Mbrëmje e mbarë Evropë! Mirëmëngjes Australi! Tonight we’re going to find out the winner of Festivali i Këngës 58 and Albania’s representative at Eurovision 2020!
Good luck Albania and hope you’ll make the right decision 🙂
As for you dear readers, sit back, relax, and let Eurovision Ireland’s own Mr. B entertain and inform you. As always, feel free to tell me what you think and give your opinions about tonight’s Final and who your favourites are!
Tonight 12 acts will compete for a chance to wave the Albanian flag in Rotterdam next May. The lucky 12 are:
- Sara Bajraktari – Ajër
- Kamela Islamaj – Më ngjyros
- Bojken Lako – Malaseen
- Elvana Gjata – Me tana
- Albërie Hadërgjonaj – Ku ta gjej dikë ta dua
- Tiri Gjoci – Me goten bosh
- Olta Boka – Bote per dy
- Era Rusi – Eja merre
- Robert Berisha – Ajo nuk eshte une
- Gena – Shqiponja e Lire
- Arilena Ara – Shaj
- Valon Sheku – Kutia e Pandores
The winner of the competition will be chosen by a jury of experts which is composed of 5 members: Christer Björkman, Dimitris Kontopoulos, Felix Bergsson, Mikaela Minga and Rita Petro.
Our host for tonight is Alketa Vejsiu , and as interval acts, we’ll be entertained by Giusy Ferreri and Eleni Foureira.
You know the drill: Just refresh this page to get the comments, points of view and all that Eurovision Ireland goodness you know and love!
LIVE BLOG STARTS HERE!!
Good evening, Tirana calling from Pallati i Kongreseve! We’ll shortly be live with you so stay tuned! Be sure to have your snacks around; it’s going to be an exciting evening for Eurovision fans!
Just a few more minutes. Did you know that in our poll Elvana was your favourite to win?
And finally we are live! We can hear a song that sounds traditional, accompanied with drums and sang by our host Alketa Vejsiu . No, it’s not part of the competition, just the opening act of the evening.
Our host this evening is Alketa Vejsiu.
Ha, she just mentioned Sanremo festival. We all hope it will not last 6 hours and that we’ll find out the result in a shorter amount of time.
I must admit the RTSH orchestra are doing an amazing job. I do miss the times when Eurovision was with live orchestra.
We are now presented the jury of this final: Christer Björkman, Dimitris Kontopoulos, Felix Bergsson, Mikaela Minga and Rita Petro.
And now, ladies and gents, let the show BEGIN!
- Valon Shehu – “Kutia e Pandorës” (Pandora’s Box)
Long live rock music! What a way to start the show! Valon’s song sounds like any classic rock song from the 80’s. I enjoy it, but I can’t see it as a contender for the first prize. It’s nice to see so much energy, even though the stage looks rather empty.
2. Sara Bajraktari – “Ajër” (Air)
Sara sings a beautiful ballad about (you might have guessed) love, being alone, and how she remains breathlessly when he is near her. With its repetitive “Ajër”, the song becomes easy to sing-along and it’s easy to remember. I don’t mind it at all.
3. Robert Berisha – “Ajo nuk është unë” (She’s not me)
Robert is singing that he can’t love like she does (each day, unconditionally). I love the sound of violins as they give us a melancholic vibe. I find myself with mixed feelings about this song. I don’t think it has a chance to win, but I could see it do well in local charts. I like it (and oh it has a key change <3) Simple but memorable.
4. Tiri Gjoci – “Me gotën bosh” (With the glass empty)
Tiri is mostly known by winning season 5 of ‘The Voice of Albania’ in 2016. Tiri presents us a classical ballad, singing about a lost love. The visuals are representing the constant battle between light and darkness (he is joined on the stage by two dancers, one in black and one in white). His voice suits the song, but there is no element to wow me.
5. Bojken Lako – Malaseen (She left me unseen)
Bojken is at his 10th participation at FiK. The song itself is a mix of rock with electronic sounds and traditional instruments (clarinet). I must say I enjoy what I hear, but I’m not sure how it could work on the main stage of ESC. I have to applaud the originality, though.
