As reported yesterday, FiKmas has not been cancelled and will be taking place later this month. The scheduling was put into doubt in light of the tragic earthquake that struck Albania last month. Nevertheless, music conquers all and we will be getting the entries next week. On Monday, we will hear Albania’s entry for Rotterdam.
It has been confirmed by RTSH that we will be getting the 20 entries of Festivali i Kenges 58 on Monday (9th December)! Last year, the songs were all dropped via a playlist on RTSH official YouTube channel, so we’ll be sure to keep an eye out for that as soon as they are released.
In addition, the three first special guests to be performing at the festival were revealed. This includes not one, but TWO recent ESC alum. The first is, as previously reported, Eleni Foureira. However, the second is a bit more of a surprise. Since he has literally been popping up everywhere since getting his silver medal in Tel Aviv, Italy’s Mahmood decided to pop over to Albania too! Unlike Eleni, Mahmood has no ties to Albania whatsoever, however, the two countries share deep historical ties. Also, Italian-Albanian singer Ermal Meta performed at the festival last year, so he won’t be the first Italian ESC alum to take to the FiK stage.
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
- 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 happy to see FiK going ahead as planned? Which acts are you most excited about participating?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. Also be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel to see our reactions to the news in the run up to Rotterdam!