Welcome back to ESCBubble’s coverage for Eurovision 2021! It’s been a busy few days, and today marks the final set of first rehearsals for our semi finalists, with the countries performing in the second half of the second semi final getting their chance to take to the big stage.
If you are avoiding potential rehearsal spoilers then don’t read any further! Semi Final Two will take place at 21.00 CET on Thursday 20th May 2021 with sixteen countries competing for ten qualifying spots for the final.
Next to perform is… Albania!
I gasped when Anxhela Peristeri first appeared on the stage because no word of a lie that she looks incredible in a short silvery dress with her hair straightened. She commands the performance from the very start, with big LED smoke effects (red and blues) and then Albania make good use of flying camera angles to fill the stage. There are red LED backdrops, rings, more smoke/flame effects and a lot of selling it to the camera.
The big climax for the middle eight has an impressive light display and her vocal from start to finish is incredible. The Albanians have done a fantastic job of making this classic Balkan ballad feel modern and more of a midtempo. Her voice is flawless throughout, just a really wow package. Likely to be a lot of smoke or pyro effects added for the final middle eight and chorus – which does feel a little empty without, but we see in the last runthrough how impressive it will look with full use of the smoke machines. Well done Albania!
Anxhela Peristeri is a pretty big star in Albania already! Having a career spanning over a decade and being a household name for many in the region, Eurovision feels like a natural next step! Albanian broadcaster RTSH confirmed that the 2020 representative, Arilena Ara, would not be automatically invited back to represent Albania, meaning that long-running musical festival and national selection show Festivali i Kenges will return to select heir 2021 participant.
At Eurovision 2021, Anxhela Persisteri will be singing her selection winning song “Karma”, a drum driven Balkan ballad with an exquisite epic vibe to it. At times, it probably wouldn’t sound out of place on Age of Empires! The instrumentation is divine, and Anxhela has elevated it up to a mid-tempo with a further revamp. You can check out this revamp through the official music video here: