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Three eliminated at Festivali i Këngës 60

After the first night, where all 20 competing entries were presented, three of our newcoming acts were eliminated from Festivali i Këngës 60 ahead of Nostalgia Night tomorrow and the Final Night on Wednesday. Kejsi Rustja, Viola Xhemali and Xhuli Pjetraj were all eliminated after performing their entries tonight.

From 20 to 17

We knew ahead of tonight’s show that three of the six competing newcomer acts would be eliminated before the Grand Final. The acts performed from 6 to 11 in tonight’s presentation show, all together, presumably allowing the jury to make an easy comparison between these acts rather than mixing them up in context with the established acts who all pre-qualified for Final Night on Wednesday 29th December.

The six newcomer acts were:

  • Ester Zahiri – “Hiena”
  • Viola Xhemali – “Eja si erë”
  • Eldis Arrnjeti – “Refuzoj”
  • Kejsi Rustja – “Vallëzoj me ty”
  • Xhuli Pjetraj – “Baladë”
  • Olimpia Smajlaj – “Dua”
Qualifiers in bold.

All fourteen established acts qualified to the Nostalgia Night and Final Night ahead of the competition:

  • Kelly – “Meteor”
  • Mirud – “Për dreq”
  • Urban Band – “Padrejtësi”
  • Evi Reçi – “Më duaj”
  • Kastro Zizo – “Kujë”
  • Shega – “Një”
  • Gjergj Kaçinari – “Në ëndërr mbete ti”
  • Denis Skura – “Pse nuk flet, mama?”
  • Endri and Stefi Prifti – “Triumfi i jetës”
  • Janex – “Deluzional”
  • Ronela Hajati – “Sekret”
  • Sajmir Çili – “Nën maskë”
  • Rezarta Smaja – “E jemja nuse”
  • Alban Ramosaj – “Theje”

Tonight’s show was capably hosted by Ardit Gjebrea (father of Anna Gjebrea who represented Albania at the Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2021), Isli Islami, Kelvi Kadilli, Xhemi Shehu and Eurovision 2019 representative, Jonida Maliqi. It featured several musical interludes and postcards which celebrated the sixty years of Festivali i Këngës, teasing us for what still lies ahead during the next two nights.

Ronela Hajati was the choice of our editorial team ahead of the show. Following tonight’s semifinal, you can make or alter your own predictions with Eurovision Prediction ahead of Wednesday’s Final Night.

Albania at Eurovision 2021

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 to English for the contest.

However, RTSH opted to run a fresh contest for FIK 59, which Arilena did not return for. FIK 59 was a festival like no other, taking place outdoors in Tirana’s Italia Square in late December due to the pandemic. 26 participants became 25 when Manjola Nallbani contracted COVID-19 shortly before the festival. The first two nights were pre-recorded, with the final night being broadcast live on December 23.

Despite the challenges, Anxhela Peristeri triumphed with her entry “Karma”Following a subtle revamp, the song remained in Albanian in Rotterdam, where she qualified from the second semi-final in 10th. She ultimately placed 21st in the Grand Final with 57 points.

Nathan Waddell

I am the Editor in Chief of ESCXTRA, a huge Melodifestivalen fan and love sports. You can find me singing along to Scandinavian Eurovision entries, listening to the latest chart music on Spotify or watching the football and tennis on two different screens at once.

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