Twenty-six artists entered Festivali i Këngës 59. Following one Covid diagnosis, 25 made it to the live shows. But only 18 have made it to the grand final of Albania’s Eurovision 2021 selection.

Last night we launched a flash poll asking you which of the 18 finalists deserves to win. We received a total of 2,814 votes and can now reveal that Inis Neziri is our readers’ favourite with her song “Pendesë”.

If you want to see the complete results, please scroll to the end of this post. If you want to live some drama, watch our video below which presents the artists from #18 to #1 based on our readers’ votes.

Who are the FiK 59 jurors?

Seven jurors will decide who wins and goes to Eurovision 2021. They include five music industry professionals and two members of the RTSH staff. These are the rumoured names. When we approached RTSH they said they could neither confirm nor deny.

  • Robert Radoja (Composer)
  • Vasil Tole (Musicologist)
  • Prec Zogaj (Lyricist)
  • Rame Lahaj (Tenor)
  • Zana Shuteriqi (Composor)

 

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Running order for the FiK 59 final

1. Sardi Strugaj
2. Xhesika Polo
3. Orgesa Zaimi
4. Wendi Mancaku
5. Era Rusi
6. Gjergj Kaqinari
7. Rosela Gjylbegu
8. Devis Xherahu
9. Mirud
10. Gigliola Haveriku
11. Viktor Tahiraj
12. Kamela Islamaj
13. Florent Abrashi
14. Inis Neziri
15. Evi Reçi
16. Anxhela Peristeri
17. Festina Mejzini
18. Kastro Zizo

FiK 59: Complete poll results

1. Inis Neziri – “Pendesë”
23.81%, 670

2. Era Rusi – “Zjarri im”
21.11%, 594

3. Mirud – “Nëse vdes”
15.35%, 432

4. Anxhela Peristeri – “Karma”
12.26%, 345

5. Xhesika Polo – “Më mbron”
6.68%, 188

6. Rosela Gjylbegu – “Vashëzo”
4.09%, 115

7. Orgesa Zaimi – “Valixhja e kujtimeve”
2.52%, 71

8. Giliola Haveriku – “E lirë”
1.99%, 56

9. Klevis Bega (Kastro Ziso) – “Vallja e jetës”
1.88%, 53

10. Evi Reçi -“Tjerr”
1.78%, 50

11. Kamela Islamaj – “Ajo vajza”
1.71%, 48

12. Wendi Mancaku – “Si ajo”
1.60%, 45

13. Sardi Strugaj – “Kam me t’ba me kajt”
1.49%, 42

14. Florent Abrashi – “Vajzë”
1.07%, 30

15. Gjergj Kaçinari -“Më jep jetë”
1.03%, 29

16. Festina Mejzini – “Kush je ti dashuri”
0.64%, 18

17. Viktor Tahiraj – “Nënë”
0.60%, 17

18. Devis Xherahu – “Peng”
0.39%, 11

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Pasadena
Pasadena
3 months ago

Now can we have all of them released on Spotify, please?

Lolek
Lolek
3 months ago
Reply to  Pasadena

THIS!!! I’ve been jaming to Mirud on spotify and its great and all, but I’ve been waiting for Pendese and Zjarri im forever now.

Giolo
Giolo
3 months ago

WAIT FESTINA AND SARDI IN TOP 3!??
What the hell happened????

Anyway happy for all the singers performances, they really worked hard and I enjoyed the show, I’d like to see the full results

hebbuzz
hebbuzz
3 months ago
Reply to  Giolo

Festina had a song about abortion so probably the lyrics made the difference. She is a good singer too.

Colin
Colin
3 months ago
Reply to  hebbuzz

Really, she also had a song about abortion? Hopefully, hers was not as problematic as Erik’s.

Last edited 3 months ago by Colin
Ashton
Ashton
3 months ago
Reply to  hebbuzz

that’s a lie. just checked the lyrics, absolutely nothing about abortion.

