Elhaida Dani will represent Albania with her emotional ballad Diell. It was composed by Aldo Shllaku, with the lyrics written by Viola Trebicka and Sokol Marsi. You can watch the video of her performance below:
The orchestra arrangement for Festivali i Këngës was done by Aldo Shllaku. You can re-watch the whole of tonight's show on-demand in our WebTV player.
Shortly after the show, Elhaida already received congratulations from the Minster of Foreign Affairs of Albania:
The decision was taken by a professional jury. The second place went to Bojken Lako Band, while Lindita Halimi came third.
Biography of the Winner
Elhaida Dani was born on February 17, 1993 in the Northern Albanian city of Shkodër. Her path of fame started in 2008, when she participated in the Kënga Magjike festival. One year later she won the Star Akademi talent show, followed by her victory in Top Fest in 2012.
In the same year she auditioned for The Voice of Italy, which she ended up winning with a whopping 71% of votes in May 2013. Later she released her first single Baciami e Basta with Universal Music in Italy.
The following 18 acts participated in the final of Festivali i Këngës (in order of appearance):
Besiana Mehmedi & Shkodran Tolaj - Kështjella
Bojken Lako Band - Të ndjej
Emi Bogdo - Një femër
Lindita Halimi - S'të fal
Mjellma Berisha - Sot jetoj
Enver Petrovci - Të vranë bukuri
Erga Halilaj - Ti s'më njeh
Rezarta Smaja - Më rrëmbe
Jozefina Simoni - Mendje trazi
Venera Lumani - Dua të jetoj
Altin Goci - Rock për gjithë jetën
Gjergj Leka - Himn
Klajdi Musabelliu - Vetëm te ti besoj
Saimir Braho - Kristal
Estela Brahimllari - Kjo natë
Marsela Çibukaj - S'muj
Agim Poshka - Në rrugën tonë
Elhaida Dani - Diell
This is the final score board of the final, with Elhaida's winning score adding up to 82 points, 20 points ahead of the second-placed act.
It was an entertaining high-quality show, with live orchestra and entries representing all kinds of styles, kicked off with a romantic musical-style duet by Besiana Mehmedi and Shkodran Tolaj, immediately followed by a strong rock song by the Bojken Lako Band.
In the course of the show, we would get to hear RnB, hiphop, jazzy tunes, and, of course, what some would call "Eurovision-style ballads."
The show also included many familiar faces in terms of Eurovision: Erga Halilaj was one of the backing vocalists of Hersi in the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest, and Klajdi Musabelliu backed Anjeza Shahini in Istanbul in 2004. Enver Petrovci hosted the Yugoslav national final in 1986, when it was held in the Boro i Ramiz Hall in Prishtina, the capital of Kosovo.
The lyrics of Rezarta Smaja's song Më rrëmbe were written by Dr. Flori, who had previously written the lyrics to Zjarr e ftohtë, the Albanian entry in the 2006 Eurovision Song Contest. He died on November 17 this year, and we would like to express our condolences to his family and friends.
The pop jury handed out a special prize in the end of the show - it went to the band Offchestra, one of the semifinalists, who then went on to perform their song Bajram once again. Gjergj Leka received the prize for the best interpretation.
In the interval act, Rona Nishliu, Albanian 2012 Eurovision Song Contest representative, performed.
Floriana Garo, Turjan Hyska and Liberta Spahiu were the hosts of Festivali i Këngës 53. Turjan Hyska is a singer, songwriter dhe producer. He is well known as a member of the Produkt28 group as well as for the TV shows Përrallë me mbret, Apartamenti 2XL and Oktapod.
Floriana Garo is known as the "weather girl" at ABC news also for her TV show Jo vetëm modë at Klan TV. She represented Albania at Miss World 2012, and she hosted Festivali i Këngës in 2012. Liberta Spahiu is a model from Kosovo and the presenter of the show Prive at Klan Kosova.
Prior to the final, two semifinals were held, on December 26 and 27, respectively. You can still check out our coverage of the shows: