Tonight, the 56th edition of the Festivali i Këngës (FiK) will begin, in the Albanian capital city, Tirana. The eventual winner is expected to represent Albania in Lisbon next year.
The 56th Festivali’s schedule
As usual, the FiK spans 3 days: Thursday, Friday and Saturday (21st, 22nd and 23rd of December).
- Thursday, December 21st — 1st Semi Final — 11 participants
- Friday, December 22nd — 2nd Semi Final — 11 participants
- Saturday, December 23rd — Final
While voting was opened to the public last year (although it only amounted to 1/13th of the votes), the 56th Festivali will come back to a 100% Jury Voting formula. RTSH will not announce the first qualifiers tonight, as the broadcaster decided to reveal them after the 2nd semi final.
It is yet unknown how many songs will qualify to the final.
Tonight, the show will start at 20:30 CET on RTSH 1, and anyone can watch it online thanks to the broadcaster’s website. The show should take 2 hours or your time.
==> Watch RTSH 1 HD online here <==
Tonight’s running order
The running order of both semi-finals was announced earlier this week. Here is the running order for tonight:
- Elton Deda – Fjalët
- Mariza Ikonomi – Unë
- Endri & Stefi Prifti – Mesazh
- Evans Rama – Gjurmët
- David & Genc Tukici – Të pandarë
- Voltan Prodani – E pamundur
- Eugent Bushpepa – Mall
- Rezarta Smaja and Luis Ejlli – Ra një yll
- Bojken Lako – Sytë e shpirtit
- Manjola Nallbani – I njëjti qiell
- Redon Makashi – Egziston
The first national selection of the season
The 1st Festivali i Këngës took place in 1966, during the Communist rule on Albania. An equivalent of the Sanremo Festival, it eventually gained the role of a National Selection in Albania. The winner of the 42nd edition, held in December 2003, Anjeza Shahini, represented Albania in Istanbul in Eurovision 2004. This was Albania’s first participation, and the country has always used the Festivali to choose their entries (except in 2015, when FiK winner Elhaida Daini changed song afterwards: the artist had still been selected by the Festivali, though).
Traditionally, the Festivali is the first national selection in a season, thus making Albania usually one of the first country to reveal their entry. It is the only National Selection not taking place the year of the corresponding Eurovision — as it takes place in December. However, all FiK songs must be fully sung in Albanian, and winning artists have sometimes made an English version specically for Eurovision. These versions have usually come with revamps of the music, and have usually been revealed in March, making Albania both one of the first and one of the last country to reveal its entry.
What do you think? Who can qualify tonight? Do you agree with RTSH’s choice to keep its selection 100% under jury voting? Tell us on the comments below or on social media!
Comments on Tonight: Albania’s Festivali i Këngës 2017 begins!