Colin
Colin
3 months ago
Reply to  Ashton

I just checked them too. They weren’t available up till recent. Those are some nice lyrics about love and longing. Nothing controversial about them. I don’t know why was this even insinuated. Anyway, congrats to Festina for her third place.

Kalla
Kalla
3 months ago

I’m not sure how I feel about the result, no mention of my favourites Xhesika or Mirad, at least Anxhela wasn’t a to controversial winner. Still clueless what the other trophies were for!

Tibor
Tibor
3 months ago

I’m a little sad for Xhesika, though.

Sabrina
Sabrina
3 months ago
Reply to  Tibor

She made her mom proud, that’s for sure. But I was definitely expecting a top 3 finish for her.

Kalla
Kalla
3 months ago
Reply to  Tibor

Absolutely gutter for her!

Colin
Colin
3 months ago
Reply to  Tibor

I am as well, but as far as we know, she might’ve been 4th or 5th and in a good line-up, that’s a respectful result. Xhesika, Klinti and Wendi will still come-up when we get to list our favorite NF songs in late March / early April. I am happy for you and Sabrina that Sardi came second. It was unexpected, but I can see why that happened. He really knows how to grab your attention. I hope we’ll see all of these talented people on next FiKs with hopefully more good songs.

Last edited 3 months ago by Colin
Sabrina
Sabrina
3 months ago
Reply to  Colin

I’ve searched Sardi and found out that he’s also an actor, which explains why he has such a good stage presence.

Oh, and a fun fact: he became famous in the local X-Factor. Who won that season was a 14 year old girl called Arilena…

Last edited 3 months ago by Sabrina
Briekimchi
Briekimchi
3 months ago

A VERY FiK top three. At least they ended up with a winner that they can work with.

Tibor
Tibor
3 months ago

Did Sardi come second? Way to go, FiK!

Sabrina
Sabrina
3 months ago
Reply to  Tibor

The Sardi fan club is much bigger than we were anticipating.

Tibor
Tibor
3 months ago
Reply to  Sabrina

And it has a lot of Albanian professors in it. 🙂

Anita
Anita
3 months ago
Reply to  Tibor

Oh, what a Fik-mas. WOW.

Colin
Colin
3 months ago

Evi – Special award
Festina – Third
Sardi – Second
Anxhela – Winner

Congrats to all! Karma is our first 2021 song. 🙂

Ashton
Ashton
3 months ago

Ok, so Anxhela won. Festina and Sardi in the top 3 (I think) is very…..interesting. Xhesika, era, and surprisingly Inis, all robbed.

Sabrina
Sabrina
3 months ago

Anxhela it is! Sardi 2nd place and Festina 3rd then? And another award to Evi.

Tibor
Tibor
3 months ago
Reply to  Sabrina

I mean, she was vocally impeccable …

Sabrina
Sabrina
3 months ago
Reply to  Tibor

She was indeed. And from the songs I thought could win (hers, Inis’ and Xhesica’s), I think we’ll have the most memorable one (at least if they don’t destroy it with revamp and translation, of course).

Ashton
Ashton
3 months ago

Wait, what award did Evi just win?

Sabrina
Sabrina
3 months ago
Reply to  Ashton

I have no idea, but I’m happy anyway!

Louka
Louka
3 months ago
Reply to  Ashton

I don’t think so. It’s not a golden trophy.

Lele
Lele
3 months ago

What did evi win? 3rd place?

Last edited 3 months ago by Lele
hebbuzz
hebbuzz
3 months ago
Reply to  Lele

No a bunch of flowers

Colin
Colin
3 months ago

Top 3 most likely winners are Inis, Anxhela and Xhesika, but knowing FiK, I am not sure this will be the exact top 3. The third / second place will be someone unexpected (Kastro? Devis? Festina?), but the first place will probably go to either Anxhela or Inis. So… let’s see…

So… Evi is third? CONGRATS! Cool song.

