The singer Lindita, with the song Botë, just won the 55th Festivali i Këngës which took place over the last three evenings in Tirana. Tonight it was time for the big Final where 14 acts competed to win the popular festival of songs and, of course, the honour of representing Albania at the Eurovision Song Contest next year.
Lindita Halimi, 27, better known as Linda Halimi or simply as Lindita and born in Kosovo, is a singer-songwriter who rose to fame after winning the sixth edition of the competition Top Fest. In 2013 she moved to the United States where she has participated in the 2016 edition of American Idol. Two years ago she also took part in the Festivali i Këngës, placing third on that occasion.
The winning song Botë translates as World and is written by Klodian Qafoku and Gerald Xhari.
The Festivali i Këngës is a popular song contest organised by Albanian broadcaster, RTSH, since 1962 and traditionally hosted in late December. It serves as the national selection of Albania for the Eurovision Song Contest since 2004, when the country first joined the international competition.
After ten acts were evicted in the semi-finals on the 21st and the 22nd of December, these were the 14 participants in the final running order:
Franc Koruni - Macka
Lorela - Me ty
Xhesika Polo - Eva jam unë
XUXI - Metropol
Fabiola Agalliu & Agnesa Çavolli - Shkon e vjen
Dilan Reka - Mos harro (3rd place)
Lindita Halimi - Botë (winner)
Flaka Krelani - Osiris
Rezarta Smaja - Pse prite gjatë
Edea Demaliaj - Besoj në ëndrra
Yll Limani - Shiu
LYNX - Sot
Orges Toçe - Shi diamantësh
Genc Salihu - Këtu (2nd place)
The shows' hosts (pictured below) were actor Kasem Hoxha and singer Ledina Çelo, who represented Albania at the 2005 Eurovision Song Contest in Kyiv. An expert jury and an online vote were taken into account to calculate the results in this year's Festivali i Këngës.