It’s the first national final of the 2017 season and tonight Albania will decide who will get the ticket to Kyiv in May. The grand final of Festivali i Këngës 55 is on tonight, and at this stage, there’s no clear favourite to win.

Earlier this week, eight songs qualified from the first semi-final and six from the second semi. They’ll be battling it out tonight for a chance to follow in the glamorous footsteps of Eneda Tarifa and Elhaida Dani and represent Albania at Eurovision.

Of course, being Albania, it’s likely that the winning song will undergo a revamp, good or bad. Most likely the song will be translated into English, shortened to under three minutes (if necessary) and possibly even given a substantially different sound. Or the song could be replaced entirely.

The winner of FiK55 will be determined by a combination of jury vote and public vote.

Festivali i Këngës 55 – running order

The running order of FiK 55 was revealed earlier today. The show opens with Franc Koruni and closed with Genc Salihu. Favourites Dilan Reka, Lindita Halimi and Flaka Krelani perform one after the other, right in the middle. Other favourite Yll Limani has a spot nearer to the end of the show.

  1. Franc Koruni – “Macka”
  2. Lorela – “Me ty”
  3. Xhesika Polo – “Eva jam unë”
  4. XUXI – “Metropol”
  5. Fabiola Agalliu & Agnesa Çavolli – “Shkon e vjen”
  6. Dilan Reka – “Mos harro”
  7. Lindita Halimi – “Botë”
  8. Flaka Krelani – “Osiris”
  9. Rezarta Smaja – “Pse prite gjatë”
  10. Edea Demaliaj – “Besoj në ëndrra”
  11. Yll Limani – “Shiu”
  12. LYNX – “Sot”
  13. Orges Toçe – “Shi diamantësh”
  14. Genc Salihu – “Këtu”

Snap poll results: Who should win Festivali i Këngës 55?

Earlier today we ran a poll asking who you thought should win FiK 55. American Idol alum Lindita Halimi was the favourite, with 21.97% of the vote. In a close second place was R&B singer and former X Factor finalist Dilan Reka with 19.56%.

Other favourites round out the top. Yll Limani is in third place with 16.1%, while 2016 second runner-up Flaka Krelani is fourth with 11.6%.

Wiwibloggs readers are least impressed by Orges Toçe, who is in last place with just 0.65% of the vote.

  1. Lindita Halimi – “Botë” 21.97% (337 votes)
  2. Dilan Reka – “Mos harro” 19.56% (300 votes)
  3. Yll Limani – “Shiu” 16.1% (247 votes)
  4. Flaka Krelani – “Osiris” 11.6% (178 votes)
  5. Xhesika Polo – “Eva jam unë” 6.52% (100 votes)
  6. Rezarta Smaja – “Pse prite gjatë” 6% (92 votes)
  7. LYNX – “Sot” 5.28% (81 votes)
  8. Edea Demaliaj – “Besoj në ëndrra” 4.37% (67 votes)
  9. Fabiola Agalliu & Agnesa Çavolli – “Shkon e vjen” 2.41% (37 votes)
  10. Lorela – “Me ty” 2.28% (35 votes)
  11. Franc Koruni – “Macka” 1.37% (21 votes)
  12. XUXI – “Metropol” 1.11% (17 votes)
  13. Genc Salihu – “Këtu” 0.78% (12 votes)
  14. Orges Toçe – “Shi diamantësh” 0.65% (10 votes)

Who do you think should win FiK 55?  Can any of these acts get Albania into the Eurovision final? Have your say below!

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(J)ESC Fanatic
Guest

Xhesika was so robbed!

Daniel_2017
Guest

Wow, is this really happening?! Xhesika was dead last! How was that even possible? :(((((. I don’t get it… Well, at least she got a Romanian fan tonight :).

Anyway, congrats to Lindita and good luck in the ESC! Hopefully they will not ruin the song in the revamp, as Albanians do most of the time.

Purple Mask
Guest

Anyways, I have enjoyed the (rather long) evening, thanks to everyone.
I look forward to seeing what Lindita can bring to Eurovision. 🙂

Purple Mask
Guest

I think Lindita has just officially won.

Polegend Godgarina
Guest

Whew, I’m Italian and I can understand some things they say!

Purple Mask
Guest

Xheskia just got 4 points from someone, so now at least she’s not last! 🙂
Lindita looks good for the win, but Genc is doing surprisingly well; that’s scary.