Last edited 3 months ago by Colin
Louka
Louka
3 months ago

Great to see again Mister Bushpepa. 2018 souvenirs! And what a sweet performance. All I needed at the end of this year

Colin
Colin
3 months ago

Eugent Bushpepa singing Hallelujah is a shop stopping moment. This was just spectacular!

As for songs, as I said, many are really good, and I’d be quite happy with either Inis or Anxhela, but my personal winner is still Xhesika.

Sabrina
Sabrina
3 months ago

Always a delight to watch Eugent performing. His renditions of “Mall” still give me goosebumps.

Albo123
Albo123
3 months ago

Eugent <3

Thanos
Thanos
3 months ago

How is the festival going? At which point are we?

Sav001
Sav001
3 months ago
Reply to  Thanos

The voting is about to start

Anita
Anita
3 months ago

Sardi, Sardi, Sardi! Nobody listens to me – so sad 🙁

Sabrina
Sabrina
3 months ago
Reply to  Anita

Between you, me and Tibor, there’s actually a small fan club for him here. But we would be outnumbered anyway if we were jurors.

Tibor
Tibor
3 months ago
Reply to  Sabrina

He will be back with an even better song. And then he will bring the house down Eugent style. 😉

Anita
Anita
3 months ago
Reply to  Tibor

I am looking forward to it.

Louka
Louka
3 months ago

Does anyone know the time when the winning song will be announced? Approximately…?

Tibor
Tibor
3 months ago
Reply to  Louka

I think at midnight.

Louka
Louka
3 months ago
Reply to  Tibor

Oh ok, so I think I can stay along. I thought it was going to end like San Remo. Plus for now I find the show is pretty well conduct (despite ads). There’s a special spirit in it that I really enjoy, like all these Mediterranaen festivals.

Tibor
Tibor
3 months ago
Reply to  Louka

Nothing ends like Sanremo. 😉

Ashton
Ashton
3 months ago

Vallja e Jetes is a good song but why oh why does Kastro not have dancers? For a song like this, dancers are basically essential, especially since Kastro isn’t really moving.

Sabrina
Sabrina
3 months ago
Reply to  Ashton

I’m here wondering how it would be a duet by Era Rusi and Kastro Ziso. Because both of them really go for it when performing.

Tibor
Tibor
3 months ago
Reply to  Sabrina

Haha, neither of them would survive. 😀

Colin
Colin
3 months ago
Reply to  Ashton

I am confused by this song. It stands out, but I don’t know in what way. It’s slightly repetitive, but also very intense and committed. He feels really into it and it’s intense and scary, but at the same time, I feel like the staging could have been even more of a ”nightmare fuel” to go the distance. In any case, I can congratulate Kastro for making something out of the box.

Tibor
Tibor
3 months ago

Okay, you’re all gonna throw swan metaphores at me again, but I’m sorry, I heard a very false not from Inis during her last crescendo. And Anxhela was once again pitch perfect. I still don’t like neither song. Perhaps something is wrong with my ears.

Colin
Colin
3 months ago
Reply to  Tibor

It’s not. You just have a different taste. To my taste, both songs are very good, even if both (especially Pendese) would feel like songs Albania would send. That still doesn’t derail from their quality IMHO, but it perhaps makes them slightly predictable choices for this particular country. I’ll still likely rate either high for my Top 41 list when the time comes. 😉

Tibor
Tibor
3 months ago
Reply to  Colin

No, I meant because of the false note. I know that nothing’s wrong with my taste. 🙂

Colin
Colin
3 months ago
Reply to  Tibor

This was a voice of confidence! That’s the way! 😉

Ashton
Ashton
3 months ago

Festina’s vocal is amazing and this chorus is actually rly good. Once again, not a winner but still very good.

Tibor
Tibor
3 months ago

Is “Wind of change” over? Can I unmute?

