The 49th running of the prestigeous festival has featured as the Albanian national selection for the Eurovision Song Contest since 2004, when the country debuted at Europe's favourite TV show in Istanbul. Anjeza Shahini qualified for the Final, where she finished 7th with The Image Of You. The nation's successful debute was immediately its best result to date.
The show can be watched live on RTSH at 20:30 CET, via Eutelsat W2, 16°E, 12656V 4883 1/2 and online via several sources.
Tonight's line-up will feature the following competitors. The last three are newcomers.
Selami Kolonja - Marmara
Miriam Cani & Alban Skenderaj - Ende Ka Shpresë
Orges Toçe - Mari
Kamela Islami - Jetova Per Ty
Blerina Shalari - Lutjes Apo Dashurise
Ernis Cili & Onanta Spahiu - Fam
Dorian Nini - Mirësevini Ne Shqipëri
Etmond Mancaku - Dashuri Pas Emrit
Ardita Tusha - Dikur Besoja
Klajdi Musabelli - Vetëm Ti
Evans Rama - Sonte
Dorina Garuci - Mirëmbrëma Ëngjëlli Im
Hersi Matmuja - Me Cilin Rri Ti Dashuri
Agim Poshka - Bota.com.vetmi
Marsida Saraci - Vetëm S'jemi Në Botë
Entela Zhula - Stuhi Dhe Diell
Ilir Karaferi - Nuk Ke Ketu
Maria Prifti - Pasuri E Pasurive
Megi Laska - Endrat Ekzostojne
Two professional juries - one for the established performers, one for the three newcomers - will determine the outcome of tonight's festival.
Tomorrow, another semi-final shall take place in the lead up to Saturday's final.
Almost by tradition, the Albanian song for the Eurovision Song Contest is undervaluated after winning the national selection. A complete reproduction of the act and audio track usually lead to a higher ranking on the international stage than fans and bookmakers predict. If that tradition will be continued in the lead up to the contest in Düsseldorf remains to be seen.