Photo: RTSH

While many may be taking a well deserved rest in the last week of December, it’s been all go in Albania with Festivali i Këngës 60 taking place over the past three days. And following the final night of the contest, the jury ultimately declared Ronela Hajati as the winner. She will sing “Sekret” at Eurovision 2022.

Ronela Hajati wins Festivali i Këngës 60 with “Sekret”

Following the first two nights of FiK 60, 17 acts remained in the competition. They all performed their songs again for the third and final evening. Since this was denoted as the ‘Eurovision night’, contestants were permitted to add lyrics in English, or any language, should they intend to do so if they were selected for Eurovision 2022.

After all 17 performers had sung, it was up to the jury to decide on the winner. In the meantime, viewers were treated to an interval act that included a medley of Eurovision winning songs, sung by past Albanian Eurovision representatives Eneda Tarifa, Juliana Pasha and Jonida Maliqi.

Eventually, the jury made their decision and announced the top results as follows:

  1. Ronela Hajati
  2. Alban Ramosaj
  3. Eldis Arrnjeti and Rezarta Smaja (joint third)

Festivali i Këngës and Eurovision

Festivali i Këngës has been held annually since 1962 and is the longest-running TV show in Albania. In 2003, the festival began double duty as Albania’s national selection, with the FiK winner going on to represent Albania at Eurovision.

Festivali i Këngës entries are typically performed in Albanian. In some years, the song has been translated to English for the Eurovision version. However, in recent years Albania has done best with songs left in Albanian. In 2018, Eugent Bushpepa placed 11th with his rock anthem “Mall”. Earlier this year, Anxhela Peristeri placed 21st in the grand final with her song “Karma”.

What do you make of the results of Festivali i Këngës 60? How do you think Ronela Hajati will fair at Eurovision 2022? Let us know all your thoughts in the comments below!

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Patrick
Patrick
4 months ago

Not my cup of tea…..But good luck Albania…!

Vale
Vale
4 months ago

This is a track with a good potential. I like the ethnic part and the singing part. But the spoken/low key part is clearly lowering the quality of the song. Also I don’t understand why she needs to dance, if this causes her to be out of breath. That’s why I think that Alban’s track was a more solid choice (despite the fact his lower notes are not perfect).

Last edited 4 months ago by Vale
Agent 007
Agent 007
4 months ago

I have just listened to some of her songs and watched videos. She does have a great potential but this song is too repetitive. Revamp will make it much, much better.

Bella
Bella
4 months ago

It’s a cool song, good choice! She’s going to have to up her game for Eurovision though, cause the live vocals are not great (she’s either just speaking or shouting off key).

Still a cool song, and depending on what the competition is I can see this qualifying and achieving decent placing.

Teddie
Teddie
4 months ago

Unlike the majority (?) here i can’t say I strongly dislike the choppiness of Sekret’s composition. Yes, it can use a bit of smoothing out but the drops do pack a punch. Ronela’s vocals are consistent and the dance routine is quite effective. Hopefully a revamp will give this track a deserved glow up.

Jamie
Jamie
4 months ago
Reply to  Teddie

It’s also way longer than 3 minutes. They’ll fix it.

Kim
Kim
4 months ago

She looks like Keiino

Teddie
Teddie
4 months ago
Reply to  Kim

All three of them combined??

Oy oy
Oy oy
4 months ago

I’m very glad Albania went for something else than another ‘big ballad’. Alot is going on both musically and on stage and after the first hearing I’m abit confused about what I have just witnessed. But there are some really good elements and beautiful melody-lines here so I hope Albania will go for a rewamp and think we can see the best result for Albania for many years if this is done right! 🙂

Benji
Benji
4 months ago
Reply to  Oy oy

I wouldn’t mind the Albanians sending another ballad because they seem to be good at making ballads.

