While countries such as Australia, Israel and Sweden have confirmed their participation for Eurovision 2020, a large number remain to confirm. Albania has confirmed that their long-running music festival Festivali i Këngës will be returning for its 58th edition this December. As the country has used this to select its Eurovision entry since 2004, we can assume that this will be the case for 2020.
RTSH, the Albanian state broadcaster, has opened the submissions for the 58th edition of Festivali i Këngës. As with last year’s edition, this will take place in December, making it the first national final of the Eurovision 2020 ‘season’. The broadcaster invites singers and composers from across Albania to submit entries.
Although the call for submissions does not explicitly confirm that the winning entry will go to Eurovision, this has been the case since Albania’s debut at the contest.
In 2018, RTSH announced that they would be making the most significant changes to the festival in years in a bid to engage a younger audience. Due to its inability to modernise in recent years, the contest has declined in popularity, especially when faced with competition from Kënga Magjike. FiK 57 marked a move in the right direction, showcasing genre diversity and giving the artists a chance to perform their entries with a backing track and Eurovision-style staging. We can expect that further changes to the format will be announced in due course.
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.
In Tel Aviv, Jonida Maliqi brought Albania its second consecutive qualification with “Ktheju Tökes”. The qualified from the second semi-final in 9th place, and finished 17th overall in the Grand Final with 90 points.
Are you looking forward to Festivali i Këngës 58? Are you hoping to see Albania select their Eurovision 2020 entrant this way? 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!