It’s the Albanian Eurovision selection that has taken huge strides this year, delivering a variety of songs that cut across genre and pull the contest into 2017.

And now, as local media imalbania.com reports, a professional jury — and only a professional jury — will decide the results of Festivali i Kenges 56 and who will get the opportunity to sing for Albania at the Eurovision Song Contest 2018.

This marks a quick reversal of last year’s contest, where RTSH, for the first time, added a public vote into the mix. At the time there was a great deal of drama, as the public was initially promised 40% of the vote…but ultimately contributed to just 1/13th of the final tally (while 12 jurors made up the remainder). Removing it shouldn’t make that much of a difference then.

“In this edition the public will not vote,” Klozeta Kurti, the PR of the Festival, said.

“The main idea of publishing the songs on YouTube and on the radio was to let the public get to know the songs and support them on the stage.”

FiK 56 finalists announced on Friday

Kurti also confirmed that the finalists will be revealed only on Friday, at the end of the second semi-final.

“There won’t be a voting [announcement] in the first night. At the end of the second semi-final the songs that made it through to the final will be revealed.”

Yesterday RTSH revealed the semi-final allocation and running order for the two shows. Tonight’s show will include fan favourites Mariza Ikonomi, Eugent Bushpepa and Manjola Nallbani.

FIK 56: FIRST NIGHT RUNNING ORDER

  1. Elton Deda – “Fjalët”
  2. Mariza Ikonomi – “Unë”
  3. Endri & Stefi Prifti – “Mesazh”
  4. Evans Rama – “Gjurmët”
  5. David & Genc Tukici – “Të pandarë”
  6. Voltan Prodani – “E pamundur”
  7. Eugent Bushpepa – “Mall”
  8. Rezarta Smaja & Luis Ejlli – “Ra një yll”
  9. Bojken Lako – “Sytë e shpirtit”
  10. Manjola Nallbani – “I njëjti qiell”
  11. Redon Makashi – “Ekziston”

Special guests will also join the show.

Tonight we’ll see Riccardo Cocciante, the Italian singer who coached Elhaida Dani on The Voice of Italy, and they will sing “Notre Dame de Paris” together.

The show will be hosted by Albanian journalist and television host Adi Krasta, who has hosted the festival five times before — in 1997, 1999, 2002, 2003 and 2006.

How to watch FiK56 online and outside of Albania

The show will start tonight at 20:40 CET and is scheduled to run for two hours. Here is a video by Eurovision Albania explaining how you can watch Festivali i Kenges this evening.

READ MORE ALBANIA EUROVISION NEWS

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Exceeder
Guest
Exceeder

Albania is so behind the times it’s unreal. It’s a small miracle theyre comfortable using microphones so far behind the times that they are

Dansk27
Guest
Dansk27

You don’t even make any sense at all, troll!

irish esc
Guest
irish esc

eugent was amazing last night his performance gave me life i hope he win and reprensts albania at esc : )

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

Eugent has WORLD CLASS VOCALS. Seriously, I can’t believe how effortless that was live!!

Jo
Guest
Jo

Videos of tonight’s perfomances are all on Youtube already, if you’re interested…

Jo
Guest
Jo

“Mall” was just amazing! Eugent can do very well at ESC.

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

Link please?

Jo
Guest
Jo
Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

Fantastic. Thank you. 🙂
I only finished work an hour ago, so I’m watching the performances now.

Colin
Guest
Colin

After tonight, here are my top 5 from the first semi:

1. Luiz and Rezarta
2. Mariza
3. Eugent
4. Bojken
5. Manjola

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

Based on performance (not songs):
1. Eugent
2. Elton
3. Mariza
4. Marjola
5. (I’m struggling… sorry! I would only put 4 through.)

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

4 = Manjola* (sorry for the typo)

Zebb
Guest
Zebb

Instead of advancing it’s removed again…

Azaesc
Guest
Azaesc

My absolute favorite is Orgesa’s song but I unfortunately don’t see juries going for it. I guess I’ll root for Inis and Xhesika, since they have a more realistic chance.

AngieP
Guest
AngieP

Only the jury? It worries me. I’m afraid we’ll end up with a great vocalist with a ballad. Hope I’m wrong.

Colin
Guest
Colin

Probably a great vocalist with a ballad… which will probably be translated as well. I assume “Piedestal” would become “Pedestal” and “Perjete” would become “Forever” by February or so. It’s such a shame Albania always feels the need to translate into English and thus becoming less unique.

bulgariastan
Guest
bulgariastan

Not sure if anyone else has pointed this out but on the header image, it says Manhole Nallbani instead of Manjola…

Michael Adam
Guest
Michael Adam

Haha Omg I just saw that and I wanted to post it. That’s very odd…!

Robyn Gallagher
Editor

Oh dear! It looks like that stems from Google Translate. Anyway, I’ve updated with a new image. Full respect to Manjola! 😀

Héctor
Guest
Héctor

I really hope they don’t choose the typical ballad that get stuck in ESC Semifinals. As Robyn said, this year FiK has some interesting options. They don’t need to go for the highest note! Anyway, in 2016, the jury gave the 2nd place to Aslaidon Zaimaj with “Mërme qe söt” who was my fav and something really up to our days!

