Eurovision – Albania, Montenegro, Bosnia–Herzegovina

Heading up the eastern coast of the Adriatic Sea now. I don’t know much about this region, apart from the terrible war that happened in the 1990s. Did a little googling and discovered that these countries are actively promoting tourism, particularly as a less-crowded, less-expensive, equally historic and beautiful alternative to Western Europe. Tempting. Let’s see if the music tempts me further.

Rona Nishliu is representing Albania with the ballad, Suus

I chose this live performance video over the creepy, artsy video provided by Eurovision. Really, no legs? Creepy. The sound quality isn’t quite as good in the above video, but you get more of a sense of her as a performer, and she is amazing. What a voice! She sings with such passion, giving the song power and drama. I couldn’t find an English translation for “Suus,” so I don’t know what the song is about. I liked her voice better than I liked the actual song. Maybe her Eurovision performance will change my mind.

Rambo Amadeus is representing Montenegro with the rap song, Euro Neuro

I really liked the donkey. And speaking of tourism, I’ve got to wonder if this video was produced by the Montenegro Tourism Board. If so, good job. It makes the country look like a fun place to visit. The song itself was just silly and didn’t resonate with me at all. Rambo doesn’t so much sing as croak. Watching this after watching Rona Nishliu makes me wonder what Montenegro was thinking.

Maya Sar is representing Bosnia-Herzegovina with the ballad, Korake Ti Znam

Two donkeys! Take that, Montenegro. Plus, baby donkey, FTW. All silliness aside, this is a lovely ballad, song by a lovely woman with a beautiful voice. I found an English version on YouTube, “The Steps I Know.” Really nice. I liked it better than the original, not just because I could understand the lyrics. It sounded less produced, allowing her to really shine as a performer. I’ll be interested to see which version she picks for Eurovision.

This was a difficult choice. Rona Nishliu has an amazing voice, but I preferred Maya Sar’s song. I’ll have to go with Bosnia-Herzegovina here.

These videos are from the list of Eurovison 2012 contestants on YouTube.

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