Arilena Ara has won Festivali i Kengës 58 and will represent Albania in the Eurovision Song Contest 2020 with the song “Shaj”.
The final of Festivali i Kengës 58 took place this evening in the Pallati i Kongreseve in Tirana and was hosted by Alketa Vejsiu. Following two semi-Finals on Thursday and Friday evening, twelve artists competed to represent Albania this May. The winner of tonight’s show was selected entirely by jury voting. On the jury were:
- Rita Petro
- Mikaela Minga
- Christer Björkman – Former Head of Delegation for Sweden at Eurovision
- Dimitris Kontopoulos – Songwriter and producer
- Felix Bergsson – Head of Delegation for Iceland
The results of tonight’s show were as follows:
- Valon Sheku – “Kutia e Pandorës”
- Sara Bajraktari – “Ajër” – 3rd
- Robert Berisha – “Ajo nuk është unë”
- Tiri Gjoci – “Me gotën osh”
- Bojken Lako – “Malaseen”
- Arilena Ara – “Shaj” – Winner
- Gena – “Shqiponja e lirë”
- Kamela Islamaj – “Më ngjyros”
- Albërie Hadergjonaj – “Ku ta gjej dikë ta dua”
- Elvana Gjata – “Me tana” – 2nd
- Olta Boka – “Botë për dy”
- Era Rusi – “Eja merre”
The guest performers at this evening’s show were Eleni Foureira and Giusy Ferreri. Eleni represented Cyprus at the Eurovision Song Contest 2018 in Lisbon with the song “Fuego”. The singer, who was born in Albania, finished 2nd in the final in Portugal, giving Cyprus their best result to date in the competition. Giusy first came to public attention after finishing second on the X Factor. She has gone to release five albums and has topped the Italian Singles Chart five times.
Jonida Maliqi represented Albania at the Eurovision Song Contest 2019. She took the nation to the Grand Final for a second consecutive year. Performing “Ktheju tokës”, she finished 17th scoring a total of 90 points.
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. 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.