Albania‘s broadcaster RTSH has confirmed that it will go ahead with the 59th edition of its long-running song contest Festivali i Këngës. As usual, the contest will also be used to select Albania’s entry for Eurovision 2021. This means that last year’s winner Arilena Ara will most likely not receive a free pass to Rotterdam.

Arilena Ara won the last edition of Albania’s national final and was expecting to head Rotterdam last May with her song “Fall From The Sky”. Unfortunately, Eurovision 2020 was cancelled due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This meant that the X Factor Albania winner did not have the chance to realise her Eurovision dream in 2020.

Broadcaster RTSH has now confirmed that Festivali i Këngës 59 will take place this December. While the song festival predates Albania’s Eurovision participation, since 2003 the winner of FiK has always gone on to represent Albania at Eurovision the following year.

This strongly suggests that Arilena Ara will not be chosen internally to represent Albania at the Eurovision Song Contest 2021 in Rotterdam. But it doesn’t rule out the possibility of Arilena returning to FiK 59 as a contestant to try her luck again for Eurovision 2021.

More details about Festivali i Këngës 59

Local news media Zëri reports that although there are still many uncertainties due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it has become clear that the Festivali i Këngës will take place no matter what.

Currently, all large public gatherings in Albania are indefinitely cancelled. It is not known if this restriction will remain in place in December and what effect, if any, COVID-19 precautions will have on Festivali i Këngës 59.

Festivali i Këngës has been held annually since 1962. In 2003, the festival began double duty as Albania’s national selection, with the FiK winner also representing Albania at Eurovision.

Today a meeting took place between the Deputy General Director of RTSH Martin Leka and people in the field like musicians and songwriters. Issues regarding the organization of FiK59 were discussed in this meeting. Among topics discussed were an evaluation commission for the song selection and criteria for participation.

The submissions for FiK 59 will be made to the selection committee this September. The official dates for Festivali i Këngës will be announced at a later time.

Are you excited about Festivali i Këngës 59? Do you think it’s fair that Arilena Ara will not be chosen automatically for Eurovision 2021? Let us know in the comment section down below!

Read more Albania Eurovision news here

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Micky
Micky
3 months ago

Hear me out, guys. Arilena goes to ESC 2021 AND: Winner of Fik 59 and Fik 60 both compete in a superfinal after Fik 60 to determine the 2022 representative as a combination of giving the Fik 59 winner a chance to go to Eurovision and as a special for Festivali i Kenges’s 60th birthday maybe? And MAYBE allow the televoting to vote in the superfinal? It’s just an idea… Think about it.

Last edited 3 months ago by Micky
MyName
MyName
3 months ago

I look very much foward to FIK 🙂 One of my favourite NFs. Why? No 3 minutes rule, live music, always some rock songs, songs in native tongue, and focus on music – not visual stuff. Regardless of what I might think of Arilena Arafor ESC 2020 or not. But to be honest, it’s good that some countries don’t go for the copy / paste option

Hyunwoo
Hyunwoo
3 months ago

Who wants Elhaida Dani or Elvana Gjata?

Last edited 3 months ago by Hyunwoo
Polegend Godgarina
Polegend Godgarina
3 months ago

tbh albania should consider selecting internally… they have such a vibrant music industry, but fik’s dated taste will never allow their offer to truly shine

Ashton
Ashton
3 months ago

I completely disagree. FiK has had many great entries that are modern and current, although I will say that the jurors have a tendency to choose the outdated ones, especially in earlier years. But you can’t tell me that Botë, Mall, and especially Ktheju Tokës, are dated.

Eurovision fan
Eurovision fan
3 months ago
Reply to  Ashton

Yes, those songs are still not something that represents their current music industry

Last edited 3 months ago by Eurovision fan
GIOLO
GIOLO
3 months ago
Reply to  Eurovision fan

I think that a country should send good songs as a main goal, they can be modern, dated, pop, rock, ballads, etc… I don’t care about having modern or dated songs as soon as quality is provided. Since 2018, Albania brings only high-quality songs, especially Khteju Tokes and Mall.
However I would love to see Arilena being selected internally, maybe she should sing in Albanian and if her song is only half as good as Nentori, she will probably reach top 10 in ESC.

Sniper K-Wolf
Sniper K-Wolf
3 months ago

And starting to sending generic/forgettable cliche songs in a bad english like Russia ? So disrespectful, Albania like Russia have an excellent musical industry for do that. Russia would rather need to follow Kenges or San Remo. Why not a russian Slavianski Bazaar for select his songs ?

Last edited 3 months ago by Sniper K-Wolf
Una
Una
3 months ago

At least we’ll have FiK if all goes ok. Never followed it but they promote very good music. I liked a few of the songs in the past five years and that’s more that I could say for more than half the countries in Eurovision.
I was a fan of Shaj tbh. Albania’s done well with songs in Albania – just look at 2018 and 2019 with that tremendous competition in the semis.

Sniper K-Wolf
Sniper K-Wolf
3 months ago

This is the punishment for having massacred “Shaj”, why singing in the ESC if its not in your native language ?

Eurovision fan
Eurovision fan
3 months ago
Reply to  Sniper K-Wolf

Ask it Sweden

Pontus
Pontus
3 months ago
Reply to  Eurovision fan

Albania is not in Sweden. Geography please

Ashton
Ashton
3 months ago
Reply to  Pontus

That’s not Eurovision Fan’s point. Use logic, please

Kredential
Kredential
3 months ago

Was that confirmed though? Another website said they hadn’t made a decision about Arilena’s participation. You can’t assume because FiK is being held again that Arilena hasn’t been chosen as FiK exists outside of a Eurovision selection too.

