Happy FiKmas Day everyone!

We hope you’re all having a lovely day wherever you are – and it’s cause for Eurovision fans everywhere to celebrate even more, as the season really is about to get under way. In just two days time we will have our first confirmed Eurovision 2016 from Albania, and that process starts tonight with the first night of the 54th edition of Festivali i Këngës.

elhaidaaaa

Our roving reporters Simon and Rinor are in Tirana for the duration of the competition and will be reporting live throughout the day and of course during the event itself, which you can follow in our live blog below.

Here’s everything you need to know before tonight’s show gets under way:

  • 15 songs will compete in each semi-final, tonight and tomorrow night, for 18 spots in Sunday night’s final.
  • Tonight’s show begins at 20:45 CET.
  • You can watch the show live via the official RTSH website here.
  • Don’t forget, we’ll be liveblogging throughout the day below, and tweeting @escXtra. Make sure to follow our Instagram too (also @escXtra).

Finally, here is the running order for tonight’s show:

  1. Egzon Pireci – Triumf
  2. Simbol – Artiste
  3. Voltan Prodani – Dëgjoje Këngën o Atë
  4. Adrian Lulgjuraj – Jeto dhe ëndërro
  5. Sigi Bastri – Engjëll i Lirë
  6. Dilan Reka – Buzëqesh
  7. Luiz Ejlli – Pa Mbarim
  8. Nilsa Hysi – Asaj
  9. Orgesa Zaimi – Një Shishe Në Oqean
  10. Erga Halilaj – Monolog
  11. Florent Abrashi – Të ndjek çdo hap
  12. Teuta Kurti – Në Sytë e Mi
  13. Kosma Dushi – Një Kafe
  14. Aslajdon Zaimaj – Merrmë Që Sot
  15. Egert Pano – Mos Ik

Have a look at a preview of each of these songs here. Remember to check back here, our Twitter and our Instagram for updates throughout the day, and then live coverage of tonight’s show!


Simon Wells
December 25, 201510:31 pm

ultimahora The results of tonight’s qualifiers will be announced tomorrow along with those of the second semi!


Simon Wells
December 25, 201510:16 pm

Well, miming to their backing tracks anyway! Euphoria anyone?


Simon Wells
December 25, 201510:15 pm

On stage, we have three young singers from Gjeniu i Vogël (The little genius), a talent show in Albania. They’re singing A Million Voices by Polina Gagarina, No One by Maja Keuc and Love Injected by Aminata.


Simon Wells
December 25, 201510:15 pm

On stage, we have three young singers from Gjeniu i Vogël (The little genius), a talent show in Albania. They’re singing A Million Voices by Polina Gagarina, No One by Maja Keuc and Love Injected by Aminata.


Simon Wells
December 25, 201510:03 pm

And we’re slowly coming to an end. Egert Pano is up on stage, and he was presented by his own mother, who has been in the RTSH Orchestra for 39 years. Unfortunately, the song is not the finest she’s played!


Simon Wells
December 25, 20159:56 pm

Aslajdon is up next with “Merrmë që sot” (Take me from today). This brand of FiK rock is more contemporary than most. He gives a strong performance but something is missing. It’s decent though.


Simon Wells
December 25, 20159:48 pm

Rinor: Kosma Dushi is tonight’s most experienced FiKer. He’s participated over 30 times! This would’ve been very appreciated 40 years ago. It’s 2015 though.


Simon Wells
December 25, 20159:45 pm

Rinor: Teuta Kurti, probably tonight’s best and most popular singer is on stage. Her song is decent and her vocal is fantastic. One of the best tonight.


Simon Wells
December 25, 20159:40 pm

“I follow you in every step” sings Florent. A powerful voice and the guitarists get to enjoy this one. It’s very FiKky. There’s plenty energy but not so much melody.

Rinor: Loving Florent’s vocal but the song doesn’t do much, unfortunately.


Simon Wells
December 25, 20159:33 pm

Rinor: And we have a terrorist on stage? Yep, Seriali. (The serial). I don’t know what’s going on, but I don’t like it, and neither does the public. This is supposed to be funny, yes.


Simon Wells
December 25, 20159:22 pm

Erga Halilaj, who has accompanied Hersi and Elhaida Dani as a backing singer at Eurovision is up next. Musically it is effective but predictable.

Rinor: Her desperation to win FiK is too real but this is not the right song, unfortunately. Try again next year? She has very strong stage presence but the song doesn’t hold up.


