Albania’s national final Festivali i Këngës 58 continued on Friday night with the second semi-final. And with that came the confirmation of the 12 acts who will be competing in the grand final this Sunday.

The acts were assessed by a jury consisting of Greek Eurovision songwriter Dimitris Kontopoulos, Melodifestivalen producer Christer Björkman and Iceland’s Eurovision Head of Delegation Felix Bergsson, along with two Albanian jurors, ethnomusicologist Mikaela Minga and writer Pita Petro.

The 12 acts making it to the grand final were revealed on a special show held after the second semi-final. There, jury member Christer Björkman confirmed that Albërie Hadërgjonaj, Arilena Ara, Bojken Lako, Elvana Gjata, Era Rusi, Gena, Kamela Islamaj, Olta Boka, Sara Bajraktari, Robert Berisha, Tiri Gjoci and Valon Shehu will be heading to the grand final on Sunday.

The qualifiers were not evenly split between the two semi-finals. Five acts from the first semi-final qualified, while seven made it from the second.

Among the qualifiers was Arilena Ara, whose performance of “Shaj” had been a highlight of the second semi-final. She looked striking in a black bodysuit and served vocals just as strong.

Another qualifier was Valon Shehu, who delivered some Albanian rock realness with his performance of “Kutia e Pandores”. He performed the Eugent Bushpepa-penned song with plenty of attitude and energy, with the song combining rock, electronic and orchestral elements.

For some fans, it was a surprise that Kanita Suma did not make grand final. Her semi-final performance of “Ankth” was a favourite for some, though others noted that her vocals were not the strongest. In one of the strongest ever Festivali i Këngës lineups, competition is tight.

Tonight’s selected finalists will compete in the grand final of Festivali i Këngës 58. It will be held in two days time, on Sunday 22 December. The winner of FiK58 will go on to represent Albania at Eurovision 2020.

Festivali i Këngës 58 – grand finalists

  • Albërie Hadërgjonaj – “Ku ta gjej dikë ta dua”
  • Arilena Ara – “Shaj”
  • Bojken Lako – “Malaseen”
  • Elvana Gjata – “Me tana”
  • Era Rusi – “Eja merre”
  • Gena – “Shqiponja e lirë”
  • Kamela Islamaj – “Më ngjyros”
  • Olta Boka – “Botë për dy”
  • Sara Bajraktari – “Ajër”
  • Robert Berisha – “Ajo nuk është unë”
  • Tiri Gjoci – “Me gotën bosh”
  • Valon Shehu – “Kutia e Pandorës”

Festivali i Këngës 58 – Eliminated acts

  • Aldo Bardhi – “Melodi”
  • Devis Xherahu – “Bisedoj me serenatën”
  • Eli Fara & Stresi – “Bohemë”
  • Kanita Suma – “Ankth”
  • Kastro Zizo – “Asaj”
  • Nadia and Genc Tukiçi – “Ju flet Tirana”
  • Renis Gjoka – “Loja”
  • Wendi Mancaku – “Ende”

Poll: Who should win Festivali i Këngës 58?

The grand final of FiK58 will take place on Sunday, but before that we want you to tell us who you think should win the contest — and represent Albania at Eurovision 2020. As always, you can vote for as many acts as you like, but you can only vote once — so make it count!

What do you think? Are you happy with the finalists? Who would you like to win the grand final? Tell us your thoughts below!

Follow all of our Albania Eurovision 2020 news.

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Manu Brakaj
9 months ago

Sara je numer nji e meriton ??

Dritan Koçi
Dritan Koçi
9 months ago

Sara is the best…

Elda dyrmishi
Elda dyrmishi
9 months ago

Sara Bajraktari is the best

Kazakhstan is Europe
Kazakhstan is Europe
9 months ago

Who won?

beccaboo1212
9 months ago

Arilena 🙂

Dea_sh
Dea_sh
9 months ago

The best vocal Sara with the most powerful balad. If Albania pick a balad Sara is the right choise, if Albania wants to chose something else she is Era Rusi. Good luck to Sara and Era!

Kaiser
Kaiser
9 months ago

Elvana’s song might be another “basic uptempo” song, but hey, we are talking about Albania here, who’ve sent ballads most of the time, right? We aren’t talking about Sweden here, so the notions should be different. Albania needs something new, something upbeat that can probably bring their best result ever. Elvana’s song is not a cheap copy of Fuego or Replay. She can sing, she can dance, she can perform. While Eleni (not taking anything from her) needed 4 backvocalists, while Elvana had to sing everything alone and nailed it. Tamta meanwhile was incredibly bad vocally. I know Rona gave… Read more »

Neviana woite
Neviana woite
9 months ago

SARA IS THE BEST !!!