Giolo
Giolo
4 months ago
Reply to  Benji

And it’s what represents them the most. I know some Albanians out of the ESC bubble and they said people are extremely disappointed by this choice and hope Albania won’t qualify

sam
sam
4 months ago

the more i listen to sekret the more i love it… it’s like a combination of russian woman and loco loco but with an albanian twist. ronela is gonna surprise all of you haters on the big stage, she is ready to serve

Grftn
Grftn
4 months ago

This is gonna be a Eurofan fave like Mata Hari or all the last songs from Cyprus. You just put a potential dance-able pop song sung by a sassy lady, loud production and potential ethnic elements, and Eurofans will hype it lol. In the end I think it will end up in the right side of the scoreboard, if it does qualify (it gives me strong Samantha Tina vibes, which is quite worrying)

Roodi
Roodi
4 months ago
Reply to  Grftn

This is 100% gonna qualify

Grftn
Grftn
4 months ago
Reply to  Roodi

See you in May

Roodi
Roodi
4 months ago
Reply to  Grftn

see you in Tirana next year

Nils
Nils
4 months ago

For now, I don’t see this qualifying.

BadWoolfGirl
BadWoolfGirl
4 months ago
Reply to  Nils

It’s too early to make those kind of predictions with only three songs selected. Let’s wait until more songs are out, shall we?

Nils
Nils
4 months ago
Reply to  BadWoolfGirl

Based on the average song quality of the last editions, I’d say it’s legit to have certain expectations regarding the other entries.

Last edited 4 months ago by Nils
Roodi
Roodi
4 months ago
Reply to  Nils

Just say you hate pop girlies

Nils
Nils
4 months ago
Reply to  Roodi

In fact most of them give me nothing, but I really don’t see her as one. To me she’s more like a karaoke Manizha and definitely rather hip hop than pop.

Roodi
Roodi
4 months ago
Reply to  Nils

she is 100% gonna qualify stop hating on succesfull women

Nils
Nils
4 months ago
Reply to  Roodi

Why would I be hating on successful women? Are you alright, pal?

Roodi
Roodi
4 months ago
Reply to  Nils

because you always ike boring ballads

Nils
Nils
4 months ago
Reply to  Roodi

you must be mistaking me for someone else.

Teddie
Teddie
4 months ago
Reply to  Nils

I’m not usually all that hyped about Albanian entries but something tells me it will qualify

Jenny
Jenny
4 months ago

It’s a nice song but I feel it could be a grower, let’s see how I feel in a couple of months

Endri
Endri
4 months ago

Worst festival in history, sad that this trash was actually the best song.

moth
moth
4 months ago

it will have the same faith as loco loco x

Ukraine stan
Ukraine stan
4 months ago

I really hope they can get a good revamp, the song feels a little unstructured atm

Leo M
Leo M
4 months ago

I like it! Not a fan of the English chorus but really like the vibe of this. Totally different from what Albania usually give us

Emily
Emily
4 months ago

I’m… not entirely sure what my opinion is on this one – I’ll probably reserve opinion until the “revamp” comes. It’s nice to see Albania sending an entry slightly different to the norm, but at the moment I feel indifferent. I’m hoping the revamp does it justice.

Last edited 4 months ago by Emily
West
West
4 months ago
Reply to  Emily

Same – it’s a good song, but a bad revamp can harm it.

Whisker
Whisker
4 months ago

Congratulations and celebrations to all performers, all of them are talented and committed to their craft. The songs came alive on the stage so magically. This was great. I’m glad I watched it.

Lil Krumpy
Lil Krumpy
4 months ago

Interesting to say the least, but one wonders how they’ll manage to scale it down for ESC.

Mr X
Mr X
4 months ago

It´s a well-deserved winner but I liked more Albania´s entries in the last four years (with the exception of 2020), I´m sorry….

My ranking list so far

Czech Republic 7/10
Albania 5/10

Bulgaria 2,5/10

Endri
Endri
4 months ago
Reply to  Mr X

2020? Arilena was the best except mall, shaj to me was wow, so, so good. The English revamp was terrible.

Mr X
Mr X
4 months ago
Reply to  Endri

I agree

Jamie
Jamie
4 months ago
Reply to  Mr X

Czech Republic 7/10 lol. That radio friendly trash doesn’t deserve anything more than 4

voix
voix
4 months ago

The Fik Version of me tana is 10 times better than Sekret…. The song needs a lot of work to become what it has the potential to be

Denis
Denis
4 months ago

Not a screaming lady? I’m shook..
That said I don’t think she will do better than Albania usually does But who knows, we will have to see

Paca
Paca
4 months ago

Alban 🙁

trollo
trollo
4 months ago

so glad 4 Eldis; sad 4 Olimpia~

Xxx
Xxx
4 months ago

This is giving me “yass queen” gay fave that will flop, Samanta Tina style.

trollo
trollo
4 months ago
Reply to  Xxx

if 2022 esc-edition gonna be average, she will have some chance ^)

Roodi
Roodi
4 months ago
Reply to  Xxx

This is 100% gonna qualify homophobe

Xxx
Xxx
4 months ago
Reply to  Roodi

What you’ll not gonna do is lie on me, nothing in my comment was homophobic, and how on earth a gay person can be homophobic?! gtfo.

René
René
4 months ago

Very bad decision for Albania. Sort of Ruslana, but wayyyy worse. Unfortunately, Albania won’t survive the semi final.
Alban would have been the right choice

yolo
yolo
4 months ago
Reply to  René

In 2004. This is 2022.

Roodi
Roodi
4 months ago
Reply to  René

Alban was the best choose to end last Ronela is going to bring us to Tirana next year

Giolo
Giolo
4 months ago
Reply to  Roodi

Janex would like to tell a specific word to you

Etienne
Etienne
4 months ago

Some parts of the song remind me of Russia 2021.

Ravencrow Neversmiles
Ravencrow Neversmiles
4 months ago

Sekret really grew on me after seeing the live performace. The only downside is that the song compliments the choreography and not the other way around so the song when listened to by itself doesn’t make as big of an impact. But of course in eurovision we are getting the whole thing on stage so I think Albania made a good decision.

just an esc fan
just an esc fan
4 months ago

well i can’t say im happy about Sekret getting 1st. think its way too messy overall and of low quality. maybe it’s more cuz of my taste in music rather than the production. it needs a big revamp but Anxhela showed how it’s done last year so im not worrying about that. hope i’ll appreciate it more as time passes by. good luck to Albania and Ronela!

P.S. Rezarta Smaja and Janex’s performances were just incredible. hope they’re coming back next year!

Addie
Addie
4 months ago

Huh, just as expected, Ronela won! I’m so happy! But, like so many others have said, this song needs a HUGE revamp. I wouldn’t necessarily call Sekret messy, but chorus is way different from the verses, and it’s a tad repetitive. I am yet to listen to the version with English verses, so my opinion might vary a bit. Hope the revamp will improve the song. I keep my fingers crossed that Albania will get a top ten result!

Roo
Roo
4 months ago

All these articles about Alban and the build up and this wins. Wiwibloggs with their fingers on the pulse.

BadWoolfGirl
BadWoolfGirl
4 months ago
Reply to  Roo

I was so expecting alban to win due to Past precedent of Jury picking ballads, that I was genuinely shocked Ronela won Because I didn’t think it would happen. Glad to see Albania finally doing a different genre for eurovision for once. I hope it goes well for them at Eurovision and they get a good result, if they do a good revamp.

hqckk
hqckk
4 months ago

I don’t think this song will do to well if the competition has been at the standard it has over the last couple years. This song seems to be something that the fans have been begging for since me tana. Mirud had a shot last year but this year the ‘ethnic bop’ makes it to Turin. To be completely honest, this was the weakest of the ethnic bops. Make no mistake – it’s good, but I feel like it’s not going to be memorable unless there are no standout songs. If we look at every song at face value and… Read more »

Azaad
Azaad
4 months ago
Reply to  hqckk

Nese Vdes was messy live, although given that it was the only ethnic bop under 3 minutes I’m now a bit concerned for Sekret’s revamp for Turin.

lasse braun
lasse braun
4 months ago

albania has choosen good.

🙂

Nikos
Nikos
4 months ago

This is a weird one for me. Love the Balkan instrumentation in the verses and (post?)chorus, but the (pre?)chorus interrupts the flow too much and to me, doesn’t fit in correctly. Feels a little 2 songs in one, like “Icebreaker” from Norway a few years back, and I didn’t enjoy that one either.

Hopefully the revamp can improve the transitions and flow a bit more, otherwise, I do like the song still but don’t love it…yet!

Aeria
Aeria
4 months ago

The majority of this I enjoy a lot, though there are some parts in the song I don’t really like, but the revamp can fix it. Glad Albania decided to switch things up a bit though, I can imagine this qualifying already.

Rashad
Rashad
4 months ago

This is a fan-flop made in heaven, we’ll see if this mess of a song will be any better after a revamp.

