On November 25th, Minsk Arena will host the sixteenth Junior Eurovision Song Contest. It will be the second time that the event takes place in the venue in Belarus’s capital. With Ukraine’s last minute confirmation, a record-breaking 20 countries will participate.
Therefore, it is the perfect time to look back at the journeys of all of this year’s participating countries in the contest. Today, let’s continue our journey and travel to another of the contest’s newer countries: Albania!
- Country: Albania
- Broadcaster: RTSH
- Debut appearance: 2012
- Number of participations: 4
- Highest finish: 5th (2015)
- Lowest finish: Last (2012)
Back to the very beginning…
Albania made their Junior Eurovision debut back in 2012 in Amsterdam. It was Igzidora Gjeta who had the honour of being the country’s first representative at the contest. Unfortunately, however, Albania was not off to a great start as she finished last with 35 points with her song “Kam një këngë vetëm për ju“.
Albania’s Journey so far
After their unsuccessful debut, RTSH decided to take a two-year break and missed out on participating in Kyiv and Malta. However, the country returned to the contest in Bulgaria in 2015. Following a national final called “Festivali i Këngës për Femije“, Albania picked then-14-year-old Mishela Rapo to be their second representative at the contest. In Bulgaria, she sang the song “Dambaje“. The return was very successful as Albania placed 5thswith 93 points. To date, that remains the country’s best result at the contest and only top 10 placing. Since their return, Albania have continued to participate every year. In 2016 in Malta it was Kleta Qehaja who represented Albania with her song “Besoj” finishing 13th with 38 points. In 2017, after winning Kids Fest 2017, Ana Kondra earned the right to represent Albania with her song “Don’t touch my tree”. She too finished 13th on the night of the show with 67 points.
Looking ahead to 2018
Kids Fest returned for another year on the 23rd of September and 10-year-old Efi Gjika defeated the competition of 15 other acts (including 2017 entrant Ana Kondra) and will represent Albania in Belarus with her song “Barbie“.
My favourite Albanian entry!
So, I was trying very hard not to pick 2018 entries as my favourites because I wanted to first see them staged at the contest. However, with Albania I just couldn’t. I simply love their 2018 entry!
Although I think that all the Albanian entries are good (the last place is 2012 was not deserved), 2018 is something exceptionally good, in my opinion! As I said on many articles before, upbeat songs are my cup of tea and this song really stands out for me in a very ballad rich year. Currently, it stands as my second favourite (behind Armenia) but I can expect it to rise to the top if the staging is good. While I am not entirely sure how the song will do, it could really get forgotten or really give Albania their best ever result (fingers crossed it is the latter) I am very hopeful she will deliver. Besides, considering that Toy won the adult version of the show, this feels like the adequate winner of the Junior Edition. And I like it a whole lot more than Toy if you ask me!
Every journey so far!
- F.Y.R. Macedonia
- The Netherlands
What is your favourite Albanian entry at Junior Eurovision? Do you think they will be able to achieve their best result in Minsk?
Let us know in the comment section below or on all social media platforms @ESCXTRA.
And.. don’t forget to come back next Tuesday for another journey down another country Junior Eurovision memory lane! Only 5 countries left before it’s the contest time!