Héctor
Guest
Héctor

So maybe they won’t go for a dated ballad, I mean.

blondboybc
Guest
blondboybc

Cheering for Eugent Bushpepa in tonight’s semi! Not sure about 100% jury voting…let’s hope they understand quality in both song and voice…too many screaming divas have been sent in many ESC events. Dare to be different, Albania!

Robyn Gallagher
Editor

Albania has always done their own thing with FiK. It’s never primarily been about Eurovision. Sometimes the FiK winner works as a Eurovision entry (“Suus”), most of the time it doesn’t, despite the notorious Albanian “revamps”.

There are several songs in FiK 56 that would work as really good ESC entries. Whether one of those will get selected is a different matter entirely.

KESC
Guest
KESC

Albania should really change their selection method. FIK doesn’t work for them, doesn’t RTSH get it? The only time they achieved a TOP 10 place was in 2012, and since then, they’ve always missed the finals, with the exception of 2015. And why? Because Elhaida’s song was later internally selected, and suited her better. All the Albanian contestants so far had beautiful voices. Eneda, Lindita, Hersi, but all three songs were not catchy or interesting. If they want to choose their contestants via FiK, they can do so. But they should only select the artist, and the song should be… Read more »

Ines
Guest
Ines

yess so true i am from Albania and all i can say evrybody here despise this festival. it was so bad last year everyone criticize it for being unproffesional. I hope this year we send a decent entry. My expections are are very low though 🙁

blondboybc
Guest
blondboybc

They said they posted the songs online so people could hear the songs in advance and “support them”, but the public has NO say in the outcome? How does that even make sense? Based on yt views, Eugent is faring the best at over 52 k views!

Chris
Guest
Chris

I’m not sure if it is a good idea. Since it’s just a jury vote, Inis Neziri will win it all. That means just one thing, Albania stays in the semi final. Reason? They just try with similar female ballads for few years and this will be another in the row. I have to admit that ‘Piedestal’ is such a great song and would like it if it makes to the final but it’s was already seen 100 times. In my opinion, Orgesa Zaimi would be a perfect choice for Albania. Fingers crossed, Orgesa Zaimi to Lisbon!

Briekimchi
Guest
Briekimchi

100% jury vote —> Inis winning —> Semi-Final exit for Albania.

Jo
Guest
Jo

Sadly. And FiK is so strong this year.

Polegend Godgarina
Guest
Polegend Godgarina

I haven’t heard their songs apart from a terrible screamfest (I think it was Piedestal), but knowing them, they’ll choose the most old-fashioned and clichéd entry in the bunch.

Matthew
Guest
Matthew

No televotes?! All they need now is cheesy hosts, horrific camera angles, endless interval acts and crappy results and it will just be like JESC 2016

Polegend Godgarina
Guest
Polegend Godgarina

Kii. Another flop in the basket then.

Colin
Guest
Colin

So, to watch it, we have to download an app on our phones? No possibility of watching it on our computers (unless a kind soul provides us a You Tube link)?

William Lee Adams
Admin

Last year it was available on the RTSH live stream Not 100% clear yet, but it will hopefully work again tonight: http://rtsh.al/rtsh-live/RTSH-HD.html

tvfan
Guest
tvfan

The good link is this one : http://rtsh.al/rtsh-live/RTSH1-HD.html 😉

Colin
Guest
Colin

Thank you William Lee Adams and tvfan 🙂 I hope it works. 🙂

MTD
Guest
MTD

Oh, FIK again trying to be Sanremo, but for poor souls.

At least they stage in late years is an improvement. This one looks like taken from the Oscars show.

Either way, whichever song RTSH bosses choose (let’s not fool ourselves), will be revamped and from the first, will be among the last ESC known songs of the season.

Roll on New Year!

Polegend Godgarina
Guest
Polegend Godgarina

Uh, Sanremo has televote and we, paying people, defeated those tasteless juries that wanted the lullaby chanteuse Fiorella Mannoia to win as a career prize.

MTD
Guest
MTD

Oh, I really, really wanted Vietato Morire to win it all because it is a great song, and better than the other two. It is a timeless tune, unlike the already forgotten monkey and the snoozefest of the lady.

Marco
Guest
Marco

worst selection ever

Mark
Guest
Mark

So Albania won’t be winning Eurovision in 2018.

Cabemaru
Guest
Cabemaru

Oooh only a profesional jury. I don’t like it

Xepher
Guest
Xepher

So we’re gonna have another female ballad this year from Albania I assume?

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

You’ll find out on Saturday. How much would you bet on it? 😉

Mark
Guest
Mark

FiK jury always chooses the wrong song.

KESC
Guest
KESC

100% jury votes? What the hell? Why choosing an entry via national final, if it will be choosen by the jury either way?!
I really don’t get countries that use the method 100% jury votes. A national selection normally stands for the jury’s and the public’s votes.

I’m afraid Albania is on the wrong way again.

thespb01
Guest
thespb01

I don’t know why you’re so surprised. All Albanian entries since 2007 have been chosen by a jury.

Xepher
Guest
Xepher

Last year was a 12 person jury and televote for the final

Mark
Guest
Mark

FiK needs a lot to improve on.

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

Gets ready for the backlash in this comments section…

Jo
Guest
Jo

hahaha ^^

Volare
Guest
Volare

I’d rather get ready for spamming trolls like you 😉

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

Yeah, whatever.