(J)ESC Fanatic
Guest

Xhesika?! That’s it, the jury is crazy. 🙁

Purple Mask
Guest

LInidita has a bit of a lead now, but it’s not uncatchable. There are two big surprises from the Jury: Genc is now in 2nd!! And Flaka is all the way down in 8th!! Oh dear…

Daniel_2017
Guest

Nul points for Xhesika?! WTF?!

Purple Mask
Guest

Early days yet, but Lindita and Yll are currently tied for the lead. Ooo

Purple Mask
Guest

Hmmm. Official Jury points have only given Flaka (Osiris) two points – that’s interesting.

Purple Mask
Guest

The ‘EuroScoreboard’ app for this contest is ever so close between four acts as follows:
Dilan Reka (150)
Flaka Krelani (148)
Lindita Halimi (137)
Yll Limani (130)

Maybe this is a tip-off that the jury is taking into account…

Daniel_2017
Guest

If Xhesika won’t win, I will know why! I’ve been sabotaged!

Just kidding, of course ;))

karminowe.usta
Guest

My favourite is Rezarta but in my opinion Genc will win.

Vale
Guest

@Daniel_2017: I think they made a typo, i checked on google, and i found ‘mbyllur’ which means closed. “The voting’s closed”

(J)ESC Fanatic
Guest

I can’t vote, it happens the same with @Daniel_2017.

Purple Mask
Guest

@Daniel_2017: ‘mbullur’ means ‘closed,’ I think.
Sorry about that. 🙁

Colin
Guest

I liked several songs: Yll, Libduta, Xhesica, Dilan… there is a lot to like in this year’s contest. However, this is Albania, so who knows how the final product in May would sound like.

Daniel_2017
Guest

I tried to vote, but I get the message “Votimi eshte mbullur’, whatver that means…. Google translate says it means ‘Voting is mbullur’ :))

Purple Mask
Guest

P.S. Anyone who has a Facebook account can apparently vote for this one.
Don’t ask me how, I don’t have Facebook.
Go to the @Wiwibloggs Twitter account for more info.

hehehehe
Guest

Go in facebook and srite Festivali i kenges ne rtsh and vote in the link that the web put it in timeline

Daniel_2017
Guest

My top 3:
1. XHESIKA!!! As I already mentioned, I already have her on repeat, she’s AMAZING!!!
2. Dilan
3. Lindita

Probably Dilan or Lindita will win. Dilan would also be a good choice, as he has a more modern song, which I think will perform well in the ESC.

(J)ESC Fanatic
Guest

@Daniel_2017

I heard that she sings about violence against women, that’s why the title of her song refers to Eve, the first woman on Earth. Very beautiful message. <3

Purple Mask
Guest

All performances have now been completed.

Orges’ song arrangement remind me of the British band ‘Pulp.’ Unfortunately the singer here doesn’t carry the same charisma as Jarvis Cocker did.

Genc Salihu’s song was my least favourite of the selection (sorry).
And now we wait for the result…
Does anyone have any predictions?

Daniel_2017
Guest

@Purple Mask: thanks for the update; I actually missed those 2 performances, as I have Xhesika on repeat :). I’m hooked. My favourites never win, so I don’t get my hopes up, although I keep my fingers crossed :). I only wish I understood what she sings about

Purple Mask
Guest

@Ajit: Oh, that’s HER! I understand now, thank you! 🙂

Update: Yll Limani’s performance was nice, but I was left underwhelmed compared with the SF. Sorry.

LYNX have turned this into a rock concert. Will it win? Maybe. It might be an interesting winner.

Gentrit
Guest

Ylli Limani for the win. The most emotion, the best sung, the readiest song for ESC. I see it going far, if Albanian jury doesn’t mess it up.

Ajit
Guest

@Purple Mask sorry I was referring to your first comment and I had this page open for a while so I didn’t see that you made other comments too

On that note, Wikipedia says Inva Mula’s father’s name was Avni Mula. Who thinks “hey, let’s name the kid after me, but backwards”???

Purple Mask
Guest

I just read on YouTube that Xhesika Polo might have been ill tonight. It’s only a rumour, but it would explain those odd breathing sounds.

Purple Mask
Guest

@Ajit: I’m sorry, it seems that the soprano’s name was Inva Mula, not Aurela Gaçe. Although I’m sure Aurela is at the event somewhere as well… Unless you mean she is presenting? 🙂

Alex
Guest

Please let it be Edea… 🙂

Purple Mask
Guest

Flaka (Osiris) – She herself is amazing, but the song is a bit repetitive. It’s a pity because I think she’s a winning artist, but the song was lacking a little.

