Albania was the first to select for the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest. Will the revamped “Fairytale” by Eneda Tarifa lead the country to its second final in a row?
Song Title: “Fairytale”
Artist: Eneda Tarifa
Second Semi-Final: Position #18
Last year’s entry: “I’m Alive” – Elhaida Dani (16th Place (Tie))
Albania bounced back last year by appearing in its first Eurovision Song Contest final since 2012. The country puts itself at a slight disadvantage every year by selecting the winner of the Festivali e Kenegs competition (which is held in December), but they do take advantage of the long lead time to make adjustments to their entries. How did this year’s entry — “Fairytale” by Eneda Tarifa — fare?
One of the reasons I enjoy Albania’s presence in the Contest: they make things delightfully tricky to prognosticate. As I mentioned way back when this song was initially selected, I got a whiff of Norway’s 2013 entry “I Feed You My Love” and that aroma has not gone away. I don’t think “Fairytale” is nearly as aggressive as Norway’s song, which is part of the reason I find this entry much more pleasant to listen to.
I think it’s poor strategy to give the song the same name as a former (and extremely popular) Eurovision winner, particularly when the word “Fairytale” doesn’t appear in the song. The lyrical simplicity could also be a stumbling block where the juries are concerned, though I do enjoy Tarifa’s vocals. If Albania can translate the artsy aesthetic from the video to the stage, this could be a compelling performance that may entice televoters.
However, there are a lot of female singers in the second semi-final, and Tarifa could get drowned out by the more powerful voices. Australia and Serbia will not be pulling their punches, nor will Ukraine’s Jamala, who could also present a challenge on artistry. This is going to be a tough semi-final for Albania to advance from. Here’s hoping for a fairytale ending.