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.”

 

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don
don
19 days ago

Finally, mostly the public choice was better than juries. For example, Ylli Limani, last year Alban Ramosaj was public favorite in YouTube viewers etc. We will have great festival this year. Elsa Lila best favorite than Albina, Fifi, Manjolla, etc are great.

Me Me
Me Me
23 days ago

Yll Limani won public vote in 2017 and he should’ve been at Eurovision.

Nomo nomo
Nomo nomo
25 days ago

The jury was crucified in the worst way possible last year after Ronela’s flop, and they were accused of corruption even on years when they made it to the grand final.

I think the only reason they introduced the public vote is to leave the juries in peace…

Sam
Sam
26 days ago

Cue everyone complaining that the public have chosen the wrong song in 2 months time

XOOOOD
XOOOOD
28 days ago

I can see this going horribly wrong, with whoever wins being accused of “cheating” especially if the Fik winner is not the same of the winner of the ESC ticket.

BadWoolfGirl
BadWoolfGirl
27 days ago
Reply to  XOOOOD

Yes, that’s the risk. Whatever happens happens, but I do hope that the winner is the same person for both jury and televote, but we’ll have to see.

Maya G
Maya G
28 days ago

Does it mean we are now less likely to get a belting diva from Albania next year?
Good luck Shqipëri!

James
James
28 days ago
Reply to  Maya G

Depends on which one Eurofans will be back the most.

Alex
Alex
29 days ago

Amazing news!! I never thought I would actually see this happen. FIK is so traditional. This is the best way to move forward to modernize and attract more established Albanian singers. So excited for the future for Albania!!

Albania sucks
Albania sucks
29 days ago

Buying views, followers and so on, now Albanian singers can buy their way to Eurovision too.

This decision will backfire this december, no use to even call this a national selection.

Benito Camelo
Benito Camelo
29 days ago

I feel like this is a double-edged sword, it can be good but it can also be a hot mess. I just hope both the festival’s and the public’s winner are the same

BadWoolfGirl
BadWoolfGirl
29 days ago

Let’s hope that the winner for both jury and public can be the same person, otherwise I can see this as a mess.

Euros
Euros
29 days ago

Why Eurovision fans so positive about the new voting rule? So the FIK winner will be the most famous or popular act and not the one with the best song??? I am sceptical.

Dane
Dane
29 days ago
Reply to  Euros

Yea Im sceptical too. I dont understand it

BadWoolfGirl
BadWoolfGirl
27 days ago
Reply to  Euros

Because they believe that the people should have a say in who they want to bring to Eurovision, but not all methods are the best.

Im so fab
Im so fab
29 days ago

This might work.

Tom
Tom
29 days ago

So this is great news for Albania as long as the public vote is not corrupted

Thallo
Thallo
29 days ago

Now we’ll have a new scandal to worry about every year: was the FiK public vote manipulated?

I’m not going to lie, I’m worried. Corruption is rife in Albania, especially within the Albanian music industry. Albanian record labels are known to buy fake views, comments and likes on their artist’s YouTube videos so they seem way more popular than they are. If they can do this, what’s to stop them from manipulating/hacking the SMS vote for FiK?

Dane
Dane
29 days ago

Why choose a winner with the jury and the public? It must feel weird winning he festival, and then not going to Eurovision. They dont win anything then?

Dane
Dane
29 days ago
Reply to  Dane

winning the festival*

Jonas
Jonas
29 days ago
Reply to  Dane

They win FiK. Which is its own contest, and around for 42 years before Albania even joined the Eurovision Song Contest.

Rall
Rall
29 days ago
Reply to  Jonas

Yes but I would imagine most artists are competeting to get the Eurovision ticket and and the exposure to an international audience. Even if they don’t qualify from the semi the exposure is still far greater than they would get in FIK alone.

Jonas
Jonas
29 days ago
Reply to  Rall

I imagine not every artist cares about “exposure”, some just care about Albanian culture.

Dane
Dane
29 days ago
Reply to  Jonas

Yes they win FiK and? I think many of them just wanna go to Eurovision

Jonas
Jonas
29 days ago
Reply to  Dane

Never mind.

Colin
Colin
29 days ago
Reply to  Dane

Paradoxically, there’s always a chance that FiK winner might be more into going to ESC, and that the ESC representative might be more into winning FiK. But they all know what they are going into, so they accept the way the televote and the juries will vote.

Eyal
Eyal
29 days ago

good decision. last year’s song was nice but the perfromace was agressive. The stage was too busy, like a circus.

Tom
Tom
29 days ago
Reply to  Eyal

Agreed

Roro31
30 days ago

Fifi, Albanian Queen. I think its the winner of festival I Kenges 61 with juries but with Public, I think its a same winner !

Colin
Colin
30 days ago

Wow, what a precedent! Thanks, FiK. This is a good way to preserve show’s traditional values, yet to recognize that ESC can be a different type of festival altogether. Now we are looking forward to two winners – or one – based on two different sets of requirements. What an exciting Fikmas it will be! Can’t wait to hear the songs!

Polegend Godnova
30 days ago

amazing news for the paying public.

Ari
Ari
30 days ago

It’s about time. Hopefully, there’ll be no voting manipulation.

GojoSatoru
GojoSatoru
30 days ago

Brum brum brum brrrrr

Jack
Jack
30 days ago

A step in the right direction but they need to have a good team to support the staging and the production. Don’t let the artist decide for everything, it didn’t go well last year lol