Jonida Maliqi has won Festivali i Këngës 57 and will represent Albania in the Eurovision Song Contest 2019 with the song “Ktheju tokës”.
The final of Festivali i Këngës 57 took place tonight in the Palace of Congresses in Tirana, Albania. Fourteen artists performed their entries tonight in the hopes of representing their country at the Eurovision Song Contest 2019, with the winner being determined by a professional jury panel. Similar to the semi-final shows, the final was hosted by actor and actress Viktor Zhusti and Ana Golja. During the show, two additional awards were presented. Marko Strazimiri & Imbro won the Youth Jury Award and Eranda Libohova won the Critics’ Award.
Performing tonight were:
- Marko Strazimiri & Imbro – Leyla
- Gjergj Leka – Besoj
- Elton Deda – Qetësisht
- Eranda Libohova – 100 pyetje – 3rd
- Jonida Maliqi – Ktheju tokës – 1st
- Eliza Hoxha – Peng
- Orgesa Zaimi – Hije
- Bojken Lako – Jeto jetën
- Soni Malaj – Më e fortë
- Artemisa Mithi & Febi Shkurti – Dua te besoj
- Dilan Reka – Karma
- Alar Band – Dashuria nuk mjafton
- Lidia Lufi – Rrëfehem – 2nd
- Klinti Çollaku – Me jetë
Yesterday, during the second night of the festival, the participants performed the final versions of their competing songs which, if successful, will be sung on the Eurovision stage. It is as of yet unknown if this staging will be the one used in Tel Aviv, if the song will be revamped or translated into English.
Albania qualified for their first Eurovision Song Contest final since 2015, at this year’s competition in Lisbon, Portugal. Eugent Bushpepa and his song “Mall” made it through to the final and went on to finish 11th with 184 points. They received 12 points in the jury vote from Azerbaijan and 12 points from the televote in Macedonia and Italy.
Albania in the Eurovision Song Contest
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.