Rotterdam 2020

🇦🇱 Albania: Dates for Festivali i Këngës 2019 announced

It's beginning to look a lot like FIKmas...

With December fast approaching, we are soon to experience the first national final of the Eurovision 2020 season. As ever, Albania’s historic Festivali i Këngës will be leading the pack. Having revealed the 20 acts participating in the festival last week, we now have the dates for the three-night event!

Although Albanian broadcaster RTSH confirmed the 20 participants in this year’s Festivali i Këngës last week, the dates were not confirmed. Now, we know the three nights on which the 58th edition of the festival will take place. As with last year’s edition, the festival will take place over three nights in the week before Christmas. The festival begins on the 19th of December, with the Grand Final taking place on December 22nd. Unlike last year, however, the shows will not run consecutively, with the 21st of December being a ‘night-off’ before the final.

Festivali i Këngës 58

This year will see twenty acts take part in Albania’s longest-running music festival. Whereafter the winner will be the selected representative for Albania in the Eurovision Song Contest 2020. Before the live reveal during the RTSH news, a jury headed by conductor Zani Ciko chose the competing artists. These are as follows:

  • Albërie Hadërgjonaj
  • Aldo Bardhi
  • Arilena Ara
  • Bojken Lako
  • Devis Xherahu
  • Eli Fara & Stresi
  • Elvana Gjata
  • Era Rusi
  • Gena
  • Genc Tukiqi
  • Kanita Suma
  • Kamela Islamaj
  • Kastro Zizo
  • Olta Boka
  • Renis Gjoka
  • Robert Berisha
  • Sara Bajraktari
  • Tiri Gjoci
  • Valon Shehu
  • Wendi Mancaku

The format is expected to follow that of last year’s festival – two nights of performances (with and without orchestra), an elimination-by-jury, and then the Grand Final, where the winner will be crowned. A jury will decide the winner, and therefore, Albania’s representative for Eurovision 2020.

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’. Jonida 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 FiKmas? Which acts are your favourites? Let us know in the comments and on social media @ESCXTRA. Be sure to stay updated by following @ESCXTRA on Twitter@escxtra on Instagram and liking our Facebook page for the latest updates.

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