After a marathon three-hour show, complete with a whole lot of adverts and a 15-minute performance from a ventriloquist, we have our finalists! The result itself was not announced until after the show, via Twitter.
Over the past two nights, each of the 22 acts of this year’s Festivali i Këngës have performed their songs twice. Last night, they each performed a traditional arrangement of their song with a full orchestra. Tonight, they were supposed to perform their song as if it was on the Eurovision stage with a backing track…which some did. Rather than do as they were told and perform the final version, some acts brought out special guests for their performances. Among these special guests was Aurela Gaçe, who won Festivali i Këngës 47 back in 2010 and was brought out by Marko Strazimiri & Imbro.
22 become 14…eventually
So who are the finalists? The jury, comprised of Albanian music industry experts and some school children, chose their 14 favourite performers to go through to Saturday night’s final. In a rather anticlimactic move, the shortlist was announced via Eurovision Albania’s Twitter page, rather than on the air. You can see the official announcement below:
The 14 finalists and their songs are as follows:
- Alar Band – Dashuria nuk mjafton
- Lidia Lufi – Rrëfehem
- Gjergj Leka – Besoj
- Dilan Reka – Karma
- Soni Malaj – Më e fortë
- Jonida Maliqi – Ktheju tokës
- Bojken Lako – Jeto jetën
- Elton Deda – Qetësisht
- Klint Çollaku – Me jetë
- Artemisa Mithi & Febi Shkurti – Dua te besoj
- Eranda Libohova – 100 pyetje
- Orgesa Zaimi – Hije
- Marko Strazimiri & Imbro – Leyla
- Eliza Hoxha – Pengu
The unlucky eight
Naturally, where they are winners, there are losers. Here are the 8 artists who were eliminated ahead of the final:
- Kujtim Prodani – Babela
- Mirud – Nënë
- Kelly – A më ndjen
- Elona Islamaj – Në këtë botë kalimtare
- Aurel Thëllimi – Të dua ty
- Klodiana Vata – Mbrëmje e pafund
- Lorela Sejdini – Vetmi
- Bruno Pollogati – Nuk ka stop
Among those eliminated is pre-contest favourite Mirud, who’s departure came to the surprise of many fans and fellow participants alike. According to ESCAlbania’s official twitter page, many of the contestants disagree with the jury’s decision.
Tune in tomorrow!
The grand final of Festivali i Këngës 57 will take place tomorrow, Saturday 22nd December. If RTSH run on time, the show will begin at 8.45pm local time (CET) and will likely be another 3+ hour affair. That means that in 24 hours, we will know who will represent Albania at the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest! This also marks the first selected entry of the season! We will be posting the official streaming link and live-tweeting the final tomorrow evening, so be sure to follow @ESCXtra on Twitter!
Are you pleased with the chosen qualifiers? Who would you like to represent Albania in Lisbon? Let us know in the comments below and on our Facebook page.