In the final of Festivali i Këngës, the Albanian national selection, Jonida Maliqi left the competition behind her. Jonida's win automatically makes her the country's representative for the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest in Tel Aviv. Albania is, once again, the first country to present both artist and song for the Eurovision Song Contest.
Jonida Maliqi sung Ktheju tokës (Return to the land), a song with emigration as its main topic.
The Albanian national competition Festivali i Këngës traditionally takes place around Christmas and we are sure her win and participation in the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest are the perfect presents for Jonida.
This year's Festivali i Këngës started out with a group of 22 hopefuls. In the semi-final that took place on Friday 21 December, the group was reduced to 14 artists. At the Palace of Congresses in Tirana, Jonida left behind the thirteen other remaining acts: Imbro & Marko, Gjergj Leka, Elton Deda, Eranda Libohova, Eliza Hoxha, Orgesa Zaimi, Bojken Lako, Soni Malaj, Artemisa & Febi, Dilan Reka, Alar Band, Lidia Lufi and Klint Çollaku.
After all the votes were cast, this was the final outcome:
Jonida Maliqi is a singer with a unique voice and an unmistakable style. She first hit the Festivali i Këngës stage in 1995 at the age of 13, in a duet. From 1999, with more artistic experience, Jonida entered the competition again for several times. Her return in 2004 would be rewarded with the third prize. Next to performing she has also hosted the Festivali i Këngës, the 49th edition in 2010 to be exact. This year, Jonida reached the number one position singing Ktheju tokës (Return to the Land), with music and lyrics by Eriona Rushiti.