Rezarta – Cheerfully performed. She stuck two fingers up at the camera this time. Oops! 😀 It’s a pleasant song.

Edea – Oh, this song is my favourite of this festival’s selection! So dramatic! Edea’s voice is… unusual. She sings loudly very well, but I wish her softer tones would be a bit rounder; that’s my only feedback really – work with a vocal coach on those softer sounds.

Daniel_2017
Guest

But the audio is horrible… Not only on the streaming, but also on the youtube uploads of the performances! Why?!?!?

Purple Mask
Guest

Thank you Ajit! 🙂 I knew I recognised her from somewhere – she was at the Dusseldorf Eurovision, ok. 🙂
Interesting opinion Daniel_2017 – let’s see if the remaining songs change your mind. Osiris on now…

Daniel_2017
Guest

Honestly, I really liked Dilan and Lindita, but my favourite so far is Xhesika. The song was incredibly dramatic and her voice fantastic. I won’t mention her dress though :). However, I wonder how Xhesika’s song would sound after a ‘revamp’, as I think much of the drama is brought by the live orchestra. I will keep listening to it, whatever the outcome.

Ajit
Guest

@Purple Mask that is Aurela Gace (Albania 2011); she also won the festival that year with that song

Purple Mask
Guest

And now Lindita is showing us exactly why SHE should win! I think she just slayed the pack. Winner alert.

Purple Mask
Guest

Oh wow. Dilan really wants to win this, badly! Incredible vocals.
I still wish there was a bit more dancing in that number though.

@Colin: In my view – if the song is good enough, it will work in any language. But I appreciate your knowledge and opinion – you really remember more about the past Albanian entries than I do! 🙂

Chance
Guest

RTSH are uploading the performance videos to their Youtube page as they happen. If you’re having trouble watching the stream you can catch the performances there shortly after they happen. They’ve post up through Metropol so far.

https://www.youtube.com/user/RadioTvShqiptar/videos

Colin
Guest
@Purple Mask, let’s put it like this: 2008 – Wonderful song, kept in Albanian 2009 – Catchy song, translated, but still good 2010 – Translated, didn’t like it that much 2011 – Translated, among many trashy ’11 songs 2012 – Kept in Albanian, although not my cup of tea, it was special and achieved a high position in the finals. 2013 – Kept in Albanian, forgettable 2014 – Translated like turd, with singer being so bad in English. 2015 – They changed the song. They qualified, but the actual new song was written in English. 2016 – Lyrics completely ruined… Read more »
Purple Mask
Guest

The soprano guest act is really stealing the show at the moment! (Haha.) She’s awesome! Does anyone else see a resemblance with Joanna Lumley though? 😀

Daniel_2017
Guest

@Purple Mask: thank you very much indeed!

What is this ‘opera’ recital in the middle of the contest?!

(J)ESC Fanatic
Guest

@Purple Mask

Thank you very much for the link! 🙂

Purple Mask
Guest

Nick: It really depends on the song. Obviously “Suus” (2012) is a masterpiece in any language. The 2015 song was originally “Diell,” which actually was a completely different song to the one they eventually sent to Eurovision (“I’m Alive”), which I think was a better choice for that year. So yeah, it depends on the song.

I’m watching the Final right now and there is a slight technical improvement on the Semis so far. But we haven’t had the winner yet, I feel.

Nick
Guest

honestly they should keep the song in the Albanian. 2014 and 2016 were great in Albanian, but obviously didn’t do so well in English.

Purple Mask
Guest

45 minutes of adverts, and counting…

Purple Mask
Guest

Okay, after some fishing around, I have managed to find a second alternative feed here: http://www.rtklive.com/sq/livestream/rtk1/
Even though the quality is not fantastic, this feed is working and holding up at the moment. Yey! We can thank Kosovo for this one, apparently. 🙂

Purple Mask
Guest

The feed is even worse than the last two days! I don’t think it will be possible to watch this one live at the moment. 🙁
I tried the alternative stream, but the sound isn’t working on it for some reason.

MarioMario
Guest

Lindita, Dilan or Yill.

Purple Mask
Guest

I just tuned into the live feed. It looks like there was an Albanian version of Lady Gaga back in 1999; they are playing the old footage! 😀
Bring on the Final…