Festivali i Këngës 61 has just ended, having selected Albina & Familja Kelmendi with the song “Duje” as the big winners.
Once again the Albanian Public Television (RTSH) has chosen their participation in Eurovision through FiK. The grand final was held at Pallati i Kongreseve in Tirana, with Arbana Osmani being the host. The 21 artists who made it to the final gave their best shot in order to claim the vote of the TV audience and the victory that would give them the ticket to Liverpool in May.
The 21 finalists were:
- 2 Farm –“Atomike”
- Sergio Hajdini – “Vështirë”
- Gjergj Kaçinari – “Dje”
- Alban Kondi & Lore – “Melodi”
- Vanesa Sono – “Aroma jonë”
- Elsa Lila – “Evita”
- Erma Mici – “Kozmosi i dashurisë”
- Franc Koruni – “Në pritje”
- Gent Hoxha – “Ajër”
- Petrit Çarkaxhiu – “Emri yt mirësi”
- Melodajn Mancaku – “Gjysma e zemrës sime”
- Manjola Nallbani – “Dua”
- Urban Band – “Në çdo hap”
- Enxhi Nasufi – “Burrë”
- Rovena Dilo – “Motit”
- Fifi – “Stop”
- Rezarta Smaja – “N’Eden”
- Evi Reçi – “Ma kthe”
- Fabian Basha – “Një gotë”
- Albina & Familja Kelmendi – “Duje”
- Lynx – “Nëse ke besim”
Tonight on the last night of the Festival the first 3 prizes were awarded: first place, second place and third place. An award for young artists and alternative groups and a career award, were also awarded by the professional jury.
The professional jury was comprised of:
- Genc Saliu
- Alma Bektashi
- Zhani Ciko
- Rita Petro
- Elton Deda
The Award for Young Artists and Alternative Groups was awarded to Erma Mici with the song “Kozmosi i dashurisë“.
The Career Award which was awarded by the professional jury was given to Rovena Dilo with the song “Motit“.
The 3rd place was won by 2 Farm with the song “Atomike“, the 2nd place by Albina & Familja Kelmendi with the song “Duje“ and the big winner of Festivali i Këngës 61 is Elsa Lila with the song “Evita“. Elsa Lila wins FiK for the third time, as she has also won both FiK 96 and FiK 97, and is one of the few artists having won the contest two years in a row.
After the Festivali i Këngës awards were given by the professional jury, the presenter announced the song that was exclusively selected by the TV audience’s vote via SMS and will represent Albania in Eurovision 2023. The winner that claimed the ticket to Liverpool is Albina & Familja Kelmendi with the song “Duje“.
Albania in the Eurovision Song Contest
In 2023 we will have Albania’s 20th participation in the competition, which debuted in 2004, with Anjeza Shahini and “The Image Of You” that reached the honorable seventh place! RTSH showed interest in the Eurovision Song Contest in 2003 as well. However, three other countries made their debut that year and Albania was not allowed to participate in the contest. In the following years, it managed to qualify ten times for the final and eight more times to stay in the semi-finals.
The best result Albania has ever achieved was in 2012 with Rona Nishliu and “Suus” finishing in fifth place.
Below is Albina & Familja Kelmendi‘s winning performance, with the song that will represent Albania at Eurovision 2023:
Watch the Eurovisionfun team react to Albina & Familja Kelmendi with the song “Duje”, Albania’s entry for Eurovision 2023!
What do you think will be Albania’s fate at Eurovision 2023?