It’s the first national final of the season. Now Albanian broadcaster RTSH has confirmed the 22 acts who will be competing in Festivali i Këngës 56 in December. And there are a lot of familiar faces.
The broadcaster released the names of the 22 competing acts today. The FiK 56 line-up is a mix of established artists, Albanian music legends and newcomers.
One of the hot favourites going into the contest is Artemisa Mithi who will make her FiK debut. She was previously a contestant on The Voice Kids. Earlier this year she competed on The Voice of Albania, where she made it to the live shows but was eliminated in week one.
Also debuting is Inest Neziri, who previously won the TV talent show Gjeniu i Vogël 5 and Lorela Sejdini (now known as LORELA) who competed on The Voice of Albania. Xhesika Polo, who was third on X Factor 2012, made her FiK debut last year and competed on Kenga Magijke 2017, will also return.
Returning to the line-up is Bojken Lako. The Albanian rock legend is a four-time FiK veteran, and placed second in 2014 with “Të ndjej”.
Elton Deda was a coach on the first three series of The Voice of Albania. He also completed in FiK in 2011, where he was Rona Nishliu’s runner-up with “Kristal”.
Well-known Albanian singer Eugent Bushpepa returns to Festivali i Këngës after almost a decade. Other iconic Albanian performers to return to FiK include Manjola Nallbani, Mariza Ikonomi, Redon Makashi and brotherly duo Stefi & Endri Prifti.
Rock bands NA and LYNX are back, while the group AKULLTHYESIT makes their FiK debut.
Other FiK returning artists include Rezarta Samja & Luis Ejlli who will be performing as a duo this time, as well as Evans Rama and Voltan Prodani.
Missing from the line-up is X Factor winner Arilena Ara. Earlier in the year, she was strongly rumoured as one of the competing acts, even with the suggested that she would be the intended winner. But she won’t be taking part in FiK 56.
Festivali i Këngës 56 – competing artists
- AKULLTHYESIT – “Divorci” (Divorce)
- Artemisa Mithi – “E dua botën” (I love the world)
- Bojken Lako – “Sytë e shpirtit” (The eyes of the soul)
- David & Genc Tukiqi – “Të pandarë” (Inseperable)
- Denisa Gjezo – “Zemër ku je” (Dear heart, where you are)
- Elton Deda – “Fjalët” – (Words)
- Ergi Bregu-Latifllari – “Bum Bum”
- Eugent Bushpepa “Mall” (Yearning)
- Evans Rama – “Gjurmët” (Traces)
- Inest Neziri – “Piedestal” – (Pedestal)
- LORELA – “Pritem edhe pak” (Wait a little longer)
- LYNX – “Vonë” (Late)
- Manjola Nallbani – “I njejti qiell” (The same sky)
- Mariza Ikonomi – “Unë” (Me)
- NA & Festina Mezini – “Tjetër jetë” (Another life)
- Orgesa Zaimi – “Ngrije zërin” (Speak up)
- Redon Makashi – “Ekzistoj” (I exist)
- Rezarta Samja & Luis Ejlli – “Ra një yll” (A star fell)
- Stefi & Endri Prifti – “Mesazh” (Message)
- Tahir Gjoci – “Orë e ndaluar” (Stopped clock)
- Voltan Prodani – “Pse të desha” (Why would I love you?)
- Xhesika Polo – “Përjetë” (Forever)
The number of competing acts is down on previous years. In 2014, 29 acts competed, 2015 had 32 acts, while last year’s show had 27 competitors.
While the competing song titles have been revealed, it is expected that the songs won’t be revealed until the live shows.
The 22 acts will first face the semi-finals on 21 and 22 December, and then the lucky finalists will compete at the grand final on 23 December.
The winner of Festivali i Këngës 56 will be Albania’s act for Eurovision 2018. However, the winning songs traditionally receive a substantial revamp before being confirmed as the Eurovision entry.
What do you think of the Festivali i Këngës line-up? Which acts are you excited about? Can any of these acts give Albania its first Eurovision win? Tell us what you think!