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The 'Sekret' is out: Ronela Hajati will represent Albania 🇦🇱

29 December 2021 at 23:45 CET
Ronela Hajati won the 60th Festivali i Këngës with 'Sekret'
The 60th ‘Festivali i Këngës’ reached a dramatic conclusion after three nights of competition, with Ronela Hajati stepping onto the stage one final time as the show’s winner and Albania’s representative in Turin next year!

📺 Watch: Ronela Hajati – Sekret

Ronela Hajati won with the song Sekret, and becomes the 7th confirmed participant of the Eurovision Song Contest 2022, following in the footsteps of Jérémie Makiese (Belgium), Intelligent Music Project (Bulgaria), We Are Domi (Czech Republic), Circus Mircus (Georgia), Amanda Tenfjord (Greece) and S10 (the Netherlands).

The songstress, well-loved in her home country, has a reputation for being musically versatile and a string of Albanian Top 10 hits to her name.

Sekret (an uptempo number that alludes to an illicit relationship) was performed with complex choreography which saw a dozen dancers take to the stage – something Ronela will have to consider in the coming months as Eurovision rules limit the number of performers on stage to 6.

Ronela produced an incredible dance routine for the show

Festivali i Këngës is one of Europe’s longest running competitions and broadcasts, having started life on Albanian radio in 1962 it has evolved over its 60 years into one of Radio Televizioni Shqiptar’s most innovative and prestigious shows.

The winner was determined by a jury featuring Festivali i Këngës 2020 winner and Albania’s 2021 Eurovision participant Anxhela Peristeri, along with Agim Doçi, Anxhela Faber, Osman Mula, Rozana Radi, Olsa Toqi and Olti Curri.

Ronela hugging Alban at the final

Alban Ramosaj finished second having performed barefoot – perhaps hoping to add to the roster of 5 shoeless Eurovision winners: Sandie Shaw (1967), Sertab Erener (2003), Dima Bilan (2008), Loreen (2012) and Emmelie de Forest (2013).

Festivali i Këngës (affectionately known by fans as 'FiKmas’ thanks to its traditional broadcast slot coinciding with the holiday season) saw 20 acts compete, with the following 17 making it through to the grand final:

  1. Olimpia Smajlaj – Dua
  2. Denis Skura – Pse nuk flet, mama?
  3. Kelly – Meteor
  4. Sajmir Çili – Nën maskë
  5. Ester Zahiri – Hiena
  6. Kastro Zizo – Kujë
  7. Urban Band – Padrejtësi
  8. Gjergj Kaçinari – Në ëndërr mbete ti
  9. Evi Reçi – Me duaj
  10. Mirud – Për dreq
  11. Endri & Stefi Prifti – Triumfi i jetës
  12. Ronela Hajati – Sekret ⭐️ Winner
  13. Shega – Një
  14. Janex – Deluzional
  15. Eldis Arrnjeti – Refuzoj 🥉 Top 4
  16. Alban Ramosaj – Theje 🥈Runner-up
  17. Rezarta Smaja – E jemja nuse 🥉 Top 4

All 20 songs (including the three eliminated entries (Viola Xhemali’s Eja si erë; Kejsi Rustja’s Vallëzoj me ty; and Xhuli Pjetraj’s Baladë) are available to listen to on the RTSH YouTube channel.

Ronela’s dancers are a little bit tired after such an intensive routine

Ronela takes the Eurovision torch from Anxhela Peristeri who led Albania to their 10th Grand Final in Rotterdam this year.

📺 Watch: Anxhela Peristeri – Karma (Grand Final 2021)

So what do you think? Let us know via the official Eurovision Song Contest Twitter, Instagram, TikTok and Facebook channels.