The 54th edition of the national selection in Albania, Festivali i Këngës, brings a surprise this year. The national broadcaster, RTSH, decided to let the public and the jury members listen to the songs competing in this year’s edition of Festivali i Këngës a month earlier.
Starting by late November the 30 songs competing this year will be presented by RTSH’s radio station, Radio Tirana, every day until the 27th of December when the First Semi-final of Festivali i Këngës kicks off. This will give the opportunity for the public to get a taste of the songs prior to the contest in their studio versions.The studio versions of songs competing in Festivali i Këngës are usually rare to find with many released after this contest. This move by broadcaster RTSH may give a boost to the songs that are more dance oriented and did not do as well as expected or sounded a bit different than the studio version due to the live orchestra. Nonetheless, once again the public will not be able to vote during the three nights. The jury members will be the ones holding the power of the vote and the power to choose the winner. Thus, RTSH opts for the juries to be more familiar with the songs and be more objective with their votes. As usual the jury members are kept a secret, it appears. The next question that arises is whether we might see more changes. Time will tell.
Festivali i Këngës will take place in Pallati i Kongreseve on December 25th, 26th and 27th. 30 songs are competing at the two semi finals, but only 18 will fight for the trophy and the ticket to Stockholm during the big final.
Albania at the Eurovision Song Contest
Albania first took part at the Eurovision Song Contest in 2004 with Anjeza Shahini and got their best result in 2012 with Rona Nishliu’s Suus gaining 156 points and the 5th place at the Grand Final in Baku. Festivali i Këngës has been used to select the Albanian representative since the country’s debut in 2004.
This year the 22 year old Elhaida Dani represent Albania in Vienna with her song I’m Alive managing to go through the semi final and placing 17th in the Grand Final with 34 points.