Noeli
Noeli
9 months ago
Reply to  Neviana woite

Sara Bajraktari

mia
mia
9 months ago

Gena made it to the finals? You must be kidding me: Such a stupid and cheap text, song and singer!

Tom
Tom
9 months ago
Reply to  mia

He will win

Lourdes
Lourdes
9 months ago

I really like Kamela and Arilena, but I also think that Albania needs to bring an uptempo song this year, so either Elvana or Era would be good choices.

ALEX
ALEX
9 months ago

Elvana, please……. I am praying the judges don’t mess this up! 🙁 It’s the first time in history they have a song so catchy. Millions of views in just a few days.

Esc1234
Esc1234
9 months ago

Unpopular statement: Fik is, and will be, the best national final of the year. Such a diversity of songs and great vocalists. I mean I love Elvana but arilenas perfomance left me speechless. Wow.

Alybloggs
Alybloggs
9 months ago

I hope Gena wins and will prove you all wrong

Vangelis vt
Vangelis vt
9 months ago
Reply to  Alybloggs

They can do that and definitely be disqualified for advocating expansionism against neighboring countries in the lyrics.

Colin
Colin
9 months ago
Reply to  Vangelis vt

*This*. I am so fed-up with Croatian songs claiming Herzegovina based on ethnic connection and I see the similar tendencies in Gena’s song. It definitely rubs me the wrong way. There’s nothing wrong with a gentle patriotism. Khteju tokes had it in an elegant way. This year’s semi-finalists Genc and Nadia also have it, but it was done in a way that it evokes gentler feelings towards their country and capital city. Gena’s lyrics (mentioning Kosovo as an Albanian territory), especially paired with a really drum-heavy instrumental alike a stadium anthem, could be interpreted as aggressive. Thus, it could serve… Read more »

Malo
Malo
9 months ago
Reply to  Vangelis vt

Sure man, Albania is coming for all Balkan. Come on, get serious.

Colin
Colin
9 months ago
Reply to  Alybloggs

Umm… they *could* remove some lyrics, but until they don’t, it’s an issue worthy of addressing. It’s not any less important than any other aspect of the song.

Mony
Mony
9 months ago

Elvana by miles, miles away from the rest. Valon Shehu’s song is pure noise, sorry but this is not music!!!!!

Héctor
Héctor
9 months ago

Sad “Ende” didn’t make it but Wendi was a bit off in some parts. Valon or Elvana it seems. I would prefer Valon, I’m tired of divas with overrated untempo songs. “Me tana” is enjoyable but just another song. Era Rusi could be a third option, I like “Eja Merre” better than “Me tana”, the ethnic sound add some special flabour to it, though I would change the staging.

Malo
Malo
9 months ago
Reply to  Héctor

RTSH would kill ‘Eja Merre’s staging in Eurovision. So this is the best that song’s gonna get.

Khazar
9 months ago

Elvana please!

NickC
NickC
9 months ago
Reply to  Khazar

I really don’t get Elvana

Khazar
9 months ago
Reply to  NickC

Why? She is the best albanian singer for me. I think she will win tomorrow.. She has a good voice and perfect song

Nicky91
Nicky91
9 months ago
Reply to  Khazar

also a huge name in albania’s music scene, if aurela gace could win FiK so can elvana

EscStuff
EscStuff
9 months ago
Reply to  Nicky91

Are you pro Elvana or against her Nicky91 cause I’ve seen you make stupid remarks hating on her and then I’ve also seen you root for her. Are there two Nicky91s?

Nuduecrudi
Nuduecrudi
9 months ago

I voted for Valon, Elvana and Kamela. Three different genres but all of them valid contenders for representing Albania in Esc.
A step down for Arilena and Era.

EscStuff
EscStuff
9 months ago
Reply to  Nuduecrudi

We have the exact same opinion!

Bryn
Bryn
9 months ago

I think the two who are most deserving are Era and Elvana

Bryn
Bryn
9 months ago

I think Era or Elvana should win

Brooklyn
Brooklyn
9 months ago

No Kanita!!! WTF

Tibor
Tibor
9 months ago

Okay, folks, I don’t hear what’s supposed to be wrong with Kanita Suma’s vocals except for the beginning of her performance, when she was still a little shaky, and the sound mixing, which was off for half of the contestants (including Kamela Islamaj for example), I thought that was some sort of FiK-tradition.
Overall, nothing too unexpected and nothing too outrageous happened, yes, I would have let Aldo Bardhi and Wendi Mancaku advance to the final, but it’s not as shocking as leaving out Mirud last year, tbh, so I’m fine. I don’t have a clear favourite this year.

