Glossy wave icon. Free flag icons from AlbaniaALBANIA
SONG   "Suus" (Personal)
SINGER   Rona Nishliu
MUSIC Florent Boshnjaku  LYRICS Rona Nishliu
DRAW   #5 in the first semi-final



While no longer the first country to choose its song for Baku (that honour went to Switzerland), Albanian broadcaster RTSH was again very early in selecting its Eurovision entry. Festivali i Këngës, the contest which has been used to select the Albanian Eurovision selection, celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2011. On October 22nd, RTSH revealed the performers for the selection and on December 17th, the song titles and songwriters were announced.

Two semi-finals, each with 14 songs were held on December 26th and 27th and ten songs from each semi-final, progressed to the final which was held on December 29th at the Palace of Congress in Tirana and hosted by Nik Xhelilaj, Enkeleida Zeko and Hygerta Sako. In a lengthy show, the winner was chosen by a jury and the runaway winner was the song "Suus" performed by Rona Nishliu, who also wrote the lyrics of the entry.



Rona Nishliu is not only a famous pop singers, she is also a devoted experimental jazz musician. She won the honour of representing Albania in the Eurovision Song Contest at the second attempt, and she will sing Suus in Baku.

Rona Nishliu was born in Mitrovica on August 25th 1986 . Already as a high school graduate, she became known for her appearance in the talent show "Ethet & Krasta Show" which was held in Tirana during 2004. Music remains her passion. She took part in Festivali i Këngës, which is the Albanian national selection for the Eurovision Song Contest, in 2004 together with Teuta Kurti and Vesa Luma, and the trio was awarded the first junior prize.

Even though Rona Nishliu is known for being a pop singer in Albania, Kosovo, Macedonia and Montenegro, she is actually a devoted experimental jazz musician, too. Her interpretation is characterized with nuances of soul music influences as well. Her vocal range and interpretative power are her strongest points.

Humanitarian work is an important field of action for Rona Nishliu. As a student she organized humanitarian concerts in Kosovo, and in 2009 she took part as a guest lecturer in the UNDP activity on Awareness Raising for the Importance of Volunteerism for Youngsters in Vushtri. Apart from that, she actively supports people with Autism, and she is a chairperson of the Institute for Sustainability and Development of Youth in Kosovo.

Rona became citizen of Albania on January 12th 2012 with a decree of the President of Albania, Bamir Topi.



As one of the earliest songs to be chosen for Baku, the Albania entry gained a lot more attention than many of the other songs competing in the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest. "Suus" certainly divided opinions, given the unconventional nature of the song and the performance of Rona Nishliu. Given that the version of "Suus" that won the Albanian final was over four minutes long, a major re-arrangement was needed to meet the three minute limit, demanded by Eurovision and there was some consideration given to changing the song to English for Baku. However the version of the song that was recorded in Los Angeles made very little change to the original, only removing a long instrumental passage.

Despite having no international promotion, the song is in the middle of the ranking in internet polls. Perhaps more surprisingly, despite getting a very poor position in the running order, Albania is among the Top 10 ranked songs to qualify from the first semi-final with both bookmakers and prediction polls, although at 200/1, it is one of the outsiders to win the contest in Baku. .


Date Rehearsal Press Conference
Sunday May 13th 14:55 - 15:35 16:20 - 17:00
Thursday May 17th 13:30 - 14:00 14:45 - 15:15
*Baku is four hours ahead of Ireland and the schedule has still to be confirmed officially






  Running Order
  Fan Polls





  • First entry: 2004
  • Number of previous entries: 8
  • Best result: 7th (2004) 
  • Worst result: 17th (twice), failed to qualify (3 times).  
  • Qualification record: 4/7 (57% success)




"I took time to warm to this. The original version was a bit "full on" for Eurovision, but reducing it to three minutes has tightened it up nicely.  It certainly is a very dramatic song and Rona sings it with real passion, but it will be a challenge for the the average televoter and it may depend on the juries to qualify. I think it's 50/50 for qualifying". - Keith Mills


"I personally really like the Albanian song because its very emotional and her voice is super. I can understand why people don't like this song but for me its great. I would love to see Rona in the final and this could reach the top ten thanks to the jury." - Jack Cuffe (U.K.)

"There's always one song that I hear, and I love, but I know will do terribly. This is that song for this year. Beautiful, passionate, but bound to turn viewers off." - Sean P. Casey (U.S.A.)

"The first Albanian entry I've ever genuinely disliked. This is the kind of non-descript screechy ballad I hate in ESC (the type of song that has been over- presented within the last two years) and although it might get backup from the jury I can't see it going anywhere. Nice dreadlocks though!." - Olivia Gavazansky  (U.K.)

"Discombobulated nonsense. Shipwrecked, crawled to shore, and is now bemoaning her fate rather than giving thanks for her rescue." - David Berlinger (Israel)

"Strong but difficult song which I think is not accessible enough for everyone. I'm afraid that the screamy parts will make people drop out.” - Nicky Peeters (Belgium)