P.S. I want his boots :))
7. Arilena Ara – “Shaj” (Cuss)
Another fan-favourite, Arilena presents us a song about feelings, emotions and the struggle to stop tears from falling. Arilena is a great performer and her voice is on point. I’m enjoying the theatrics and the sublime violins, but I’m not sure if I want this song to win. One thing is for sure. Arilena gave her all on the stage tonight and the crowd is showing her great support. The best reaction so far. They are chanting her name.
Time for the first break of the night. We will shortly be back. Again, what a performance from Arilena!
And we are back and so is our lovely host Alketa Vejsiu.
After a short, but emotional remembrance moment, we now see a choreography number.
Eleni Foureira is now live on the Fik stage, performing a mix of songs, including her Eurovision hit Fuego.
I’ve got the fire! Aye Aye Aye Fuego!
And back again after a long ad break. Let’s hear the next 6 songs!
7. Gena – “Shqiponja e lirë” (Free eagle)
Gena had immediate public success in the first Semi-Final, as his song is a patriotic hymn, singing about ‘mother Albania’ and the blessed earth of courage, history and tears. The public is joining again and clapping to the rhythm. Unfortunately, this song is not vocally demanding or challenging, so I’m afraid it’s not the winner we are searching tonight.
8. Kamela Islamaj – “Më ngjyros” (Paint me)
From the first sounds I hear, I can’t help to think of Patricia Kaas. Kamela has a jazzy voice and whilst I enjoy it, her song is not what I would enjoy listening on repeat. This is pulling me far away from the Christmas mood I was before the show. Sorry, a no from me.
8. Albërie Hadërgjonaj – “Ku ta gjej dikë ta dua” (Where to find someone I love)
Albërie is singing about a lost love and how much she still loves him. The whole song has a nostalgia tone, but I don’t quite understand the connection between the song and what she is wearing. Having said that, I’ve enjoyed her performance as it reminded me of the old days with good ballads.
10. Elvana Gjata – “Me tana” (With all)
Finally we arrived at the moment we’ve all been waiting for!
Elvana is another fan-favourite of the night and her high-energetic song is about love and the emotions it brings, wanting the time to stop, to enjoy every moment. I must admit I absolutely love this performance and Elvana is giving her all. Earlier, Eleni Foureira said it was about time that Albania finishes in top 5. Well, with this song they have that chance. I hope though that if she wins, her team will be able to present her in a better light and scale the choreography to only 6 people on the stage. For the second time tonight, the public are chanting the artist’s name. We’ll have to wait and see…
11. Olta Boka – “Botë për dy” (World For Two)
Olta represented Albania at the Eurovision Song Contest back in 2008, where she obtained the 17th place. Now she’s back, singing about a world that is not ‘for us’, a world in ruins. Seeing her performance, I can’t help to think about the staging of ‘Hold Me’ from Farid Mammadov in 2013. Seeing this after Elvana, I feel a bit underwhelmed.
12. Era Rusi – “Eja merre” (Come take it)
Era presents us another song about (guess) nostalgia. But unlike the others we have seen tonight, this song bursts with energy after a slower beginning. I’m not sure if it’s good enough, but with a good revamp, I could see this one on the main stage. I think I’ve found my guilty pleasure for tonight! Ma le ma le! Ma le ma leeeee! What a great finish for the show!
The power is now in the jury’s hands. I’m as curious as you are to find out our first song for Eurovision 2020, but we’ll have to have a little bit (or more) patience.
Guess what? Alketa sings again!
I think is going to be a close call between Arilena and Elvana. Who’s your favourite after seeing all performances tonight?
It’s time now for our second interval act, the italian singer Giusy Ferreri .
I enjoy this moment of Italian music, are you?
Just a few more minutes and we’ll find out the winner of Fik 58. I know it’s hard to be patient, but as they say, ‘patience is a virtue’ 🙂
At the moment we seem to have another musical moment: Ema Quazimin.
Soon, we’ll find out Albania’s representative for Eurovision 2020.
Here to present the award for the winner is Jolida Maliqui.
And the winner is Arilena Ara – “Shaj” . Congratulations!
Thank you all for watching and following our blog. Good night and Happy Holidays!
Author: Bogdan Fedeles