Anita
Anita
3 months ago

In a way I have a very similar problem with Inis as I had with Norways choice for 2020. Great voice, ballad loved by everyone. Perfect performance – but it can’t convince me. I am sorry.

Sabrina
Sabrina
3 months ago
Reply to  Anita

Second time I read this comparison here today, but I disagree. It’s true that both are very “by the books ballads” and bring nothing new to the table, but I loved how “Attention” allowed Ulrikke to show different spots of her voice, I don’t think the same happens with “Pendesë”. “Piedestal” from 3 (?) years ago made much better use of Inis’ skills.

Anita
Anita
3 months ago
Reply to  Sabrina

Oh I didn’t see another comment comparing them. And you are right when it comes to deeper analysis! Ulrikkes song is more interesting for my taste too.

Sabrina
Sabrina
3 months ago
Reply to  Anita

It was one on a different post, someone said it and Colin replied. Anyway, now it doesn’t matter, both Inis and Ulrikke won’t be in Rotterdam. Hope they get to Eurovision someday though, I’m very fond of both.

Ashton
Ashton
3 months ago

Tjerr is a fun little psychedelic country pop moment, but evi’s styling is just so good that it’s kind of better than the song.

Sabrina
Sabrina
3 months ago
Reply to  Ashton

She’s super cool and this song would stand out in any contest. But yeah, maybe too experimental for most people. And FiK’s jurors aren’t exactly known for being bold, I’m already glad that she’s in the final.

Ashton
Ashton
3 months ago

Well, Inis looks absolutely stunning. And her vocal is flawless. Knowing Albania, this will most likely win, and to be honest I’m not too mad at it. This is great.

Sabrina
Sabrina
3 months ago
Reply to  Ashton

She’s so ellegant that even the smoke coming from her mouth was tidy and organized. 😀 Still think the song’s too predictable, but her performances always grab my attention. The ball is in Anxhela’s court now.

Ashton
Ashton
3 months ago

Ok, let’s go Kamela. Unpopular opinion, but I like this song. The melody, especially in the chorus, is so interesting and subtly jazzy, and Kamela’s vocal is near-flawless. I did prefer Me Ngjyros, but Kujtimet S’kane Forme is very respectable.

Sabrina
Sabrina
3 months ago
Reply to  Ashton

I was very disappointed to not find much on Kamela’s Spotify page, because she was my absolute favorite last year and I really like her singing style.

Ashton
Ashton
3 months ago

Ok, Gigliola’s vocal and styling have drastically improved. This won’t win, but it’s a very respectable entry (apart from the random inclusion of dubstep, which I choose to pretend to not hear).

Sabrina
Sabrina
3 months ago
Reply to  Ashton

My favorite song in FiK, too bad she had a bad first night. I don’t mind the dubstep, but it could be less louder.

Tibor
Tibor
3 months ago

Rosela Gjylbegu’s “Vashëzo” is the last of my favourites, a great song, but so much potential down the drain, it’s really a tragedy. It’s a modern take on folk music, the glittery ball gown of the schlager queen is just not the right choice and the dancers in their traditional garb are a complete mismatch. It sounds modern, but looks old-fashioned, it’s energetic and makes you move, yet she only sways a little. It’s really a shame, this song could have done well in Rotterdam, but I’d be really surprised – and of course very suspicious of the selection process… Read more »

Sabrina
Sabrina
3 months ago
Reply to  Tibor

The “Oniro mou” of this year’s FiK. It sounds great on the studio version, but nobody figured out how to translate it to a stage.

Tibor
Tibor
3 months ago
Reply to  Sabrina

I still stand by my opinion that “Oneiro mou” wasn’t so badly staged – it was simple and could have been darker and more dramatic, sure, but the real problem was the strength of the semi-final. I still think Yianna Terzi looked great. 🙂

Sabrina
Sabrina
3 months ago
Reply to  Tibor

Of course, in a normal semi (that one was absurdly strong) she would probably qualify anyway but I’ve rewatched the performance on the Eurovision Again special and it left me cold again. And it’s not because it’s simple or because of Yianna. I can’t point what went wrong, but I haven’t felt what I feel when I listen to the studio version.

Tibor
Tibor
3 months ago
Reply to  Sabrina

It’s certainly a song that works better in the studio cut than live, I agree with that.

Ashton
Ashton
3 months ago
Reply to  Sabrina

omg pls don’t remind me of Oniro Mou…..such a genuinely great song stuck in possibly the hardest semi since the 27-song 1-semi era.

Sabrina
Sabrina
3 months ago
Reply to  Ashton

I don’t think we’ll ever have a semi like that one.

Tibor
Tibor
3 months ago
Reply to  Sabrina

Aww, let’s keep the faith.

Sabrina
Sabrina
3 months ago
Reply to  Tibor

You know I can’t reed these words without singing a Georgian song chorus right?

Tibor
Tibor
3 months ago
Reply to  Sabrina

Yeah, did it on purpose 😉

Anita
Anita
3 months ago
Reply to  Tibor

I’m a little angry that such an obvious problem is robbing us this song in Rotterdam

Tibor
Tibor
3 months ago
Reply to  Anita

And she’s not a rookie, is she? I believe she is a seasoned peformer with lots of experience. Why doesn’t she have more dancers? And not in garb?

Anita
Anita
3 months ago
Reply to  Tibor

All the right questions. Maybe what preserves us something special in Fik prevents on the other hand development.

Ashton
Ashton
3 months ago

Mirud’s song is good but he just looks SO uncomfortable on the stage. Nothing to do with his costume or anything, but this is a song with banger potential and Mirud hasn’t smiled once. He looks especially uncomfortable in the dance break. It’s a shame.

Ashton
Ashton
3 months ago

Rosela sounds really good, and Vashezo is a bop. I can’t see this winning but it’s fun and it’s executed well.

Tibor
Tibor
3 months ago

After the first commercial break three of my favourites have already performed. Sardi did very well, he doesn’t get enough praise for his song, the lyrics, his singing, the thoughtful staging and styling. He is one to watch. Xhesika’s styling tonight was a lot better than on the first night, and her delivery was once again very emotional, the imperfections just showed how emotional this all is for her. I refuse to believe that the running order is determining the outcome of a jury vote. It’s not like they’re at a Eurovsion party getting blind drunk by the end of… Read more »

Giolo
Giolo
3 months ago

I loved all the three performances so far

Top 6 (so far)

1: Xhesika (this just leaves me speachless, such an emotional song, she will never win, but I would be really happy with her going to ESC)
2: Orgesa (sang effortlessly and the song is really catchy and you can easily sing it to it evn without knowing lyrics)
3: Era (So much energy from Era Rusi, it makes me wanna dance and that rarely happens with me with an upbeat song)
4: Gjorgj
5: Sardi
6: Wendi

Nancy G
Nancy G
3 months ago

Era Rusi just blew my mind!

Lolek
Lolek
3 months ago
Reply to  Nancy G

Same! She really brought it! Even if she doesn’t win, this is a performance she can be proud of.

Sabrina
Sabrina
3 months ago
Reply to  Nancy G

In case she pulls of a surprise win tonight, I guess it would be a no-brainer to pick Era to close the 2nd semi in Rotterdam. She really knows how to set a stage on fire (pun intended).

hebbuzz
hebbuzz
3 months ago

Karma it is, by far, at least for me.
Neziri’s song is a good runner up.

Ashton
Ashton
3 months ago

Now I don’t love Me Jep Jete as a song but can we all admit that Gjergj’s styling is absolutely immaculate, like wow.

EurofanNL
EurofanNL
3 months ago

Inis is good, but Era is just eurovision ready! They gotta send her!!!

Ashton
Ashton
3 months ago

Xhesika is once again phenomenal. If the juries don’t give this a lot of points, it will be insane.

