Back in September it emerged that Albania’s RTSH would shake up the voting for Festivali i Këngës 61 by giving the public a say. And today the news has been confirmed.
A professional jury will once again choose the winner of the festival. However, this winner is not guaranteed the spot at Eurovision. Instead, the public — voting via SMS — will decide which song gets to perform at ESC 2023 in Liverpool. That means the jury’s winner of the show may not get the ticket to Turin, while an act they snub could end up representing the country.
Below is the full statement from RTSH:
“The 61st edition of the Song Festival on Albanian Radio and Television has officially started work, with the completion of the selection of 26 participating songs, 16 of which are artists who have performed at the Festival before and 10 others who are new artists and alternative groups.”
“The 61st Song Festival in RTSH will award 3 first prizes: first place, second place and third place; 1 prize for young artists and alternative groups and 1 ‘career prize’.”
”But unlike previous years, the 61st Song Festival at RTSH comes with an innovation related to the song that will represent Albania in Eurovision, the winner of which will be chosen by the public’s votes via SMS.”
“The prize for the first 3 places, the prize for young artists and alternative groups as well as the prize for the career will be awarded after an evaluation by the jury. In the previous song festivals in RTSH, the winner of the first prize has represented Albania in Eurovision, but this year, our country will be represented in the ‘Eurovision Song Contest 2023’ which will take place in Great Britain, by the song which is the most voted by the public.”