Roodi
Roodi
4 months ago
Reply to  Rashad

the only flop is your country Azerbaijan

Kredential
Kredential
4 months ago

Great choice from Albania. Coming into the festival hearing the studio versions I wanted Alban to win, but Ronela had the better performances during the festival and won me over. Rezarta is a fantastic third place finisher, she definitely surprised everybody and was one of, if not the best performer of the festival. I would love to see her at Eurovision in the future. I imagine Ronela’s win will be very well received by Eurofans because I think many had given up on Albania sending uptempo entries (especially after Elvana was snubbed). Glad to see the jury has finally broken… Read more »

Irishfan
Irishfan
4 months ago

Really good. Her performance was excellent tonight. Definately needs to be revamped but that will only make it stronger. Great song for Albania.

Safiya
Safiya
4 months ago

I am so happy that she won! The song has been stuck in my head since I first heard it. Of course it needs to be revamped because it is too long, but it will hopefully make it even better – they can keep the best elements and make it more impactful. It has great potential!

Ria van de Velde
Ria van de Velde
4 months ago

I am happy for Ronela and I like the winning song but my favorite was Alban Ramosaj with his beautiful song “Theje”.

GojoSatoru
GojoSatoru
4 months ago

Same

ete sech
ete sech
4 months ago

Ok, I didn’t see this coming but I’m glad she was chosen. It’s great to see Albania choosing a different tune this year and I hope she gets a nice result at the contest.

Nicolas
Nicolas
4 months ago

There will be no mass dancers effect in Italy. Lucky to still bring 5 of them with the recorded back vocals.

Id1507
Id1507
4 months ago

My favourite was Theje but i’m extremely happy for Ronela. I know almost all of her songs and i’ve been following her since i can remember. She’s a virgo – a true perfectionist and a very versatile artist and i’m sure she’ll do the right thing. “Sekret” though ..it’s not her best song, a revamp is a must at this point. I’m not a huge fan of the english verses we’ve heard tonight, however as i’ve mentioned her team is amazing and she’s a person who responds well to critics so yeah she’ll manage to create something good. Aaanyway 24… Read more »

Senidah Fan
Senidah Fan
4 months ago

This is the perfect choice. This song actually shows the current kind of albanian music people listen to.
Ronela will do so well!

Jija
Jija
4 months ago
Reply to  Senidah Fan

Same as Hurricane last year. Balkan bops are what Balkan people listen to, and not many other people. Sekret might go to the final, but right side of the scoreboard is max it can get

Endri
Endri
4 months ago
Reply to  Jija

This song is a mess, unless the re-vamp is a different song, it won’t qualify.

Roodi
Roodi
4 months ago
Reply to  Endri

it wil 100% gonna qualify

ESCFanGA
ESCFanGA
4 months ago

I think Albania will definitely qualify because it’s a stronger song than its three previous entries (which all qualified). As for how it’ll do in the grand final, I don’t know.

Endri
Endri
4 months ago
Reply to  ESCFanGA

This for sure is not stronger, she cannot sing, she’ll lose a bunch of points on that alone.

Roodi
Roodi
4 months ago
Reply to  Endri

he can sing are you deaf?

Briekimchi
Briekimchi
4 months ago

I think they’re going to get a strong Eurovision result with this choice but as someone who usually puts the FiK winner as their pre-contest Eurovision #1 almost every year (Arilena, Lindita, Eugent, Elhaida etc.) and keeps it there, I’m sad that I can’t do that, this time. Alban and Eldis would’ve definitely mean more to my personal taste.
Again though, like with Blind Channel in Finland last year, even though this isn’t for me personally, I think it’s the *right* choice for Albania at Eurovision. Good luck!

Polegend Godgarina
4 months ago

i don’t think this will do much better than the typical albanian lower top 20 result, but it’s a great choice to end the meme about albania only selecting screamy ballads

James
James
4 months ago

“Carry Me in Your Dreams”

Aeria
Aeria
4 months ago
Reply to  James

“The Image Of You”
“Zjarr E Ftohtë”
“Hear My Plea”
“Zemrën E Lanë Peng”
“It’s All About You”
“Identitet”
“One Night’s Anger”
“Mall”
“Ktheju Tokës”

Yeah quite a few

Ashton
Ashton
4 months ago
Reply to  Aeria

how are hear my plea and zemren e lame peng not screamy ballads

James
James
4 months ago
Reply to  Ashton

The latter fits as pop alternative.

