Every day until December 24, we’re stuffing your stockings with a new Eurovision poll and asking for your opinion on the important things like which Eurovision 2016 artist you are most excited about and which former Eurovision singer was the best host. Consider this our advent calendar for 2015. Whether you celebrate Christmas or not, you can let us know your thoughts each and every day by casting your vote and sounding off in our comments section.
Day 20: Albania in Eurovision
Albania will be the first country to hold their national final for Eurovision 2016, when Festivali I Këngës takes place on December 27. Thirty songs will get cut to 18 before the final and one of them will be sent to Stockholm.
So today we are asking for your favourite Albanian entry ever. Debuting in 2004, Albania has sent 12 entries and reached the final seven times.
Which Albanian song do you like the best? Click the box next to each act you want to support and then press submit. You can vote for as many songs as you like but you can only vote one time.
2004: Anjeza Shahini with “The Image Of You”
Albania debuted in the contest in 2004 and decided to use long-running music festival Festivali I Këngës as their national selection. Anjeza Shahini won with her song “Imazhi yt”, which she translated into English before the contest. Anjeza qualified for the final by placing fourth in the semifinal. Her final place was seventh, which remained Albania’s best result until 2012.
2005: Ledina Çelo with “Tomorrow I Go”
After presenting Festivali I Këngës in December 2003, Ledina Çelo took part as a singer the next year. She won with the song “Nesër Shkoj” and switched to English for Eurovision. After the previous year’s great result, Albania didn’t have to compete in the semifinal of the 2005 contest. “Tomorrow I Go” placed 16th out of the 24 competing entries.
2006: Luiz Ejlli with “Zjarr e ftohtë”
For the first time Albania sent a male singer to the contest in the form of Luiz Ejlli with the song “Zjarr e ftohtë”. This time the song was performed in Albanian. Luiz placed 14th in the semi and failed to reach the final. Luiz has tried to come back to Eurovision a few times and is competing again in Festivali I Këngës this year.
2007: Frederik Ndoci with “Hear My Plea”
Once again Albania failed to qualify for the final in 2007. Frederik Ndoci was chosen to represent the country with “Balada e Gurit” which was translated to “Hear My Plea”. Albania placed 17th in a massive semifinal of 28 countries.
2008: Olta Boka with “Zemrën e lamë peng”
Olta Boka was selected to represent Albania in Belgrade and decided to keep the song in Albanian. She placed ninth in the semifinal and 17th in the final.
2009: Kejsi Tola with “Carry Me In Your Dreams”
“Më merr në endërr” became “Carry Me In Your Dreams” before Eurovision. Kejsi Tola’s performance was very Cirque du Soleil with a man dressed in green from head to toe and two mimes. She qualified to the final and once again Albania finished 17th.
2010: Juliana Pasha with “It’s All About You”
Juliana Pasha qualified to the final with “It’s All About You” — the English version of Festivali I Këngës winning song “Nuk mundem pa ty”. Many interpreted it as having strong Christian undertones. She placed 16th in the grand final.
2011: Aurela Gaçe with “Feel The Passion”
For the first time since 2007, Albania failed to reach the final when Aurela Gaçe sang “Feel The Passion” in Dusseldorf. She finished 14th in the semifinal.
2012: Rona Nishliu with “Suus”
Rona Nishliu got Albania their best result ever when she sang “Suus” in the Baku Crystal Hall. She qualified to the final by placing second in the semifinal and later finished fifth in the Grand Final. Rona also won the Barbara Dex Award for being the worst dressed contestant of the year.
2013: Adrian Lulgjuraj & Bledar Sejko with “Identitet”
Adrian Lulgjuraj & Bledar Sejko are the only duo Albania has ever sent to the contest. With their rock song “Identitet”, Albania failed to reach the final, placing 15th in the semifinal.
2014: Hersi with “One Night’s Anger”
Hersi won Festivali I Këngës 52 with “Zemërimi i nje natë”, which became “One Night’s Anger” prior to the contest. Once again Albania failed to qualify, only managing to place 15th in the semifinal.
2015: Elhaida Dani with “I’m Alive”
Elhaida Dani won the 53rd edition of Festivali I Këngës with “Diell”, but was forced to change her entry before the Eurovision Song Contest. Instead, she sent “I’m Alive”. Albania was the last country to qualify to the final, where they managed to place 17th.