Albanian broadcaster RTSH has officially confirmed that Albania will indeed be competing in the Eurovision Song Contest 2018 in the Portuguese capital, Lisbon.
Albania will once more be selecting their entry through long standing competition Festivali i Këngës. This will be the 56th edition of Festivali i Këngës, having been running annually since 1962 and is expected to be broadcast in December. In their 2003 edition they adapted the format whereby the winner of the competition would go on to represent Albania in the Eurovision Song Contest the following May.
All competing entries as always will be performed in the traditional Albanian language for Festivali i Këngës. Once a winner has been selected, they will then have the option to work on the entry before it is presented on the Eurovision stage. The changes made could include whether or not it will remain in the original Albanian form or be translated into the English language or indeed another language for the Eurovision audience. 2013 was the last time the winning track was left in the Albanian language.
Albania made their debut at the Eurovision Song Contest back in 2004, the same year the televised semi final was originally introduced to the competition. Albania succeeded in their first showing with Anjeza Shahini’s “The Image of You”, sailing through the semi final in 4th place and eventually landing in a respectable 7th place at the grand final. Albania have competed in the Eurovision Song Contest every single year since their debut, making 2018 their 15th appearance. Since the success in their original attempt, they have reach the grand final a further six times. They bettered their 2004 score in 2012 with Rona Nishliu’s song “Suus” who finished the contest in fifth place with 146 Points, their first time reaching the top 5 and their best placing to date.
2017 however was less successful for Albania as they failed to qualify for the final with “World” by Lindita who finished the first semi final in Kyiv in 14th place with 76 Points. This was the second consecutive year that Albania has not made the Grand Final.
Albania are one of 39 countries to so far confirm their participation for the Eurovision Song Contest 2018.
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Albania debuted in the Eurovision Song Contest in 2004, when they were represented by Anjeza Shahini. She performed the song “The Image of You” in Istanbul and finished in 7th place in the final, scoring 106 points. Albania has only finished in the top 10 on one other occasion to date, when Rona Nishliu represented them in 2012 with the song “Suus”. Finishing in 5th place, “Suus” is Albania’s best-scoring entry to date.