Photo credit: RTSH
Friday 22nd December marks the fourth and final night of Albanian song contest Festivali i Këngës. After two semi-finals and a nostalgia night (where contestants and special guests performed FiK and Eurovision classics), all 14 FiK returnees have progressed to the final, while only 8 FiK newcomers will perform tonight. However, those who have not progressed are still in with a chance to represent Albania at Eurovision: while the overall winner of FiK is decided by jury vote, Albania’s Eurovision representative is solely decided by televote.
You can watch tonight’s show at 21:00 CET on RTSH‘s YouTube channel here. However, while you wait why not read our article to find out which artists are the potential front-runners to represent Albania at Eurovision?
Elsa Lila – Mars
Perhaps the most hotly-anticipated act after she won FiK last year, all eyes were on Elsa Lila to see what she would bring this year. Her song ‘Mars’ (‘March’) is a power ballad, reminiscent of a Bond theme, that allows Elsa to showcase her incredible voice.
The song’s title refers to the month Elsa was imprisoned on suspicion of drug trafficking in Italy and its lyrics refer to the loneliness and feelings of desolation she felt in her cell: ‘It was a long March/In a cold room/Scribbled on the walls/Names, dates, tears.’ You can watch her performance below:
While Elsa won FiK last year with the song ‘Evita’, it was Albina and Familia Kelmendi who won the televote with ‘Duje’ and therefore the chance to represent their country at Liverpool. A powerful track with intensely personal lyrics, sung by one of Albania’s most famous vocalists, could be just what Albania needs to succeed at Malmö. Will she get the chance this time?
Besa Kokëdhima – Zemrën n’dorë
Besa Kokëdhima has competed in FiK on two occasions, in 2008 with the song ‘Ajer’ (‘Air’) and in 2010 with the song ‘E bukura dhe bisha’ (‘Beauty and the Beast’). She has also attempted to represent Romania at Eurovision in 2009 with the single ‘Nothin’ Gonna Change’.
Many fans have been hoping for Besa’s return to FiK and this year they got it with her song ‘Zemrën n’dorë’ (‘Heart in Hand’). You can watch her performance below:
Besa’s dedicated fan-base will be rooting for this break-up anthem with a punchy chorus. Will she secure enough televotes to earn a spot at Eurovision?
Anduel Kovaçi – Nan’
Anduel Kovaçi first entered FiK last year as a relatively unknown act with the song ‘Malli’ (‘Longing’). Although many viewers were impressed by his performance, he unfortunately did not progress to the show’s final.
Undeterred, Anduel has made a second consecutive FiK appearance with his song ‘Nan” and many are delighted he has. Serving a traditional Balkan ballad with an undoubtedly strong vocal, fans of the song feel this would be a welcome return to something Albania was traditionally known for sending to Eurovision. You can watch his performance below:
Can Anduel make the ultimate comeback, winning the FiK prize and/or the chance to represent his country at Eurovision?
Luan Durmishi – Përsëritja
Our last act to watch out for will unfortunately not be performing in tonight’s final, having failed to qualify with the jurors. However, all FiK acts are eligible for the Eurovision televote, meaning Luan Durmishi is still in with a chance of representing Albania with his song ‘Përsëritja’ (‘Repeating’).
Although viewers will only see Luan’s performance in the form of a recap tonight, many viewers praised its avant-garde style, which stood out among a number of ballads and are hoping it could give Albania the opportunity to bring something different to their usual fare. You can watch this below:
He certainly made an impression on viewers so could this be enough to secure him the televotes to go to Eurovision?
Are any of our ones to watch your winner or are you hoping for someone entirely different? Let us know in the comments and don’t forget to follow our socials.
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