It’s the first national final held each year, known for its dramatic orchestral performances. Now Albania has released the names of the 24 acts vying to win Festivali i Këngës 55 and represent their country at Eurovision 2017. And there are a few familiar faces in the line-up.
The contest has attracted more than a few artists who have previously competed in Festivali i Këngës. Making a return from last year’s line-up are Dilan Reka and fan favourite Flaka Krelani. Absent from FiK55 is Besa Krasniqi, the Swedish-Albanian singer whose “Liroje zemrën” (Free your heart) was another fan favourite last year.
Also making a return appearance is Orges Toce (2011), Linda “Lindita” Halimi (2014), the rock band Lynx (2013, 2014), and Rezarta Smaja (2013, 2014, 2015).
The line-up also includes a number of competitors who have made appearances on The X Factor Albania and The Voice of Albania. This includes 2015 X Factor winner Edea Demaliaj, as well as Lindita who made a brief appearance on the final series of American Idol.
Twenty-four acts will be competing at Fik55, down from 30 last year. The smaller number of competing acts is part of a number of changes broadcaster RTSH is introducing, aimed at restoring public confidence in the competition. This will also include the introduction of a public jury vote along with the expert jury.
Festivali i Këngës 55 – Artists and songs
- Albulena Jashari – “Fjalët ia lë zemrës” (The heart leaves)
- Classic Boys – “Dashuria për jetën” (Love for life)
- Dilan Reka – “Mos harro” (Don’t forget)
- Edea Demaliaj – “Besoj në ëndrra” (I believe in dreams)
- Edona Vatoci – “Mirëmëngjës” (Good morning)
- Elson Braha – “Edhe një herë” (One more time)
- Erlind Zeraliu – “Dhimbja e gëzimit” (Pain and joy)
- Fabiola Agalliu & Agnesa Çavolli – “Shkon e vjen” (It comes and goes)
- Festina Mejzini – “Atje lart” (Up there)
- Flaka Krelani – “Osiris”
- Franc Koruni – “Macka” (The pussycat)
- Genc Salihu – “Këtu” (Here)
- Linda “Lindita” Halimi – Botë (World)
- Linda Rukaj – “Vija e lumit” (River line)
- Lorela – “Me ty” (With you)
- Luka & Serxhio Hajdini – “Koha plaket” (Old time)
- LYNX – “Sot” (Today)
- Neki Emra – “Dashuri dhe urrejtje” (Love and hate)
- Orges Toçe – “Shi diamantësh” (Rain diamond)
- Rezarta Smaja – “Pse prite gjatë” (Why wait long)
- Tiri – “Më zgjo” (Wake me up)
- Xhesika Polo – “Eva jam unë” (I am Eve)
- XUXI- “Metropol”
- Yll Limani – “Shiu” (Rain)
What do you think of the FiK55 line-up? Who would you like to see representing Albania in Kyiv? Share your thoughts below!