MaxHightower
MaxHightower
9 months ago

WOW, Arilena KILLED it! best performance of the night by far! Both her and Kamela are my absolute favs.

But there seems to be a clear favourite: Elvana, and I´ll be delighted if she wins, mostly for all the fans who adore her.

Good luck to all!

Nicky91
Nicky91
9 months ago
Reply to  MaxHightower

elvana has fans???

also she isn’t the clear favourite by far, at least if ur realistic

Nicky91
Nicky91
9 months ago
Reply to  Nicky91

aw better than the insulting which i know most elvana fans will do when she doesn’t win and whoever wins is getting lots of hate :'(

Malo
Malo
9 months ago
Reply to  Nicky91

Cheer up, it’s the holidays.

Kaiser
Kaiser
9 months ago
Reply to  Nicky91

Nicky boy, give yourself a break and get a life

Jakub
Jakub
9 months ago

Is there anyone like me who hopes Era Rusi wins and Elvana/Arilena flops?

Graham
Graham
9 months ago
Reply to  Jakub

Valon for me. Elvana sounded too breathless

Malo
Malo
9 months ago
Reply to  Jakub

You don’t need to put other contestants down to support your favourite.

Nicky91
Nicky91
9 months ago

forget about elvana, her song won’t win, and why do they Always have to mention her in topic titles, quite annoying but luckily after tomorrow no more elvana threads thank god

Malo
Malo
9 months ago
Reply to  Nicky91

Did she bully you or smth? Why are you so obsessed? Genuinely curious.

Geo
Geo
9 months ago

I was listening again both Elvana and Arilena, how can anyone compare these two? Yes, they’re both young and talented, great vocalists, but their songs make the diference! Arilena’s song is quite flat, just the usual yearly dramatic ballad sung by a powerful female vocalist, while Elvana’s having an ethno banger. It’s about time Albania send an uptempo act, the last time it was in 2010!!!

Jake Dallas
Jake Dallas
9 months ago

Bojken gets lucky every year even when his songs aren’t that good.

Dani
Dani
9 months ago

My favourite is Kamela. I hope that she ends up being a surprise winner. But I am fine with Arilena too. Great performances. Choose wisely, Albania.

Mill
Mill
9 months ago
Reply to  Dani

Albania doesn’t even have a say lmao, it’s mostly in the hands of international jury aka Christer Björkman

Nicky91
Nicky91
9 months ago
Reply to  Mill

thankfully in hands of international jury, so Elvana is a no hoper with her basic crap

#Go4Arilena, the one with most potential

Nicky91
Nicky91
9 months ago
Reply to  Nicky91

elvana would be a sure nq for Albania though, i mean wouldn’t surprise me if she’d rank overall last place if she goes to esc, which i hope not cause Albania doesn’t deserve a overall last place

with her basic dull uptempo compared to some of those class ballads (arilena, alberie, kamela) who pour their heart and soul out on stage, or Valon’s energy (who has 1000 times more energy than lazy diva elvana)

Roy Moreno
Roy Moreno
9 months ago

Also had to add that Arilena reminded me of Monika Marija there xD
Now, after listening to the live performances while I’m not half asleep, Shaj goes down to my 3rd place
Me tana and Kutia e Pandorës are my top 2 (in no particular order)
Both would be great choices for Albania imo
I think I prefer Valon though over Elvana, just so we have something fresh and different, more epic but I wouldn’t mind Me Tana as well (both should make a better staging though)

Nicky91
Nicky91
9 months ago
Reply to  Roy Moreno

Arilena is better than the basic monika marija honestly, and far better (i mean that emotion, passion, gorgeous live vocals)

Roy Moreno
Roy Moreno
9 months ago
Reply to  Nicky91

Oh well I actually meant to her look rather than vocals :3

Balint
Balint
9 months ago

Just like last year, it’s my favorite entry which didn’t qualify :/
I’m glad that Elvana and Arilena qualified though.
May the best one win!

Polegend Godgarina
Polegend Godgarina
9 months ago

no ankth but yes certain other predictable emotionless ballads…. k

Kris
Kris
9 months ago

She was off vocally in parts
For me Wendy with ende was more surprising

Albanian guy
Albanian guy
9 months ago

Eli Fara, Kanita and Wendi should have been there in the final instead of Bojken, Olta and Robert.