Simon Wells
December 25, 20159:14 pm

Enkel Demi, one of the FiK hosts a few years ago is on stage to present the next song. It’s Orgesa Zaimi and Një shishe në oqean (A bottle in the ocean), inspired by the world troubles in 2015.


Simon Wells
December 25, 20159:10 pm

Nilsa Hysi is up next, with her self-penned Asaj (To her). It sounds way more contemporary than the songs we’ve heard til now. The staging is rather static but he vocal comes across very well.


Simon Wells
December 25, 20159:10 pm

Nilsa Hysi is up next, with her self-penned Asaj (To her). It sounds way more contemporary than the songs we’ve heard til now. The staging is rather static but he vocal comes across very well.


Simon Wells
December 25, 20159:06 pm

Another familiar face here, Luiz Ejlli returns once again. The applause begins before he appears. The beginning sounds like Gravity but then it simmers down a lot, yet we’ve got dramatic background images that aren’t quite in keeping. Song wise, not much is going on. Rinor says no.


Simon Wells
December 25, 20158:52 pm

Dilan Reka is up next. Decent song and well performed. Loving the key changes!


Simon Wells
December 25, 20158:49 pm

A big ballad is up next. Sigi Bastri delivers a powerful vocal performance. Both her voice and her shoes are impressive, but perhaps more so than the song.


Simon Wells
December 25, 20158:44 pm

Former winner Adrian Lulgjuraj is back on the FiK stage. This song sounds *a lot* better than “Identitet”. It manages to show off his velvety -yet -powerful voice very well. Po! Guitar solo time.


Simon Wells
December 25, 20158:36 pm

Song 3: “Degjoje kengen o Ate” performed by Voltan Prodani. I like the composition of slow ballad but I’m not sure it transmits well to an audience. Rinor says meh.


Simon Wells
December 25, 20158:30 pm

Song 2, we’ve gone Balkan rock. Artistja, performed by Gr. Simbol. Very FiKky! It’s waking up the crowd a bit, though the strings section appreciating the rest!


Simon Wells
December 25, 20158:27 pm

Merri Krris’mas to you too, Franko!


Simon Wells
December 25, 20158:26 pm

We have a surprise performance from one of our judges.. In Spanish. So FiKed up, we love it.


Simon Wells
December 25, 20158:20 pm

And we’re set for song 1 performed by Egzon Pireci. Straight into the mid – tempo mode here. Engines voice comes across very strong in the Palace. The electronica touches and piano work well in the verses. Will this emerging artist make it through to Sunday?


Simon Wells
December 25, 20158:11 pm

Guitar solo number one, and the show hadn’t started yet 🙂 https://twitter.com/escxtra/status/680480745442406401


Simon Wells
December 25, 20157:48 pm

There’s no rush, huh? RTSH are treating us very well- would rather like it to start though!


Simon Wells
December 25, 20157:11 pm

Doors opened at 8 to the general public. We have our tickets and accreditations and are warming our vocal cords for the theme tune. https://twitter.com/escxtra/status/680464650505465856


Simon Wells
December 25, 20156:44 pm

Mother Theresa Square is buzzing with Christmas markets, and the musicians and hosts are sneaking back into Pallati Kongresseve after a post-rehearsal break. Europe we are ready for the new NF season! https://twitter.com/escxtra/status/680457676900429825


Simon Wells
December 25, 20153:55 pm

…but Rinor and Simon have made it to Tirana to make the pilgrimage to Pallati i Kongresseve for FiK54. https://twitter.com/escxtra/status/680414269456920576


Simon Wells
December 25, 20153:49 pm

It’s been a 8+ hour bus ride from Skopje… https://twitter.com/escxtra/status/680107337940598784


Simon Wells
December 25, 20153:39 pm

Mirëmbrëma and greetings from Tirana!
We are live in Albania for the whole of FiK54 and will be bringing you Xtra coverage of the events that will see Albania’s representative for Eurovision 2016 crowned as the winner of Festivali i Kënges.

Content Manager: In the real world I work in PR and I love pizza, dogs and gin. When it comes to Eurovision I can be quite a cynical fan at times, but I can always be won over by a killer key-change.

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3 Comments

  1. Joel

    December 25, 2015 at 12:20 pm

    I’m looking forward to tonight.

    Reply

  2. marcell

    December 25, 2015 at 12:24 pm

    Luiz Ejlli to win, like his song in 2006 this is also good. Also great new website ESCXtra team i like it very much :;)

    Reply

  3. Haluk

    December 25, 2015 at 1:34 pm

    where can we watch show on internet? live stream on TVSH website is not working and Eurovision website only broadcast the final

    Reply

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