If Arilena isn’t internally selected, the massive scandal that ensued would mean that we wouldn’t be seeing Elvana at Eurovision or Arilena anytime soon smh

Ashton
Ashton
3 months ago
Reply to  Kredential

It’s confirmed. They literally cited their sources.

ESC SSS
ESC SSS
3 months ago

I knew it! I knew it since the beginning that FIK will happen this year! But again, I’m kinda sad that all 2020 artists will not return next year especially for Arilena. Arilena, please sign up for FIK again so you can represent Albania with a much better song okay? Yes I would like Elvana Gjata to participate FIK again, but I just hope that Arilena will have a better song than Shaj or Fall From The Sky.

Micky
Micky
3 months ago
Reply to  ESC SSS

Didn’t you like Shaj/FFTS? I ?? it!

Briekimchi
Briekimchi
3 months ago

Obviously, I wanted Arilena to be internally-selected. She was probably this year’s best actual vocalist. However, FiK is my favourite NF so that’s a consolation and also, although I may be speculating, I don’t know how much Arilena was really *into* Eurovision. Out of all the non returns for next year, there’s the possibility that this one is one of the more mutual decisions.

Colin
Colin
3 months ago

I am sorry. I think that Arilena is an amazing singer and I really like Fall From the Sky. I think she could give us another great song. As a national selection, FiK is fascinating to watch, but also a tricky one. They have no length limit, restrict all songs to Albanian and have live music. I respect that artists from FdC and A-Dal still overwhelmingly choose their national languages, but they are given a choice. The odd thing with FiK and Beovizija is that they temporarily constrain songs into their formats, knowing they might be changed afterwards. It makes… Read more »

WannaEatMySpaghetti
WannaEatMySpaghetti
3 months ago

Well… like for every other broadcasters who took this decision, very disrespectful for the artist. I was sad when she won because I prefered Elvana but this is even sadder. I wish all the 2020 artists that won’t come back in 2021 To have a successful career.

ESCFanGA
ESCFanGA
3 months ago

I have mixed feelings about this. On one hand, I’m sad that another Eurovision 2020 singer won’t be returning in 2021 but on the other hand, I’m glad that we’ll have another national final to look forward to next year. In terms of the other countries that haven’t announced what they’ll do for 2021, I think Germany, Russia, Serbia, Ireland, Moldova, and the UK will send their 2020 artists to 2021 while Italy unfortunately most likely won’t send Diodato to Eurovision 2021 simply because Sanremo unlike Melfest or other Eurovision national finals is not a competition that is focused on… Read more »

Ashton
Ashton
3 months ago
Reply to  ESCFanGA

But then wouldn’t that mean that RAI WOULD send Diodato to Eurovision? Since Sanremo can function on its own without Eurovision, RAI can just internally select Diodato independent of Sanremo.

Dawid
Dawid
3 months ago

Just don’t translate winning song to english. If it has weird lyrics, I’d be happy if I didn’t know that.

Colin
Colin
3 months ago
Reply to  Dawid

To each their own, but I personally never resonated with that. I translate each song and if it has bad lyrics – it has bad lyrics. Sometimes I cringe when translating. I’d rather do that than praise some god-awful songwriting completely clueless. It goes double if the lyrics are not only cliche, but also problematic. Now, there is an issue of poor translations in which the English lyrics diminish or ruin the meaning the original ones had. That’s another point entirely.

Tom
Tom
3 months ago

Great news!
We have another NF selection

MyName
MyName
3 months ago
Reply to  Tom

I agree! No more copy / paste of singers from 2020. But a real NF. FIK is a good NF I think, no 3 minute rule, live music and songs sung only in the native tongue. Maybe this year’s singer will return to their music festival though, we’ll see

Last edited 3 months ago by MyName
Micky
Micky
3 months ago
Reply to  Tom

It’s good we have another NF but I’m pretty sad about Arilena, not gonna lie.

Last edited 3 months ago by Micky
Eurovision fan
Eurovision fan
3 months ago

I would love to see Elvana participating again, but it’s very unlikely to happen until they introduce televoting or only international juries. I’m sorry for Arilena.

Frisian esc
Frisian esc
3 months ago

It’s so hard not to break 🙁

Heyey
Heyey
3 months ago

Also, I suppose they want to keep the tradition of FiK as a start for a new Eurovision season. That’s why I think it’s more than likely that FiK will be used to select the entry for Eurovision 2021.

Alex
Alex
3 months ago

Are you kidding me?

RoyalPilot116
RoyalPilot116
3 months ago

Well she better join FIK again and win it again! I ain’t having it Albania, Arilena is a vocal queen!

Heyey
Heyey
3 months ago
Reply to  RoyalPilot116

Yup! She sure can deliver vocally and I have to say that I loved the revamp more than the original.

Heyey
Heyey
3 months ago

The article says though: “As usual, the contest will also be used to select Albania’s entry for Eurovision 2021.”

Not sure if it’s actually confirmed the FiK winner will go to ESC 2021, it could only be an assumption.

Edit: Forgot to press reply, but i’m replying to ani

Last edited 3 months ago by Heyey
Luxe
Luxe
3 months ago

We still want Elvana!

ani
ani
3 months ago

they never actually said the winner will go to esc

Joe
Joe
3 months ago
Reply to  ani

FiK did function for years as a show of its own like Sanremo, where going to Eurovision was the bonus if you won. So not an impossibility, I suppose.

Cillian
Cillian
3 months ago

She the first one I’m actually sad about I loved Fall from the sky ?

Briekimchi
Briekimchi
3 months ago
Reply to  Cillian

Sad as in you didn’t like it chosen, sad that it got revamped or sad about the fact that we won’t get to hear it at Eurovision?
FFTS was my #1 this year so I’m definitely in that third group.