Albanian guy
Albanian guy
9 months ago

Just like last year with Mirud, this year Wendi got mega ROBBED.
It’s like the FiK team eliminates on purpose 1 or 2 songs every year that are good, but qualifies some bland and unoriginal songs like Robert Berisha.

Maxim
Maxim
9 months ago
Reply to  Albanian guy

Omg exactly what I thought. I really can’t understand why Mirud and Wendi didn’t make it to the final. I literally can’t come up with a reason as to why they didn’t qualify. On what criteria does the jury judge the songs?

Roy Moreno
Roy Moreno
9 months ago

Either Elvana, Arilena, or Valon should win it
I also votes for some other favourites of mine such as Sara and Kamela

Nicky91
Nicky91
9 months ago
Reply to  Roy Moreno

Elvana won’t win, she is up against vocally flawless arilena, era, valon

Arilena to win, Shaj is made for eurovision, it is the typical balkan ballad you Always hear at eurovision honestly

Roy Moreno
Roy Moreno
9 months ago
Reply to  Nicky91

I adore balkan ballads but unfortunately, in recent years, balkan ballads have done poorly
Ljubav Je failed to qualify, Inje failed to qualify, while Kruna didn’t reach a high placement in the final
Eugent’s Mall reached an impressive 11th so perhaps choosing Valon would be a wise move (we barely get rock songs so they usually stand out and Valon has such a rich voice anyway and a great song)
I think Kutia e Pandorës would be the best choice for Albania this year 🙂

Loin dici
9 months ago

Whoever wins, I’d be happy for them. It’s still too early to tell their Eurovision prospects since we still need 40 more entries. HOWEVER, I don’t want Elvana to be another Saara or Conan, just to be clear.

Polegend Godgarina
Polegend Godgarina
9 months ago
Reply to  Loin dici

presenting a song with a drop in 2020 is like asking to flop but they have 30 seconds to cut from it so i hope they remove the dated out of it

Kirby
Kirby
9 months ago

Elvana is just another Eleni Foureira or Tamta. Her song sounds like a follow-up of She Got Me. Era Rusi (with a good hairstyling, makeup and staging and WITHOUT the Soldi-like dancers) could be a good option.

Malo
Malo
9 months ago
Reply to  Kirby

If Era wins, RTSH will kill her staging as it has done to past entries. Elvana at least can put on a good stage performance, she has connections and stuff.

Kaiser
Kaiser
9 months ago
Reply to  Kirby

Elvana can sing, can perform and can fire up the stage. While Eleni needed 4 backvocalists, and tamta fked up big time with the vocals. so stop with your nonsense comparisons

Jack
Jack
9 months ago

Can we just appreciate how many steps ahead the Fik has made? Congrats to the new director, this is a great and contemporary national final

Melody
Melody
9 months ago

I can believe Robert Berisha qualified instead of kanita and Wendi

Mr Vanilla Bean
9 months ago

I see that Sara and Bojken are in the final. So far, I like the voting. Personally, I’d also be delighted about Arilena, but sorry, I feel nothing when I hear that song. I was fully prepared for Elvana to win because 1) I don’t think this jury will make waves and 2) they might probably hire the other Greek to do Elvana’s Eurovision staging. But now I see there are two Albanians added, so who knows.

Nicky91
Nicky91
9 months ago

but elvana won’t be at eurovision, it is already sure she won’t win tomorrow

Garrow
Garrow
9 months ago
Reply to  Nicky91

There will be chosen winner of FiK and representant for ESC separately so she might go. We dont know

Malo
Malo
9 months ago
Reply to  Garrow

Where did you hear that? 99% sure it’s false.

Tom
Tom
9 months ago

Devis, Renis and Kastro were my favourires before live show, now i understand that you should sing or you will go home …..

I have top 7 – Tiri, Gena, Elvana, Arilena, Valon, Alberie, Era
(I must say, Alberie, Valon and Era impressed me after live show )
Still think it should be between – Gena, Elvana and Arilena
Gena is kind of – Jonida + Oto
Elvana – Eleni+ Tamta+ Iveta + armenian sisters from 2009
Arilena was kind of unique -she served Black Swan

Nicky91
Nicky91
9 months ago
Reply to  Tom

Arilena looked sexy in that dress 🙂

her vocals were perfection too

Era was HOT with that styling, a positive surprise for me performance wise too how modern and current it looked

Billy
Billy
9 months ago

My favorite loja was eliminated, but the singer’s performance was kind of weird, so that might have been why. However as a song I thought it was perfect for Eurovision.