Tomáš
Tomáš
3 months ago
Reply to  Ashton

She is real winner here! Cause some sh*t will win instead of this. We know Albania, unfortunatelly…

Sabrina
Sabrina
3 months ago
Reply to  Ashton

I dare to say that the 2 best vocalists of this year’s FiK already performed: Xhesica and Orgesa. Let’s hope the jurors won’t forget about what they showed for the third consecutive time.

Ashton
Ashton
3 months ago
Reply to  Sabrina

Orgesa’s vocal tone is not my favourite by any means, but even I can admit that she sounded exactly like the studio version and was precisely on the pitch and key.

Sabrina
Sabrina
3 months ago
Reply to  Ashton

It’s not my favorite side of her (I miss her out of the box entries), but she sounded exactly like the recording all 3 times.

Wendi didn’t have dancers tonight and I’m perfectly fine with that. Now nobody could be distracted from her and she was lovely as usual.

Ashton
Ashton
3 months ago
Reply to  Sabrina

Ngrije Zerin was one of my favourite FiK entries and Hije wasn’t bad but I didn’t love it as the fandom did. And Wendi once again just sounds so good, her vocal is just so……liquid and smooth and sweet. One of my fav voices of the night.

alex
alex
3 months ago

Completely Agree William! And the message behind the song aswell adds to the power! I’m team Xhesika for sure

Giolo
Giolo
3 months ago
Reply to  Ashton

Totally agree, Xhesika was amazing under every criteria

Sabrina
Sabrina
3 months ago

Running orders don’t define who’ll win, but usually can tell who the producers believe will win (sometimes, even who they want to win). I guess they’re really expecting it to be between Anxhela and Inis then. All of those I would consider possible surprise winners will be on the first half.

Ashton
Ashton
3 months ago

Alright everyone, lets’ go!!!! Rooting for Xhesika but I think the running order may have killed her chances.

alex
alex
3 months ago

So upset for Xhesika, she definitely won’t win after being put 2nd in the running order

Esc addict
Esc addict
3 months ago

Where are Klinti and Erikson seriously they deserved to be in this final more than some others and what the aim to do a final with 18 out of 25 acts? It doesn’t make sense…… moreover when you eliminate some of the best, all participants deserve to go in final after all so why only these 7 acts are eliminated?
Ok I don’t understand….. but best of luck to all Albanian participants tonight .

Ashton
Ashton
3 months ago
Reply to  Esc addict

Erikson didn’t deserve the final with those lyrics.

Esc addict
Esc addict
3 months ago
Reply to  Ashton

I don’t speak albanian I don’t know but I liked his voice and performance as for Klinti.

hebbuzz
hebbuzz
3 months ago
Reply to  Ashton

What are his lyrics about? Or just plain childish?

Ashton
Ashton
3 months ago
Reply to  hebbuzz

His lyrics are anti-abortion.

Giolo
Giolo
3 months ago
Reply to  Ashton

Do they explicitely say so?
As long as law isn’t involved, I don’t see it as wrong, after all every opinion should be respected

Ashton
Ashton
3 months ago
Reply to  Giolo

Yes they say so, and it is wrong, but I’m not interested in getting political right now.

Giolo
Giolo
3 months ago
Reply to  Ashton

Why? He and Fatos are in my top 10 of all the songs

Alex
Alex
3 months ago

My top 4 is literally the poll’s top 4

Idksmth
Idksmth
3 months ago

Poor Xhesika 🙁 I was really rooting for her but the running order has definitely killed her chances at this point. Inis is the most likely win which is not the worst thing but she must have a better song. I wouldn’t count out Anxhela tho

Last edited 3 months ago by Idksmth
Andreu
Andreu
3 months ago
Reply to  Idksmth

I have a feeling Anxhela could definitely pull an upset. It seems more like a traditional song which is what Albanian jurors tend to like. Although I’m wouldn’t mind either but my slight favourite is Inis. I just hope she doesn’t switch to English if she is selected.