Tonight, the final night of Festivali i Këngës 61 concluded. Although the festival was won by Elsa Lila with “Evita”, the Albanian entry for Eurovision 2023 was selected separately for the first time. After winning the public vote, Albina & familja Kelmendi will go to Liverpool with “Duje”.
This evening, Albanian broadcaster RTSH selected their entry for the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest, live from the Palace of Congress in Tirana. Tonight was the forth consecutive night of Festivali i Këngës 61, marking the first time since 2009 that the festival has taken place over the course of four days.
This was one of a series of changes that are being introduced for the 61st edition – including the introduction of 100% public voting for the first time.
There was still a jury, but they awarded the following awards instead:
- Best New Artist – Erma Mici
- Career Award – Rovena Dilo
The jury’s top three were as follows:
- First place: Elsa Lila
- Second place: Albina & Familja Kelmendi
- Third place: 2 Farm
However, it was the Albanian public alone that selected “Duje” by Albina & familja Kelmendi as Albania’s entry for Liverpool!
From the original 26 competing artists, five newcomers were eliminated on Tuesday night, leaving 21 remaining competing songs, who performed in the following order this evening:
- 2 Farm – “Atomike”
- Serxhio Hajdini – “Vështirë”
- Gjergj Kaçinari – “Dje”
- Alban & Lore – “Melodi”
- Vanesa Sono – “Aroma jonë”
- Elsa Lila – “Evita”
- Erma Mici – “Kozmosi i dashurisë”
- Franc Koruni – “Në pritje”
- Gent Hoxha – “Ajër”
- Petrit Çarkaxhiu – “Emri yt mirësi”
- Melodajna Mancaku – “Gjysma e zemrës sime”
- Manjola Nallbani – “Dua”
- Urban Band – “Në çdo hap”
- Enxhi Nasufi – “Burrë”
- Rovena Dilo – “Motit”
- Fifi – “Stop”
- Rezarta Smaja – “N’Eden”
- Evi Reçi – “Ma kthe”
- Fabian Basha – “Një gotë”
- Albina & Familja Kelmendi – “Duje”
- Lynx – “Nëse ke besim”
Albania at the Eurovision Song Contest
Since their debut at the Eurovision Song Contest 2004 in Istanbul, Turkey, Albania has participated at the contest a total of 18 times. Their highest placement was in 2012 when Rona Nishliu placed 5th in the Grand Final with her song “Suus”.
In Turin earlier this year, Ronela Hajati represented Albania with her up-tempo banger “Sekret”.The song quickly became a fan-favourite among Eurovision fans worldwide, but failed to qualify to the Grand Final. She placed 12th in the first semi-final with a total of 58 points.
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