Albania: Festivali I Kënges competitors announced!

Albania annually holds one of the first national finals of the Eurovision season, and we now know who will be competing to represent Albania at Eurovision 2018. Albanian broadcaster RTSH have confirmed the 22 artists who will compete in Festivali I Kënges 56 which is set to take place in December.

In comparison to previous years, the number of competitors is down. Back in 2014, there were 29 participants, 2015 with 32 and last year’s show featured 27 but perhaps this is a case of quality not quantity. The artists and their songs have been revealed, however we probably won’t get to hear the songs until the national final begins which will be on the 21st of December. The second semi-final will be on the 22nd of December, and then the final on the 23rd.

Here are the 22 acts:

  • AKULLTHYESIT – “Divorci” (Divorce)

  • Artemisa Mithi – “E dua botën” (I love the world)

  • Bojken Lako – “Sytë e shpirtit” (The eyes of the soul)

  • David & Genc Tukiqi – “Të pandarë” (Inseperable)

  • Denisa Gjezo – “Zemër ku je” (Dear heart, where you are)

  • Elton Deda – “Fjalët” – (Words)

  • Ergi Bregu-Latifllari – “Bum Bum”

  • Eugent Bushpepa “Mall” (Yearning)

  • Evans Rama – “Gjurmët” (Traces)

  • Inest Neziri – “Piedestal” – (Pedestal)

  • LORELA – “Pritem edhe pak” (Wait a little longer)

  • LYNX – “Vonë” (Late)

  • Manjola Nallbani – “I njejti qiell” (The same sky)

  • Mariza Ikonomi – “Unë” (Me)

  • NA & Festina Mezini – “Tjetër jetë” (Another life)

  • Orgesa Zaimi – “Ngrije zërin” (Speak up)

  • Redon Makashi – “Ekzistoj” (I exist)

  • Rezarta Samja & Luis Ejlli – “Ra një yll” (A star fell)

  • Stefi & Endri Prifti – “Mesazh” (Message)

  • Tahir Gjoci – “Orë e ndaluar” (Stopped clock)

  • Voltan Prodani – “Pse të desha” (Why would I love you?)

  • Xhesika Polo – “Përjetë” (Forever)

Some of these names are familiar, including Rezarta Samja and Luis Ejlli who have both taken part in the national selection various times, with the latter having represented Albania back in 2006 but failing to reach the Eurovision final. Rock groups LYNX and NA are also returning to Festivali I Kënges this year.

In terms of Eurovision, Festivali I Kënges acts as the first part of the process, as in recent years, the songs often receive a revamp to be Eurovision ready. In the case of Elhaida Dani in 2015, the song was changed completely, and other times it’s a language change from Albanian to English.

Who do you want to see represent Albania at Eurovision 2018?

Watch the 2017 performance here:

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