Eurovision 2020

🇦🇱 Albania: Listen to the 20 entries of Festivali i Këngës 58

You can now listen to Albania's entry for Rotterdam...and 19 other songs

As reported last week, 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 RTSH has now released the 20 competing entries!

Late last week, it was confirmed that Festivali i Këngës 58 would commence on the 19th, 20th and 22nd of December as originally intended. With just a couple of weeks to go, RTSH have released all 20 entries for the festival, which you can listen to below:

In addition, we know 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, 2018 runner-up Eleni Foureira and the second is 2019 runner-up Mahmood. 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. In addition, Italian singer Giusy Ferreri.

The song list is as follows:

Notable composers

This year’s line-up features a number of artists who wrote and/or composed their own entries. The following participants compose their own entries:

  • Aldo Bardhi
  • Bojken Lako*
  • Devis Xherahu
  • Eli Fara
  • Elvana Gjata*
  • Gena
  • Kamela Islamaj
  • Genc Tukici
  • Renis Gjoka
  • Wendi Mancaku

In addition, both Bojken and Elvana wrote their entries in addition to composing the music for them. Also notable is that Albania’s 2018 representative Eugent Bushpepa is the composer behind Valon Shehu entry “Kutia e Pandorës”.

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. However, there has been speculation that this jury will be an international jury, which would be quite the shake-up for the festival.

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!

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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 studying a Bachelor of Science in Politics & International Relations at the University of Exeter.

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