Festivali i Këngës 62, the Albanian yearly festival that doubles as the country’s Eurovision selection process, concluded last night. Besa Kokëdhima was the invited Eurovision participant following the final night.
Following a change to the voting system made at the previous edition of the contest, the winner of the festival and the invited participant to Eurovision are now chosen by different voting systems. A jury still selects the winner of the festival itself, but the public alone will select the entrant that gets to represent Albania at Eurovision next year.
The jury’s winner, and therefore the winner of the festival, was Mal Retkoceri with the song ‘Çmendur’. However the public thought differently, and selected Besa Kokëdhima to go to Eurovision with the song ‘Zemrën n’dorë’.
This now joins the Eurovision lineup to become the third publically available song for next year’s Eurovision, after France and Czechia. In the past, some Albanian entrants have used the opportunity of being selected relatively early in the national final calendar to ‘revamp’ their song ahead of the final submission deadline.
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 19 times. Their highest placement was in 2012 when Rona Nishliu placed 5th in the Grand Final with her song “Suus”.
In Liverpool earlier this year, Albania were represented by Albina and Familja Kelmendi with their song ‘Duje’. They passed through to the final and finished in 22nd place with 76 points.
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