971. Joe Grech sang in Maltese “Marija L-Maltija” end ended up at the bottom of the scoreboard. After participation in 1972 and 1975, Malta quit. They returned in 1991 to never quit again. “Loop” will be the 36th Maltese Eurovision song. Malta never won the contest, but in 2002 (Ira Losco with “7th wonder”) and 2005 (Chiara with “Angel”) they were the runner up. The last few years it is quite hard for Malta to do well in the contest. Destiny did well with a 7th place in 2021, but last year The Busker didn’t make it to the final.   Chiara The Bookmakers At this moment, Malta doesn’t do very well in the betting odds, with a 30th place to win the final. But staging and performance in Malmö might change all that as we all know. The song And this is the song:  

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