Last month, Albanian broadcaster RTSH opened applications for the 59th edition of Festivali i Këngës. At the time, they had not confirmed their intention to participate at the 2021 Eurovision Song Contest. Now, it has been confirmed that the festival will be used to select their entrant once again.
Speaking to ESC Plus, Albanian Head of Delegation Kleart Duraj, confirmed Albania’s participation in Rotterdam 2021. He also confirmed that Festivali i Këngës will once again be the format for selecting the entry. This is of course provided that the festival can go ahead at all…
Festivali i Këngës will be the national final, supposing that the festival can take place keeping in mind whatever pandemic restrictions are in place at that time.Kleart Duraj, Head of Delegation for Albania
Although the news might be disappointing for fans of Arilena Ara, she could still end up at Eurovision 2021…if she submits a new entry for the festival.
As previously reported, submissions for Festivali i Këngës are currently open and will close on October 2nd. More information about submissions can be found here.
Eurovision 2021: So far
Over the past few months, a number of broadcasters have confirmed whether they will be keeping their 2020 artists for next year’s contest. Whilst most have confirmed that they will be sticking with their 2020 selection, the likes of France and Cyprus will be sending different acts next year. So far, the 18 confirmed artists are:
- Australia – Montaigne
- Austria – Vincent Bueno
- Azerbaijan – Efendi
- Belgium – Hooverphonic
- Bulgaria – VICTORIA
- Czech Republic – Benny Cristó
- Georgia – Tornike Kipiani
- Greece – Stefania
- Israel – Eden Alene
- Latvia – Samanta Tīna
- Malta – Destiny
- Netherlands – Jeangu Macrooy
- Romania – Roxen
- San Marino – Senhit
- Slovenia – Ana Soklič
- Spain – Blas Cantó
- Switzerland – Gjon’s Tears
- Ukraine – GO_A
We also know that national selections will be going ahead in Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Lithuania, Norway and Sweden. Meanwhile, Armenia, Cyprus, Iceland, Ireland, Germany, North Macedonia and Serbia have confirmed participation but have yet to confirm their participant.
Next year’s semi-finals will take place on the 18th and 20th of May, whilst the Grand Final will take place on 22nd May. Rotterdam Ahoy Arena will serve as the venue of the 2021 contest.
In an unprecedented twist, the EBU also recently announced that pre-recorded backing vocals will be allowed at the 2021 contest. They have also revealed that they are preparing for two scenarios for the contest next year.
Albania at 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 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‘.
In 2020, Albania was due to be represented by Arilena Ara, with her song ‘Fall From the Sky‘. She had controversially won Festivali i Kenges 58 with “Shaj” the previous December, which had been translated for the contest. It was set to participate in the second semi-final of the 2020 contest prior to the contest’s cancellation.
If the festival proceeds, who would you like to participate? 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! Also, be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel to see our reactions to the news in the upcoming months.