Festivali i Këngës 58 dates, artists announced

On Thursday, 24 October, Albanian broadcaster RTSH announced the 20 artists that would participate in its three-day national final, Festivali i Kënges (FiK). The artists are as follows:

  1. Albërie Hadërgjonaj, a Kosovar Albanian who won the 1998 edition of FiK before FiK became the Albanian Eurovision selection show
  2. Aldo Bardhi, X-Factor Albania runner-up, Season 2
  3. Arilena Ara, X-Factor Albania winner, Season 2
  4. Bojken Lako, 6-time FiK competitor
  5. Devis Xherahu, a seasoned veteran of Albanian festivals
  6. Eli Fara & Stresi, seasoned folk singer and hip-hop artist, respectively
  7. Elvana Gjata, a singer, songwriter, and actress who has worked with David Guetta before
  8. Era Rusi, 2-time FiK competitor who earned second place in 2005
  9. Gena, a pop-folk artist who is banned from the United States
  10. Genc Tukiqi, an Albanian-French pianist and composer and 2-time FiK competitor
  11. Kanita Suma, an Albanian-Macedonian singer residing in North Macedonia
  12. Kamela Islamaj, 3-time FiK competitor
  13. Kastro Zizo, whose voice was often dubbed over international movies and television shows
  14. Olta Boka, 2008 Albanian representative who sang “Zemrën e lamë peng” (Hearts trapped in time)
  15. Renis Gjoka, 2-time FiK competitor
  16. Robert Berisha, ethno-pop singer and songwriter
  17. Sara Bajraktari, competitor in The Voice Kids Albania 2018, runner-up in Junior Fest (JESC national selection) 2017
  18. Tiri Gjoci, winner of The Voice of Albania in 2016
  19. Valon Shehu, who competed in FiK in 2013
  20. Wendi Mancaku, who competed in sister competition Kënga Magjike in 2018

On Monday, the broadcaster announced the festival schedule through social media. On 19-20 December, all performers would sing their songs, and on the 22nd, acts who advanced to the Grand Final would perform for the public and juries to see who would succeed Jonida Maliqi and “Ktheju tokës”, written by Eriona Rushiti and produced by Enis Mullaj, on the Eurovision stage.

Maliqi’s qualification is Albania’s third in the past five years and the second consecutive qualification with a native-language song. Festivali i Këngës has been used to select Albania’s representative in Eurovision since they debuted in 2004.

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