Tel Aviv 2019🇦🇱 Albania

Albania: Jonida Maliqi announces team for Tel Aviv performance

She will be joined by three experienced backing singers

Eurovision Albania has announced the three singers who will be providing backing vocals for Jonida’s performance of “Ktheju Tökes” in Tel Aviv. This past month, Jonida has been promoting her song at pre-parties in Amsterdam and London.

Thus far, Jonida hasn’t revealed any specific details of her staging concept for Ktheju Tokes. However, it is expected that the staging will follow a similar aesthetic theme to that of her music video, which was released last month. The dramatic visual ended with a cryptic “to be continued at Eurovision Song Contest 2019”, so expect similarly dramatic staging.

In the meantime, we have been given the names of the three experienced backing singers who will be accompanying Jonida in Tel Aviv. They are as follows:

  • Artemisa Mithi – Two-time participant of Festivali i Këngës, including the 2018 edition, with “Dua ta besoj”
  • Tiri Gjoci – Winner of The Voice Albania and former participant of Festivali i Këngës
  • Uendi Mancaku – Participant of Kënga Magjike, where she won first place in the young people category

We caught up with Jonida before her performance in Amsterdam last month, which you can check out below:

Who is Jonida Maliqi?

Jonida Maliqi is already a huge star in the Albanian entertainment industry; she is a singer, television host and fashion icon. Her career in music began early in her life, having been discovered as a child by the renowned Albanian pianist Nora Çashku. Having enrolled in music school in her childhood, she went on to participate in Festivali i Këngës three times. Her debut at the renowned festival was in 1999, when she finished in second place with “Do jetoj pa ty”. She returned for the 2004, eventually finishing in third place with “Frikem se më pëlqen”.

14 years later, Jonida made her triumphant return to the festival last December with Ktheju Tökes. She emerged victorious from a field of 22 songs, winning a 100% jury vote on night three with 228 points. She later re-recorded the song with revamped production to accompany the official video. Maintaining the trend set by Eugent Bushpepa last year, the entry was kept fully in Albanian.

Albania in the Eurovision Song Contest

Albania debuted at the Eurovision Song Contest back in 2004 and has participated every year since. Anjeza Shahini was the first to fly the country’s flag at the contest with her song “The Image of You“. She finished in a very respectable 7th place with 106 points.

Over the years, Albania qualified for the final on 8 occasions. So far, their best result is Rona Nishliu’s 5th place achieved in Baku in 2012 with her iconic ballad “Suus“. Last year, Albania found success with Eugent Bushpepa and his song “Mall“. He ended the night on 11th place with 184 points, giving Albania their third best result at the contest. Will Jonida be able to continue this momentum? She will be performing Ktheju Tökes at the second semi-final on May 16 in the hopes of making the Grand Final.

Are you looking forward to seeing Jonida’s staging as much as we are? Do you think Jonida will bring Albania to the final for the second year running? Let us know! Be sure to stay updated by following @ESCXTRA on Twitter@escxtra on Instagram and liking our Facebook page for the latest updates! We’ll also be posting plenty of content on our YouTube in the run up to Tel Aviv!

Costa Christou

Ever since I saw Helena Paparizou's triumph at Eurovision in 2005 (at the tender age of 6), I have been crazy about Eurovision. From the regional native language bops and shrieky female-led balladry to the sophisticated avant garde pop songs and chart-friendly EDM, I love everything about this cultural phenomenon. I'm currently working as a Delivery Manager in a software development team.
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