Albania: Festivali i Këngës takes place before Christmas (UPD)

The dates of the 55th edition of Festivali i Këngës have been revealed by broadcaster RTSH, with the final taking place on Friday the 23rd December. Last year, the prestigious contest took place during Christmas.

A total of 24 singers will once again be competing this December to represent Albania at the Eurovision Song Contest, following in the steps of last years entrant Eneda Tarifa, who failed to make it to the final in Stockholm. There will a semi final on the 21st and 22nd of December, and a final on the 23rd.

The country has already announced major changes to the selection method, with the public for a first time having a say in who will represent Albania at Eurovision. From the two semi finals 14 qualifiers will be chosen by a jury vote, press vote and public vote. A professional jury will select 8 of the finalists, followed by 3 songs selected by the press and 3 by a jury made up of the public.

Here are the acts for Festivali i Këngës 55 once again:

Albulena Jashari – Fjalet ia le Zemres/Words Left for Heart
Classic Boys – Dashuria per jeten/Love for the Life
Dilan Reka – Mos Harro/Dont Forget
Edea Demaliaj – Besoj ne Enderra/Belive in Dreams
Edona Vatoci – Mirmengjes/Good Morning
Elson Braha – Edhe nje here/ One More Time
Erlind Zeraliu – Dhimbja e Gezimit/The Pain of Happines
Fabiola Agalliu & Agnesa Çavolli – Shkon e Vjen/Comes and Goes
Festina Mejzini – Atje Lart/Up There
Flaka Krelani – Sdu Te Flas/I Dont Wanna Speak
Franc Koruni – Macka/Kitty
Genc Salihu -Ketu/Here
Linda Halimi – Bote/World
Linda Rukaj – Vija e Lumit/The River Line
Lorela – Me Ty/With You
LYNX – Sot/Today
Luka & Serxhio Hajdini – Koha Plaket/Time Gets Old
Neki Emra – Dashuri dhe Urrejtje/Love and Hate
Orges Toçe – Shi Diamantesh/Diamond Rain
Rezarta Smaja – Pse Prite Gjate/Why did you wait so long
Tiri – Me zgjo/Wake Me Up
Yll Limani – Shiu/The Rain
XUXI – Metropol/Metropol
Xhesika Polo – Eva Jam Une/I am Eva

UPDATE 08-12-2016

The Albanian broadcaster has decided to replace Edona Vatoci’s entry, because the song had already been publicly released before the date of September 1st. Vatoci will now be replaced by Xhenji Lito and the song “Pritja” (The Wait). The decision to give the new place in Festivali i Kenges to Xhenji was taken unanimously by the contests organisers.