Shift_key
Shift_key
4 months ago

I do not see why everyone is saying she will be successful. Have you already forgotten about “Mata Hari” flopping in May?

Colin
Colin
4 months ago
Reply to  Shift_key

Depending on your definition of a flop, I guess. For me, the flop is a NQ song for most countries, and a bottom 5 result for the big five and the host. Other results can be called underperformances, but not flops. Remember, Mata Hari wasn’t 20th out of 26 songs, but out of 39. It was an okay result. Admittedly, could have been better.

Briekimchi
Briekimchi
4 months ago
Reply to  Shift_key

How was Mata Hari qualifying for the final “flopping”? Before the contest, many were talking about it as a potential NQ so qualifying was a good result, no?
Considering Albania usually finish in the bottom 5-10 of the grand final at Eurovision (when they *do) qualify, I think Sekret has the potential to at least equal that or do even better.

esc_fl
esc_fl
4 months ago
Reply to  Shift_key

Maybe cause it was “just like Cleopatra”? Though Loco Loco didn’t fare too well either

Azaad
Azaad
4 months ago
Reply to  esc_fl

Another thing to note is that Efendi was never hyped for her vocal skills. Ronela, like pretty much every Albanian entrant, has a stellar voice which puts her above the usual acts associated with bops. A strong voice is always an asset for Eurovision, since it’s the one quality that both jurors and televoters gravitate towards.

Endri
Endri
4 months ago
Reply to  Azaad

Does she have a stellar voice? These were the worse vocals from Albania in recent history.

BadWoolfGirl
BadWoolfGirl
4 months ago
Reply to  Shift_key

As did San Marino, Cyprus, Israel, Malta (on the televote side), Serbia (jury flop), And Croatia ( which didn’t even qualify). Excluding Croatia and counting in Greece and Moldova, there were seven dance bops in The grand final, and only two of them the made the top ten. The reason most of them flopped in 2021 what was that they were just too many of them to vote for in the final, and so The votes for many fan favorite Bops got scattered all over the place. This is what I don’t wanna see happen in 2022 if we have… Read more »

Mr X
Mr X
4 months ago
Reply to  Shift_key

But it sounds more just like “Russian Woman” than “Mata Hari”.

Last edited 4 months ago by Mr X
Endri
Endri
4 months ago
Reply to  Shift_key

Exactly, and mata hari was first, so even if this was on Mata Hari’s level, which it certainly isn’t (worse). The fact of it succeeding it makes it feel already done and old. Giving it less chances of making it on the final.

Roodi
Roodi
4 months ago
Reply to  Endri

it is gonna qualify stop with hating on succesfull women

Colin
Colin
4 months ago

So…
Bulgaria – pop/rock
Czechia – club pop
Albania – ethno-bop

Can I just ask everyone, pretty please with a cherry on top, that whenever the first country actually picks a ballad (or anything remotely slow) that you don’t throw a tantrum over it? Thank you in advance. :/

Polegend Godgarina
4 months ago
Reply to  Colin

it’ll largely depends on the ballad. if it’s a strong one no one will complain. if it’s a bland/cliché’d one people will rightfully seethe.

Colin
Colin
4 months ago

I agree, but there is certainly a different level of quality most people here look for in ballads vs bops. For instance, a ballad has to be great to be received well, while a bop only has to be okay to be received overall well.

Sure, if a bad ballad gets picked, I’ll place it low myself, but I’m talking about some people rioting whenever there’s anything slower in the mix.

Last edited 4 months ago by Colin
Héctor
Héctor
4 months ago

Mmm not interested at all. I preferred Alban Ramosaj tbh but it was this or that. Not much to choose from. “Sekret” do have potential for staging though judging by Ronela’s first night performance she may need to improve her vocals before talking about the staging.

Last edited 4 months ago by Héctor
Jacob S
Jacob S
4 months ago

IT’S A LATE CHRISTMAS MIRACLE HAHA AND ABOUT TIME. I LOVE YOU RONELA!!!!!!!

James
James
4 months ago
Reply to  Jacob S

It’s still. Christmas until Feast of the Three Kings (if you’re Catholic).