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!