Traditionally, the Albanian Eurovision Song Contest representatives have always been selected through the Festivali i Këngës, and this year will be no exception to this rule. Two semi-finals have already taken place, on December 26th and 27th, with 10 out of 14 songs qualifying for tonight's final in each show, respectively.
Thus, this is the line-up of tonight's Final:
- Gerta Mahmutaj - Pyete Zemrën
- Bashkim Alibali - Këngën Time Merr Me Vete
- Samanta Karavello - Zgjomë Një Tjetër Ëndërr
- Endri & Stefi Prifti - Iluzion
- Rona Nishliu - Suus
- Rudina Delia - Më Kërko
- Marjeta Billo - Vlen Sa Një Jetë
- Herciana Matmuja - Aty Ku Më Le
- Altin Goci - Kthehem Prapë
- Elton Deda - Kristal
- Toni Mehmetaj - Ëndrra E Parë
- Dr. Flori - Personale
- Kamela Islamaj - Mbi Yje
- Frederik Ndoci - Oh... Jeta Ime
- Bojken Lako - Të Zakonshëm
- Mariza Ikonomi - Më Lër Të Të Dua
- Iris Hoxha - Pa Ty... Asnjë Sekondë
- Saimir Braho - Ajër
- Xhensila Myrtezaj - Lulet Mbledh Për Hënën
- Elhaida Dani - Mijëra Vjet
Tonight's show will, just like the semi-finals, be presented by Nik Xhelilaj, Hygerta Sako and Enkeleida Zeko. The winner will be chosen by an expert jury.
Among the contestants are several well-known names, including Frederik Ndoci, who represented Albania in the 2007 Eurovision Song Contest with Hear My Plea, and Dr. Flori, who wrote the lyrics for the Albanian entry in the 2006 Eurovision Song Contest, Zjarr E Ftohtë, sung by Luiz Ejlli. One of the record participants of Festivali i Këngës, Mariza Ikonomi (pictured), is also giving it another try this year - after 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2009, this is already her eighth participation!
As one of the biggest and most popular music festivals in Albania, Festivali i Këngës has taken place every year since 1962, making this year's competition the 50th anniversary edition. This fact was celebrated yesterday evening in an additional retrospective show featuring some of the evergreens out of the history of the festival.
Be sure not to miss the live show, which will be broadcast live on the web on the RTSH website, starting from 20:30 CET!