Purple Mask
Purple Mask
9 months ago

I have not seen all of the performances (due to my busy life and YouTube not easily providing them), but I’m a little surprised that Aldo didn’t qualify. Was it the funky song or the choreography that didn’t score well, I wonder?
Anyhow, this is looking like smooth sailing for Elvana. 🙂
My second favourite so far is Sara. I didn’t like Arilena’s song at all, but I like her voice.

Briekimchi
Briekimchi
9 months ago
Reply to  Purple Mask

RTSH is always a few days behind when it comes to getting the performances up on their official channel. I think youtube (as a whole) has just about caught up with SF1 and that took about 24 hours so it should come!
I think Aldo’s song wasn’t helped by the orchestra and vocally, he wasn’t brilliant.

Eurovisionfan12
Eurovisionfan12
9 months ago
Reply to  Purple Mask

His vocals sounded really weak (especially the ani ani part) so I’m not shocked he didn’t get through even if he was in my personal top 5

Sabrina
Sabrina
9 months ago
Reply to  Purple Mask

I’ve never been a fan of his song, but I felt his performance was a little awkward, mostly because of the choreography going on around him. By the way, most choreographies so far have been a little weird. Which I suppose may end up helping Elvana, since her presentation looked more professional and better rehearsed.

Khan
Khan
9 months ago

If Elvana doesn’t win I would be very happy with Era winning. Both great modern uptempo songs which would bring a great result for Albania!

Polegend Godgarina
Polegend Godgarina
9 months ago
Reply to  Khan

what year do u live in in order to think those songs are ‘modern’ lmaooo

Kris
Kris
9 months ago

Well they are not from 1950s , so yeah they are modern by all standards

Maia
Maia
9 months ago

Should have been Kanita and Wendi instead of Robert and Valon. I really like Albërie and I hope she comes in the top 3 along with Arilena and Elvana who’s my winner. Gena’s song is also awesome!

Briekimchi
Briekimchi
9 months ago

I really wish Arilena could win this contest as she has the best song and the best performance. However, due to its wider appeal, Albania needs to send Elvana to Eurovision.

Colin
Colin
9 months ago
Reply to  Briekimchi

I see where you’re coming from, but I’d stick to my favorite song, even if I’m the only one who likes it. If I were a jury member, I guess that “mass appeal” would be a factor, but even then, one cannot precisely predict the outcome in ESC. A lot of twists and turns can happen.

Sabrina
Sabrina
9 months ago

The sound was better and there were great vocal performances in the 2nd semi. My favorites were Arilena (that’s how you sell a power ballad) and Valon (great energy). My personal winner is between them, Kamela and Elvana. 4 completely different songs, so it’s difficult to compare, personal taste ends up counting a lot. I like Era’s song also, but the staging was a mess. I would replace Robert with Wendi in the final. Kanita had one of my favorite songs, but since we had many ballads with stronger vocals, I guess it’s not an absurd that she hasn’t qualifed.

Kredential
Kredential
9 months ago

“One of the strongest line ups ever” really? 2016 blows this out of the water by miles, I could count the good songs of the selection on one hand. Anyway, I am shocked that Kanita didn’t qualify, I pegged it as finishing near the top and for me was the standout performance of the first semi (bar the sound mixing and vocal issues). This is Elvana’s to lose, it always has been since the moment her name was announced. It is extremely difficult to pick the winner – Elvana is almost guaranteed a podium finish based on her name alone,… Read more »

Timi
Timi
9 months ago

Arilena or Elvana, amazing voices and really good songs. Albania always delivering. :’)

Ixuxu
Ixuxu
9 months ago

Arilena is better than Elvana
Hate me, but it is true

Khan
Khan
9 months ago
Reply to  Ixuxu

Nah, Arilena just has another basic ballad.

Melody
Melody
9 months ago
Reply to  Khan

and elvana has another basic uptempo song

Kaiser
Kaiser
9 months ago
Reply to  Melody

Yes Elvana has another basic uptempo song which Albania HAS NEVER sent before and which can bring Albania’s probably best result ever. While Arilena’s song is another ballad Albania has sent 10000 times and 80% of the times failed. So stfu with yet deluded hate MeLoDy

Nicky91
Nicky91
9 months ago
Reply to  Ixuxu

yep Arilena is vocally 1000 times better than Elvana

i don’t want Elvana to flop at ESC and risk hurting her career

Rich Uk
Rich Uk
9 months ago

Kanita was one of my potential winner. Can’t stop listening to her song “Ankth”. I am in shock!! Her time will come for sure.

alex
alex
9 months ago

kanitha out hahahahahahahahahahah come on

alex
alex
9 months ago
Reply to  alex

(sarcasm) she should be top 3 no doubt